Details

  • Start: Millook Valley SX185000
  • End: Millook Valley SX185000
  • Country: England
  • County: Cornwall
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub:
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 111, OS Landranger 190, or Harvey’s SWCP 2
  • Difficulty: Hard
Google Map

Description

Enjoy secluded woodland, coastal views and fascinating geology on this stimulating walk from Millook, writes Robert Hesketh

Make your way to marvellous Millook for a challenging coast and woodland walk


Enjoy secluded woodland, coastal views and fascinating geology on this stimulating walk from Millook, writes Robert Hesketh


Information


Distance: 8.3km (4.8 miles)

Time: 2 hours

Exertion: Challenging

Start: Millook Valley SX185000. Alternative starts at Cancleave SX176992 or Penhalt Cliff car park SX189005

Terrain: Coast and woodland paths, short sections of quiet lanes. Steep and muddy in parts. Walking boots essential

Child/dog friendly: Suitable for older children and dogs on leads

Maps: OS Explorer 111, OS Landranger 190, or Harveys SWCP 2

Public Transport: Nearest bus stops on A39, Crackington Haven and Widemouth 0871 20022331, travelinesw.com


Ordnance Survey Mapping Crown copyright Media 045/12


The Walk


Park carefully at the foot of Millook Valley. Follow the lane uphill to the first bend, where a signed public footpath leads inland. Go through a gate and along a track for 1km. However, if all the roadside spaces at Millook are taken, park at Cancleave and follow the directions from point 5, by joining the South West Coast Path via a signed link. Alternatively, use the car park on Penhalt Cliff and follow the steep Coast Path down to point 1.

2 Reaching a ford cross Millook Water via the adjacent footbridge and turn right into woodland. Cared for by the Woodland Trust, the beautiful and undisturbed broadleaf woods alongside Millook Water consist mainly of oak, with some ash, thorn and sycamore. A haven for birds and plants, these deep and sheltered woods have a peculiar charm and palpable stillness. Continue over a stile and through a wildflower-rich meadow. Exit the meadow by another stile at the far left side and take the track signed Dizzard and Trengaynor. Pass the back of a cottage and turn right through a kissing gate. Cross a stile and footbridge, climb a few steps and turn left. The path winds through more lovely woodland and then ascends a holloway - an ancient road worn deep into the ground between high banks, it is often muddy and wet. At the top of the holloway go through a gate and turn right along a track. This leads past Trengaynor to a lane.

3 Turn right onto the lane, then turn left after 450m at a sign for the Coast Path. Pass through two gates and keep left down a track. From another gate, a waymarked path leads down the right side of two fields to a footbridge, well camouflaged by trees. Cross the footbridge and turn right uphill through a copse and then across a cliff pasture, keeping to the same north-northwesterly course to a pair of stiles. Turn left here towards the Coast Path. Keep to the right of the boggy area and descend the field to the Path.

4 Turn right onto the Coast Path and follow it along the cliff tops. One of the tougher sections of the Cornish South West Coast Path, this also feels one of the loneliest and most remote, especially as evening draws on and the sun sets over the restless ocean. An oak wood, stunted, bent and clipped by the remorseless Atlantic winds hangs tenaciously to the rocky crevices around Dizzard Point, 164m (539ft). Contrast the size and shape of these gnarled specimens with the oaks in the valley less than a mile away. Continue around Bynorth Cliff, down to the stream and on to Cancleave.

5 From Cancleave, follow the Coast Path to the lane above Millook. Turn left and descend steeply to Millook Haven. The views north are beautiful, especially of Penhalt Cliff and its chevron folds of interbedded sandstones and shales. Dating from the latter part of the Carboniferous period (c345-280 million years ago), these spectacular, folded rocks testify to the enormous tectonic forces at play during this mountain building episode. Indeed, Penhalt Cliff is one of the best examples of the dramatically folded rocks that so characterize the coast between Crackington Haven and Hartland Point that they have been named the Crackington Formation. n

1 Park carefully at the foot of Millook Valley. Follow the lane uphill to the first bend, where a signed public footpath leads inland. Go through a gate and along a track for 1km. However, if all the roadside spaces at Millook are taken, park at Cancleave and follow the directions from point 5, by joining the South West Coast Path via a signed link. Alternatively, use the car park on Penhalt Cliff and follow the steep Coast Path down to point 1.


2 Reaching a ford cross Millook Water via the adjacent footbridge and turn right into woodland. Cared for by the Woodland Trust, the beautiful and undisturbed broadleaf woods alongside Millook Water consist mainly of oak, with some ash, thorn and sycamore. A haven for birds and plants, these deep and sheltered woods have a peculiar charm and palpable stillness. Continue over a stile and through a wildflower-rich meadow. Exit the meadow by another stile at the far left side and take the track signed Dizzard and Trengaynor. Pass the back of a cottage and turn right through a kissing gate. Cross a stile and footbridge, climb a few steps and turn left. The path winds through more lovely woodland and then ascends a holloway - an ancient road worn deep into the ground between high banks, it is often muddy and wet. At the top of the holloway go through a gate and turn right along a track. This leads past Trengaynor to a lane.

3 Turn right onto the lane, then turn left after 450m at a sign for the Coast Path. Pass through two gates and keep left down a track. From another gate, a waymarked path leads down the right side of two fields to a footbridge, well camouflaged by trees. Cross the footbridge and turn right uphill through a copse and then across a cliff pasture, keeping to the same north-northwesterly course to a pair of stiles. Turn left here towards the Coast Path. Keep to the right of the boggy area and descend the field to the Path.

4 Turn right onto the Coast Path and follow it along the cliff tops. One of the tougher sections of the Cornish South West Coast Path, this also feels one of the loneliest and most remote, especially as evening draws on and the sun sets over the restless ocean. An oak wood, stunted, bent and clipped by the remorseless Atlantic winds hangs tenaciously to the rocky crevices around Dizzard Point, 164m (539ft). Contrast the size and shape of these gnarled specimens with the oaks in the valley less than a mile away. Continue around Bynorth Cliff, down to the stream and on to Cancleave.

5 From Cancleave, follow the Coast Path to the lane above Millook. Turn left and descend steeply to Millook Haven. The views north are beautiful, especially of Penhalt Cliff and its chevron folds of interbedded sandstones and shales. Dating from the latter part of the Carboniferous period (c345-280 million years ago), these spectacular, folded rocks testify to the enormous tectonic forces at play during this mountain building episode. Indeed, Penhalt Cliff is one of the best examples of the dramatically folded rocks that so characterize the coast between Crackington Haven and Hartland Point that they have been named the Crackington Formation.


Points of Interest


Dramatic rock formations at Millook Haven.
Lovely sequestered woodland paths by Millook Water.
Storm blasted oaks at Dizzard Point.


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