Nearby walks

Cawsand to Whitsand Bay

Key information


StartCawsand - PL10 1PQ
FinishBus Stop near Whitsand Bay Battery
Length5.2 miles (8.4 km)


A varied walk taking in both sides of the Rame peninsula - from the shelter of Plymouth Sound, around rugged Rame Head to the vast sandy sweep of Whitsand Bay. Children will love the chapel, where the Armade was first spotted, and the Napoleonic fort at Polhawn, as well as the remains of the Iron Age promontory. Rame Head is a good place in spring and autumn, when migrant birds to be spotted include gannets, divers and skuas on the water, with harriers and sometimes even honey buzzards hunting the warblers and swallows gathering ready to leave.

This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes a beach and pubs where dogs are welcome. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog friendly beaches and pubs. 


Fairly level and easy from Cawsand to Rame Head, but with some steep descents and climbs between Rame Head and Whitsand Bay.

Nearby refreshments

Several pubs in Kingsand and Cawsand and two cafés near to the finishing point.
Near to the start of the walk in Kingsand the Rising Sun is recommended by users of as serving good food and being dog-friendly.

Public transport

Bus service from Torpoint to Cawsand or ferry from Admiral's Hard, Stonehouse, Plymouth to Cremyll and then  bus from Cremyll to Cawsand. There is also a summer boat service from Plymouth Barbican to Cawsand Beach. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Cawsand (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL10 1PQ).

Add to storage
Add to storage

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2020. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.

Nearby walks

Cawsand to Whitsand Bay


  1. From Cawsand follow the Coast Path through Penlee Woods.

You may be lucky enough to glimpse fallow deer within the woods or along the rest of the walk. You will certainly see views of the deer park of Mount Edgcumbe and Fort Picklecombe behind you and across Plymouth Sound and Breakwater to the Great Mew Stone and Staddon Heights on the Devon side of the water.

  1. As you leave the woods you find yourself facing the sea at Penlee Point.

The Eddystone Lighthouse some nine miles away can be seen from here on a clear day. Just below you is Queen Adelaide’s Grotto and in front is Rame Head, the half-way point of the walk.

When you reach it, it is worth making the short detour to the headland itself.

The chapel here is where the Spanish Armada were first spotted and you will also find a bank across the neck of the promontory marking the ramparts of an Iron Age Fort.

  1. From the Head continue westward towards Whitsand Bay, which you can see laying ahead of you.

As you continue along the path you will pass Polhawn Fort, which was one of a ring of forts (Palmerston Follies) built to defend Plymouth.

  1. From here, follow the Coast Path for rather more than a mile until it meets a road junction.

Here you are overlooking the artificial reef deliberately created in 2003 by the sinking of the ex-navy frigate HMS Scylla and you will often see dive boats offshore. There are also two cafes here, as well as a post box and bus stop where you can catch the bus back to Cawsand or Cremyll.

This walk can be extended by combining it with the Cremyll to Kingsand and Cawsand short walk.

Whitsand Bay Beach is dog-friendly throughout the year.

Enjoyed the walk? Help improve the path. Just Giving.
Nearby walks

Cawsand to Whitsand Bay


Nearby walks

Cawsand to Whitsand Bay


South West Coast Path

1: Where would you like to walk?

Use my device location
from this location.

2: Difficulty and access restrictions

3: Length

4: Themes