St Michael’s Way – a short circuit.

While I’m usually encouraging people to explore the rugged north coast and the moorland that overlooks it, here’s a very different walk.

St Michael’s Way is part of the old pilgrim trail and was thought to have been adopted by travellers from Ireland and Wales en route for Santiago de Compostela. How did they know to go there I wonder?

The full path is around twelve and a half miles and takes you from St Ives to St Michael’s Mount, but this is a six mile circular route that starts and finishes at one of my favourite cafes – Tremenheere.

You could happily spend much of a day at Tremenheere, especially now that the new gallery has opened. This time though we’re use it as a base – and a great place for breakfast or lunch depending on your timing.

Table decorations at Tremenheere.

Ludgvan.

Walking towards the gardens from the cafe you pick up the trail leading off to your right and from there you cross fields on a well defined path that takes you up to the idyllic village of Ludgvan. We didn’t call in at the church, it was Sunday and the service was due to start, but I did have a great evening in the pub the night before.

The White Hart in Ludgvan serves a good looking dinner, and has a bit of live music now and then too. Last night we were there with The Cape Singers and we were well received by the crowd.

The White Hart.

Ludgvan is not only a pretty village, it also has some of the best views over Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount. If you walk in the same direction as us do remember to look back over your shoulder regularly on your way up. There are some cracking houses, including the modern gem that overlooks the whole bay, yet is sheltered from view by trees so you only see it from afar.

The main path heads on towards St Ives from here, but we picked up its other leg just south of and opposite the pub.

Shovel world.

The second field is a delight. There’s a wide border that the path follows, with seat for admiring the view.

And there’s also a curiosity.

The hedge is lined with simple hand made shovels.

Not just one or two, there must be at least twenty, spaced fairly evenly and hanging from the trees.

Why? Who knows.

The curious shovels of St Michaels Way.

Onward to the marshes.

After a little stretch of road you then cross the A30. The busy road brings home how peaceful the path has been until now.

After a chat with some nervous, but nonetheless inquisitive, cows, we head on over the train tracks and into the Marazion Marshes.

Nervous, yet still inquisitive.

There’s a good boardwalk path through the marshes and it’s another complete change from the usual cliff and moorland routes I favour. This is a twitcher haven, but unfortunately I wouldn’t know if the birds we saw are unusual or not.

The boardwalk through the marshes.

Along the beach.

Next up the path heads along the beach with St Michael’s Mount to the left. It was a hot day and a swim seemed like a great idea, but we have to keep going. What started out as a treat breakfast has already eaten into the working day. Who cares though? It has been glorious.

Sea holly at Marazion.

We take the path over the bridge that crosses the railway tracks at Longrock – I have crossed the bridge many times and yet not noticed the signs for St Michael’s Way before.

The last bit of the path up to Gulval and along to Tremenheere is the least interesting. That is unless you pop into the Coldstreamers pub or the churchyard I guess.

The loop is just shy of 6 miles and completely different to most Cornish walks. It’s fairly level with just the climb up to Ludgvan, and there are plenty of watering holes along the way.

Hopefully soon we’ll try the full St Michael’s Way – October seems a good time for that.

 

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