The north coast of Cornwall has more beautiful stretches of coast path than you can shake a chough at, and the section between St Agnes and Perranporth is a popular one.
This walk will start off in the thriving village of St Agnes. Littered with quaint little streets, quirky shops and quintessential views, this is a great little visit. The coastpath begins just up from Trevaunance Cove, the main beach and climbs to give fabulous views.
Reaching the top, you’ll pass through the site of Wheal Kitty, with the remains of its later concrete workings on your right. The path winds through some of the waste dumps, and even without the sun out you can see the distinctive red and green colours.
Past the workings you should get your first view of Trevellas Combe. The path here is quite steep, but eventually makes its way down to the bottom of the valley, where you can take a short detour to visit the 60″ pumping engine house of Blue Hills mine. There are more bits and pieces of the mine scattered down by the little beach.
The paths goes up the other side of the valley and stretches on through the gorse before reaching the edge of Perranporth Airfield. The path does stray along the edges of the runway, but don’t go too far as planes do regularly use the area.
Past the airfield you’ll start heading into mining country again. The first being Wheal Prudence, of which little remains bar a large clwyd cap; this is a very ancient mine that was actually made up of several smaller ventures. This mine is unique in that it had a shaft sunk on one of the rocky prominences, stretgically named Island Shaft. This would have been reached via a wooden bridge, which must have been a beautiful spot on sunny days, but miserable when pelted with the full might of the Atlantic winter gales.
Next up are the striking red cliffs of Cligga Head, another ancient mine with the older workings taking the form of the pock marked cliff ahead. The concrete structures at the top of mine are from the early 20th century when it was reworked for tungsten.
The coastpath is also a great place to spot the locals. Choughs were reintroduced into Cornwall in 2001 and are a real treat to see. Other birds such as fulmar’s, black backed seagulls and stonechats are also a common site.
The coastpath winds through these concrete remnants and continues on towards Perranporth. The next red section of ground belongs to Perran St George, a very old copper mine. Little remains of this workings, although there are shafts and low stone walls dotted around.
As you get closer to the grand expanse of Perranporth, you’ll begin to see the rock arch and pitted cliffs of Droskyn Mine. Just after the youth hotel, if the tide is out, there’s a set of steps that head down to the beach and you can get a good look at the old adits.
This is the end of the walk, although Perranporth beach makes a good extra emplore, especially with Chapel Rock in the centre.
The whole walk is on public footpaths and open access land. Quite a lot of the paths are rocky and uneven. While much of the mine workings have been stabilised or fenced off, it’s advised to stick to the main path to avoid falling down any holes.
There is an old adit along the footpath – it doesn’t lead anywhere but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to enter.