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Merchant House Recommends: Winter Walks in Cornwall –Porthtowan to Chapel Porth

The Merchant House team are avid walkers and regularly explore the rugged Cornish landscape to venture on the best walks in the county. This month we’re telling you about one of our favourite walks for beginners and those fancying just a gentle stroll.

Not only is this walk a relatively easy and short one, but it also showcases stunning views of one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing beaches. There are some gorgeously smooth sand dunes and impressive cliffs to take in as well as the dramatic ocean waves.

The walk begins when you park in the Beach Road car park, and on average the 1.8 mile walk (each way) will take you around two hours there and back at an amble…

It’s best to plan this walk at low tide when you’ll be able to walk along the sand from Porthtowan to Chapel Porth; at high tide you’ll have to take the path. When you come out of the car park take a right towards the beach, be guided by the noise of crashing waves on the rocks.

Go through the barrier and you’ll find the South West Coast Path on your right to join. The start is a little steep, but if you’d like a gentler ascent there are some other paths that make their way up at less of an incline.

When you make it to the top, you’ll be able to walk along the path close to the cliffs (if you feel confident enough, note this path is narrower, there is a wider coastal path inland) and you’ll be able to take in some stunning sea views (and give the novice walkers a chance to catch their breath!). The view from the top is particularly stunning, with washes of white horses mixing with turquoise and blue ocean waves like a watercolour painting. The miles of craggy coastline stretches on before finally fading into the distance and the white sand makes your toes tingle in your walking boots as you imagine stepping onto the beach barefoot. You may even be able to spot some gannets and kittiwakes in nests below you!

Your journey will take you down into the valley below and it’s here that you can walk across the mile-long beach at low tide. There are plenty of food options too. Eat at the Blue Bar at Porthtowan or try a ‘hedgehog’ (gorgeous vanilla ice-cream covered in Cornish clotted cream and then rolled in honey-roasted hazelnuts) at the National Trust’s Chapel Porth café.

On your way back to Porthtowan on the coastal path, you can see the Wheal Charlotte engine house and other mining artefacts set in the gorgeous Cornish landscape. There are also a few seats around the coastal paths where you can take a moment to regroup and admire the sea views.

After your outdoor adventure, head back to Merchant House, strip off your clothes and boots and leave them to dry in the drying room, and if you’ve taken a hound with you, why not try the new Merchant House Dog Wash being unveiled this month which has been designed with a warm shower, doggy shampoo and towels to clean Fido up nicely! Then relax in the lounge by the toasty log burner with a thick slice of chef Dave’s delicious homemade cake and a cup of steaming tea or coffee!