Walking Polkerris to Fowey
Distance 4.5 miles (7.2 km).
Grid reference SX092521 to SX117510.
Park your car in the car park above Polkerris. Turn right and head down the road to the former fishing village. Turn left where signed 'Toilets' to pass a building marked 'JCSR 1912'. At the path fork bear left walking uphill. Follow the waymark post right up some stone steps and up through the woods zig-zagging your way to the top. As you enter a field, some 10 minutes after leaving the village, bear right at the marker and through a kissing gate into another field. look right to see the wide sweep of land from Dodman Point, past Black Head, Carlyon Bay to Par. Follow the grassy path as you drop gradually down. The small point ahead of you is Little Gribbin. Keep to the well defined path passing through another kissing gate as the path climbs above a small shingle cove...We stopped here to apply sun-tan lotion - a first for the year...Climb a few more steps to yet another kissing gate following the waymarker to meet a twisty stone stile. Walk alongside a fence but search as you like you cannot see the famous Gribbin Daymark yet!
The path runs gently south as it approaches Little Gribbin. Cross another stile to enter an area of thorn bushes, ferns and foxgloves as you pass the hour mark of the walk. Round a corner by a high cove and beach known as Platt, to get your first view of the Daymark. Negotiate another stile as Polruan comes into view. Continue on the wide path. Meet and pass the NT omega for 'The Gribbin'.
At the fork in the path bear right. Walk up to another kissing gate to the grassy area surrounding the Tower. Take five minutes out for photographs and to get your bearings. Look east to see the low cliffs around Polridmouth and Fowey and on to the headlands of St. Saviours Point at Polruan, Pencarrow Head and Rame Head, near Plymouth. On a clear day you may even be able to make out Prawle Point in Devon. Examine the tower and look above the doorway to read the plaque. The inscription reads: For the safety of commerce and for the preservation of mariners this beacon was erected in the year of our lord 1832 by the corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond. The most noble John Jeffreys Pratt Marquis Camden K.G., Master. Capt. John Woolmore KCH, Deputy Master.
Once you have visited the tower drop down the slope towards Polridmouth (pronounced 'Pridmouth'). Continue descending to walk above a rocky beach, ignoring the stile to your right which is a beach path. Pass the NT exit omega at another kissing gate. Cross several small boardwalks as you drop almost to sea level at Polridmouth Beach. This area was used by Daphne du Maurier in her famous novel Rebecca. The Manderley of the book actually being the Menabilly Estate. Bear right at a path fork and continue around to a second seaweed strewn beach with a lake. This is Polridmouth - we stopped here for a picnic lunch for 30 minutes. Refreshed, continue on to cross the lake by the concrete stepping stones. Head towards a large metal gate before bearing off right to walk by the NT omega for Lankelly Cliff.
Climb up the often muddy path to steps, to enter a field over a stile. Climb to a gate. Keep to the right hand side of the field as waymarked as you gradually see Polruan and the estuary open up ahead of you. Remain on the coast path along Southground Cliffs dropping down to an inlet crossing a boardwalk and fenced stile beside a small shingle cove. Continue through a kissing gate and down steps to Coombe Haven. Pass the NT omega for 'Coombe Haven' some 35 minutes after leaving Polridmouth. Leave via steep steps to enter a field by a stile. Pass the stone plinth for Allday's Fields and leave the field by a kissing gate. Pass the NT marker for Covington Wood, ignoring the right hand path to drop down through the woods. Head down through the woods - taking time out if you wish to visit St. Catherine's Castle (a good viewpoint) on your right before continuing down to meet the road and beach at Readymoney Cove - grid ref. SX118511- the outskirts of Fowey. A circular walk back to Polkerris can be made - the round trip taking about 5 hours. An excellent guidebook for the area is Bob Acton's 'Around the River Fowey - Landfall Walks Book No.7' and 'From the Roseland to St. Austell Bay: 18 Round Walks from Portscatho to Par.' These books may be a little dated but are very informative, please be aware though that they are quite hard to track down.
Visitors looking for something extra should aim to arrive in Fowey in early May for the Daphne du Maurier Art & Literature Festival. Find out more at the excellent Daphne du Maurier website.
It is possible to combine trips to the ports of Fowey and Mevagissey by boarding the Fowey-Mevagissey Passenger Ferry. The 35 minute trip on the 'Bessie James' leaves Fowey from Whitehouse Quay and passes the Blockhouse and Readymoney Cove on its way west. For more information try www.mevagissey-ferries.co.uk. The seating is limited to 35 people so arrive early.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns: