Some days everything just goes right. If ever you are feeling a little cut off from the world, that doing business down here in the far South West is too difficult, and that you could make more if you lived closer to civilisation, then
try this route. It is a run that has everything – parking, hills, some great flat sections to really stretch your legs and scenery that only the South West Coast Path can deliver. All done and dusted after dropping children off at school. and back in the office for a 1pm late shift. That’s pretty special.
Head for Lansallos, the coastal hamlet in South East Cornwall with its 15th-century church, and its history that goes all the way back to the Domesday Book. It’s between Polperro and Polruan.
You can park in the National Trust car park at the top of village and it costs £2.50 if you are not an NT member. Believe me it’s well worth it. Jog down past the church and through the village, and at the bottom, you will see the clearly marked path sign-posted to the beach. It’s a steep run down, so watch your ankles, and as you approach the bottom you can either stay on the left side track or run down across
the field. The beach itself is quintessentially Cornish, small and perfectly formed, with steep cliffs, and a tumble dryer wave break. There’s evidence of others having been there, but I have rarely seen anyone.
When you’re done beachcombing, head right as if you were facing the sea. The coast path and the steps up the steep side of the cliff are clear to see, and after a sharp sprint up the hill it’s simply a matter of following the path towards Pencarrow Head.
Coast path running is generally very hard. The climbs and falls make speed impossible and endurance essential. There are also the additional hazards of sheer cliff faces, and livestock if you are running with your dogs. This section, though, is one of the more user-friendly, with a clear trail and nothing too sheer on your seaward side. As you go over and around Pencarrow, be prepared for your first glimpse of the white sand of Lantic Bay. There are few finer beaches in Cornwall, but it’s a real climb down and an even harder ascent out. Well worth it, but on this run
I stayed high, and followed the path above the beach across the field and back towards the Pencarrow car park. Turn right on to the road and follow it straight, taking first a right-hand fork and then a left turn just above Lansallos. You can use the top of the church as a marker. A fabulous run.
Running time: 5.01 miles,
Running weather: Perfectly clear
Running Song: I Can See Clearly Now – Jimmy Cliff