Great British walks - Mawgan Porth and St Mawgan in Cornwall
Part of the South West Coast Path, this five-mile walk heads inland to St Mawgan, following a stream through fields and woodland before passing through the village and then returning to the coast where the magnificent cliffs tower over sandy coves.
Follow this guide to plan your walk. We've included details on how long it should take you to complete, where to park, and some places to stop for food and drink along the way - there's no rush, and you'll no doubt want to make the most of the wonderful scenery in this part of the serene Cornish coast.
We've also included a recommendation of where to stay if you're looking to book a pitch nearby and spend more time in this area.
Route Description - Mawgan Porth to St Mawgan
Picture courtesy of acceleratorhams/stock.adobe.com
From the car park at Mawgan Porth head in the direction of St Mawgan, passing the remains of a Saxon-era settlement that dates from around AD 850-1050. Two of the three homes excavated here by archaeologists in the 1950s are still visible. From here the route takes you along a bridleway through a holiday park, then through the trees and fields beyond and onto the road into St Mawgan.
In the picturesque village you can stop for a drink and food at the charming Falcon Inn, a traditional village pub with open fire, wooden beams and a pretty garden. It’s dog-friendly, too.
At the church turn right onto a steep hill that takes you past the historic convent at Lanherne. The manor was first mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, but it is thought to date back to the fifth or sixth century. It was owned by the prominent Arundell family from 1231, who lived there until the 18th century. Lord and Lady Arundell handed Lanherne over to a group of Carmelite nuns in 1794, and it’s been a convent ever since.
The present building dates from Elizabethan times and still has the original Tudor frontage. The small former chapel, now the Roman Catholic Parish Church, houses the Arundell sanctuary lamp.
Once you leave the village, the footpath will take you through fields, then across a stream and more countryside before coming out on the main road into the hamlet of Trevarrian. There’s another opportunity to stop for sustenance here, with the appropriately named Travellers Rest pub serving a good selection of beers and ciders and some hearty home-made food.
After the village, you join another riverside footpath that will eventually allow you to rejoin the main South West Coast Path. Back on the coast, Griffin’s Point is the site of an Iron Age promontory fort, a sea defence built around 2,000 years ago. Just beyond this is Beacon Cove, where, as the name would suggest, a warning beacon would be lit if enemy ships were spotted offshore.
Picture courtesy of Anthony Brown/stock.adobe.com
When the tide is out, the golden sands of Beacon Cove are accessible from the path, although it’s an extremely tricky descent and not recommended unless you are capable.
The Coast Path continues around Beacon Cove and then to Berryl’s Point, with fantastic views of the North Cornwall coastline. You then descend onto the road that leads you back into Mawgan Porth and your starting point at the car park.
Picture courtesy of Edward Nurse/stock.adobe.com
Plan your Walk
Route: Circular route starts and ends at Mawgan Porth car park
Distance: 5.4 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
Terrain: Coastal, fields, forest. Some steep ascents to climb
Parking: Available in Mawgan Port
Look out for the Tudor home of the Arundell family, whose former chapel is famous for its sanctuary lamp, that has not been extinguished since before the Reformation.
Food and drink
The Merrymoor Inn, Mawgan Porth
Where to Stay
Hendra Holiday Park
Boasting both a Gold five star and a Platinum 5 Pennant rating, Hendra Holiday Park occupies an ideal location, minutes from miles of golden sand beaches, and has a fantastic array of superb family facilities. Choose from 14 spacious fields for touring, camping and motorhomes, equipped with award-winning facilities in 80 acres of landscaped parkland.
Ideal for families, full-facility park
Newquay TR8 4NY
Open 29 March – 4 November
Price from £21.65 per pitch for two adults plus electric
Eat & Drink
Restaurants, cafes, pizzeria and traditional fish and chip shop and a supermarket
Indoor pool complex
Free family entertainment daytime and evening
Oasis indoor and outdoor fun pools complex
Parking by pitches
Motorcaravans, caravans and tents accepted
For more information
If you have a love of the great outdoors and love exploring the beautiful countryside of the UK - and beyond - we have a magazine for you. Our range of outdoor leisure magazines include this selection. There are helpful links to the digital issues of each magazine so you can read more about the content: