Cubert Common walk

Cubert Common, near Crantock, Cornwall TR8 5QS

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
There are many myths and legends about this area © Chris Bowden

There are many myths and legends about this area

Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks © National Trust

Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks

The chalk grassland provides a home for wild orchids and butterflies © NTPL/Ben Selway

The chalk grassland provides a home for wild orchids and butterflies

Route overview

From early spring you'll find the large expanse of open grassland (an agricultural common and Site of Special Scientific Interest) peppered with flowers such as primrose, cowslips and squill, with other damper areas of marsh habitat full of yellow flag iris. Chattering skylarks can be heard overhead, whilst the roar of the Atlantic swell in the background reminds you how close you are to the ocean.

  • Grade of walk: Trainer  (all rounder)
  • Type of walk: 'Hidden Places', 'Flora & Fauna'

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map of the Crantock walk in Cornwall
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Porth Joke car park, grid ref: SW776599

  1. Exit the car park where you drove in and turn right up the path, passing an old quarry.

    Show/HideCommons and legends

    Cubert Commons 135 acres (55ha) has two claims to fame: it's one of the very few enclosed commons in England, and it produces the sweetest mutton from the sheep that feed on its sandy grassland. The folk tale of Langarrow or Langona refers to this area, saying that once there was a prosperous city here with seven churches. Then some convicts were brought to work in the mines and shift sand from the River Gannel, but their intermarriage with local girls led to a falling in standards and a storm of Old Testament proportions overwhelmed the city with sand.

    There are many myths and legends about this area © Chris Bowden
  2. Follow the path until you reach a crossroads junction and turn left. This should take you up over the gentle high point of this part of the common.

    Show/HideBlown sand

    Cubert Common forms part of a huge system of blown sand extending about 5 miles (8km) northwards, from Perranporth to Crantock. The Cubert Common part of the system now lies in the lee of the nearby Holywell Dunes, which are younger in origin and still constantly moved and reshaped by the wind. In contrast, the protection they provide has enabled the sand covering Cubert Common to become stabilised by the colonisation of grasses and other plants that bind the soil, to form an undulating complex of 'fixed' or 'grey' dune that's no longer actively moving.

    Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks © National Trust
  3. At the other side, turn left and follow the track and stream back to the car park.

    Show/HideCalcareous grassland

    The blown sand covering Cubert Common is calcareous; it forms base-rich soils that support the rich diversity of plant species. Calcareous grassland communities, like those which grow here, are unusual in Cornwall because most soils in the county are more acidic. Cubert Common is therefore one of the best places to see plants like the cowslip, pyramidal orchid, salad burnet and ladys bedstraw that only grow in places with base-rich soils.

    The chalk grassland provides a home for wild orchids and butterflies © NTPL/Ben Selway
  4. We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk

End: Porth Joke car park, grid ref: SW776599

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
  • Time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 200
  • Terrain:

    A gentle grassy walk, with sandy paths and tracks across open grassland.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Route 585 or 587, Newquay to Crantock

    By train: Newquay, 5 miles (8km)

    By car: From the Crantock side, at the sign for Treago Farm caravan park, folllow lane to the bottom. You'll need to open a gate to access the track across the edge of the common - follow this to the National Trust car park

     

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