Cornwall’s south west coastpath along the Roseland Peninsula is definitely worth exploring. It’s quite popular with runners.
This route, from Kiberick Cove to Carne, is one of my most trodden paths. It’s a reliable, short 5k running route that’s ideal if I want to run on the coastpath but don’t have much time. It’s just as enjoyable to walk, with spots to stop for a picnic, cups of tea, or just to reflect and look out to sea.
Where Is Kiberick Cove?
Kiberick Cove isn’t a well known spot, it may even be one of Cornwall’s secret beaches. It’s accessible but isn’t a beach people tend to go to. Kiberick’s nestled between Portle and Carne beach on the Roseland Peninsula. Looking out from Kiberick cove, Blouth Point sits on the east side, and Nare Head on the west. It’s a secluded and remote spot; you’d be forgiven for missing it. This route doesn’t involve going onto the beach though. For us, that’s an adventure for another time.
Thankfully there’s a car park at Kiberick Cove; the National Trust Nare Head car park. The coastpath is easy to find. It’s through the field opposite the car park. You know you’re in the right place if you’re faced with a large field with a steep dip in the middle. By all means nip down and have a closer look at the coastline. It’s certainly worth it.
On this glorious evening, I decide to go for a look. Weirdly, I’ve run this route many times before, but have never lingered over the views at the start. This evening I was so pleased to be out. I’d spent all day sat at my table, working and talking on Teams.
It was the perfect evening for a run.
Running From Kiberick Cove to Nare Head.
For this run, I take the coastpath on the right of the field. As I’m running the sea is on my left. It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, the views are great, rain or shine. I duck under low hanging trees that have taken a battering over the years from the coastal wind. It’s a gradual incline as I get going but the views help. It’s not too taxing but my little legs aren’t quite ready for an uphill start. Sometimes there’s sheep here, who run head and try and escape me. This time though, I’m alone.
I love the next bit of this running route. The path broadens and I make my way into an open field. The first of two or three offering vast open sea views. Gull rock sits proudly, about 1km out at sea. It anchors me to my coastal location, and stays in view as I make my way towards Nare Head. Along some of this stretch of coastpath there’s no fence or bushes acting as a barrier between me and the cliff boundary. It’s safe though. The path is wide and doesn’t sit near the edge.
The path curves round. It’s relatively smooth underfoot. Through another gate and I’m at Nare Head. As I run past the Nare Head Bunker, I tell myself for the umpteenth time that I must look it up when I get home. I now know that it’s a military decoy centre used to fool German bombers, as well as a Cold War bunker. Not quite what you expect to see when adventuring on the Cornish coastpath!
Running from Nare Head to Carne Village.
Once I’m past the bunker, I’m greeted with a massive open field. When I look around, there’s more than one potential path to take. However, I know there’s only one way to go and that’s straight on.
And wow, what a view!
It’s such a clear evening, I can see inlet after inlet, cove after cove and one headland after another. Carne beach is unmistakable. The light, bright sand stretches out, almost reaching Creek Stephen Point. I can see Pednvadan, Portscatho, and Ravens Hole in the distance. As if that wasn’t enough, the evening sunlight dances on the water, and sparkles away, happily showing off. The Cornish coastline has never looked so good.
Aside from the wonderful, endless view of Cornwall’s Roseland coast, it’s here that the fun increases. It’s time to tackle a technical downhill. This downhill section ends up at Tregagle’s Hole, which sits between Malmanare and Penarin Point. One of the main features of Tregagle’s Hole is the landmark ruin that sits on the cliff overlooking the actual “hole”.
Tregagle’s Hole is named after Jan Tregagle (or is it Tregeagle), a Corish legend who achieved great wealth through dishonest means, and ended up making a deal with the devil. As punishment, he had to empty the bottomless Domazy Pool on Bodmin Moor with a small limpet shell. We’re a fair way from Bodmin but when there’s a storm, it’s claimed that Tregagle’s cries can be heard along the cliffs at Nare Head. Thankfully, I didn’t hear a murmur.
From Tregagle’s Hole, I make my way over a bridge and up lot of steep steps. There’s no way I’m running these!
At the top it’s a relief to see the path even out. I run through another gate and look behind me for a final photo of the chiselled coastline. Eventually I come to a (sort of) style made from rocks. To get to Carne village I take the footpath on the right. If you fancy running to Carne beach, take the lower path. Why not nip to the Quarterdeck at The Nare Hotel and have a cup of tea with a view?
For the first time, the sea is no longer at my side. I enter a sheltered footpath, that gently snakes uphill. I gradually make my way to Carne.
From Carne Village.
Carne is hardly a village, it’s a hamlet at best. A farmhouse is at the top, next to another, rather wonderfully named house, The Tinklers. From here I head right on the road back to my car at the Nare Head Car park. It’s always further than I think but the flat road offers the opportunity to pick up the pace a bit.
As I get nearer, I stop to appreciate the views once more, and can’t wait to run this little 5k again.
I hope you like it too.