A Walk to Hell’s Mouth

It is a walk I have yearned to do for some time now, but summer is not the best time to do it as the car parks around the Cornish coastline are very crowded. As part of my son’s recuperation he is doing a lot of walking and occasionally I join him, though my fitness levels leave a lot to be desired. After a 6 mile walk last week around the Penrose estate and Loe Bar near Helston, this week we decided to give the Godrevy to Hell’s Mouth walk a go. Around 5 miles this walk took us around 2½ hours. My destination was the Hell’s Mouth Café where I knew I could get a coffee and a slab of cake. The boy was not convinced it existed as we tramped along the headlands as in truth, no signs of civilisation could be seen other than the urbanisation of Poole, Camborne and Redruth in the distance and the backdrop of Carn Brea.

Godrevy lighthouse

We drove to the furthest car park in a field close to the Godrevy lighthouse. The field parking areas are only open until the end of October.

Lookout point above Mutton Cove

From there we headed up hill to the viewing point overlooking Mutton Cove where seals can often be seen. We continued along the coastal path with farmland on our right and the sea on our left and surrounded by natural beauty and stillness.

Godrevy Lighthouse and lookout over Mutton Cove

The entire St Ives bay is behind, sea sparkling in the sun, tiny figures dotting the wide expanse of  Hayle Towans beaches as the tide retreats and in the distance the dark hump of Trencrom Hill and the beaches of Porth Kidney, Carbis Bay, Porthminster Beach and the tiny Porthgwidden beach of St Ives. It is hard to imagine that once this bay would have been full of sailing coasters taking Cornish slate and copper to Wales and returning with coal. Or Irish vessels laden with pork, linen and  butter. There would be all sorts of exotic food and objects from Africa and South America and the Dutch East Indies. A busy, noisy and all so different scene from today.

Mutton Cove with Grey Seals, honestly there are a few in the water!
Grey seal on a rock

The coastal path bends right to follow the edge of the cliff closely as you leave St Ives Bay with views east along the north Cornwall coastline to Portreath, Newquay and Trevose Head. 

A gate leads through to “The Knavocks” an area of heathland where you can wander off the main path to explore the vegetation. Shetland ponies graze here to help keep the more vigorous plants in check, but we didn’t come across any. At the Trig Point you can just about catch a glimpse of the top of St Michael’s Mount on the other coast.

“The Knavocks” heathland and view of the coastal path which runs along the top

Coves and caves are woven into the cliffs and now and then you catch a glimpse of pale sandy beaches, turquoise water and the occasional seal lying on a rock. You can almost visualise the pirates and smugglers of the day dragging their haul into these secret stores.

Castle Giver Cove (R) and Fishing Cove (L)

The views from along the path here are stunning. Still no sight of a café though.

North Cliffs and Hell’s Mouth

Now you have to cross over two granite stiles at either end of a farmer’s field, thankfully empty of cows, and a stony path continues along the cliff top edged with wild blackberries and sloe berries at this time of year.

Turn left through a pair of granite gate posts to follow the coastal path which eventually drops down as it reaches the dramatic rocky inlet at Hell’s Mouth, a group of steep cliff faces some 300ft tall. Here you can watch seabirds swoop and dive around the cliffs and offshore rocks. But don’t stand too close to the edge! It is a long way down!

We made our way across the road to the Hell’s Mouth café for a sit down and coffee and cake. Sadly no carrot cake, which I have been dreaming of for several years, but a substantial slab of raspberry ripple for me and hearty apple cake for him did the trick whilst we watched black clouds scudding across the sky towards us. A brief shower saw us hastily moving indoors clutching our cake and after the rain moved out to sea we felt re-energised enough to make the return trip and burn off all those calories.

Looking back after the rain
New path leading away from Godrevy Point

This time we continued round onto Godrevy Point, the closest you can get to the lighthouse unless you go by boat, and where once more the view is that of St Ives Bay.

The slate and stony path leads downwards and climbing over a final low stone stile we reached the meadows and car park with the sound of dozens of noisy oystercatchers on the rocks below echoing in our ears.

Oystercatchers

If you like a walk, long or short, then please visit Jo for her regular strolls in the UK and the Algarve and maybe you would like to join in too. She’s very welcoming.

60 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane Lurie says:

    Glorious photos, Jude. Breathtaking views and invigorating climbs, What a spot!

    1. Heyjude says:

      We avoided the climbs Jane, as much as possible!

  2. Such a beautiful place to go walking. Our daughter has been in your area for a few days. She and her husband have also done a lot of walking. Gorgeous photos.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Walking is the way to explore this county, but it’s not always easy.

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    What a walk this one is Jude. The cliffs look a bit dangerous but stunning against the sea. I very much like the idea of a big slice of cake at the halfway point and perhaps one to go for the ride home. 🙂

  4. Su Leslie says:

    What stunning scenery. Thanks for sharing your walk. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      The north cliffs are rather dramatic looking.

  5. pommepal says:

    G’day Jude, I am having a lazy Sunday and taking time out for a stroll around some of my favourite blogging buddies and I just love your photography, so stunningly crisp and clear, I can smell the ozone and you have captured a beautiful light. Your artistic monochrome shot of the steps has me reaching for my pencils… I can feel a stirring in me of the dormant blogging twitch, but can I remember how to do it????

    1. Heyjude says:

      G’day to you PP. How delightful to see you again. I do hope you will consider blogging again, even if just now and again so we can all enjoy your part of the world. It must be getting warm there now. Say hi to Jack from me!

      1. pommepal says:

        Yes hot and very dry. Going to a spring flower carnival this weekend so will be immersed in all things floral and the camera (which has been retired into the cupboard!!!) will be brought out of retirement….

        1. Heyjude says:

          Enjoy! I need to try and capture some autumn scenes whilst the weather holds.

  6. What a fabulous walk, Jude. This is just the kind of walk I would love ❤️. Sea breezes and rocky coastline with a dancing sea below. You must love life in Cornwall!

    1. Heyjude says:

      At the moment Cathy I just feel so tired again! Maybe it’s just the change in the weather putting me out of kilter.

      1. Oh no! I’m sorry you’re feeling so tired. I hope you feel energized soon, Jude. Or simply enjoy your down time. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          More energetic today and just been up the hill. Family are over from Australia so I’m guessing we will be out and about a bit over the next few weeks and the fresh air will do me good.

  7. BeckyB says:

    Just loving the changing colour of the sea . . . . you are so lucky to have this on your doorstep even if there is no carrot cake!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I shall be back to check on the carrot cake, don’t you worry!

      1. BeckyB says:

        Phew!! Expect a full report in due course 🙂

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    This is an absolutely gorgeous walk and isn’t it great to have company walking the same pace as you?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Totally Gilly. I am going to miss his company.

  9. Rugged wide vistas, love the muted colours of the heathlands and backdrop of the sea. I’ve recently been avidly watching the Poldark series on ITV and enjoying the coves and bays, the galloping horse across the headlands. Very reminiscent of your scenery here.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I still haven’t bumped into Ross, but I keep my eyes open 🙂

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