The coastline around Gibbin Head is dramatic; sheer cliffs, crashing waves and tiny little coves accessible only via skinny paths from the coastal route. We visited on a blustery, Autumnal day to strike out for views over a steely, frothy sea, and over St. Austell Bay.
This is Daphne Du Maurier country and the Menbilly Estate is where she set her famous novel Rebecca. Park up at the Menabilly car park – pop 50p in the milk urn as you pass on the way down to the beach, and then simply follow your nose, down through the estate on a path that leads to a gate with a glimpse of the sea beyond.
You’ll arrive at Polridmouth Beach, which when we were there was strewn with seaweed and a high tide, with just one other soul wandering the shore. We then headed west on the coastal path, towards the iconic red and white beacon of Gribbin Tower – a daymarker built in the early 1800’s to distinguish Gribbin Head from St. Anthony’s Head and Dodman’s Point. From here you start to catch views out over St. Austell right the way towards the Roseland.
Keep following your nose and after about a hour you’ll come to a wooded cut away that leads down to Polkerris, a hamlet with a smattering of houses, a beach (summer dog ban) and scented by the wood fired pizza ovens at Sams On The Beach. We stopped here so the Black Dog could have a dip in the sea whilst we enjoyed hot chocolates and chips.
To complete the loop we walked back on the road, which is very quiet with no through traffic.