Trebarwith Strand to Tintagel Castle

A walk on the tracks trodden by the donkeys laden with slate from the coastal quarries of Trebarwith to Tintagel Haven where the slate was loaded onto ships and Tintagel Castle's island, inhabited during the mediaeval period, the Celtic times of King Arthur, and before this by the Romans.

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The walk passes the rugged coast of Port Isaac Bay from Trebarwith Strand to St Materiana's church on Glebe Cliff and then to Tintagel Castle. The route turns into Tintagel from Barras Nose, passing the impressive Victorian Castle Hotel, the mediaeval Old Post Office and King Arthur's Great Halls before returning via Treknow - one of the oldest slate quarrying villages in North Cornwall.


Perfect walking guide. Easy to use walking 'SatNav' and informative guide packed full of useful local info and history. App snoozed while we were strolling along then automatically woke up at each way-marker with clear directions for the next leg, saving battery! Map was easy to read and it all worked offline. Looking forward to exploring more of Cornwall with other apps in the series.

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 111
  • Distance: 5.4 miles/8.6 km
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Start from: Trebarwith Strand council car park
  • Parking: Council car park PL340HB. Turn down the road to Trebarwith Strand from the B3263 at the bottom of Trewarmett Hill. Follow the road past a crossroads. The car park is the first one on your right.
  • Recommended footwear: walking boots/shoes or trainers in dry weather

OS maps for this walk

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


  • Panoramic coastal views from Penhallic Point
  • Wildflowers along the coast in spring and summer
  • Ancient church of St Materiana
  • Tintagel Castle and Arthurian legend
  • Tintagel Haven and Merlin's Cave
  • Views over Tintagel and the church from Trewarmett Downs
  • Golden sand, surf and rock pools on Trebarwith Strand

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Cornishman
  • The King Arthurs Arms
  • The Port William Inn
  • Wootons Inn
  • Ye Olde Malthouse


  1. From the car park, turn right and walk down the road to the beach.

    Several small beaches span the bay at Trebarwith and at low tide these all join to form a mile long ribbon of golden sand.

    Trebarwith Strand is in the centre and is the lifeguard-patrolled area. It's sandy on the left and, to the right side, there are more rocks including some good rock pools.

    Lill Cove is the beach to the right of Trebarwith Strand, separated by rocks except at low tide. There is a gully between rocks that makes it possible to get through to Trebarwith when access is cut off by the sea (though this route isn't available at high tide). There is also a footpath up from Lill Cove joining the coast path which is accessible at all times of the tide. Vean Hole, further to the right, is a continuation of Lill Cove once the tide is a little way out, but is technically a separate beach.

  2. Take the public footpath on the right of Trebarwith Surf Shop, climbing up the path to the cliff top until you reach a waymark.

    If the tide is out, there are some rockpools on the right-hand side of Trebarwith Strand towards Lill Cove.

    Rockpool fishing is quite a popular childhood pass-time as a number of species can be lured out from hiding places by a limpet tied on a piece of cotton (leave a trailing end as if anything swallows the limpet, very gently pulling both ends of the cotton will cause it to release the cotton-tied limpet from its gullet). If you are intending to put the creatures into a bucket: ensure it is large, filled with fresh seawater and kept in the shade; ideally place in a couple of rocks for the creatures to hide under; do not leave them in there more than a couple of hours or they will exhaust their oxygen supply; ensure you release them into one of the rockpools from which you caught them, preferably a large one (carefully removing any rocks from your bucket first to avoid squashing them). Species you're likely to encounter are:

    • Blennies which are fish about 5-10cm long, often found hiding under rock ledges. They can change their colour from sandy to black within a couple of minutes in order to match their surroundings. They have strong, sharp teeth for crunching barnacles and will bite if provoked.
    • Shore crabs and sometimes edible crabs which can also sometimes be found hiding under rocks (carefully replace any rocks you lift up). Shore crabs have a fairly narrow shell which is almost as deep as it is wide. They vary in colour from green through brown to red (the redder individuals are apparently stronger and more aggressive). Edible crabs have a much wider shell which resembles a Cornish Pasty and are always a red-brown colour. Both have powerful claws so fingers should be kept well clear.
    • Shrimps and prawns - do you know the difference? Prawns are semi-transparent whereas shrimps are sandy coloured and generally bury themselves in sand.
  3. When you reach the waymark, follow the upper path (indicated by the yellow arrow) up the steps. Continue to reach another waymark where the lower path to Treknow rejoins the coast path.

