33. Pentewan to Gribbin Head

Today was a very hot day and although I only had a short distance to walk, I had been suffering from a thigh/groin strain which although not very painful, was a persistant dull ache. I had dumped the moped at the free car park at Menabilly near Gribbin Head and then drove the short distance west along the coast to the layby on the B3273 just outside of Pentewan.

Looking back at Pentewan
Ther view towards St Austell and its distinctive spoil heaps

I set off along the B3273 into Pentewan and enter the village walking around the small man-made harbour, past the Ship Inn and up Pentewan Hill. The path rises and falls through a number of steep up and downs. I head towards the promontory of Black Head, which is owned by the National Trust and home to an Iron Age fort. From nearby Gerrans Point I have a sweeping vista northwards towards St Austell, which I can see in the distance together with a number of distinctive volcano-like white spoil heaps from the china clay quarries. I drop down into the small village Lower Porthpean and walk along a quiet Porthpean Beach.

Charlestown wharf

I climb up a small hill onto Carrickowel Point home to the ruins of the Crinnis Cliff battery. I had a search through the overgrown wooded area , but little evidence remains of the gun positions, originally built to guard Charlestown. I enter Charlestown, which has a small well-preserved dock and is probably easily recognisable to those who watched the TV series Poldark. I pass by a couple of old sailing ships tied up alongside the wharf and walk past the Shipwreck and Heritage centre. It is getting quite warm now as I head towards Carlyon Bay, with the path walking alongside a golf course.

Looking back at Par Sands

I soon have to make a large detour inland around the large Imerys industrial site for the drying and milling of China Clay. The detour requires me to follow the main road into Par, where I replenish my water and food stock. A small footpath then leads back to the beach,  with a number of signs depicting scenes from the processing of China Clay. I head across the beach at Par Sands, it is very quiet, with few people enjoying the very hot afternoon.

The beach at Polkerris

I leave the beach and ascend some steps to join the path which now heads south towards Gribbin Head. I descend steeply to the small fishing village of Polkerris. The small beach is very busy and the pub, the Rashleigh Inn is also busy. It’s very hot now, but I’ve only got a few miles to go now. I climb up steeply through a wood from Polkerris and have an easy walk along the cliff top to Gribbin Head. It has taken about 5.5 hours.

Distance today = 12.5 miles
Total distance =   507.5 miles



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