We did this walk back in early March 2020 a few weeks before the UK’s Coronavirus lockdown.
This fantastic circular walk starts at the Pendeen Lighthouse and goes on through fields, farms, and peoples back gardens (surprisingly) to the small village of Morvah and back along the breathtaking coastline to Pendeen Lighthouse.
Pendeen Lighthouse or Pendeen Watch as it is also known. as is an operational lighthouse and was built in 1900 by Trinity House to guide ships and boats around the treacherous coastline between Pendeen and Gurnards Head. The lighthouse was manned by keepers until it became automated in 1995.
Morvah is a small, quintessential Cornish village with a 14th Century Church (you’ll see in the video), a Wesleyan Chapel and an art gallery/cafe/arts & crafts shop called the Morvah Schoolhouse.
- Walk completed = Early March 2020 (Winter)
- Distance = Approx 4-5 Miles
- Duration = Approx 3 hours
- Terrain = Mixed – very muddy in places
- Clothing/Footwear/Gear = Wear wellies or waterproof hiking boots, it can get very windy and chilly when you are walking on the coastal path at this time of year so I always go with a thermal base layer, a fleece, a waterproof jacket and a woolly hat
- Refreshments = There is a cafe at Morvah
- Public Toilets = None encountered on this walk
Parking at Pendeen Lighthouse
There are a few free parking spaces available right outside the lighthouse but I’m sure these get snapped up pretty quickly during the holiday season so get there early if you can.
We did this walk on an extremely windy Winters day so the car park was virtually empty apart from a few hardy fellow walkers.
If you can’t park here you should be able to park in Pendeen itself and walk down to the Lighthouse.
Where is Pendeen Lighthouse?
The walk from Pendeen Lighthouse to Morvah and back in pictures
Checking out the rear of the lighthouse just before we head off.
A great place to sit and ponder just up the way from the lighthouse.
Head up the road you came in on. Don’t take the coastal path as that is the way you come back.
Looking back down the road towards the lighthouse.
Continue walking up the road until you see a left-turn with this public footpath sign. Take this path.
Shortly you’ll come to this house with a makeshift sign outside. Follow the sign.
Cross over the first of many stiles on this walk.
And another stile.
Like the sign says on the gate, If you are bringing your furry friends on these walks always make sure you have them on a lead.
Head on past the wind turbine into a field which, may have cows in it.
Attack of the killer cows!!!!
Only joking, I’m sure they are all very sweet but they did seem very interested in what we were doing in their field.
Joking apart you need to be very wary of cows especially if they have calves with them as people have been trampled to death by cows protecting their young.
Not sure if you will see the cows or not but just keep to the left of the field and cross over another stile heading towards the farm building.
Cows are ace!
Looking back across the cow field.
Head on up to the farm buildings, follow the sign and cross another stile into a field.
Head across the field and cross the stile.
Head across the field until you come to this new gate and small bridge across a stream.
Looking back from where you’ve come from.
Follow the sign-post at the top of this embankment and follow the field around to the farmhouse.
Some older guidebooks will direct you into the farm itself. Ignore them. You need to cross over the signposted gate into the field on your right as you come into the grounds of the farm.
Cross over this signposted stile.
Looking back to the farm you’ve just walked past.
Follow the fence around into the next field.
You’ve probably worked out that at the end of each field you generally find a stile of some kind.
First glimpse of Morvah in the far distance.
Follow the field around to another stile which this time leads to something quite unexpected.
This stile leads you through to a collection of well-kept back gardens,
You do feel like you are trespassing on private property but there is a legitimate public path that runs through these gardens.
Once you have passed through the gardens, turn right and start walking towards the main road and Morvah.
The village of Morvah.
The Wesleyan Chapel with the Morvah Schoolhouse art gallery and cafe adjoined to it.
The 14th Century St Bridgets Church.
You are free to go into the Church (like most churches) if you wish.
I love the simple interior of these ancient churches.
Leading to the belfry.
One day we’ll go to the famous Pasty Day.
These church pews don’t look very comfortable but then again they aren’t meant to be.
I think I’d bring an inflatable pillow to sit on 🙂
Once you’ve had a good look around the church head out (make sure you close the very heavy church door) and turn left where you will see a sign for the coast path.
