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Cawsand Circular Walk

Distance: 9 km (5.5 miles).

Time: 4-5 hours.

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Terrain: Easy/moderate, generally flat with two long gradual climbs and some flights of steps (one section of steps is short but steep).

Start: Ordnance Survey Grid Reference (OSGR) SX 431 502.

Ordnance Survey Map No/s (1:25,000): Explorer 108.


Nearest town: Torpoint.

Public Transport: You can use Traveline South West to plan your journey. For further information on the ferry between Admirals Hard, Stonehouse, Plymouth and Cremyll please see Cremyll Ferry. For further information on the seasonal ferry service operating April to October between Plymouth and Cawsand Beach please see Cawsand Ferry.

Parking: Cawsand.

Refreshments: Cawsand.

Public toilets: Please see Public toilets for information on ownership and current opening times.

Stiles/gates/steps: There are seven kissing gates, two stiles and two flights of steps.

Leave the car park at Cawsand and follow St Andrew's Place into the village. After about 200yds the Coast Path turns right up Pier Lane (the route is signed Rame Head 3 miles). Proceed up the tarmac lane until it levels out as it enters the woods and past the cottages and continue on the level path as it goes through woodland.  Pass the waymarker post, meeting a junction with a narrow tarmac lane. Walk to the left of Bayfield Cottage and then bear right up into the plantation. The path continues to climb gradually passing another waymarker post and a seat, below lies Pier Cove.  Follow the road as it continues its way through the woods to arrive at Penlee Point.

Follow the signed route at a bend in the road to pass through the kissing gate alongside a field gate. The narrow hedged path continues west heading towards Rame Head. Ignore the small path leading off right to Penlee Point car park.  Climb the stile and continue along the level path towards Rame Head.  The ruined chapel on the top of Rame Head can be seen in the distance.  Cross the wooden footbridge to cross the neck of the headland at Eastern Gear and proceed up the steps to the ruins of St. Michael's Chapel on the headland.  The viewpoint is 97 metres (320 feet) above sea level.  Look below right to see Polhawn Cove and also west across Whitsand Bay to Freathy, Tregonhawke and Sharrow Point.  Also situated on Rame Head is the Coastguard Station where toilets and an emergency telephone are available.

Continue on your journey traversing the small boardwalk at the western end of Rame Head and head downhill. In the distance below you will see Polhawn Fort. The Fort was originally built in the 1860s as part of the defences of the naval base at Plymouth.

Continue passing through the two kissing gates at either end of the small paddock. Climb down the steps and cross the access road to the Fort and continue down the steps and come out alongside Polhawn and Monk Rock Cottage. Follow the waymarked route up the track and turn left through the kissing gate. Follow the path along the bottom of the field and continue towards Wiggle Cliff. Go through the kissing gate and pass the whitewashed stone building (Wiggle Hut).

At the top of the hill the Coast Path continues towards Tregantle. Leave the Coast Path at this point, cross the coast road and head inland taking the minor road to Wiggle alongside the small car park. After about ½ mile take the public footpath and follow the well used lane until it exits into the open field. Follow the well defined path down across the field and exit through the kissing gate where it meets the lane. Follow the lane to the road passing Wringford Farm and cross the road to access the footpath through the kissing gate. Follow the well defined path down across the field looking ahead for views of Plymouth Breakwater with its lighthouse and Drakes Island.

At the stile there are two options as the path forks at this point. Either follow the right hand fork down the hill to the road and back down to Cawsand village and the start point at the car park or take the left hand fork which passes around the back of the Fort before descending the steps down onto the road. Turn left back down to Cawsand to explore the village before returning to your start point at the car park.