A Car Free Day Out around St Austell SW05
Pentewan to Hallane circular walk (4 miles), to include the Black Head (6 miles)
Grid Ref: C6
This is a strenuous Coastal walk which can be muddy in wet weather.
It offers attractive coastal views and at various seasons a selection of wild flowers and coastal birds.
Take Bus No 26 from St. Austell bus station to Mevagissey and alight at Pentewan.
From Pentewan Bus stop follow the signs into Pentewan Village crossing the Vinnick or White river as it is known. The facilities in Pentewan include a Pub, Café, Shops, Restaurant, Cycle Hire and Public Toilets.
Continue walking North East on the road through Pentewan passing the old harbour which before it silted up was used for shipping china clay brought from St. Austell by a mineral railway. Climb a little way up the steep hill take the right turn, signposted “The Church” and “Coastal path”. This delightful terrace of houses, with the Parish Church at the end, offers good views to the South overlooking the harbour. In the foreground can be seen Pentewan sands and at the southern extreme of Mevagissey Bay is Chapel Point.
From the end of the Terrace follow the coastal path signs North East with the sea on your right. The stone from these cliffs was quarried to build the church in St. Austell and other significant buildings in the area. The path is very undulating and steep in parts and there are a significant number of steps to be negotiated as it follows the cliff top. However, the walker is rewarded with grand sea views of Black Head and St. Austell Bay out across to the Gribbin.
After 1 1/2 miles the path descends on a zigzag route through woodland to the Cove at Hallane, where some interesting sculptures can be seen. This section of the route is at its most picturesque in spring when the woodland floor is covered with wild flowers.
If desired, the walker can undertake an additional circular route of 2 miles, taking in Black Head, by remaining on the coastal path. Just before the turning for the promontory there is a carved monolith dedicated to the writer A.L. Rowse who lived in nearby Trenarren. From this monument the path to the right leads out onto the top of Black Head which was an Iron Age Promontory Hill fort, but the three defensive ditches and ramparts are now barely discernable. Signs of a more recent use as an industrial site can be seen on the north side of the approach. However, from the top it offers unimpeded panoramic views of St. Austell Bay. Returning to the A.L Rowse monument continue on the coastal path up some wooden steps and turn right to follow the coastal path round to Trenarren passing above the Nature reserve of Ropehaven.
From the small car park at top of Trenarren, the walker can continue along the coastal path to Porthpean and into Charlestown or St. Austell or the steep downhill road leads back to Hallane through the Hamlet of Trenarren.
From Hallane there is a choice of route to return to Pentewan: –
One can re-trace one’s steps along the coast path back to Pentewan.
Or alternatively as you climb up the woodland path just West of Hallane, rather than crossing the footbridge sign posted “The Coastal Path” instead continue straight on the footpath alongside the stream. This path follows the course of the stream over meadows and past some industrial ruins marked on the map as “Hydraulic Ram” and eventually enters a sunken lane which leads to a farmhouse. Pass to the right of the farmhouse through a gate which leads to a farm track and then onto the minor road between Porthpean and Pentewan. Turn left on the road and return downhill to Pentewan.