Section 1. Penzance to Porthleven - Cornwall Coast Path
Distance 14 miles - Grade - 3.5 miles easy, 4 miles moderate and 6.5 miles strenuous - What these grades mean.
Leaving Penzance it’s an easy start to your walking following the national cycleway (or the pebble beach if you prefer) around the sheltered and striking Mounts Bay.
At Marazion you will take in Cornwall’s iconic image – the fairytale looking St Michaels Mount which dominates everything here, a Benedictine Priory, fortress and a major port for tin and copper and that’s only half its story - you can visit by wandering down its cobbled causeway at low tide or take a ferry boat if the water is in.
Back on the Cornwall Coast Path you now start to encounter cliffs and coves, passing the offshore Greeb and Bears Rocks en route to a perfect little sandy beach at Perran Sands. Climbing high now up Stackhouse Cliffs, to round Cudden Point, a long craggy finger of rock thrust out into the ocean take in fantastic outlooks in both directions back to St Michaels Mount and ahead towards Lizard.
At Prussia Cove you reach the haunt of the infamous King of Prussia aka local smuggler John Carter. Pass his storage caves in Piskies Cove and the ruts across the beach where the contraband was dragged ashore on carts far below the cliff top battery he built to discourage revenue boats. Next up is Bessy's cove, named after Bessy Burrow who had an alehouse on the cliffs stocked with John Carters smuggled brandy no less! These deep blue and turquoise coves give way to the impressive mile long Praa sands where you can gaze at the surfing enthusiasts catching waves as you tramp along the tops of the sand dunes.
You end the day on some challenging trails through Mine country. Haunting ruins at Rinsey Head emerge from wild areas of gorse and lead onto Wheal Prosper's impressive remains where ruinous engine houses somehow cling to the cliffs along the trail. Finishing the day after Tregear point where you pass the first of many monuments to shipwreck victims after a short pause here, it’s an easy drop down to the harbour at Porthleven.