Spot the Seals
Cornwall is notorious for its billowing coastlines and stunning sceneries, so it comes as no surprise when I tell you all about another delightful ramble along the coast, this time at an eerily named spot called Hell’s Mouth to the more well-known Godrevy.
Hell’s Mouth is situated northeast of Gwithian on the South West coast path and although it isn’t clear where this craggy Cornish cove earned its name, Hell’s Mouth is a tragic stretch of coast where numerous people have taken their lives or fallen to the crashing waves below. But don’t panic, this particular area is now well looked after by the National Trust and being one of the highest points in the area, gives you spectacular views out to sea and the surrounding cliff edges.
It was a sunny Sunday morning back in the summer of 2018 when I took several walkers out for a 5-mile ramble from Hell’s Mouth to Godrevy. Making your way along the coastline, you’ll need to ensure you build in an extra hour to make up for the amount of times you’ll want to stop and gawp at the views and take lots of pictures. You’ll also need to be warned about a potential crick in the neck from looking back at the dramatic landscape you’re leaving behind as you carry on to each new way-mark up ahead. This area is well known for its seal spotting, in particular Mutton Cove which I will get onto shortly. But before we move onto Mutton Cove, a warning to all those attempting to spot the seals via your binoculars. There is a naturist beach along this route. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, a naturist beach! Fishing Cove can be accessed via a small and steep path and is a north facing beach on Navax Head.
Making your way along the coast you will pass heath-land on Navax Point known as The Knavocks and is thought to be from the Cornish word for Autumn dwelling Kynyavos. It is some of the best heath-land in Cornwall for wildlife and makes the coastline pop with colour. Carrying on around the headland a little while longer you will pass Kynance Cove on Godrevy Head. Not THE Kynance Cove which is situated down on the Lizard Peninsula, but a sheltered and shady inaccessible rocky beach version instead. Passing by you will finally reach Mutton Cove, the highlight of the walk, where you’ll find the large grey seal colony which you can see from the cliff top. During breeding season, you can see plenty of these glorious mammals sleeping and swimming. Although it is great to go and visit these characters, it is highly recommended that you do not descend down to the beach or disturb the seals in any way. Keeping noise to a minimum is also a must as anything that spooks them could drive them away.
Once you’ve spent some time watching the seals and admiring their funny ways, you’ll join the main gravel path which bends around the headland and towards the beach. Here you can choose to visit the beach at Godrevy before getting back onto the main track, through the sand dunes. The Towans, or ‘Tewyn’ meaning sand dune in Cornish, stretch for 3-miles from Hayle River to Gwithian and have been formed from dry sand blowing up from the beach. After walking a short while along the pathway, you’ll eventually reach Godrevy Beach Café car park where you could stop for refreshments in the café.
The final leg of the walk will take you through a couple of fields, across a stream via some stepping stones and back along the road to Hell’s Mouth where if you didn’t stop for a drink at Godrevy, could instead end your walk at the Hell’s Mouth café where they sell hot food, snacks, ice cream and beverages with indoor and outdoor seating dependent on the weather. You’ll also get another chance to look at the stunning views before heading home, happy and satisfied from this brilliant Cornish Ramble.
‘If we are facing in the right direction, all we need to do is keep on walking.’
*This blog is written in collaboration with Forever Cornwall - Forever Cornwall specialise in unique, cherished, holiday homes all around the Cornish coast, all of which are privately owned by people who are passionate about Cornwall.
You can read my blog, alongside others on the Forever Cornwall website.
Keep an eye out for more exciting news soon!