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Aerial view of Dodman Point, Cornwall, in autumn
Aerial view of Dodman Point in autumn | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Dodman long loop trail

Explore a 3-mile circular walk taking you onto Dodman Point, the highest headland on the south coast of Cornwall. There are two beaches along the way as well as a traditional harbour with places to eat. For a wilder option, stop at Dodman Point and look out for peregrine falcons.

Muddy sections

Some sections of the path can be muddy at any time of the year. Please wear appropriate footwear.

Total steps: 14

Total steps: 14

Start point

Penare car park, near Gorran Haven, Cornwall.

Step 1

Go out of the car park entrance, cross the road and go up a couple of steps to join the path. Turn right, following the fingerpost signed Hemmick Beach ¼ mile.

Step 2

The path goes up and along the field to the left of the road. The path is wide and follows the fence line here.

Step 3

Once you are through the gate, and as Hemmick beach comes into view, bear left across the field, to follow the path traversing the slope.

Step 4

Bear left to join the South West Coast Path, and head uphill keeping the fence line and sea on your right-hand side.

Step 5

The coast path eventually meets The Bulwark, an Iron Age earthwork.

Step 6

Carry on the coast path to go round the headland, keeping the sea on your right. Or for a shorter walk, turn left up the path that leads along the bulwark until you reach the coast path again.

Step 7

As you continue walking, the granite cross of Dodman Point comes into view. Opposite the path to the cross, you can take a short diversion inland to the Watch House if you like.

The Watch House on Dodman Point, Cornwall
The Watch House on Dodman Point | © National Trust Images/Sue Brackenbury

Step 8

Go through the kissing gate and continue on the coast path by walking along the right-hand side of the field, following the fence line.

Step 9

Go through the kissing gate to continue on the coast path.

Dartmoor pony standing behind a gate near sign posts at Dodman Point, Cornwall
Dartmoor pony at Dodman Point, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Harry Davies

Step 10

You will meet the eastern side of the Bulwark. To shorten the walk, turn left to head inland along the Bulwark, signed Penare ¾ mile. Continue following signs for Penare, where you started your walk. For the full walk, stay on the coast path, signed Vault Beach and Gorran Haven.

Step 11

Coming out of the kissing gate above Vault beach, follow the lower path.

Step 12

After a gap in the hedge, you have an option to shorten the walk here by heading inland past Lamledra (NT) car park and rejoining the route by turning left along the minor road. If you'd like to visit Vault beach continue on the coast path and through the kissing gate, turn right taking the downhill path. To continue with the main walk, stay on the coast path heading to Gorran Haven.

Step 13

If you stayed on the main path you need to take a short flight of steps and the South West Coast Path to Gorran Haven. Turn immediately left, up a steep minor road called Foxhole Lane. At the top of Foxhole Lane, continue up hill a little further, going past Lamledra National Trust car park. Following the narrow minor road, go through the metal field gate onto The Gruda.

Step 14

Immediately before the next metal field gate that crosses this road, turn left to climb over the stone stile. The path then runs diagonally across the field. You can see a rooftop and the trees of Penare ahead. Go across another stone stile and the last section of the field, where a wooden stile brings you back onto the road at Penare. Bear left to walk through Penare and back to the car park.

End point

Penare car park, grid ref SW999404

Trail map

Trail map for the Dodman long loop walk, Cornwall
Trail map for the Dodman long loop walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Penare car park, Penare, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6NY

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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