Carbis Bay Holidays :: Walking
West Cornwall is without doubt one of the best walking locations in Britain, Its numerous footpaths, bridleways, byways and green lanes can take you through a wide range of landscapes from sandy beaches to rocky coves and rugged heaths all within a few miles of your holiday home in Carbis Bay or St Ives.
The South West Coastal Path extends the length of West Cornwall, you can join at Carbis Bay or St Ives or simply drive a few miles and pick it up at another superb scenic location.
The following are just a selection of recommended walks, your accommodation will have Ordnance Survey maps of the area,. Please note that some walks are more strenuous than others, for these you should ensure you have sound footwear and take lots of water and some food with you.
Walk between Carbis Bay and St Ives
You can take the train from Carbis Bay to St Ives or vice versa in less than 5 minutes, but this 20 minute walk is one that you must make at least once on your holiday.
From Carbis Bay, take the path down the beach and across in front of the Carbis Bay Hotel, join the path up to the railway bridge. Cross over the bridge and take in the view across St Ives Bay to Trevose Head. Up the gentle incline until it levels off, take the lower path to enjoy the best views.
Follow the road and around the corner you get the first dramatic view of St Ives, drop down to the beautiful Porthminster beach or enjoy a spot of lunch in the famous Porthminster Cafe. Past the lifeboat station you find yourself by the Harbour. A quick tour of St Ives would take you past Smeaton Pier to Porthgwidden beach, up to St Nicholas Chapel on the Island, drop down to the Tate at Porthmeor, then find your way back through the cobbled streets, stopping off at the many art galleries along the way.
Walk at Godrevy
Leave Carbis Bay, drive through Hayle and turn left and follow signs to Gwithian.Either park in the Gwithian car park or if a National Trust member then drive through onto the hillside car park. A short circular walk takes you past the lighthouse and along the cliff tops, down the hill and back to your car. On the way back, the beach cafe at Gwithian is worth a visit, the beach itself is renowned for it's surfing and kite- sand yachting - its another mile to Hayle over the "Red River" and along the beach past the Towans.
You can watch the grey seals from Navax Point in the "fishing cove" 250 feet below the grassy headland, and the area is an important site for cormorants, razerbills and oyster catchers - even wild ponies. Virginia Woolfe was inspired to write "To the Lighthouse". Built in 1859 after the sinking of many ships including the 700 ton steamer "The Nile " with the loss of all hands.
Click on the image for a larger map.
Walk at Portreath
Portreath was originally built to carry ore from the Redruth mines , now it is a popular spot for families and surfers. This walk is part of the South West Coast Path from Portreath to Hells Mouth or further to Godrevy Lighthouse or even onto Lands End along National Trust land. This walk is about 6 miles.
Go up Tregga Hill to the south of Portreath, the path goes inland and up to the cliff path. There is a curious cave called Ralphs Cupboard where smugglers loot used to be stashed.
Off shore is Samphire Island that was farmed for the samphire herb, further on Carvannel Downs, there are two steep down and ups for the waterfall and stream At Porth Cadiack Cove. You then resume along the gorse clad high cliff tops passing above Bassets Cove, Greenbank Cove and Deadman Cove. After a mile you reach Hells Mouth - aptly named for its an awe inspiring cleft in the cliffs. There is a small cafe for that well earned cup of tea.
Click on the image for a larger map.
Walk at Porth Joke
No Cornwall holiday is complete without a visit to Newquay the surfing capital of Cornwall, but if you are looking for a quieter spot then before reaching Newquay take the turn for Crantock, use the car park and find one of Cornwalls unspoilt beaches. Porth Joke is one of Cornwall's many secrets and well worth a visit.
Porth Joke is on the south side of the Gannel you follow the wide sandy beach at Crantock. The village is tucked away behind the sand dunes, and is worth a detour. At the far end of Crantock Beach the path climbs up to low cliffs and out onto Pentire Point West, before descending to Porth Joke, a comparatively unspoilt cove (because the car park is a mile away from the beach) owned by the National trust - don't forget to take a picnic.
Click on the image for a larger map.
