Muddy beach walk Hannafore to St George’s Island
I know I’ve set the bar high for wow factor walks – but I think you’ll agree I’ve out done myself (smugness overload) on this recommendation! How about a submarine walk from Hannafore in Looe to St George’s Island? Yes, I did say submarine. Ok, ok the only bit sous-la mer is likely to be your knees (at the deepest points), so you’re a shorty like me, welly boots aren’t going to make a jot of difference. Leave your galoshes at home; you’ll be better off in a wetsuit on this walk.
Normally only reachable by boat, twice a year when there is a super low spring low tide its just about walkable. And when I say just about, I mean just about – this Sunday and Monday (18-19 September) around 2pm is another super low spring tide and another chance to reach St George’s Island on foot.
St George’s Island is owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and is a haven for cormorants, oyster catchers and grey seals. There’s a beautiful wild flower meadow and a managed sycamore woodland. It’s worth checking their website for deets of upcoming guided treks and talks when the inlaws are next visiting (I’m sure they’ll appreciate the boat ride instead).
Meeting at the RNLI station at Hannafore, the route is partial causeway, though that quickly drops away to the rocky seafloor. Low tide is around 2pm on Sunday and Monday, but do check before you go. It’s only half a mile to St George’s island, but because of the nature of the terrain, expect it to take 45 minutes to reach the beach. Its a great walk to take an under water camera or go pro – youngest muddy had great fun dropping his camera in rock pools along the way (and he took the below on his go pro too).
Take your time – Hannafore is known for its wonderous tidepools (a fab place to snorkle at high tide), and you’ll see tons of wildlife – anemones, starfish, gobyfish, shrimpy things, crabs and more seaweed than you can stuff down your brother’s back (grr).
We were luck enough to see grey seals swimming close the st George’s beach as we made our way over in April when the tide was higher (we were super keenos and started walking before the tide was fully out).
A few minutes grabbed looking back at Hannafore and Looe before trekking back. To minimise disturbing wildlife, you’re not allowed to wander off and explore on your own – official trekking is only via the guided trips organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust. There’s a fab little cafe opposite, joined to Hannafore Tennis club – perfect for a hot chocolate reward.
Now here’s the finger wagging bit – perils I know you’ve come to expect: Watch out for slippery seaweed, and uneven ground. While risk of drowning or being eaten by a seal are low, be alert (Cornwall needs more lerts) and be sensible. I don’t want to be worrying about you lot – this is supposed to be fun! And always check the tide times and weather before you go:
Be respectful of the wildlife you’ll meet along the way – the area around Looe island is a designated Marine Conservation Zone, so leave it as you find it. OK, finger wagging over. Run free!
Hannafore Beach, West Looe PL13 2DG