Portwrinkle to Whitsand Bay Battery
Cornwall Coast Path

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Portwrinkle to Whitsand Bay Battery (4.7 miles/7.6km)

This part of the Cornwall coast path will take you along the huge sweeping Whitsand Bay with fantastic views to Rame Head, past former military fortifications, sandy beaches and an unusual grotto. Whitsand Bay stretches all the way from Portwrinkle to Rame Head.

Follow Finnygook Lane past the car park and look for the coastal footpath on your right. The sign is opposite the golf buildings. There is a steep climb for the first part of the walk. When the path levels out it crosses a golf links so beware of flying golf balls.

The sandy Finnygook Beach is below you. The Portwrinkle fault here is of geological interest.

You will cross the golf course. After the 5th hole you will leave the golf links via a gate.

You are now walking on Skinner's Ball Cliff.
You may wish to make a detour to visit one or both of the following beaches.

A path leaves the coast path to take you onto the Skinner's Ball beach. When the path forks take the right fork for Skinner's Ball beach and continue along the left path for the next beach - Oldhouse Cove. Be prepared for a scramble onto the beach.

Back on the coast path you will see a string of sandy beaches you see ahead of you - Tregantle, Sharrow, Freathy, Tregonhawke and Wiggle.

You are now walking on Trethill Cliffs, owned by the National Trust. The slopes here are used for launching, by a local hang gliding and paragliding club.

As you leave Trethill Cliffs look out for a red flag. The seaward path can sometimes be closed due to live firing on the Ministry of Defence firing range. If the path is open you can proceed on the permissive path between the sea and Tregantle Fort but if the path is closed then red flags will indicate this and you must take the alternative route provided, which takes you to a path beside the B3247 for a short distance before rejoining the seaward path after Tregantle Fort and the firing range.

On the road near Tregantle Fort, there is a viewpoint providing an excellent panoramic view eastwards to Plymouth, Torpoint, St John's Lake and Dartmoor.

If the path is open you continue onto Kerslake Cliff. Tregantle beach, also called Long Sands beach is below. The path takes you towards Tregantle Fort across the firing range. The fort is a Scheduled Monument. After walking in front of the fort the path turns seaward again. You can make a detour onto the beach to enjoy the sands and Blarrick Cliff.

Rejoining the coast path you now cross Tregantle Down. There are two paths. One which uses the road for a short distance which must be used if live firing is taking place and a new permissive path which is off-road if the range is not in use.
There is some on road parking at Tregantle Down for visitors wishing to walk down to Tregantle Beach/Long Sands.

The path now crosses Tregantle Cliff and Sharrow Cliff. Below is Sharrow beach and to the left of the beach a headland - Sharrow Point. You may wish to make a detour down the narrow winding path to the beach. At low water all the beaches join into one sandy beach 4 miles long. There is an interesting feature cut into the rock near Sharrow Point - a grotto dug out by a naval man who carved it to cure his gout. It is not open to the public.

Back on the cliff top, you now have to walk along the road eastwards into Freathy, a small village. There are terraces of small holiday chalets above Freathy beach and the steep Freathy Cliff.

Continue along the road into Withnoe. The cliffs here used to be common land for grazing. If you wish to make a detour, Withnoe Beach can be accessed via a steep path by backtracking towards Freathy. Withnoe beach is also known as Main beach and was very popular as early as the beginning of the 1900s.

Continuing along the road you reach Tregonhawke. There is a large rock on Tregonhawke beach known as Chamber Rock. There are numerous small holiday chalets on the cliffs and a War Memorial. if you wish to walk down to the beach, you will need to walk a little further along the road where you will find the main path to Tregonhawke Beach. There used to be tea huts at the base of the cliffs. Some of these have now been converted to holiday accommodation.

Whitsand Bay Battery was released from military use in 1951and is now a holiday park but many of its original features are still visible. It is a Scheduled Monument.

Public Transport

Bus service between Plymouth and Insworke
Service 81 operated by First

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