And the march goes on: SWCP Looe to Portwrinkle – 01/06/2019

On Saturday Emily and I made another 7.6 miles of progress on the coastal path. Travelling again via public transport we caught the train at 9:21 from Plymouth station, changed at Liskeard and arrived at Looe by 10:30. The weather was perfect (sunny and slightly breezy) and after a brief wander in the little seaside town to grab a pasty and some other provisions we headed off westwards. Destination: Portwrinkle. Our aim was to finish where we ended our last hike (here) and make our total distance this season stretch from Jennycliff to Looe – 29.5 miles.

With beaches like this, who wouldn’t want to spend a sunny morning in Looe?

The coastal path guidebook describes this stretch as moderate to strenuous and this is certainly the case on the first quarter of the route. Heading towards Millendreath beach you barely make it to the top of a climb before heading right down the bottom again, only to climb straight back up! 1.3 miles and we were up and down like yo-yos… Hard going to say the least!

One climb up, soon to be followed by a climb straight back down!

Luckily once through Millendreath and heading to Seaton, the path rises and then levels, giving a lovely vista over the coast after a brief wander through some coastal woodland. Emily and I got chatting to 3 other hikers on this stretch, holidaying in Cornwall from Belgium and walking parts of the coastal path along the way. It was great to chat to them about their favourite sections and what they had seen. I remember thinking I was all the more lucky to live in this part of the world and have these stunning coastal walks on my doorstep.

Cutting inland and seeing some patchwork rolling hills

Pushing on, we made good time to Seaton, stopping for an early lunch. Pasty on the beach. A proper Cornish day out! After making sure we had brushed the sand off our toes – new hiking sandals were already starting to rub on me and I didn’t need the added pain of sand! – we wound up the hill and through Downderry, over half way through the hike and taking in the azure marine blues every step of the way.

Sweeping coastal expanse – miles and miles of adventure

The walk from Downderry to Portwrinkle is the best part on this stretch of the path. Wild flower meadows and dramatic cliff views offer plenty of wildlife to be seen. Emily fell in love with the Red Campanions in bloom and we were treated to multiple Buzzards and Kestrals soaring, hovering, then diving and hunting. Lots of prey mean lots of predators. There is no better indication of bio-diversity! Of all the wildlife we saw, one amazing Lackey Moth caterpillar stood out as the best of the bunch – vibrant blues and oranges I would associate with a tropical reef rather than Cornwall. I never fail to be amazed at what I can find just a few hours from my flat.

The incredible Lackey Moth caterpillar

Arriving in Portwrinkle we relaxed on the beach before catching the 70B back to Plymouth the second time in a fortnight. I’m thrilled to have walked this whole stretch of coastline with my partner in crime. Next we plan on exploring some of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and hike from Wembury to Plymouth after a family picnic at the beach. I just wish we were there now!

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A brief wander through the woods, one of the many detours the SWCP will take you on