    In 1886, an iron-hulled sailing ship, named the "Sarah Anderson", got into difficulties off Tintagel Head in a violent gale then blew up and sank off Trebarwith Strand. According to one source, the ship was carrying a cargo of 966 tons of manganese ore and 15 tons of dye. According to another source, it was hinted that she might also be carrying copper, silver and gold. Due to the huge waves, the Port Isaac lifeboat was unable to launch and the ship was out of range of the marine rescue rockets brought to the shore at Trebarwith Strand. All the 14 crew and 4 passengers (2 women, including the captain's wife, and 2 children) perished. Divers report that the hull is now almost entirely gone. One section (presumably the stern) stands about 3m high and is separated from the main wreckage; the remainder consists of the ore cargo with the odd piece of steel protruding.

  4. Follow the path left, up the steps, until you reach another waymark at a junction of paths.

    The beach at the bottom of the cliff to your left is Lill Cove.

    A small water-powered copper mine existed on the cliff slopes above Lill Cove and was worked until the early-mid 19th Century. A hollow in the cliff was dammed to form a reservoir which was fed by a leat; the reservoir in turn was used to drive a waterwheel to pump out the groundwater draining into the mineshaft. Little remains now as some massive landslips on this part of the cliff have obliterated the majority of the mine workings.

  5. At the waymark, bear left in the direction indicated to Tintagel and follow the coast path up to the rock outcrop. From the top continue along the cliff until you reach another waymark (to Treknow) at the start of the coastal quarries.

    Coastal slate quarries are confined to a small area of about five miles either side of Tintagel and relatively little is known about their history. In order to work the vertical cliff face, strong points were built from stone above the working areas. From these, ropes were dropped down the quarry face. Men were lowered down the faces on these ropes to split blocks of slate from the face. The slate was hauled up the cliff face on these cables which were wound using "horse whims" - capstans powered by horses or donkeys walking around a circular platform. The stone was split and shaped on "dressing floors" on the cliff top, originally covered with sheds. The remains can be seen as level terraces and are marked by screes of waste rock on the cliff below. Splitting was (and still is) done with a bettle (hammer) and chisel, hence the name of the pub in Delabole.

  6. At the waymark, continue straight ahead on the coast path passing the rock pillars at West quarry and following the wall behind Lanterdan quarry until you reach a waymark.

    There are 9 slate quarries along the coast path between Tintagel Church and Trebarwith Strand. Slate quarrying began here in the early 14th Century and ended just before The Second World War. The slate was exported from Tintagel Haven and later from boats moored along Penhallic Point.

    Cutting the stone and loading it onto boats was harsh work and could be lethal. A local man - Alan Menhenick - recalled in the 1920s: "we worked with the tides, around the clock. I've been at the quarry at four in the morning. When the tide was in, we blasted; when the tide was out, we went down and collected the slate". In 1889, three men vanished into the sea when the face that they were boring sheared off the cliff.

  7. Continue straight ahead at the waymark, past more of Lanterdan quarry and along the edge of a wall to a stile.

    The Lanterdan and West quarries above Vean Hole and Hole Beach at Trebarwith Strand were once some of the biggest in North Cornwall. In Lanterdan quarry there is a tall, distinctive, pinnacle of rock. This was left behind as the slate in the pinnacle was not of a sufficiently good quality; shorter pinnacles were left in West Quarry for the same reason. These chunks of inferior-quality slate were known locally as "scullocks".

    The quarry workings never reached the shoreline as there is a fault along the base of the quarry, known as the Trambley Cove Formation. This is made of volcanic lava which was no good to the quarrymen. Lanterdan Quarry is now owned by the National Trust and is a site of geological interest for two reasons. The first is that it contains brachiopod (shellfish) fossils. Second, a rare mineral called monazite is present which contains rare-earth (lanthanide) metals.

