Top 5 Short Coastal Walks Near St Austell

Short Coastal Walks Near St Austell

I live near St Austell and, honestly, sometimes the most excitement I get is choosing which coastal path to walk down.

So, if you’re like me and your idea of an adventure is a short stroll where the risk of breaking a sweat is minimal, you’ve hit the jackpot with this list.

Also, check out some light family trails.

Here are the top 5 short coastal walks near St Austell – they’re all manageable, and undemanding, and you can still tell yourself you’ve been outdoors. Join me as we take the least challenging paths possible by the sea.

Duporth to Charlestown Walk

Map of Duporth to Charlestown Walk

  • Distance: About 2 miles round trip
  • Ideal for: Families and history buffs looking for a scenic walk with a taste of Cornish heritage.

This walk starts from Duporth Beach heading west towards the historic port of Charlestown. The path is relatively easy, with few inclines and mostly firm surfaces. As you walk, the views open up to dramatic cliffs and expansive seas.

Duporth Beach
View from Duporth Beach

Charlestown, famous for its appearances in films and television series like Poldark, offers charming old ships and a quaint harbor atmosphere. Charlestown’s Shipwreck & Heritage Centre is a major attraction, providing insights into the maritime history that is crucial to the area.

Porthpean to Black Head

Map of the Porthpean to Black Head Walk

  • Distance: Approximately 3 miles round trip
  • Ideal for: Nature lovers and photographers who enjoy coastal ecology and panoramic views.

This route takes you from Porthpean Beach up to the Black Head point, presenting some of the best panoramas of St Austell Bay. The trail is moderate, involving some rugged paths and steps.

It’s a fantastic way to experience the coastal flora and fauna, especially during spring when the wildflowers bloom. The point at Black Head offers a stunning overlook, perfect for photos, and the serene setting is ideal for a peaceful picnic.

Ideal for: Nature lovers and photographers who enjoy coastal ecology and panoramic views.

Pentewan Trail

Map of Pentewan Trail

  • Distance: About 2.5 miles one way
  • Ideal for: Families and casual walkers looking for a straightforward, scenic walk culminating in a beach visit.

This relatively flat trail runs along a disused railway line from St Austell to Pentewan, offering an easy-going path that is accessible to walkers of all ages and abilities, including those with buggies.

Pentewan Trail
Just a quick snap of the trail

The trail meanders alongside the river and through woodland, opening up to the beach at Pentewan. The sandy Pentewan Beach at the end of the trail is perfect for a swim or sunbathing, making it a rewarding endpoint to the walk.

Carlyon Bay to Spit Beach

Map of the Carlyon Bay to the Spit Beach

  • Distance: Just over 1 mile round trip
  • Ideal for: Older adults and anyone seeking a quick and easy coastal walk with scenic sea views and cliffside vistas.

This is one of the shorter walks, ideal for those looking to stretch their legs without committing to a long trek. The path offers views over Carlyon Bay and across to the cliffs of Spit Beach.

Cliffs of Spit Beach
View from the cliff

The terrain is gentle, making it a leisurely walk suitable for all ages. The dramatic cliff scenery and the often-quiet Spit Beach provide a tranquil setting for contemplation and relaxation.

Polkerris to Gribbin HeadMap of Polkerris to the Gribbin Head Walk

  • Distance: Approximately 3.5 miles round trip
  • Ideal for: Adventurers and anyone who enjoys historic sites combined with spectacular coastal scenery.

Starting from the charming village of Polkerris, this walk extends to the prominent daymark at Gribbin Head. The path climbs steadily, offering increasingly impressive views of the coastline.

The highlight of the walk is reaching the Gribbin Head tower, where you can climb to the top for a small fee to enjoy panoramic views. The daymark tower itself is a unique feature, and the surrounding views are some of the best in Cornwall.

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