Cornish Spring walks

Polly Joke - Andrew Trenoweth

Take a walk on the wild side as the brilliant tapestry of wild flowers spring into bloom along the South West Coast Path in Cornwall this spring.  

From late spring, the South West Coast Path is home to a wide variety of wild flowers, from violets, primroses and bluebells to pink thrift and white campion, sea holly, evening primrose and wild orchids. Here's our pick of the best recommended by the SWCP team.

Rosemullion Head circular 3.9 miles
This circular walk has spectacular views of Rosemullion Head, secluded coves and the beautiful Helford Estuary - and is lovely in springtime, when the wild garlic carpets the woodland path followed by bluebells in late Spring. Make time to visit the gardens at Caerwinion, too, when primroses and blue anemones grow beneath the rhododendrons and camellias.

Mevagissey, Heligan and the prehistoric tin stream 6.4 miles
A demanding but delightful walk through china clay country. The route starts from the picturesque fishing village of Mevagissey and travels inland through the medieval settlement associated with the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan. Take a slight detour from the route to visit the gardens, which have been restored to their former glory after being neglected for 75 years after the first world war. 

Holywell and Kelsey Head 3.7 miles
A varied walk crossing sand dunes, cliff tops with an Iron Age cliff castle and maritime heathland. In spring and summer Polly Joke is full of wildflowers, and in autumn the birds of prey attracted by the gathering flocks of migrant birds sometimes include a hen harrier or maybe a merlin. Children will love the dunes and the beach, and will delight in exploring the rocks and the caves at low tide.

Porthgwara to Porthcurno 2.8 miles
Take a fairly easy walk from the tiny fishing cove of Porthgwarra to Porthcurno, one of the most spectacular beaches in Cornwall. Along the way, you pass the Holy Well of St Levan and the open air Minack Theatre and visitor centre where you could catch a production of Shakespeare or a more modern play in this atmospheric amphitheatre. The valley at Porthgwarra is renowned for birdwatching, and in late Spring the clifftops are covered in wildflowers.

For hundreds of short circular walks as well as linear routes covering all 630 miles visit www.southwestcoastpath.com