  8. Cross the stile and follow either of the paths which rejoin at a waymark; continue around the cliff edge to another waymark on the other side.

    The vertical cliffs of Hole Beach at Trebarwith Strand were the site of Caroline Quarry. The hole in the cliff, from which the beach gets its name, was excavated to quarry out a chunk of good quality slate. Caroline together with the neighbouring Lanterdan and Bagalow quarries, were some of the last still operating at the start of the 20th century but production had ceased by the Second World War.

  9. Keep left at the waymark, along the coast path behind Hole beach, until you reach a stile in a stone wall.

    The crumbling stone walls and the outlines of buildings are the remnants of Bagalow quarry.

    Bagalow Quarry is located above Bagalow Beach, next to Hole Beach and just south of Trebarwith Strand. It is one of the smaller coastal quarries in the Trebarwith area and dates back to at least the 1800s. The quarry face runs from sea level all the way to the top of the cliff. At the top of the cliff are remnants of a powder magazine (some low banks are all that remain) and a horse whim used to haul the slate up from the quarry face.

  10. Cross the stile into a field and follow the fence on the left to a stile in the far left corner before the gateway.
  11. Cross the sequence of two stiles and follow the path along the wall above the cliffs of Dria quarry on your left, until you reach a kissing gate.

    Dria quarry, between Bagalow Quarry and Penhallic point near Trebarwith Strand, was developed from a natural cove (Dria Cove). No processing areas or lifting equipment have been found above the quarry, so it is assumed that this was shared with Bagalow Quarry. Dria Cove is no longer accessible due to landslips on the cliffs between the two quarries.

  12. Go through the kissing gate and follow the path around to the left towards the bench on the point.

    Penhallic Point is the long headland along the northern edge of the bay at Trebarwith Strand. In the late 1800s, a wharf (which has now been taken by the sea) was constructed at Penhallic Point where the cliff edge was trimmed to form a 100ft vertical face. Ships could lie against this face as there is a natural deep-water berth alongside the point. The slate was lowered by crane down into their holds.

    A path from the top of the point zig-zags down to a grassy platform where there is a lifebuoy. It's possible to get down onto the rocks from here, but only in the summer when the rocks are dry.

  13. From the bench on Penhallic Point, keep right and follow the path along the coast via Higher Penhallic Point to a kissing gate.

    Wild chives are rare in the UK, but can be found next to the paths and rocky ledges along the cliffs around Tintagel, particularly where a spring seeps water out across the cliff. There is a large cluster of them on the path down to Penhallic Point, near Trebarwith Strand, where water seeps across the path. In summer when they flower, they attract large numbers of bumblebees and butterflies.

  14. Go through the kissing gate and take the path to the left, passing more quarry workings, to reach a waymark.

    On the point opposite Tintagel Youth Hostel is the remains of Gull Point Quarry. The quarry face on the rear of the cove was known as Lambshouse Quarry (Lambshouse is the name of the cove). Both were worked in the 19th Century, and jointly for much of their later life. The round platform near the top is the remains of a "horse whim", where a blindfolded donkey used to circle, operating the winding gear.

  15. At the waymark, take the left path and follow this until it emerges onto the track to the Youth Hostel.

    Long Grass Quarry on Dunderhole Point was the last working quarry along the Tintagel coast, closing in 1937. The old office, engine and blacksmith's shop of the quarry have been converted into Tintagel youth hostel. You can see the slate waste from the dressing floors on the cliff face below it.

  16. Turn left onto the track towards the Youth Hostel then bear right to a waymark. Take the small coastal path beside the waymark and follow this to another waymark and remains of a concrete structure. Continue until the path eventually emerges onto a larger gravel path at a waymark.

    The Dunderhole is a 100ft deep split in the cliff face at Dunderhole Point at the end of Tintagel's Glebe Cliff. The name is a corruption of "Thunder hole"; when a big swell is running, the reason becomes apparent. When waves surge into the cavern at the bottom, they compress the air, which then exits through the Dunderhole with a sound that you do not so much hear, as feel resonate through your entire body.

