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Views of Sharrow Beach in Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Sharrow Beach is a short walk from the start of the trail | © National Trust Images/George Taylor

Whitsand Bay circular walk

A loop with an optional shortcut, exploring Cornwall's ‘forgotten corner’. Coming inland from the South West Coast Path, walk high above Whitsand Bay between Tregantle and Crafthole, along ancient routes and medieval green lanes, through woods and heath, past wetland and a reservoir full of wildlife.

Military firing range

The trail passes through the MOD training area at Tregantle. If the red flags are flying, do not enter the area but follow the diversions described below. Get details of firing practice times by phoning 01752 822516 or search ‘Tregantle firing times’ online.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Freathy car park, grid ref: SX395523

Step 1

From the car park, walk across the road and join the South West Coast Path heading west (right). As you near Tregantle Fort there's a junction on the coast path. No flags flying: follow the path straight on, keeping right until you get to the big gates at Step 2. From here, leave the range and follow signs for the permanent route. Red flags flying: join the road on a sharp bend signposted to Portwrinkle. Please take care when walking along the roads as they can be busy.

Step 2

If the red flags are not flying, exit the coast path through the gates onto the road and rejoin the permanent route, following the signs that take you alongside the B3247 towards Crafthole and a small lane junction.

Step 3

Turn right off the main road, heading north downhill towards Blerrick Farm. When you reach the junction at Lower Blerrick, turn left towards Kerslake. (Shorter option: if there are no flags flying there is an option of a shorter walk. Instead of turning right towards Blerrick Farm, continue along the road and join the permanent route for the South West Coast Path. Follow the footpath until it meets up at the MOD gate to rejoin the return route at Step 8.)

Step 4

Passing the ponds at Kerslake, bear right up the lane towards Trethill House. At the road junction in between several barns and a house, turn right and follow this sunken lane down towards the A374.

Step 5

Just before reaching the main road (A374), a footpath is signposted on your left that leads you up a valley towards Crafthole. Follow this path along the edge of several fields, across a wooden footbridge, through woodland and up past Crafthole Reservoir.

Step 6

As the footpath nears the top it joins the main road (B3247). Turn left towards the roundabout and then right towards Portwrinkle, passing the Finnygook Inn – a good chance for a break. Continue along the road following signs to Portwrinkle on your left. After a short walk down the hill, take the footpath through the golf course until you rejoin the South West Coast Path.

Step 7

When you reach the South West Coast Path past Skinners Ball, turn left (heading east) back towards Tregantle Fort. You will continue through the golf course and enter land in our care at Trethill. Continue along the path until you reach the gate entering the MOD range.

Low-tide view of a sandy beach with rocks breaking through, building clouds and white foam breaking on the beach
The beach below Tregantle Cliff in Whitsand Bay | © National Trust Images/Sue Brackenbury

Step 8

No flags flying: follow the waymarked path through the range, respecting the areas where public access is prohibited. Going through the gate at the end of the range, follow the waymarks through the field above Kerslake Cliff and rejoin the return route at Step 2. Flags flying: follow the footpath round Tregantle Fort and take the footpath that leads out towards the road. Continue on the footpath that runs alongside the road until you rejoin the return route at Step 3.

End point

Freathy car park, grid ref: SX395523

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of the Whitsand Bay circular walk
Map of Whitsand Bay circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Lansallos, Looe, Cornwall, PL13 2PX

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