Monday, 13 May 2013

Trail report - Sennen to Lamorna

Yesterday we ran from Sennen to Lamorna and back. Lamorna is the final check point on the Classic Quarter and the final eleven miles along to Land's End are some of the hardest on the course. I ran this leg last year in our relay and got lost in a couple of places so it seemed a good idea to get on it before the big day. Logistically it was easier to park at Sennen and this added a mile each way, the total run was just over 23 miles.

 The first mile over to Lands End is a nice easy introduction and is only spoilt a little by the presence of the Lands End eyesore looming ahead. Once past Lands End there follows about three miles of undulating, open ground until the Coast guard look out at Porthgwarra is reached. There are a lot of rocky sections along this way but its pretty good fun really and the views are incredible, even on a foggy, drizzly day like yesterday.  The highlight of this stretch is the beach at Nanjizal which is only accessible by walking either from Lands End or Porthgwarra.

Porthgwarra is a tiny fishing village and the starting point for many a climbing adventure, with the cliffs of Chair Ladder close at hand. Once past here similar terrain continues for a mile or so, passing another beautiful beach at Porth Chapel (with a notorious descent to reach the beach) before dropping down to Porthcurno

Looking back at Porth Chapel beach
The best way to navigate Porthcurno is to run straight down the Minack Theatre car park, where steps lead down towards the beach. Rather than follow these all the way down to the golden sands below, follow the path back inland as it traverses the cliff before finally depositing you at ground level just behind the lifeguard hut.  The coast path leaves the village directly opposite, climbing steeply and eventually cutting sharply right at the cliff top.  Take a good look at this junction as it is easy to miss on the way back.  Doing so takes you into the village much higher up and was a scene of much confusion last year.

Porthcurno beach
Its a fairly open romp across the cliffs from here to Logan Rock.  Here is an exception to the rule I usually follow, when in doubt taking the path closest to the Ocean.  Here doing so will take you onto the promontory of Logan rock itself - and a dead end. 

The next village is Penberth.  Its just a handful of houses really.  A very steep set of steps takes you down into the cove.The coast path crosses the slipway and continues around the front of the house on the far side.

The next few miles feature some overgrown sections and the biggest set of steps on the whole route at St Loy which are guaranteed to wipe the smile off your face.  

 Shortly after this you drop down to sea level and pop out briefly onto a boulder beach.  Its ok, you're not lost, a hundred yards or so of boulder hopping and the path re-appears and enters a small wooded area.  Not long later you will pass a few very nice houses and a little later, the Tater-du lighthouse.

Follow the slightly lighter rocks

Tater-du Lighthouse
The last couple of miles to Lamorna are increasingly rocky and difficult and some scrambling experience won't go amiss, especially if its wet.  There's not a lot at Lamorna to be honest.  A pretty little harbour and a cafe; make sure if you leave a car here though you pay sufficiently for your stay whatever the time of year as you will get a ticket if not.

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