  17. At the waymark, turn left and follow the gravel path until you reach another waymark.

    The cliffs around the church are known as Glebe Cliffs.

    A glebe was an area of land used to support the parish priest (in addition to a residence in the form of a parsonage or rectory). Occasionally the glebe included an entire farm. It was typically donated by the lord of the manor or cobbled together from several donated pieces of land.

  18. At the waymark, keep right along the gravel path and follow it towards the church until you reach a junction with another path beside a picnic bench.

    Gillow quarry lies part-way down cliffs near Tintagel church, just below a rocky ridge along which the coast path runs before it joins the path from the church to Tintagel Castle. A pair of capstans, known as horse whims, were used to haul slate up from the quarry. A track ran up the cliff beneath the ridge, eventually emerging onto the path to Tintagel Castle. Slate would have been transported by donkey to Tintagel Haven and loaded onto the boats there.

  19. At the church car park, facing St Materiana's church, turn left and follow the path marked "Coast Path and Access to Castle View" until you reach a waymark signposted to Tintagel Castle.

    Tintagel Parish church, dedicated to St Materiana, is located on Glebe Cliff at the end of Vicarage Lane.The first church on the site was thought to be in the 6th century, founded as a daughter church of Minster in Boscastle which is even older. The current church was built in the late 11th or early 12th century with the tower added in the late Mediaeval era. The Norman font bowl by the south wall is believed to have been brought from St Julitta's chapel at Tintagel Castle. The church also contains a Roman stone from the 4th century bearing the name of the Emperor Licinius which may be evidence that there was once a Roman camp nearby.

  20. At the waymark, continue ahead (signposted to Tintagel Castle) until the path forks at the bottom of a flight of steps.

    Tintagel Castle (also known as "King Arthur's Castle") is perched on an island which was joined by a land bridge in the Middle Ages. The ruins of Tintagel Castle that you see today were built in the 13th century by Richard Earl of Cornwall. From coins and pottery fragments found at the site, it is thought that before this, the site might have originally been a Roman settlement, and later, in the early Middle Ages, a Celtic settlement. There is speculation amongst historians that the site was a summer residence for one of the Celtic kings, perhaps leading to the legends of Arthur.

  21. Keep left at the fork, over the stile, and follow the path along the wall to reach the a waymark at the entrance to Tintagel Castle.

    A very large amount of 5th and 6th century Eastern Mediterranean pottery was found at Tintagel Castle in the 1930s, more than the total found in all other Dark Age sites in Britain. This included massive Tunisian oil jars, Carthaginian dishes, Aegean amphorae and Byzantine jars.

  22. At this point you have two choices: You can pay to enter the castle and leave past the steps to the beach and along the fence until you reach the bridge over the stream. Alternatively, you can turn right here at the waymark, then left down the steps to descend to the car park; then turn left past the English Heritage shop and keep right to reach the bridge over the stream.

    The small cove at the bottom of the valley is known locally as Castle Beach, though its formal title is Tintagel Haven.

    Below the the island upon which Tintagel Castle is perched, there is a small sheltered pebble beach, known locally as Castle Beach although on maps you'll see it marked as Tintagel Haven. Slate from the coastal quarries was brought here by donkey, and loaded onto beached ships which also brought in cargoes such as Welsh coal. Beside the waterfall is the remains of a derrick which was used to winch the cargo to and from the beach. In order to manoeuvre them around the dangerous rocks, ships were "hobbled" (towed by rowing boats then manoeuvred by gangs of men pulling on ropes).

    On the left side of the beach is Merlin's Cave, and to the back of the beach is a waterfall where the stream running through the Vale of Avalon meets the sea.

  23. From the fence by the bridge over the stream, cross the bridge and turn right and go up the steps. At the top, bear right to the public footpath signpost in front of the building.

    English Heritage began in 1983 as a government department responsible for the national system of heritage protection and managing a range of historic properties. In 1999 it was merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the National Monuments Record. In 2015 a charity was formed called English Heritage Trust which was split off from the government to manage the National Heritage Collection (which is still owned by the state). The "English Heritage" name is now associated with this charity. The remaining government body is known as Historic England and is responsible for the statutory and protection functions that were part of the old organisation.