St Ives to Zennor
The walk from St Ives to Zennor along the South West Coast Path is officially categorsied as "severe", other helpful websites describe it as difficult or moderate. Having experienced it ourselves it is certainly not to be undestimated.
The best route is perhaps to go from the Tate Gallery, Porthmeor Beach having stocked up well with pasties in town and with plenty of water. The most important preparation is to make sure you have good walking footwear, the terrain is rough and rocky and an O.S. map.
Locate the coastal path at the western end of Porthmeor Beach at Clodgy Point, after a steep ascent, there are some wonderful retrospective views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy lighthouse and beyond.
The path becomes more rugged and reaching Pen Enys headland the view back is superb. Trevega Cliff is occupied by a trig point (91 metres) and after this the view west to Pendeen lighthouse begins to improve.
Forward progress can be slower than the map suggests and from Mussel Point the view to Zennor and Gurnard's headlands helps boost your spirits. At least the end of the route is in sight although the toughest section is yet to be covered! From Tregerthen the path can only be described as spectacular dropping down to the shore before soaring upward again to the cliff tops.
Reaching Zennor point the temptation is to take the short cut over the headland but you are recommended to stay true to the coastal path before clambering up to the trig point to enjoy the view. With a kilometre remaining the path to Zennor village follows a valley, which leads to the village. You may be fortunate to see the many seals that freqent this part of the coastline.
Don't be in a rush to leave Zennor stay awhile and take at look at The Wayside Museum, also search out the mermaid at the church and research this fascinating legend. Alternatively just enjoy a bar snack and a pint in the Tinners Arms.
Walk back through the moorland ?, catch a taxi or even a local bus. The choice is yours.
If you do choose to walk back, be comforted it is less arduous than the coastal route. pick up the path that begins at the western end of the churchyard and make for Tremedda, the first of a number of farms that are passed on the outward leg of the route. Many of the small fields with their stone walls date from prehistoric times and they certainly add character to the landscape.
Reaching Tremedda continue to Tregerthen where the path maintains its almost straight line as it continues to Wicca where a farm track leads to nearby Boscubben. Stay with the track past the farm for about 50 metres and take the path over a stile on the right. At Trendrine you have to pass through the farmyard keeping the house on your right. Navigation is easy with Trevessa the next target across some more fields.
At Trevessa turn left on to the lane and then immediately right by Little Trevega to take a path that cuts across some fields to reach the lane again. Climb the stile into the lane, turn right, and after 200 metres turn left on the Tinners' Way to Trevalgan farm.
The path goes to the left of the farm with the Trowan, the next farmstead, in a straight line ahead. Continue in the same direction to reach a crossroads of paths (grid ref. 502405). You can shorten the walk here by turning left to reach the costal path at Hellesveor Cliff. However we continue ahead staying with the footpath for a further half kilometre to reach the outskirts of St Ives. You reach a road and this leads you down to Porthmeor Beach.
Distance 8 miles from St Ives to Zennor - allow 4 hours.
Distance 6 miles from Zennor to Zennor - allow 3 hours.
Grid reference: 454384. Click on the image for a larger map.
Our thanks to Walking Britain for some of this text.
Other reference Official Guide to South West Coast Path.
Walk Sennen to Lands End
Enjoy this easy walk anytime of the day but the recommendation is to visit Sennen, have a look around the Roundhouse and Capstan Gallery which has a good collection of local art and gifts as well as housing the huge capstan that was used to haul the fishing boats up the beach at this scenic harbour. The walk to Lands End is about 20 minutes passing the wreck of the RMS Mulheim which was beached in March 2003. As for Lands End, well it is very commercial and a little spoilt so perhaps enjoy the views across to Longstone Lighthouse or perhaps The Isles of Scilly on a clear day.
The sunsets are unforgettable so your evening visit will be made worthwhile and perhaps completed by an evening meal at the Beach Restaurant, but don't forget to book in advance.
More Information :Click the links below to see more information.
We are now fully booked for the Whitsun Bank Holiday until Friday 31st May.(more)
Check availability and book a summer holiday in St Ives, voted Best Seaside Holiday Destination.(more)