This is a superb running or walking route, embarking on public footpaths and the south west coast path from Hemmick Beach to Gorran Haven and passing Dodman Point.
It feels like an age since I last shared a running route with you! Now that I’m getting back into the swing of regular running, I decided to head out on a looped 5 mile course around Dodman Point.
I’m gradually becoming more confident with my running once more and have decided to train for Man v. Coast in July (3rd time lucky!). Therefore, it’s time to start focusing my training in the hope that I’ll make the start line this year 🤞.
With that in mind, one sunny but cold spring morning I decided to complete a new looped running route, covering 5 miles from Gorran Haven in Cornwall. While this route comes with some challenges (hello, hills!), like all Cornish coastal running routes, your efforts are rewarded with immense sea views.
I decided to start this route at Gorran Haven. As you probably know by now, I like to save as much of the south west coast path until last. By heading out to Dodman Point from Gorran Haven, the routes starts on the road (but not for too long). Also there’s quite a big car park in the village (for satnav – PL26 6JR) which is handy at busier times.
Gorran Haven is a gorgeous seaside village about 25 minutes from St Austell, between the Roseland Peninsula and Mevagissey. It’s in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (there’s quite a lot of this in Cornwall). There’s 2 lovely, safe beaches here: Gorran beach with a harbour, and Little Perhaver. Both are sheltered by Dodman Point, making them ideal for swimming.
Aside from it’s strong fishing heritage, Gorran Haven is known for its highly respected pub, The Barley Sheaf (situated in Gorran which is just up the road from Gorran Haven). They do really good food here!
Anyway, shall I take you on this run?!
Heading out from Gorran Haven
From the main car park in Gorran Haven, turn right and head up the road away from the coast 🙁. Don’t worry we’ll be coming back to it later.
Look out for the first green public footpath sign on the left, by a white house. This leads to Treveague Farm. It starts as a wooded path with a scattering of houses and then through a few gates and onto a sheltered muddy path. I didn’t realise but it’s a gradual uphill.
The path naturally comes to the road inbetween some houses. I didn’t find it obvious where to go from here as there’s a campsite sign obstructing the sign for the public footpath. Just turn right onto the road and then take the next left.
This path goes through Treveague campsite. Actually, I felt like I was trespassing but it’s definitely the right way. The path doesn’t last for long so be sure to check out the sea views stretching out across the fields towards the Roseland Peninsula.
Downhill to Hemmick Beach
Ooh, I love Hemmick beach. It’s so quiet. Given that the car park is up a huge hill, a good half a mile from the beach, I think it deters people from visiting. It’s always quiet when I pass here, with walkers being the only traffic.
This is the last bit of road on this running route. I enjoyed it too as it’s all downhill, with glimpses of the Cornish coast over the trees and hedge. As I weaved my way closer to the coast, I passed the Dodman Point car park at Penare, run by the National Trust. This is another option if you want to do this route and not park at Gorran. Ideal too if you’re a member of the National Trust as parking is free.
I didn’t go onto Hemmick beach on this occasion as the steps to the south west coast path are before the end of the hill. There’s a steep climb here which evens out before offering a little bit more gradient. Even though I was heading away from Hemmick beach towards Dodman Point, I turned round many times to take in the view. I seriously couldn’t have asked for better weather!
Fancy a different route incorporating Hemmick beach? Then this route from Caerhays castle is just perfect.
On to Dodman Point
The route to Dodman Point is pretty straight forward. Follow the path and keep the sea on your right.
You’ll arrive at Dodman Point after a steady climb. It’s the highest headland in south England, offering fantastic views and is also a great stop off if you want to rest your legs.
Dodman Point is most recognisable due to the Dodman Cross which was placed on the edge of the headland in 1896 after a Russian ship was lost here. It’s not the only vessel to meet a grim end here. There’s many reports of wrecks and ships running aground at Dodman Point, even 3 ships in one night on one occasion!
There’s actually a fair bit of history and tales of ships and smuggling connected to Dodman Point. At the very least, I recommend a pit stop to appreciate the vast ocean views.
From Dodman Point to Gorran Haven
After Dodman Point there’s a flat bit of ground. In fact the route from here to Gorran Haven is quite pleasant; nothing too strenuous.
I pass through some fields, with some cows lazing in the sun, and then reach my favourite bit of this route. Partly because it’s a gradual, sloping downwards, flat under foot section so I can pick up the speed but also I get to see one of my all time favourite beaches in Cornwall: Vault (also known as Bow beach). For me, this beach with its long strip of pale sand, is perfection. It’s a walk here on the coast path wherever you park so it’s usually quiet. And yes, the rumours are true. At the far end there is a little nudist section.
After this, I know I’ve not far to go. I’ve covered this bit of the south west coast path oodles of times and it’s part of one of my favourite trail events, The Roseland August Trail (RAT).
While there are a few gnarly bits and some steps before finding Gorran Haven, it’s a joy to be here. The coast path is nearer sea level and I enjoy being closer to the water. I love the salty smell too!
Heading into Gorran Haven I stop and admire the view between 2 buildings and smile as I see the boats line up on the grass verge. I can’t help but head down to Gorran beach. The tide is quite low so there’s space to walk and I feel totally satisfied and chuffed that I’ve got this 5 mile running route under my belt.