Day 2 – Sunday 17th June
The walk again starts from the command centre at The Millpool, West Looe. Head past the bridge, staying in West Looe and following West Looe Quay with the river on your left. Carry on a gentle climb up to Hannafore where on Marine Drive you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the famous Looe Island (also called St George’s Island). Legend has it that when Jesus was a small boy, he landed on the island with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea , who traded tin with the locals. In the 17th and 18th century the island was a popular retreat for smugglers. The island is now owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust. In 2008 it featured on Channel 4’s Time Team archaeology series. The sites of Christian chapels on the mainland and the island were excavated, and the remains of a 12th century Benedictine chapel built by monks from Glastonbury Abbey were found.
At the end of Marine Drive you pick up the coast path which goes through a couple of open fields, before a steep climb up steps to the top of the cliff. The path then winds its way round Hendersick before a steep descent down steps to Talland Bay, where there are public toilets on your left.
After Talland Bay you proceed up a steep narrow path leading onto Sandhill. This is because the usual coast path route has been closed for some time due to landslips. At the top of Sandhill turn left into a field before picking the coast path up again and heading down into the picturesque fishing village of Polperro, one of Cornwall’s gems. Cross over the river running into the harbour, on the other side are public toilets.
There’s then a steep climb out of Polperro, with the coast path hugging the clifftop for several miles on the way to Lansallos beach. Ahead of you is Pencarrow Head, which guards the eastern end of the remote but popular Lantic Bay, with its superb crescent-shaped sandy beach. The terrain around the headland of Pencarrow Head and a-top the cliff at Lantic Bay is tough and steep, but ultimately rewarding when you’ve conquered it!
As you head towards Polruan the coast path flattens out slightly. At the top of Polruan village there are public toilets on St Saviour’s Hill. For the last half mile follow the signs down the steep descent into the village, to your destination by the small harbour, where once again some friendly Looe Lions will greet you with a water bowser available for re-hydrating.
Having taken in the splendid views to Fowey across (you guessed it!) the Fowey River, you then turn around and head back up to the coast path on your return to Looe!
The route is approximately 12½ miles each way, so when you make it back to Looe you will have done an impressive 25 miles in the day, and 55 miles over the weekend if you’ve done both days.
Enjoy it and good luck!
Please note that most of the route is straightforward – you can’t miss it! But in the few places where there may be doubt, there will be a sign and/or a friendly Looe Lion to point you in the right direction.