3 walks from Daphne Cottage

ONE: Mawnan Smith – Porth Saxon Beach (there and back)

TWO: Mawnan Smith – Maenporth – Mawnan Smith Circular Walk

THREE: Mawnan Smith – Bosloe / Grebe Beach / Durgan

ONE: Mawnan Smith to Porth Saxon Beach

Time: 25 mins there downhill, 30 mins back uphill, brisk pace.  45 mins each way strolling.
Miles: roughly 1 mile there, 1 mile back
Terrain: hilly, footpath, wooded
Navigation: easy
Other names: Cow Beach, Porth Sawsen Beach
Facilities: none

Dog friendly all year, Porth Saxon is a real local’s beach.  Only accessible down the footpath from Mawnan Smith or Mawnan Church, or if you are walking along the Coast Path, there’s no chance of bumping into a car, cyclist or anything other than fellow dog walkers and beach barbecuers.   The walk broadly follows the river that formed Carwinion valley and is wooded, well sign posted and a must if you are staying in the village.

Porth Saxon is mostly a pebbly / shingle beach but the Beast from the East in 2018 washed up a load of sand which has stayed above the high water mark for the time being.  Low spring tide reveals 20m of beach, a normal high tide gives you about 4m so plenty of room for throwing sticks or having a picnic.  It is also the perfect spot to enjoy a sheltered swim in safe waters with only the gentle wash of a passing boat to disturb your strokes.  NOTE: choppy waters and unsafe conditions in an Easterly wind.

There aren’t any facilities on the beach.  Despite this, it is the home of the Helford River Sailing Trust which is based out of the beautiful boathouse on the westerly end of the beach.

If you happen to find yourself there on a Wednesday afternoon you might well experience a bunch of cadets messing about in dinghies and generally having a brilliant time on the water.

(1)  The quickest way to walk to Porth Saxon from the centre of Mawnan Smith is to start with the main facade of the pub in front of you and take the left-hand road, keeping The Square car park on your left.  Walk up that road past the forge on your right, past the bowling club on your right and onwards.  After about 400 yards you will see a wide footpath / vehicle track on your right – signposted and it has a red dog poo bin, you can’t miss it.  (If you see the entrance to the school playing fields on your left you have gone too far.)


Head down this track and you will see a larch clad building at the end.  At this building bear left along the track (keeping the larch cladding on your right) and after Carwinion Cottage (on your right, magnificent cottage garden in the spring and summer) you will see the National Trust footpath sign “Carwinion: Footpath to Porth Saxon).

(2) Follow this path downhill.  When it flattens a little you will notice a stream on your left and you will cross a little slate bridge, (I bumped into a load of children from the school the other day who believe there to be trolls living there).

After this little bridge keep left with the river on your left until you come to a gate.   Go through the gate and bear left along about 50 yards of field until you see the path again.  Keep going on this path downhill and after about 400 yards. you will come see the side of a boathouse on your left and a gate onto Porth Saxon beach.

Coast Path signs to the right and left:  LEFT: heads towards Mawnan Church, Trerose, Rosemullion Head, Maenporth and Falmouth.  RIGHT: Durgan, Trebah and Helford Passage.

TWO: Mawnan Smith – Maenporth – Mawnan Smith Circular Walk

Time: 2-2.5 hours
Miles: roughly 6 miles
Terrain: hilly, footpath, wooded
Navigation: easy
Facilities: Maenporth Beach Cafe on Maenporth Beach (seasonal opening times)

This is an absolute favourite for a good stretch of the legs with or without a dog, offering a good variety of wooded paths, sea views, stunning Mawnan Glebe and a great, elevated view of the Helford.  If you are a runner, it’s a great 10k.

(1) Start with the main facade of the Red Lion pub in front of you and take the left-hand road, keeping The Square car park on your left.  Walk up that road past the forge on your right, and when you come to the bowling club, look out for a footpath sign on your left and follow this path which passes over a style onto open fields.  Its about 300 yards from the pub.

(2) Keep the hedge closely on your left and walk along this first field towards the metal gate into the next field (which has a small footpath gate on the right-hand side of the larger gate) and the next along the track to another gate where you will see a farm in front of you. Once through this gate, bear about 10 o’clock across the field and you will see a small wooden gate in the hedge. Go through the gate, head left down the path until you come to a gate on your right.

(3)  Go through the gate onto open fields, head directly down the field towards another gate, go through this gate and then walk down that field to the hedge. When you hit the hedge, turn right and at the corner of that field you will see a gate into the woods.

(4) Follow this path all the way down alongside the stream and it will bring you out at Maenporth (you will see a footpath on your left half way down, this leads back to Mawnan Smith if you only want a short circuit).

(4) To carry along the coast path, cross the road and follow the signs on your right up onto the headland. The sea will be on your left. You’ll get great views of St Anthony’s lighthouse and as you progress, more and more of Falmouth will become visible if you look over your left shoulder.  Follow this coast path keeping the sea on your left as it reveals breath taking views.

(5) Pass The Meudon Hotel sign on your right with the hard down to the beach on your left.  Keep following the coast path signs keeping straight ahead at a junction at the end of the next beach.  The path will bring you up onto Rosemullion head where you can see the entry to Helford River in the distance and views of the Lizard over the water.

(6) Keep going until you go down a steep hill to a little beach which has a sign saying Trerose on the side of the boat house.  Pass this boathouse on your left and stay on the coast path until you reach another beach.  This is Porth Saxon.  To get back to Mawnan Smith, take the inland footpath at the far end of the beach signposted Carwinion. This will bring you back up to the village, bear left onto the road and you will come into the village by The Cornish Maid and the Red Lion.

THREE: Mawnan Smith – Bosloe / Grebe Beach / Durgan

Time: 1 hour hours
Miles: roughly 3 miles
Terrain: hilly, footpath, wooded
Navigation: easy
Facilities: Ice creams (seasonal) at Durgan

(1) Heading the other way out of the village, with the pub directly in front of you, take the right-hand road towards Helford Passage.  Look out for two newly built houses on the left and a footpath sign on your left about 300 yards from the pub. Take this footpath and at the T junction at the end turn right and walk along the back of the houses until you come to Mawnan Smith allotments.

(2) Keep walking along the hedge to the gate at the far end and the road to Durgan. Turn left onto the road and keep going until you see the Bosloe car park. Head through the car park down the path that runs alongside the road.

(3) When the path comes out at Bosloe Lodge you can either head through Candy’s gate on the other side of the road, and follow the path down to connect with the left-hand coast path at Porth Saxon (and from there back up to the village) or keep going on the footpath down to Durgan.

(4) Taking the second option of continuing down the footpath towards Durgan, when you hit the road, there is a track on the other side just off to the right which leads down to Grebe Beach. This is dog friendly and mostly used by locals and Durgan holiday makers. It’s great for a BBQ and if you simply fancy this, then take the car and park at Bosloe making it a short walk down the beach with your kit.  Durgan is on your right, along the road about 200 yards.

(4) If you want to loop Durgan – Helford Passage walk through Durgan and follow the coast path signs.  You will pass Trebah beach (inaccessible from the coast path) and then on to Helford Passage. There’s no great footpath from Helford Passage back to Mawnan Smith unless you consult your OS map and go via Higher Penpol farm, however, the road has footpaths running alongside it for most of the walk back.  Just take care on the bits of road you may have to walk.



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