Blackhead Trail

pentewan-staustell08From the village square head up Pentewan hill, turn first right onto The Terrace and pick up the coast path past the church at the end of the lane turning left onto the footpath.

From here, there are panoramic views over the village and coastline. You will see the prominence of Black Head and further to the daymark of Gribben head and beyond. Look in the other direction to see the lovely Chapel Point – where Robbie Williams is said to have a house. The trail leads past an old lookout used in the past by coast guards. The cliffs to your right are home to a plethora of sea birds. Sometimes local fisherman can be seen at low tide. Continue past the private beach and ascend to a stile. Pause a while as the views are breathtaking. Here the historic Polrudden quarry supplied stone for local buildings.

pentewan-staustell39A little further on, there is a small wooden bridge before another steep ascent. The path then opens out onto a deeply carved grass valley. Steps provide a sharp descent and punishing climb the other side. The undulating path drops into a woodland bringing welcome shelter on a hot day. In the spring, a carpet of bluebells and wild flowers brings a feast to the senses amplified by the sounds of the stream as you reach the bottom. The dwelling that soon appears in view was once a mill. A local sculptor has created beautiful wood carvings which nestle comfortably in the landscape here. Hallane beach is accessed beside the house and can be a welcome stop to refuel or paddle tired feet. A small waterfall makes the scene exquisite.

Rejoin the coast trail to climb above Hallane. At the top you are treated to views across to Par and Polkerris. The path levels out before gradually dropping to Black Head. Pass the memorial stone to the Cornish historian and writer A L Rowse. Black Head was once an Iron Age hill fort. Today the headland welcomes walkers, picnicking families and fisherman. If you are very lucky you may spot the odd seal, dolphins or even the fin of a basking shark in summer. Feast and enjoy.