South West Coast Path: St Ives to Hayle and round the beach a bit

Friday 29th April 2011
9 miles
Numerous public toilets and pubs all along the coast

We did this walk on our last full day in St Ives, and specifically chose this date in order to avoid a certain celebrity wedding, which we treated in the same way as we’d treat any other wedding we weren’t invited to and had never met the participants: taking no interest in it whatsoever.  We started at a very lazy 11am.

St Ives itself has a lovely harbour.  Porthmeor Beach, Porthminster Beach and Carbis Bay are equally beautiful.

Somewhere between St Ives and Carbis Bay, we happened upon a demonstration of what to do if your garden hedge suddenly breaks in half.  Obviously.

We then got to the next beach along, Porth Kidney Sands, which was more or less empty.  I wonder why.  The coast path is very hilly and steep, and you have to watch your footing carefully at times.

All week, we’d been wondering if it was somehow possible to cross the estuary to the other side of the beach.  The answer is an emphatic no:

So we had to cut across a golf course towards a church, and then walk along the roads all the way round the Hayle Estuary, thereby adding about three miles to our journey.  We stopped at a pub for lunch on the way, and finally reached Hayle, where we headed for the beach and a spot we’d been very close to over an hour earlier.  It felt like the most ridiculous detour ever.  Who on earth decided to put an estuary there?!

We made it up the beach to a place marked on the map as Mexico Towans, before realising that it was getting a bit late.  The original plan had been to continue all the way along the way up to Godrevy Point to see the lighthouse, but we clearly left it a bit late in the day.  Instead, we opted for heading inland towards Phillack, hoping to find another pub.  The trouble with pub/refreshment markings on OS maps is that it isn’t always obvious which road the pub is on, so we missed it.  We should’ve turned west along Churchtown Road, then we would’ve found the delightfully named Bucket of Blood, which has excellent reviews online.  Instead, we headed back to Hayle to get the train back to St Ives.

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About Karen

One foot in front of the other
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