GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Goonhilly Downs

5 miles (7.5 km)

This walk explores a large area of heathland situated in the Lizard National Nature Reserve in Cornwall. The site is located next to the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, with its iconic satellite disheswhich can be seen for miles. The remains of RAF Drytree, a radar station built during WWII are also visible in the reserve. You can explore some interesting buildings including an air raid shelter and receiver block which you can climb to the top of for panoramic views on the surrounding countryside
On the downs you will find areas of woodland, a large pond and interesting plants such as the Heath Spotted Orchid. Also look out for wildlife including ponies and deer as you make your way around the reserve.
The walk starts from the car park on the B3293 at Traboe Cross. Start by following the paths west and then north to reach the Satellite Station, where you'll find a Bronze Age standing stone (menhir) next to the site. The impressive station is one of the largest communication stations in the world.
The walk then crosses the downs to Croft Pascoe Forest where there are some nice woodland trails to try. You continue past the Croft Pascoe Pool before returning to the finish point back at the car park.

Postcode

TR12 6EF - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Goonhilly Downs OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Goonhilly Downs Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

The Goonhilly Craft Shop & Tea Room is a nice place to go for some post walk refreshments. It's located at the heart of the Lizard Peninsula on the B3293 Helston to St. Keverne road, just north of the satellites at postcode TR12 6LQ.

Dog Walking

The heathland tracks are ideal for dog walking so you'll probably see other dogs on your outing. It's probably best to keep them on leads around the ponies at the site.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

To continue your walking on the Lizard Peninsula head north east to the Helford River. There's fine views over the Helford Estuary and Falmouth Bay to be enjoyed here.
For more walks in the area see the Cornwall Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Sea Plough, Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station - geograph.org.uk - 1397955

Sea Plough, Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station. An interesting bit of kit on display outside the visitor centre. This machine is used for "ploughing" cable routes in the ocean bed.

Goonhilly Downs - geograph.org.uk - 1003683

Goonhilly Downs. Looking across the heathland from the roof of the former military tracking station bunker. The land is part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve, a complex site that extends to some 1600 ha and is noted for its rich flora with 18 rare plant species growing in the area. The heathland supports a diverse collection of heathers including the rare Cornish heath, a type unique to the area.

GoonhillyMerlin

The Merlin dish, Goonhilly. Earth Station On the BT guided tour of the Earth Station site you are able to view the dishes from the former control tower. This view is towards Goonhilly 6, also known as "Merlin". It was built in 1985, for only 15 million pounds. It is the largest dish operating at the site (32 metres diameter) and for its size it is also the lightest. It is painted white to stop it heating up in the sun, with a paint that can resist the salty spray carried by the endless wind that blows across the Lizard peninsula. Its big claim to fame is that it carried the Live Aid Concert in 1985 to more than 2 billion people in about 100 countries, not long after it was installed.

Goonhilly Earth Station - geograph.org.uk - 1003639

Goonhilly Earth Station. 'Arthur' seen through a gateway in the hedges around Croft Neuedd.

Heath Spotted Orchid - geograph.org.uk - 186582

Heath Spotted Orchid

Dry Tree menhir, Goonhilly Downs - geograph.org.uk - 526157

Dry Tree menhir, Goonhilly Downs

Croft Pascoe Pool - geograph.org.uk - 411558

Croft Pascoe Pool. A tranquil place with the Goonhilly dishes on the horizon.

Croft Pascoe Forest - geograph.org.uk - 186575

Croft Pascoe Forest. A patch of woodland in the middle of the heathland that is the Lizard Nature Reserve.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Goonhilly Downs.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Goonhilly Downs.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)