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ENJOY FIVE ADVENTUROUS MILES OF THE CORNISH COAST LINE

Cove Cottage is perfectly positioned, overlooking a garden leading down to the sea. An amusing touch is the well-worn hiking boots used as planters.

If you enjoy a challenge, this coastal walk makes for a fantastic day out. It includes some steep climbs in places but is well worth the effort with wonderful sea views and even the chance to visit some Bronze Age antiquities. What's more, the walk takes in Cove Cottage - an idyllic stop-off for a cup of tea and bite to eat.

This superb walk explores one of the more challenging sections of the coast path in the Penwith peninsula. There are several short, sharp downs and ups and the path is rough in places, especially for the first half-mile or so. The reward however is well worth it with some wonderful coastal scenery and the chance to visit a tea garden. This caters especially for walkers, being on the coast path overlooking the sea at St Loy. The return starts up an almost sub-tropical wooded glen. a stretch of road walking follows made far more interesting by the chance to visit early Bronze Age antiquities that have survived in this part of the world. After all that, it's a downhill stroll back to Lamorna.

Cove Cottage

Cove Cottage is perfectly positioned beside the coastal path and serves teas and light lunches on a beautiful terrace overlooking a garden leading down to the sea. An amusing touch are the well-worn hiking boots used as planters. Take you pick from a small selection of delicious cakes as well as cream teas and meringues. For a light lunch, there is a choice of salads - using much of their home grown, organic produce as well as filled baguettes. It's open every day except Monday from Easter until the end of September between noon and 6pm. Telephone: 01736 810010.

When the teashop is closed, you can get a bite to eat in the pub in Lamorna.

DISTANCE: 5 miles

STARTING POINT

Lamorna Cove car park (charge) (GR 450241).  From the B3315, Newlyn-Lands End road, take a minor road signed 'Lamorna Cove' to the car park on the quay.

ALTERNATIVE STARTING POINT

The tea garden is not accessible by road so there is no alternative start.

What to expect on the walk

The cliffs here are made of granite, which has been extensively extracted. The walk itself starts beside a disused quarry. The piles of rocks on the cliffs to the left of the bay are quarry waste. The harbour, itself constructed of granite, was used to export the rock that would build many Victorian lighthouses and other structures, such as the Thames embankment. 

1. Facing the sea, go to the right-hand side of the quay to pick up the coastal path. When the track shortly ends, the path leads up through rocks, as indicated by a not very obvious yellow waymark. Press on along the narrow path. Then at the top of some steps it's worth going left before continuing on the path. This is an excellent viewpoint and the rocks make a natural throne from which to sit and enjoy the view. 

Did you Know..

Derek Tangye was a debs' delight who came to Cornwall in 1950 with his wife Jeannie in search of the good life. He wrote about the walk in the 'Minack Chronicles', which was also the name of the flower farm they bought. Look out for a gate on the right that gives access to Oliver's Land. In 1979 they bought 18 acres of land adjacent to their farm as a nature reserve, naming it after one of their cats. You can explore it, if you wish, with the help of a board at the entrance which provides more information. 

2. Above Tater Du Lighthouse - Cornwall's most recently built lighthouse the path joins a track for a while. When the track turns right, inland, continue along the way marked coast path. 

Did you know..

Tater Du Lighthouse was installed in 1865 after a series of shipwrecks off this coast. The light can be seen for 16 miles and the foghorn is a complex of 72 speakers.

None the less it did not prevent the Union Star from foundering in 1981, leading to the tragic loss of the eight-man crew of the Penlee lifeboat. 

3. The path eventually arrives at St Loy's Cove, where you have to pick your way across rounded boulders for about 50 yards. Follow the path into a Wooded glen. At a cross, track turn right to the tea garden. 

4. Return to the coastal path and turn right. Follow the path up the glen to a stile onto a cross-path. Turn right, immediately crossing another stile, for 125 yards. Turn right, shown by a way mark on a post, to cross the stream. Continue by the stream for another 100 yards to a post signed 'To Coast path'. Turn right here onto a track.

5. Turn left along the track and continue ahead when it joins another track coming in from the right. At a farm turn left to pass between the buildings of Boskenna Home Farm and continue to a road. 

6. Turn right for half a mile. 

The road passes Boskenna Cross, which at the time of writing has been removed for safe-keeping following damage. Such prehistoric crosses are not Christian in origin, though they were sometimes later decorated with Christian symbols. 

DID YOU KNOW...

They indicated a route for travellers in bygone days. This one originally stood in the middle of the road and was moved to protect it from damage by army lorries during World War II. A little further on, on the right of the road just after the entrance to Tregiffian Farm, is an early Bronze Age burial chamber. It was damaged during road works in 1840 and excavated during the 1960s.

It contained a cup-marked stone with twelve oval and thirteen circular marks. This may refer to the number of full and new moons in a year. The original was taken to the County Museum in Truro. Cremated remains and an urn were also found here. 

7. Turn right, signed 'Footpath to Merry Maidens'. Having inspected the Maidens carry on across the field to a stile. Over the stile, turn right to walk along the right hand side of a field for 80 yards then turn left across the field to a stile back onto the road at a junction.

Did you Know..

With its proper name of Boleigh Stone Circle, this ring of 19 standing stones is usually referred to as the Merry Maidens from the story that they are young girls turned into stone for dancing on a Sunday. In a nearby field are two, presumably related, upright stones called the Pipers, who were similarly petrified for providing the music.

Other than the fact that the ring and associated stones date from around 2,400BC, nothing is known of their origin or significance, though they presumably had some ceremonial function. 

8. Take a little lane to the left of a cottage. When the lane ends continue in the same direction on a signed bridleway and follow this to a road. 

9. Turn right and follow the road through Lamorna back to the start. Once only licensed to sell beer, the pub you pass on the left is called 'The Wink' - aptly named from the way customers used to ask the landlord for something stronger, and possibly contraband, from under the counter. Lamorna was also popular with the Newlyn School of artists at the beginning of the 20th century, in particular S. J. 'Lamorna' Birch, so called to distinguish him from another member of the group, called Birch. 

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