Walking Zennor Head to Carn Naun
Distance 3 miles (4.8 km).
Duration: 2hr 10min.
Grid reference SW449393 to SW477408.
We intended to do this walk the previous week, but due to the heat and the quite strong
offshore winds we postponed our walk for a week. This did allow us however to explore the
fine Wayside Folk Museum and the inland footpath to Boswednack. The Museum is far larger than first impressions imply, and the owners are most dedicated and helpful. A quiz sheet is offered to children aged between 5 to 16 years. The visit was very worthwhile and far more informative then we had first thought.
Park your car at Zennor, arrive early to ensure a space! A good guidebook to carry is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam.
Turn left out of the car park and head up the road to the Church. Follow the path for about 10 minutes down towards Zennor Head. After the coastguard house at Carn Cobba, the path splits with the left fork leading off west to Pendeen Watch lighthouse, 6 miles away. Stay on the path leading straight on to Zennor Head - 96 metres (317 feet) above the sea. Stop awhile to read the sign - 'Zennor Headland acquired by the National Trust 1953' and look around. Look west to see the unmistakable headland of Gurnard's Head and on to Pendeen Watch in the distance.
The track is quite wide at first dropping down towards Porthzennor Cove before narrowing and running closer to the cliff edge. After a short climb to a waymark post, turn left walking level along the clifftops at Tremedda Cliff. Bear left by a stream then drop down quite sharply through large granite boulders. The path seems to twist and turn its way relentlessly down the cliff dropping down almost to the sea, at Gala Rocks - grid reference SW457397. Take a few minutes out here for a quick drink or breather before climbing back up the cliffs to the small headland of Carn Porth.
Now about 1 hour into your walk, continue climbing up Tregerthen Cliff to crest the rise and get your first real view of your goal - Carn Naun. Follow the waymarked route over a stile and down the western side of Wicca Cliff using the rough granite steps. Cross the fast flowing stream with care - grid reference SW465400. Climb steadily away from the sea passing Wicca Pool and the chasm of Cornelias Zawn to the next headland of Mussel Point - a great place for a picnic in fine weather. Look out for the true coast path here as there are several criss-crossing routes that may lead you astray. Cross the stile and note how the geology changes from granite to rocks more slaty in character.
Head seaward on the most distinct path to overlook the flat rocks offshore known as The Carracks - a good place to see seals and seabirds - grid reference SW467405. The chasm below you is Economy Cove. Pause to catch breath at the summit as you will now have been walking for about an hour and a half. The large headland in front of you is Carn Naun. Look over your shoulder to see what you have accomplished, the walk from Zennor Head. Beyond that you should be able to make out the unmistakeable shape of Gurnard's Head.
Restart your walk now with renewed vigour as the cliffs level out here for a short while and passage along them is far quicker than earlier. Stride on though ferns; gorse; heather and bracken. Pass Treveal Cove before dropping down to cross the stream that runs out into River Cove - grid reference SW473406.
Ignore the path that leads off right inland to the 'Church Field Path' unless you are using this for your inland return. Ascend up the eastern slope of the valley turning seaward once more as you pass Towednack Quae Head. Climb on to reach the summit of Carn Naun, some 97 metres (320 feet) above the sea.
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:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: