Lantic Bay - Polruan - Pont Pill - Lanteglos Church
This is a classic Cornish Walk of approximately 4 miles taking in views from the coastal path, sweeping country views, a walk along the Fowey Estuary and one of its more intimate creeks to finally visit a beautiful Cornish church set in an idyllic location. The walk is of moderate difficulty as there are a few inclines to negotiate, but if you are of average fitness you should not find it too onerous.
The photos to the right were all taken on this walk and to see a larger version click on the thumbnail
Start of Walk
I started this walk at the National Trust Car Park at Pencarrow Head (Latitude : 50.33295329478991 Longitude : -4.601506590843201) which is just off the Polperro to Polruan coast road, though you could also start from Polruan, but parking can be difficult here, particularly during the summer months.
Leave the car park and turn left to get back to the road junction. At this point have a look to your right and you will see Lanteglos Church down in the valley with the outskirts of Polruan beyond. Cross the road and find a gate (signposted to Pencarrow Head) and a pathway which follows the road. At the end of the path pass through a gate into a field and turn left. Walk up the field with the hedge on your left and in the left corner pass through a gate and then turn immediately right and over a gate. You will see Lantic Bay below you with Pencarrow Head off to the left (1).
Turn right (2) and continue westerly and then down a steep path with steps. You should now keep to the obvious cliffpath. The path will start to climb quite steeply and go through a gate at the western end of Lantic Bay, past a bench and a Natonal Trust collection box, then walk on to the top of the incline. Cross a gate and the path starts to descend steeply, pass through three gates and a stile. You are now approaching the Fowey Estuary with the red and white Daymark on Gribbin Head beyond. On the outskirts of Polruan you will cross a field with a clearly defined pathway at the end of which is a farm gate leading onto the road. Turn left onto St Saviours Hill and follow the signs to the car park, past the school and a terrace of houses on your right. From this vantage point the upper part of the Fowey Estuary will open out to you providing some spendid views. Continue down St Saviours Hill into Polruan and follow the signs to Village and Harbour. Turn right at Battery Lane and right again (3) at West Street to get to the quayside.
You arrive at Polruan Quayside, where you can spend some time investigating, maybe even using the passenger ferry to cross to the town of Fowey. There are also two pubs here, The Russell Inn and The Lugger for refreshments to help with the second half of the walk.
From the quay start to walk up the hill and take the first left into East Street where there is also a sign marked "To the Hills", past the boatyard below and to the left of you. At the first set of steps bear to the right, up some further steps past a row of cottages. At the end of the metal handrail walk for a few yards and bear left to some concrete steps which leads onto a narrow track leading uphill. Follow the pathway past benches util you come to a fork by a bench. Take the right hand fork and follow the obvious pathway through the woods. At the end of the path turn right onto a partly made road for a few yards turning left on to another woodland track signposted to Pont and Bodinnick. The path eventually climbs to reach a three-way waymark, continue head to Pont and Bodninnick (ignore the Lanteglos Church pointer for the momemnt) and pass over a gate. The obvious path leads you down past Pont Pill Creek on your left. Pass down steps and through a gate before some more steps to a path. Turn left for the moment to visit the collection of houses at the head of Pont Pill. Most of the properties here are National Trust and there is a quay which was used to discharge grain and timber, if you are lucky the tide may be in but the Pill is extensively silted up.
You are now on the last leg of your walk and you should proceed back up the same path you arrived on to some stone steps leading to a road. Turn left and then right to a gate marked as a footpath leading to Lanteglos Church. Walking uphill pass through a gate to reach Lantglos Church. After investigating the church exit the churchyard from the south gate and turn left onto the road. The road descends and passes Churchtown Farm on your right. Stay on this road and it will start to climb uphill turning right until it starts to level off and you arrive back at the car park entrance where you started.
(1) At this point you could continue straight on to investigate Pencarrow Head
(2) After a few yards there is a turning off to the left which leads down to Lantic Bay beach
(3) Turn left here and you can visit Polruan Battery, a medieval fortification built by Henry VIII to defend Fowey Harbour
This walk has been personally walked by me but the directions given should be considered as a guide only and not as a definitive route plan. You are responsible for your own safety and I therefore recommend you take with you a suitable map (Ordinance Survey Map 107 from the Explorer series covers this walk) together with sufficient refreshments, water and adequate clothing.