Portreath Trail 1 - Airfield Trail

This trail takes you up and out of the village to the north. The slope is quite steep but it is definitely worth the climb. RRH Portreath is a Remote Radar Head operated by the Royal Air Force. Its radar (housed in a fibre glass or golf ball dome) provides long-range coverage of the south western approaches to the UK.

The base was opened in 1941 and was initially an RAF Fighter Command station as a ferry stop-over for aircraft bound to/from North Africa and the Middle East; then as a Coastal Command station. By the end of the war, it had run down and in May 1950 was handed back to the government by the RAF.

The base reverted to its local name Nancekuke and became an outstation of Chemical Defence Establishment (CDE) Porton Down. Manufacture of the nerve agent Sarin commenced there in the early 1950s, and Nancekuke became an important factory for stockpiling the UK’s Chemical Defences during the Cold War.

The trail goes along the Coastal Path which skirts the airfield but veers inland before heading back round to Portreath.

Address: Portreath village car park

Lat: N 50° 26′ 11.56″
Long: W -5° 29′ 25.55″

OS Grid Ref: SW 65415 45323

Distance: 7.2 miles

Terrain: Moderate

Facilities available for this trail

Parking – Parking at the start in village car park

Picnic areas – all along the trail are places for picnics

Eating and shopping – village store

Public houses – The Portreath ArmsThe Waterfront InnThe Atlantic Cafe Bar

WCs – at the car park in village


Family and children friendly – good trail but some rough sections

Cycle trail – good trail but some rough sections

Bridleway trail – trail is suitable

Walking trail – a gentle to moderate trail

Disability access – not suitable for wheelchairs or scooters

9th January 2023 9:38 am

Portreath Trail 1

  • Author: Administrator
  • Created: 9th January 2023 9:38 am
  • Updated: 9th January 2023 12:55 pm
Route type: Cycling/Walking Trail
Difficulty grade: Moderate
Disabled Friendly: Not Suitable
  • Distance 7 miles
  • Time 2 h 53 min
  • Speed 2 mph
  • Min altitude 0 ft
  • Peak 292 ft
  • Climb 1345 ft
  • Descent 1345 ft

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  • Distance Instructions