The Lost Church and Perranporth dunes circular walk

Lost Church and Perranporth dunes

A circular walk on the highest dune system in Britain to the chapel dating from Celtic times which was lost in the dunes for nearly 1000 years.

Get the app to guide you around the walk

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Download the (free) app then use it to purchase this walk.
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The app will direct you to the start of the walk via satnav.
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The app guides you around the walk using GPS, removing any worries about getting lost.
Phone showing walk directions page in the iWalk Cornwall app
The walk route is described with detailed, regularly-updated, hand-written directions.
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Each time there is a new direction to follow, the app will beep to remind you, and will warn you if you go off-route.
Phone showing walk map page in the iWalk Cornwall app
A map shows the route, where you are at all times and even which way you are facing.
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Each walk is packed with information about the history and nature along the route, from over a decade of research than spans more than 3,000 topics.
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Once a walk is downloaded, the app doesn't need wifi or a phone signal during the walk.
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The app counts down distance to the next direction and estimates time remaining based on your personal walking speed.
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We keep the directions continually updated for changes to the paths/landmarks - the price for a walk includes ongoing free updates.

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

The walk begins across a flat grassy area to reach St Piran's Cross and Church. The route then enters the undulating dunes to reach St Piran's Oratory. The walk continues towards the sea to pick up the coast path and follows this along the dunes to the ramp onto Perran Sands beach. The route continues over the cliff to reach the steps onto Perranporth beach. Here, the walk turns inland across the golf course on the dunes. A short stretch of small lane completes the circular walk.


  • St Piran's Oratory - thought to date from the early mediaeval period
  • St Piran's Cross - thought to be over 1000 years old
  • Remains of St Piran's Church, itself nearly as old
  • Penhale Sands - the tallest dunes in Britain and largest in Cornwall


  • The dunes are difficult to navigate solely with directions - use of app's map screen is strongly recommended for this walk.
  • Route includes paths close to unfenced cliff edges.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 104
  • Distance: 3.6 miles/5.8 km
  • Steepness grade: Easy-moderate
  • Recommended footwear: walking shoes
  • No stiles: ✓
  • Pub: ✓

OS maps for this walk

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Watering Hole

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

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