Day 1 – Saturday 16th June
The walk starts from the command centre at The Millpool, West Looe. Head over the bridge into East Looe, turning right into the town and up to Eastcliff, which enjoys fantastic views of East Looe Beach and Looe Island.
After about half a mile of narrow coast path, at times framed by tree tunnels, you pass along the edge of the Plaidy estate, with Plaidy beach on your right, before climbing up a narrow path leading to Kellow. You then go down some steep steps into the resort of Millendreath, which has been redeveloped in recent years and has a popular sandy beach.
There now follows a steep climb out of Millendreath, up Looe Hill, past Bay View Farm on your left. Due to landslips and storm damage, the original coast path route between Bodigga and Struddicks (to the right just after Bay View Farm) is closed, so continue up Looe Hill. Shortly after passing the Monkey Sanctuary, turn right and pick up the coast path again just opposite a narrow turning to the left, across fields lined with gorse, then through woodland from where you descend back onto the Looe Hill b-road to Seaton. There are public toilets by the bridge over the River Seaton. Follow the pavement by the back of the sea wall alongside Seaton beach, which is a mixture of grey sand and shingle.
Continue east along Brenton Road, the main b-road to Downderry, where there are public toilets on your right. After going through Downderry, when the houses end and the road turns sharply left up a hairpin bend, go straight on along the coast path which is just to the right of the entrance to Downderry Lodge.
The path zig-zags up to the cliff top and along the high, undulating, gorse covered cliffs. Continue to Cargloth Cliffs, past the headland of Britain Point before descending into the small village of Portwrinkle, which was a renowned pilchard fishing station in the 18th century. Proceed past the beach, small harbour and car park (where there are public toilets), and pick up the coast path again just after the Jolly Roger cafe. Continue along the coast path with Whitsand Bay golf course on your left. Pass below Tregantle Fort then turn right onto the minor road leading to Freathy, where a long line of prefabricated holiday homes are dotted along the top of the cliff. Magnificent views of Whitsand Bay can be enjoyed here.
Go past Whitsand Bay Fort on your left, staying on Military Road until you reach Tregonhawke Farm, where you bear right back onto the coast path, which now meanders along the top of the cliff.
Ahead you can see Polhawn Fort, follow the path over the top of it and down towards Rame Head, where you’ll see the ruin of St Michael’s Chapel sitting on top of the hill. If you’re lucky you will meet some wild ponies on the headland.
Continue your climb up to St Michael’s Chapel, where some friendly Looe Lions will greet you with a water bowser for re-hydrating.
After re-fuelling and taking in the panoramic views over to Plymouth Sound and the South Hams to the east, and back across Whitsand Bay to the west, you’ll be ready to turn around and head back along the same route to Looe!
The route is approximately 15 miles each way, so when you make it back to Looe you will have done a whopping 30 miles in the day.
Enjoy it and good luck!