Cornish Cliff Walking: Zennor to Pendeen on the South West Coast Path

31 Aug

We survived day two, Zennor to Pendeen (seven miles). I couldn’t figure out why I was finding it more of a strain on my feet than our regular walking. I finally realised I don’t usually carry more than a couple of kilos. My day pack plus the three litres of water for the two of us has pushed the weight up to five kilos. Today was many more of the ups and downs with rough granite rocks in the trail. You really have to watch where you are putting your feet on descents or it’s all over in the roll of an ankle or a twisted knee. The recent rain also made sections very muddy. I was grateful for my proper walking boots.

Gorgeous views again, a lone white sailboat beating south, tiny stone cottages perched on the cliff edge, wild flowers of all colours, hairy Cornish cows and burbling streams bridged by a single massive granite plinth.



















We found out why most of our fellow walkers are German, they’re infatuated with the German television adaptations of MiIlls and Boon romance novelist Rosamund Pilcher’s love stories set in Cornwall. The trail isn’t crowded but without them we’d be almost completely on our own.

It amused us to watch a young German couple struggle this morning to eat ‘the full Cornish’ breakfast. We don’t think they had any idea what they’d ordered (black pudding, bacon, baked beans, sausage, fried eggs, fried bread and fried tomato). Stuart had a very smelly kipper – ’cause he could!

No pasties available in Zennor. After negotiating with the chef at the Tinners’ Arms I was given a packed lunch of two slices of granary bread, a tomato and an avocado. Perfect vegan sandwich ingredients prepared with my trusty Swiss army knife. Stuart had the standard cheese and pickle sandwich. One win to me!

On the vertigo score I reached a 4.5 today. It was only about two metres of path with some sloping granite rock beside a sheer 150 metre cliff but it was enough to make me think about finding a detour. Some focused yoga breathing and positive self talk got me across.

Seems silly when you look at what some people voluntarily do when rock climbing – the coloured dots in these photos are climbers – but I just can’t see myself ever being comfortable with sheer drops.

A bonus today was a detour to walk along the beach and a cove below Pendeen. It was worth the slide and scramble on slippery rocks to get down to the water.






Spot the family about to go sea kayaking.


On the road to Pendeen.


4 Responses to “Cornish Cliff Walking: Zennor to Pendeen on the South West Coast Path”

  1. GHWATT watt September 1, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    You have cracked the weather , don’t walk to close to the edge of the cliffs , keep in touch . Take care . George .

    Sent from my iPad


    • Sharon Tickle September 1, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Hi Heather and George, Roger that! sadly for. Marg and John the run of fine weather has comed to a halt. Today is a steady drizzle….hope it fines up later. Too miserable to walk when we don’t have to so it’s a taxi to the next village for coffee and a look around. S&Sxx

  2. Julie Kempnich September 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Hi Sharon Beautiful scenery and weather! Wondering if you can recommend to me a brand or style of ‘ proper walking boot’ , now that you have made the comment. ( I threw away my previously trusty Salomon brown leather tractor sole ones after the sole came away on our big Yosemite walk. ) I have put my hand up for Queen Charlotte Walk. Next Feb , and I should buy boots soon and wear them in. Thanks if you can Julie xx

    Sent from my iPad


    • Sharon Tickle September 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Hi Jules, My boots are Keen brand. Bought them for the wide fit. They are the first pair so some total of my experience with walking boots! QueenCharlotte is lovely. Walked it with friends 10 years ago. Sxx

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