15 Dec Five Amazing Places to walk in St Agnes Parish – by Mahala Smith
Everyone loves a peaceful walk with the family or dog, and our parish offers a great variety. These are just a few of our favourites parts of the parish to walk and why they are perfect all year round, rain or shine!
1. Wheal Coates Walks
Wheal Coates in St Agnes is a picturesque tin mine on the edge of the cliffs, with a spectacular view of the sea (and a perfect sunset if you come later in the evening). From amazing photographic opportunities (the Towanroath Engine House is the star of many an Instagram post) to abandoned buildings for the kids to explore, this Cornish beauty will not disappoint.
You can park nearby in a National Trust car park and wander down towards the old ruins, walk from the village over the beacon, or walk along the cliffs from the large St Agnes Head car park. Take the stone path down the hill and you will see the old Engine Houses and mine shaft. Kids will love dropping a small stone through the grate, waiting and listening to see how deep it falls down the shaft. From iconic Wheal Coates, turn left along the coastline and you will reach Chapel Porth, a classic Cornish cove that offers more beauty, caves to explore at low tide and a coffee or ice cream at the café!
You can head back the way you came, or for those who like a circular walk, take the path heading away from the beach near the café. You will reach a valley running towards the hamlet of Mingoose with various footpaths which will take you onto the road that leads back to the car park or the village.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wheal Coates ruins are part of the National Trust, along with many areas of our Cornish coastline. For more information on the area, getting there and a couple of walks with maps, check out the National Trust website.
2. St Agnes Beacon Walks
St Agnes Beacon is another great spot to walk to in St Agnes, and it’s one of the most popular dog walks (please, on all these walks, do help keep our parish clean and take litter and dog mess home).
Either by walking around the parimeter of the village (a good map of the circular walk can be found here) or up through Polbreen Lane, walking up past Cannonball Farm and Beacon Cottages and around the Beacon, and cutting back down through fields down to Trelawny Road, you can find a walk to the Beacon to suit you.
If it’s clear, at the top of the Beacon, you can see for miles – there’s a concrete marker which indicates the view in each direction. If it’s blustery, you’ll feel as if you’re about to be blown away in the crazy wind! The paths leading up can get muddy, so I’d recommend some wellies or walking boots. Again, this walk can be circular or one way depending on how far you want to go, but my favourite route always ends back in the village with a refreshment stop at St Agnes Bakery!
3. Mithian Walks
Mithian is a pretty little village just inland from St Agnes and is another great spot to walk to from St Agnes, or simply park up in the village and do a circular walk around the area, such as this one.
If you are walking from St Agnes, head down Goonbell (the stables here are open for visitors if you or your children would like to book a riding lesson or have a hack) and across the valleys and fields. There are many different routes from here to reach Mithian itself – some on country roads, others on footpaths and bridleways, so I’d recommend taking an old-fashioned Ordnance Survey map to help you navigate.
A great place to walk to is The Miner’s Arms, a fantastic pub with particularly good Sunday roasts. Or have a cream tea in the luxury gardens of the Rose in Vale (at Easter this hotel hosts a duck racing competition, with yellow plastic bath ducks floating down their stream – chocolate eggs for the winners, of course).
4. Trevellas Porth walks
From the Driftwood Spars pub at Trevaunance Cove, head up the path towards Trevellas, the next beach along on the way to Perranporth. Scramble down the rocky coast path (at Easter, crowds watch as cars and motorbikes drive madly up this path in the Blue Hills rally). Pause for a paddle at the beautiful cove and take hundreds of pictures of the incredibly clear water.
Then, if you turn away from the beach you’ll see Blue Hills Tin Mine (there’s a little visitor centre here, where you could pop in and learn about the history of mining in Cornwall). Next to the entrance to the mine, you’ll find a path to the left which runs along the mine’s boundary, following a trickling stream inland.
This part of the walk will take you through the bluebells of Jericho Valley, which has stunning scenery and is beautiful in any season. And of course, there’s a bridge which is perfect for playing Pooh sticks! Turn right at the end of the path and you’ll emerge onto the main road between Perranporth and St Agnes – take care here as it can be busy – with various footpaths back to our village. Alternatively, this circular walk starts at the Trevellas Porth car park and takes you along cliff edges, country lanes and back down through Jericho Valley.
5. Porthtowan Walks
There are a few different ways to get to Porthtowan by foot – if you are based in St Agnes you can walk along the Southwest Coast Path to the village itself, stopping off at Chapel Porth beach on the way. You can start at Chapel Porth beach car park (although it does fill up quickly in the summer!) and walk either up along the cliffs for a fairly short but stunning stomp, or wait for low tide and walk along the beautiful beach to the pubs and cafes within Porthtowan village.
You can also join the Southwest Coast Path at Towan Cross, starting at the Victory Inn and going for a wander along the cliff paths and down into either Porthtowan if you take a left or down to Chapel Porth if you take a right hand turn. If you are ever worried about having a poor sense of direction (or poor map reading skills!), the coast path always provides a fantastic way of being able to know that you’ll definitely get from A to B without losing your way!
We hope you enjoy these walks and do let us know of other favourites!