Porthtowan to Hell's Mouth

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PORTHTOWAN TO HELL'S MOUTH Stage 27 (29th September 2008)

Another sunny day but windy and cooler. A new winter bus timetable meant we could not reach until 11.10. The path climbs steeply out of Porthtowan round a headland, through old industrial sites then a long stretch beside the Base fence. After 2 deep valleys a steep descent into (with its Pepperpot daymark) is by road due to recent cliff falls. The harbour is very active and surrounded unusually by a mass of newish housing. We had lunch in a pub then headed up Battery Road to Western Hill. Just after this are two steep valleys with steps. At the second, Sally's Bottom, we saw two grey seals swimming then flopping out onto a flat rock. After this the path undulates along the cliff top, well back from the unstable edge. Plenty of flowers were still out, gorse and heather, campion, sheep bit, scarlet pimpernel and a solitary violet. Although starting late we had time for tea at the café before catching the last bus to at 16.37.

Total time including stops 4 hours 30mins Total distance 8.5 miles 13.5km. Ascent 442m

The South West Coast Path is the longest of the official UK National Trails, running from Minehead in Somerset round the English south west peninsula coast to Poole in Dorset. The total length is just over 1000 kilometres or, more precisely, 630 miles. Only very dedicated walkers could contemplate completing the whole walk in one go, although plenty of people have done just this. Received opinion is that it would take around 6 weeks, even for the most dedicated.

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