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Duloe Manor

Cornwall, England

Looe and Polperro walking and hiking route

7.25km/4.5mi
Total distance

Looe is described briefly in walks nos. 3 and 5. Polperro ranks highly among Cornwall's 'must see' villages; an atmospheric jumble of predominantly old buildings improbably crammed into the narrow space at the back of a tiny cove and harbour between high headlands. Immensely popular, the village is bustling for much of the year. Fortunately, vehicular access to the narrow streets is restricted, with large parking areas half a mile inland intercepting the great majority. Apart from a beach, Polperro has everything for visitors, including a small museum. With the usual ups and downs of the coast path, the walk is quite demanding but there are no difficulties underfoot and the lovely coastal scenery makes the effort very worthwhile.

There is an hourly bus service (573) between Looe and Polperro, but the greatest advantage (saving a mile of road walking and some ascent) is gained by parking close to Hannafore Point to start the walk, with the return from Polperro on the 573 bus which turns right at West Looe before going along the road to Hannafore Point, from where it circles back to West, then East Looe.

This variation of the 573 route is used by alternate buses; i.e. one every two hours. Another possible advantage at the end of the walk is the use of the (electric) 'Polperro Tram' in season running frequently between the inland edge of the harbour village, up the steadily rising road, to the bus terminus close to the lower end of the car park, opposite the Crumplehorn Inn.

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Walk Instructions

Start Point

Extensive parking on a long section of road at Hannafore Point, reached from West Looe, grid reference 255523.

Start by walking to the far end of the cul de sac road at Hannafore.

1) Go through a signposted 'Talland Bay 3 miles, coast path' kissing gate and follow the path over grass, with great views of St. George's (Looe) Island. Cross a tiny stream and go through more kissing gates. At an apparent fork keep left. Cross a stream on a bridge and pass a National Trust 'Hendersick' sign. Go up a long flight of steps, the first significant ascent of the walk. Rise again to reach a waymaked post at a junction.

2) Continue along the coast path, straight ahead, for 'Polperro 2¾ miles'. Gorse is the dominant vegetation for much of this route but with an array of wild flowers, particularly in Spring. There are more gates, more rises and a seat with great views. Go down a flight of steps, then rise again before Talland Bay comes into view. Leave the National Trust property, go down steps, soon descending gently to the back of Talland Bay. On the far side of the bay Downend Point is rugged, apparently blocking the way to Polperro. There are more steps before the path heads for a minor road above a stony little beach. To the right is the Smugglers' Rest, licensed café.

3) Join the road by a signpost, turning left, then left again, to walk past public conveniences to the small beach and the Talland Bay Beach Café. There are several signposts, with estimates of the mileages to Looe and to Polperro. Continue, turning left at a waymarked 'T' junction to start a brutally steep but not too long ascent. Turn left part way up the ascent at a waymarked post, go up a few steps and follow the coast path, on tarmac towards an isolated house, West Cliff Old Court. Pass below the house and a National Trust 'Talland Cliffs' sign. The estimated '2 miles' to Polperro is inaccurate. A long rising section of path heads for a cross, the Polperro War Memorial, on the skyline. Pass the memorial, rising a little further before commencing the descent towards Polperro. The mouth of the harbour comes into view and the way is never in doubt, bearing right to pass above the harbour wall and the small Polperro museum.

4) Continue along the main street, rising gently towards the car parking area at Crumplehorn, half a mile from the harbour. Facing the car park entrance, the bus stop is a short distance along the road to the left.

In season there is a frequent service of electric powered 'Polperro Trams' shuttling to and from Polperro village.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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