  24. From the footpath signpost, follow the path left, up and over the cliff, until you reach a waymark just after a footbridge.

    The rocky headland is known as Barras Nose.

    Barras Nose is a rocky headland located just east of Tintagel Castle and its island, to the north of the village of Tintagel. This was the first piece of coastal land ever bought by the National Trust in 1897. In Victorian times, the Castle Hotel was originally planned to be built on Barras Nose which gave rise to a local campaign to purchase the headland and save it. It's a popular spot with locals for fishing as there is a rock platform and several surrounding reefs. From the top of the headland there are excellent views to the right, across to Willapark, and to the left, of the castle.

    A rocky scarp runs nearly all the way across the neck of Barras Nose, forming a natural defence similar to those that were created by hard labour at the cliff castles on surrounding headlands. It's therefore quite possible that Barras was adopted as a "prefabricated" hillfort and flint tools have been discovered which show there was human activity here from at least 4,000 years ago. The name itself may also hint at its history: in the 1890s, it was known as "Barrows Cliff".

  25. From the waymark, you have two options. The direct route is to the right, up the steps, to reach another waymark at a junction of paths. Alternatively you can turn left to explore the headland then make your way back along the top until you reach the junction of paths.

    Heather plants can live up to 40 years. Heather plants have a symbiotic relationship with fungi which grows inside and between some of the plant root cells. Up to 80% of the root structure can be made up of fungi. The fungi are able to extract nutrients from poor, acidic soils that plants struggle with. Conversely the plant is able to generate other nutrients that are useful to the fungi by photosynthesis.

  26. At the waymark, turn right in the direction signposted to Tintagel and follow the path to a kissing gate.

    Kestrels are the most common bird of prey in Europe, although in Britain, numbers have declined in recent years. They are easily spotted when hovering, watching their prey. Whilst hovering, they have the extraordinary ability to keep their head totally still, even in strong winds. They feed mostly on mice, voles and shrews, but will also take birds as large as starlings, and will feed on insects if larger prey are not available.

  27. Go through the gate and cross the stream. Then follow the path up the hill on the other side to another gate.
  28. Go through the gate and follow the path uphill until you eventually emerge onto the road next to Camelot Castle Hotel.

    Camelot Castle Hotel in Tintagel was formerly named King Arthur's Castle Hotel and is referred to by locals as simply Castle Hotel. The building was designed by Silvanus Trevail, Cornwall's most famous architect, and opened in 1899. Originally it was planned to be built on Barras Nose but after a local campaign with the National Trust to save Barras, it was built on the site formerly known as Firebeacon. The dramatic Victorian building was used for Dr Seward's Asylum in the 1979 film Dracula, starring Laurence Olivier (and the baby thrown out of the window in the film was in fact Dave - our software developer). It also featured in the ITV Comedy Drama, Doc Martin, as the location for Doc Martin's meeting with the Health Board.

  29. Turn left and follow the road until you reach the entrance to Gavercoombe Park.
  30. Join the public footpath and follow it along the wall on the right, to rejoin the road. Follow the road into Tintagel past the car park until you reach Pengenna Bakery.

    "Pasty" was another word used for "pie" throughout England from the Middle Ages onwards, and did not necessarily imply the characteristic shape and crimping we associate with the Cornish Pasty. The "traditional" Cornish Pasty recipe contains beef, onion, potato and swede (referred to as "turnip" in the local dialect) seasoned with salt and pepper. It's thought that this probably dates from the late 18th Century (when the Poldark novels were set) when potatoes and turnips were a staple diet for the poor. Even during Victorian times, main meat available to poor people would have been pork. In fact, the really poor had "tiddy oggy" (with no meat at all). The Cornish word for pasty is "hogen" (pronounced hugg-un) which evolved into "oggy" - the dialect word for pasty. A pasty recipe from 1746 contains no potato or swede, just meat (venison), port wine and spices.

