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Visitors walking a dog along the South West Coast Path at St Agnes Head, Cornwall
Dog walkers at St Agnes Head | © National Trust Images/Hilary Daniel

White Rocks to St Agnes Beacon loop

This circular walk follows a gentle stretch of South West Coast Path from St Agnes Head to Wheal Coates before looping back via St Agnes Beacon. People have been coming to this spot for more than 6,000 years, ever since Mesolithic hunters first stopped here – scatterings of their flint weapons and tools have been discovered beyond the car park boulders. There are also foundations of Second World War ammunition stores and gun emplacements, where Bofors guns were mounted and used by trainee gunners.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

St Agnes Head main car park, grid ref: SW699513

Step 1

Head south onto the coast path at the far end of the White Rocks car park. Continue along the path, taking in the panoramic views south past Porthtowan and Portreath and on to Godrevy Point and St Ives beyond.

Step 2

After the capped mineshaft take the waymarked coast path leading down to the right and follow it, bearing right again at the next junction to reach the Towanroath Engine House.

Step 3

Retrace your steps up the coast path, take a hairpin bend to the right, and follow the path up the slope to the Wheal Coates complex.

The former tin mine along the coast at Wheal Coates, Cornwall
The coast at Wheal Coates | © National Trust Images / Hugh Mothersole

Step 4

Leave the mine along the gravel path to the left of the chimney stack and head east, with St Agnes Beacon directly ahead. Walk through Wheal Coates car park towards the road. Turn left, walk along the road for a short distance, then take the first right to Beacon Cottage Farm touring park.

Step 5

Follow the lane to reach the farmyard, then walk through the yard between the barns to reach the far end. Go through the signposted gate, cross the field to the far corner, and over the stone stile. Follow the path, ignoring other paths to left and right, then bear left uphill towards the beacon's summit.

Step 6

Descend from the summit, taking the left-hand path heading north west. When you reach the road at the foot of the beacon, cross over and go down the lane opposite.

Step 7

Take the lane on the left after the sentry box and continue along it to reach a stile. Walk over the steps and onto a path running along the edge of the heath.

Step 8

Follow the path in a straight line, ignoring routes to either side, to reach your starting point.

End point

St Agnes Head main car park, grid ref: SW699513

Trail map

Map of White Rocks to St Agnes Beacon trail, Cornwall
White Rocks to St Agnes Beacon trail | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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St Agnes Head, Off Beacon Drive, St Agnes, Cornwall, TR5 0NU

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