Coastal access update January 2018

The coast path at Penrose has far reaching views

On the 5th January we had a call saying part of the coast path to Porthleven had disappeared. It was still gently slipping into the sea as I arrived on site. More has gone since, and more will go. I’ve heard and read a lot of stories since then about this path, (well, the old road to be fair) almost all happy memories, some car bound ones from the 1950’ and 60’s, and plenty more to the recent past.

We know the coast is dynamic and always changing, and although parts of the old road were lost to erosion decades ago, it still feels like a shock to suddenly lose the enjoyment this route provided for everyone. We’ve put a lot of work into keeping it open and accessible over the years, so it feels like a shock to us too.

Coast path collapse on 8th January. Route now closed. The whole area is still unstable and dangerous.
Coastal change on the South West Coast Path at Penrose

But the coast route has been officially closed, and there is a long diversion in place. The winter weather isn’t helping this, and the Higher Penrose route is very muddy in places – it’s a wellies, stout boots and waterproofs job, so if you use it please go prepared. The new surfaced route from Highburrow provides a good winter stroll as an alternative.

To find out more about this new route, download one of our new property trails map here.

Next steps

The challenge now though is to find a new coast path route – a long term solution that will last a generation or more, so in 2050 people can still be enjoying this part of Penrose, still looking back with good memories and still able to tell those stories of change.

Granites being installed in 2013 to maintain access and safety
The South West Coast Path between Loe Bar and Porthleven is looked after by the National Trust

There’s plenty for us to think about and balance in all this; we can’t build another road, and we need to protect the beauty, wildlife (and wildness) of the place. There’s our tenant farmer to consider and work with, lots of archaeology and the challenging terrain generally. But there are opportunities too, not least new views for people to enjoy. 

Behind the scenes

But the behind the scenes stuff has to be done and takes time; working up plans; specifications; consents, finding contractors and working with partners like the SW Coast Path Association... And the financial challenge – we’re a conservation charity and we will need to find the funds required. At the moment we don’t have a timescale as we are right at the start, but it’s a priority for us, and we’ll let you know when we have one and give regular updates. 

Get in touch

We know how much people value and care about Penrose, and really value your support. If you have any ideas or suggestions (practical or fundraising) or just want to tell us why this part of it is important to you, please get in contact direct via email


Mike Hardy

Lead Ranger, Penrose