Head this way.
Looking back towards the church from the path to the coast.
Eventually, the path leads you towards the sea.
Take the stile that leads you onto the coast path. Bear in mind it’s not a nice smooth tarmacked path, it’s a bit rugged and very muddy in parts.
And here’s the evidence, once you pass over the stile you will see some random stepping stones.
I stepped off the first stepping stone onto what I thought was solid ground and the mud came this far up my wellies.
My whole life flashed before me 🙂
Looking back to where the muddy swamp incident occurred.
I was soon distracted from my trauma by the beautiful scenery on this walk.
Moving along the coast path you can see how muddy it was.
If you are planning on doing this walk in the Autumn/Winter months or after heavy rain I strongly suggest wearing wellies.
Eventually, you will pass by this stone ‘half circle’. Not sure what the name of it is. Does anyone know?
I’m assuming that it was a full circle at some point or maybe it wasn’t.
Leave a comment below if you know.
Nearly back to where we started. You can see Pendeen Lighthouse in the distance.
It’s just a great place to be whatever time of the year. Breathing in that fresh sea air. Nothing beats it.
First glimpse of Portheras Cove.
Waterfall at Portheras Cove.
There had been a lot of rain so this was quite a torrent compared to the normal trickle.
Cross over the bridge and walk along the coast path until you get to Boat Cove or Pendeen Cove as it is sometimes called.
The stream making its way out to sea.
Seals like to congregate and ‘haul out’ at Portheras Cove because it is off the beaten track and doesn’t receive too many visitors.
If you see seals on the beach here or anywhere in fact you must not approach them. You must keep your distance as it can be quite distressing for the seals, especially the young pups.
Please adhere to the guidelines on this poster.
The tide was in so this is as far as we went but you can get onto the beach when the tide is out.
Watch out for these big rocks in the foreground though as there is a bit of a jump down and you can bet they are going to be really slippy.
Apart from making sure you avoid any beached seals at Portheras Cove you also have to watch out for any sharp metal fragments that may still be present on the beach. Why? I hear you say.
Well, back on 13th September 1963 a ship called ‘The Alacrity’ ran aground in thick fog. The Alacrity laid on the beach at Portheras Cove for many years until in 1981 an attempt was made by Royal Engineers to blow her up using dynamite. The attempt was a partial success; many of the larger remaining chunks were removed but some of the smaller bits remained.
Many beach clean-ups have taken place over the years since but from time to time, pieces of her turn up. So be careful, especially if you have dogs with you.
Head back up onto the path where you will see the ‘Boat Cove’ in the distance.
This is your next stop and what a treat it is to.
Follow the path down to the old ‘Boat Cove’.
The ‘Pendeen Fishermen’s Mission’ hut
I love these carved faces.
Boat Cove is still worked and fishing boats such as these are still launched here.
Another lovely spot to pause for a moment on this walk.
Time was getting on as you can see by the moon in the sky so we couldn’t stay for long as the light was beginning to fade.
You can see Portheras Cove in the background from here.
There’s a bench at Boat Cove that you can sit on and admire the view. Here’s the view.
Once you have finished admiring Boat Cove head back up the path you came in on and continue on your way back to the lighthouse.
The path splits at the top so you can either go back the way you came and then rejoin the main path or you can take another path which runs right next to the coastline.
We took the coastline path.
And here you are, back at the lighthouse.
It’s really quite mesmerising watching the lamp inside the tower go round and round.
And there we are.
It really is a great walk to do at any time of year.
Why not check out my videos of the walk from Pendeen Lighthouse to Morvah and back below?
The full video is about 5 minutes long otherwise you can watch the Instagram version which is a whopping 60 seconds long!
If you are in a rush you can watch this 60 second Instagram video of our walk from Pendeen Lighthouse to Morvah and back.
View this post on Instagram
Places to stay near Pendeen
Looking for Pendeen related gifts and collectables?
- Pendeen Lighthouse
- Morvah Schoolhouse
- History of Morvah
- Learn more about lighthouses here
- Looking for new and used outdoor gear and more info about outdoor pursuits in Cornwall? Please check out our sister site – JVadventuregear.co.uk