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Rinsey circular walk

Updated: May 24, 2023

This easy one-mile walk follows a spectacular route along the South West Coast Path, taking in some of the areas’s mining heritage.

The ruins of Wheal Prosper mine on the South West Coast Path near Rinsey
Wheal Prosper

Start the walk in the National Trust’s Rinsey Head car park from where you will join the South West Coast Path and make your way towards Porthleven.

You will see the impressive remains of the Wheal Prosper engine house in front of you. Built in 1860, the mine was not particularly aptly named and was only operational for five years.

There is a steep path near the engine house leading down to Rinsey Cove. It's a nice little swimming spot but be aware that there's no beach at high tide.

Follow the lower path past the engine house and continue towards across Rinsey Head. From here you will have an excellent view of The Lizard to the east and Mounts Bay to the west. 

The heathland is home to a wide variety of butterflies and birds, including a large colony of kittiwakes. In the summer dodder, a parasitic red plant, covers the gorse.

Continue towards Trewavas Head where you will see a large, strangely-shaped rock formation known as either The Bishop or Camel Rock.

Ruined engine houses on the South West Coast Path near Rinsey, part of Cornwall's rich mining heritage
Wheal Trewavas perched precariously on the edge of the cliff

Perched on the cliffs just beyond Trewavas Head are two engine houses, the remains of the Wheal Trewavas Mine which operated between 1834 and 1846. The shafts extended out under the sea and around 160 people were employed to extract the copper. It’s worth following the path up the steep hill beyond the engine houses for a better look and a photo opportunity and you can extend the walk by continuing to Porthleven. If not, double back on yourself and head inland towards Trewavas Farm. 

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