  31. Follow the road around the bend to the left, past the turning to Vicarage Hill to reach Tintagel Old Post Office opposite the King Arthur's Arms.

    Tintagel Old Post Office is a 600-year-old Cornish Longhouse set in cottage gardens, retaining its mediaeval slate-paved hall and fireplace. It was built in the 14th Century when Tintagel Castle belonged to the Black Prince. In the 19th century, the house was used as the district Post Office when the introduction of the penny post meant the trek to the Post Office in Camelford became too much of a burden. For over 100 years, it has been owned by the National Trust.

  32. From the Old Post Office, walk further up the Fore Street until you reach the roundabout.

    Just before the roundabout and King Arthur's Hall, look on your left for Aelnet's Cross, which is behind the railings in front of some flats.

    Aelnet's Cross is located on Fore Street in Tintagel next to King Arthur's Great Halls, behind the railings of what used to be the Wharncliffe Arms Hotel (now converted into flats). It is just over 4 feet tall and has a sort of wheel-head cross on both sides along with Latin inscriptions. The cross itself is of the 5th-century, though the carvings and inscriptions could be later (possibly 10th or 11th century). Originally it stood at nearby Trevillet where it was in use as a gatepost.

  33. Cross straight over the roundabout and follow Bossiney Road past the Methodist Church to the Tintagel Visitor Centre.

    King Arthur's Great Halls in Tintagel were built in the 1930's by a custard millionaire whose company is thought to have invented "hundreds and thousands". The Halls of Chivalry are built from 53 different types of stone and are big enough to hold 1000 people. 72 stained glass windows by Veronica Whall (a pupil of William Morris) tell the story of King Arthur and show the Coats of Arms and weapons of the knights. Over two million people have visited the Halls since they opened in June 1933.

  34. Continue on Bossiney Road to the social hall, at the end of the row of houses on the right, just before a junction.
  35. Turn right past the social hall up Fosters Lane and follow this until it emerges on the main road into Tintagel.

    The modern-day village of Tintagel was known as Trevena ("place of the women") until the Post Office established 'Tintagel' as the name in the mid 19th century (until then Tintagel had always been the name of the headland and of the parish). In Norman times, a small castle was built at Bossiney; Bossiney and Trevena were established as a borough in 1253 by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall who built Tintagel Castle.

  36. Turn left at the junction and follow the pavement up the hill to a stile with a footpath sign on your left next to the gate, just past the school playground.
  37. Cross the stile and make your way into the field. Follow the wall then the fence on the left, heading for a stile directly ahead when you leave the fence.

    If there are sheep in the field and you have a dog, make sure it's securely on its lead (sheep are prone to panic and injuring themselves even if a dog is just being inquisitive). If the sheep start bleating, this means they are scared and they are liable to panic.

    If there are pregnant sheep in the field, be particularly sensitive as a scare can cause a miscarriage. If there are sheep in the field with lambs, avoid approaching them closely, making loud noises or walking between a lamb and its mother, as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.

    Sheep may look cute but if provoked they can cause serious injury (hence the verb "to ram"). Generally, the best plan is to walk quietly along the hedges and they will move away or ignore you.

  38. Cross the ditch via the stepping stones and cross the stile into the next field. Bear right slightly across the field to a stile on the protruding corner in the hedge ahead, to the left of the telegraph pole in the field. The stile is marked by a vertical wooden pole rising from the fence.
  39. Cross the stile and follow the right hedge towards a metal gate in the far hedge; as you approach you'll see a stile on the right of the gate.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields. If you are crossing fields in which there are cows:

