The stretch between St Agnes and Portreath, a mere seven miles, is characterised by bizarre place names - Tubby's Head, Tobban Horse, Sheep Rock - and picturesque remnants of the mining industry. St Agnes is part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, as well as being one of the twelve designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cornwall. St Agnes village is a bustling, youthful place, full of surfers, musicians and artists. Various pubs play host to a range of local music, from DJs to folk singers, and the community survives through the winter, which cannot be said for every Cornish coastal village - a good place to spend the night.
The path climbs left beyond the Trevaunance Point Hotel and continues at a high level to St Agnes Head, which is a breeding ground for kittiwakes. You pass over a cliff top strewn with unusual mine workings, before circumnavigating St Agnes Beacon, an isolated peak owned by the National Trust that stands 629 feet above sea level. On a clear day the view from here takes in 23 miles of coastline and 32 church towers.
Godrevy lighthouse enters the panorama as the path passes the Towanroath Engine House, part of the Wheal Coates estate. This is one of the best-known and most picturesque groups of cliff top mine buildings in Cornwall, now owned and managed by the National Trust.
The path drops steeply down to Chapel Porth, another popular surf spot, with toilets and a seasonal café. A steep climb out again past more mineshafts before a satisfying clifftop stretch leads you to Porthtowan.