Welcome to the latest segment of Wildings Weekly Wanderings!! A mammoth but magnificent 7 ½ mile hike along the exhilarating cliff-top pathways from Godrevy to Portreath. You are guaranteed to see all sorts of wildlife on this trek, from Seals to Shetland Ponies and Butterflies to Basking Sharks.
Accompanying me today is my 70-year-old father and we have a bit of a logistical start to this one. Leaving my car at Tehidy Woods North Cliff car park (to drive us back to the start when we are done), we then travel down the B3301 coast road to Godrevy National Trust car park. Here we load up and head on out across the meadow looking down to the sandy shores of Godrevy Cove below us and the wide expanse of St. Ives Bay behind us.
Climbing over a stone stile we clamber up the rocky path towards the headland with the vibrant Godrevy Island and its solar-powered octagonal Lighthouse directly in front of us guiding our way toward The Knavocks, a National Trust owned vastness of heathland that blankets the peninsula. Snaking our way in and out of the jutting headlands we arrive above Mutton Cove, a renowned haven for local Grey Seals and they were in abundance today with adults and pups alike sunbathing on the shores of this inaccessible cove.
After negotiating a series of stiles and ensuring our two, four legged friends, Mylo and Lottie are securely on their leads we continue along the stony path which winds closely along the cliff edge, before descending down towards the infamous Hell’s Mouth inlet. We take some time to rehydrate at the Hell’s Mouth Café just across the road, given that it seems we have chosen the hottest, stillest day of the year to embark on this challenge! Once recovered, we head back across the road to re-join the footpath, carefully glimpsing down over the edge of this towering peak, certainly not recommended for anyone with even the slightest fear of heights. As we begin to head off again, I notice some movement in the water just offshore, ripples, splashes, is it?? ‘Dad, come here, look!!’ Yes, it was a massive pod of about 40 dolphins, playing and jumping in the breakwater, how absolutely astonishing, never before have I seen so many of these gorgeous mammals in our waters.
Enthralled with what we have just witnessed we have a new surge of energy as we power on along the path across North Cliffs reaching a wonderfully flat, well maintained long stretch of footpath through Reskajeague Downs. It was during this section of the walk that my Father suddenly stopped and hollered, “Oh heck!” (he didn’t actually say that, but I can’t possibly publish what he really said!!), I quickly spin round thinking he’s fallen, to be faced with a solemn gaze, “Guess what you’ve done”, he says, racking my brain I cannot for the life of me figure out what he is referring to, “What?!” I plead, “You’ve left your flipping car keys in my car back at Godrevy!!!” he returns, (remember, my car is parked at Tehidy Woods car park, about a mile away, in order to drive us back to Godrevy!), “OH HECK!!” (I didn’t say that, but again …!!). Given that we had already walked about 4 miles, we then had to make the decision whether to turn around and walk back the way we came, or continue on to Portreath, about another 3 miles ahead and hopefully try get a bus or taxi back to Godrevy.
We decide to push on after a brief back and forth over who’s fault it was that the keys got forgotten, making our way on to Bassett’s Cove (had we have had my car key’s we would have turned right here to head inland back to my car!). After this, the walk became rather more challenging with three or four steep valleys to challenge us, with the path zig zagging up and down, we took our time and stopped to enjoy the views and catch our breath. At the top of one of these valleys we came across a small herd of Shetland ponies, not something you expect to see on a coastal path cliff top but discovered that the National Trust had brought the ponies here to graze and help maintain the habitat which is full of small birds and butterflies.
It was at this point that we decide it probably pertinent to call in rescue services, in the form of my Mother, and yes, she agreed to drive all the way to Portreath to meet us and deliver us to Godrevy!!
However, we weren’t finished yet, we edged on towards Western Hill and with energy levels quickly depleting we were overjoyed to see Portreath Beach ahead of us. Rounding the headland, we pick our way down the steps to join Battery Hill … tarmac … civilisation … humans!! We amble our way through the beautiful cottages on either side of this very narrow lane to be greeted by Mother as we reach the bottom, red faced and exhausted we have never been happier!
Some very steep narrow paths