Cliff-top mines and pillboxes

Walking trail

Discover a once busy mining area, with wide-ranging views from hill-top fields, and enjoy a bracing stroll along the cliffs to reach the dramatic shingle beach of Loe Bar.

The coast path at Penrose has far reaching views


Map to accompany cliff-top mines trail at Penrose


Highburrow car park, Coopers Lane, Porthleven


Start in the Highburrow car park, cross the road and enter Penrose at the Highburrow entrance gate.


Continue past the allotments and into the field. Follow the path (an old mining track) across the field and turn right at the path junction.


Walk out onto a grassy bluff with panoramic views of Mount’s Bay. The circular clumps of scrub in the field to the east are two overgrown mine shafts of Wheal Rose, a once prosperous silver mine. Follow the path round to the left and down the field to where it meets the coast path

The coast path at Penrose has far reaching views


Turn left and follow the coast path. You’re now walking through what was, two centuries ago, the heart of Wheal Rose. The embanked area on your left was the mine reservoir and to your right the slopes are pockmarked with pits, mounds and collapsed shafts, and the grassed-over remains of dressing floors where the ore was processed.

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Continue along the path. Before you reach Bar Lodge, you’ll pass a pillbox, perched on the eroding cliffs. During the Second World War, the coast around Penrose was transformed into a military zone. The 2.5 mile shore was land mined and bristled with barbed-wire and was guarded by pillboxes at Bar Lodge and Gunwalloe Fishing Cove. Royal Navy aircraft used Loe Pool for rocket-firing practice and a camp was built for 2,000 German and Italian prisoners at Higher Nansloe. Penrose House was used to house American GIs from the 29th Infantry, before they embarked from nearby Trebah for the Normandy D-Day landings in June 1944.

A pill box overlooking the beach at Loe Bar


If you want to explore Loe Bar, descend the sloping track. The Bar is mostly made of chalk-flit, washed up from the sea bed far out in Mount’s Bay, and rare plants such as yellow-horned poppy, sea holly and sea kale, cling to this wave lashed shore. Scores of ships have been lost on Loe Bar, including the Anson in 1807, a disaster that led to a campaign for Christian burials for those drowned at sea, and in 1912 the Tripolitania which took over a year to be broken up and scrapped. There is an undertow on this steeply shelving beach which makes swimming at Loe Bar dangerous

The Tripolitania running aground on Loe Bar, 1912


Retrace your steps and follow the coast path back to Parc-an-als car park, walk up the road back to Highburrow.

View over Loe Bar


Highburrow car park, Coopers Lane, Porthleven

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Cliff-top mines and pillboxes


Moderate climbs and descents across fields and a reasonably level, uneven, coast path, with one flight of steep steps.  A short section of road-walking along quiet lanes.  Stout footwear is advisable. 

Cliff-top mines and pillboxes

How to get here

Highburrow car park, Coopers Lane, Porthleven, TR13 9EU
By road

From Helston take the B3304 towards Porthleven, at Penrose Hill turn left onto Shrubberies Hill, take the left sign posted Loe Bar and follow signs to Highburrow public car park. 

Cliff-top mines and pillboxes

Facilities and access

  • Car park