    • Avoid splitting the herd as cows are more relaxed if they feel protected by the rest of the herd. Generally the best plan is to walk along the hedges.
    • Do not show any threatening behaviour towards calves (approaching them closely to take photos, making loud noises or walking between a calf and its mother) as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.
    • If cows approach you, they often do so out of curiosity and in the hope of food - it may seem an aggressive invasion of your space but that's mainly because cows don't have manners. Do not run away as this will encourage them to chase you. Stand your ground and stretch out your arms to increase your size. Usually if you calmly approach them, they will back off. It's also best to avoid making sudden movements that might cause them to panic.
    • Where possible, avoid taking dogs into fields with cows, particularly with calves. If cows charge, release the dog from its lead as the dog will outrun the cows and the cows will generally chase the dog rather than you.
  40. Cross the stile and turn right, following the right hedge to a gate.
  41. Go through the gate and follow the right hedge towards the barn to reach a flight of stone steps below a signpost.
  42. Climb the stone steps onto the hedge. Descend the steps on the other side and take a few paces to reach the yard. Bear right to reach he stile next to the gate which leads onto a lane.
  43. Cross the lane to a stile opposite. Cross the stile into the field and head directly across the field to another stile.

    The fields here are often planted with cereal crops.

    Wheat is the neatest of the grains with grains arranged on alternate sides of the tip of the stem, so that the seed head looks like giant, fat grass seed. Barley is similar but each grain has a long whisker protruding from the end. The hairyness of barley makes amazing patterns and rustling sounds as the wind moves through the crop. Oats are much more loosely arranged than wheat and barley, with individual grains hanging off short threads like a Christmas decoration. Wheat is amazingly easy to turn into flour: once ripe, wheat grains easily pop out from the husk and a handful of these in a pestle and mortar results in lovely wholemeal flour. In contrast, the husk is very much more firmly stuck to barley grains and specialist mechanical processing is required to de-hull it, producing pearl barley.

  44. Cross the stile and head for another stile in the middle of the far hedge (NB it emerges on the road).

    Barley is a fundamental part of the rural culture - the word "barn" literally means "barley house". During mediaeval times, only the ruling classes had bread made from wheat; the peasants' bread was made from barley and rye.

  45. Carefully cross the road and the stile opposite into a field. Cross the field, aiming for the tall white building on the skyline, to a slate stile in the far hedge, somewhat hidden behind a tall hawthorn tree (it's just to the right of the fence pole in front of the hedge).
  46. Cross the stile and go through the gate and turn right, following the right hedge to the farmyard gates.
  47. Go through the left of the two gates (the one set back, opening directly into the yard) and head across the yard towards another gate. Immediately past the barn on the left is a waymarked stile - make your way to this.
  48. Cross the double stile to the left of the gate and then follow the fence on the right to a stile.
  49. Continue along the fence on the right to another stile in the corner of the field.
  50. Cross the stile onto a path and follow this to the lane.
  51. Where the path emerges on the lane in Treknow, turn left and follow the road to a junction.

    Treknow (which in Cornish means 'the valley place') is perhaps one of the oldest 'industrial' settlements in the area dating back to Mediaeval times, based mainly on slate quarrying with some early metal mining. The physical structure of Treknow - its bowl-like formation, in parts literally carved out of the rock - could be the result of early slate excavations. It was in direct response to the needs of industrial workers, in the expanding quarrying industry of the early 19th century, that the rows of cottages were constructed. The use of slate for roofs, chimneys, walls and paving, which contributes so greatly to their character, is further testimony to the dominant role of the local industry.

  52. Turn right at the junction and then, almost immediately, turn left onto a lane beside Old Wit. Follow this a short distance to another junction.
  53. Keep right at the junction and follow the lane until you reach a kissing gate on the left beside a metal gate.
  54. Go through a kissing gate and bear right to a waymarked opening in the middle of the bottom hedge.
  55. Go down the steps from the waymark and follow the path downhill over the wooden stile and another crossing over a fence to reach a stone stile at the bottom of the valley.
  56. Cross the stile and follow the track from the meadow into the car park to complete the walk.

Help us with this walk

You can help us to keep this walk as accurate as it possibly can be for others by spotting and feeding back any changes affecting the directions. We'd be very grateful if could you look out for the following:

  • Any stiles, gates or waymark posts referenced in the directions which are no longer there
  • Any stiles referenced in the directions that have been replaced with gates, or vice-versa

Take a photo and email, or message either IWalkCornwall on facebook or @iwalkc on twitter. If you have any tips for other walkers please let us know, or if you want to tell us that you enjoyed the walk, we'd love to hear that too.

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