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The cliffs above Sandymouth on the Cornish coast looking north at dusk, with the cliffs falling sheer to the sea
The cliffs above Sandymouth at dusk | © National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk

This circular trail follows the dramatic coastline from Sandymouth to Duckpool before heading inland along a wooded valley, through the centuries-old Stowe Wood, before heading back to the starting point. It's a walk for all seasons, with clifftops carpeted with wildflowers over the summer and woodland rich in colour in the autumn. Look out for a number of birds, including blackcaps, linnets and stonechats.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Sandymouth car park, grid ref: SS20390

Step 1

Follow the path from the car park down towards the beach and cliffs (past the café and toilets). Before the path drops to the beach (where the information panel is located) turn right and follow the footpath through a kissing gate.

Step 2

Follow the path across the field and over the river. Take the sloping path up the valley to your right to arrive on top of Stowe Cliffs.

Step 3

Continue along the coast path (wooden finger posts will guide you), passing through a gate and eventually descending to the footbridge at Warren Gutter. Cross the stream and climb the slope to Warren Point. Keep walking and soon you’ll pass through another gate. From here you can see Duckpool Beach and the freshwater pond behind the pebble bank (which might have given the beach its name).

Step 4

Follow the path down to the National Trust car park.

Step 5

After exploring Duckpool Beach following the access road inland until you arrive at the road junction. King William's Bridge is to your right. Turn left and then take the first right along the road into Coombe.

Step 6

Continue through Coombe and over the footbridge that spans the ford. Leave the road as it bears around to the left and join the footpath signed Coombe Valley. Follow the path through Lee Wood.

Step 7

Bear right at the first fork in the path and you will soon cross a stream. At the next junction bear right again, entering Stowe Wood and at the next fork take the narrow path which climbs gently on the left.

Step 8

Follow the path through the woods until you reach a wooden kissing gate with a National Trust sign for Stowe Barton. Go through the gate and continue, emerging from the wood and then follow the path up the tree-lined slope.

Step 9

Pass a small modern bungalow to your right and go through the kissing gate. Turn left and follow the track through a farm gate. Continue past Stowe Barton farm to your right, along the path as it curves left and go through a pillared gateway. Cross over the road to join the bridleway opposite.

Step 10

Follow the track across the fields and keep straight ahead, ignoring the bridleway to your left (this leads to Northcott Mouth). Arriving at a sheep pen, go through two waymarked gates into a paddock. Bear left around the hedge, then right to follow the fence. Head down towards a gap in the hedge marked with a finger post.

Step 11

Continue on towards the signposted gate in the right corner of the field, then up the slope to arrive once more on Stowe Cliff. At the fingerpost follow the path down left into the valley and all the way back to the car park.

End point

Sandymouth car park, grid ref: SS20390

Trail map

Map of Sandymouth circular walk, Cornwall
Sandymouth circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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A walk from Sandymouth to Duckpool along the South West Coast Path taking in sweeping coastal views. This walk can start from Sandymouth or Duckpool.

DistanceMiles: 2.5 (km: 4)

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