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Coastal Walk in Cornwall

Cornwall is a beautiful county. Approximately three-quarters of our boundary is coastline, and each year, thousands of people come to admire the beaches and surf. However, if chilling on the beach isn’t your cup of tea, but you still want lovely coastal views, there’s an easy solution, a lovely coastal walk in Cornwall. 

Going on a clifftop walk allows you to admire Cornwall’s beautiful beaches without the risk of finding sand in your shoes six months later. The South West Coast Path encircles the county’s coastline and allows access to walks through varying forms of nature – moorland, woods, simple fields, to name a few.

There are set walks that are done by hikers each year, but you can easily make your own going from village to village.

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Lizard Point to Gunwalloe

A fully coastal walk from the most southerly point of mainland Britain to one of the smaller villages.

This walk follows the cliffs, allowing access to various coves, including Kynance Cove, which was used as a filming location for the popular television show Poldark and now Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. It passes the Marconi Centre, the remnants of Guglielmo Marconi’s inventions and experiments to set up wireless technology on The Lizard.

It also passes through one of the area’s most popular beaches, Poldhu Cove, allowing for a brief sit down at their cafe.

Distance: 8.3 miles
Circular: No
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Coverack and Terence Coventry Sculpture Park

Terence Coventry Sculpture Park is about ten minutes from Coverack. The Park itself takes up three fields covering part of the old cliff path and contains a large variety of work created by Coventry. They are generally on rotation and the Park is left in an intentionally overgrown state. The Park is open 24 hours a day.

Distance: 5 miles
Circular: Yes
Suitable for dogs: Yes (must be well trained)
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Mousehole and Lamorna

 

This walk follows fields, woods, and the coast path through Kemyel Crease Nature Reserve. Starting at Mousehole, you can walk the cliff path to Lamorna. You can then return by going back along the path, or through the fields and woods of the valley.

This walk can be difficult as there is a large amount of scrambling over rocks, especially around the beaches!

Distance: 4.7 miles
Circular: Yes
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: St. Ives and Lelant Saltings

The walk between St. Ives and the large beach Lelant Saltings is short and done via the coastal path.

The advisable route is to park at St. Ives Train Station and follow the marked coastal path. This starts them close to the path, and one of the local beaches. It also allows the walker to take the train or bus back should they prefer.

The area around Lelant Saltings is an RSPB nature reserve allowing bird watchers to enjoy themselves.

Distance: 3.6 miles (one-way), 7.2 miles (circular)
Circular: Yes
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Zennor

Zennor is a 10-minute drive from Saint Ives. This circular walk takes you towards the cliffs with the ability to see The Carracks, a collection of rocky islands between St. Ives and Zennor. You can then walk along the roads or through the fields to return to Zennor.

Distance: 5 miles
Circular: Yes
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Port Isaac to Tintagel

This walk follows the cliff path between the well-known villages of Port Isaac to Tintagel.

Port Isaac has been used as backdrops for a variety of films/televisions, both as a fictional town and under its own name. Doc Martin (TV show) used it as a fictional port under the name Portwenn. It was also used as the real-life backdrop and basis for Fisherman’s Friends, the film about the Cornish a cappella group of the same name. The film is based around the group’s story as they got signed by a record label.

Tintagel has a large amount of Arthurian legend based around it. Tintagel Castle (run by English Heritage) is approximately 600m up the coast and offers bookable tours. They also allow dogs, providing water for them.

Distance: 9 miles
Circular: No
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Hayle to Hell’s Mouth

This walk stretches along the dunes behind Gwithian Beach. Following along the South West Coast Path, it leads towards Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration of Virginia Wolff’s book To the Lighthouse. The area near the lighthouse is owned by the National Trust and has a cafe and toilet, allowing for a nice pit stop if needed.

Then, continue round to Hell’s Mouth.

Distance: 7.2 miles
Circular: No
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Lankelly and Menabilly

This walk starts and ends at Coon National Trust Car Park, and goes across the cliffs and through pieces of woodland. Another part of Cornwall that clings to Arthurian legends, the walk follows set paths and roads.

There are various buildings – both in use and in ruins – along the route and many of these have attracted authors and photographers to the area.

Distance: 5 miles
Circular: Yes
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Padstow to Harlyn Bay

This walk starts in the picturesque town of Padstow, ending at the beach and village of Harlyn.

Padstow is home to one of the restaurants of celebrity chef, Rick Stein, offering vegetarian, gluten-free, and Cornish meals.

Harlyn beach is public and also has a surf school.

Distance: 6 miles
Circular: No
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Coastal Walk in Cornwall: Marazion to Newlyn

This walk follows the cliff path from Newlyn, past Penzance and the tidal island, St Michael’s Mount, through to Marazion. It follows the cliff path all the way, but the route can be changed to go directly through Penzance.

At low tide, you are able to walk from Marazion to the Mount. The walk is approximately 0.5 miles. Boat trips to the island are available when the tide is in. The castle and gardens are open at set times, but booking is currently necessary.

Distance: 4.8 miles (one-way walk), 5.3 miles (including a walk to St Michael’s Mount)
Circular: No
Suitable for dogs: Yes
Parking: Yes

Please take note of the following things before organising your walk:

  • The walks that may require public transport for the return journey are easy to gain. Cornwall’s local bus service now accepts contactless payments, including mobile phones.
  • Some beaches may only allow dogs at particular times of the year.
  • Some car parks will not accept card payments. Ensure you have cash on you.
  • You may cross or come close to private farming land at some point. If you see animals and have a dog, ensure the dog is on a lead at this point as they may damage fields or scare animals, possibly resulting in injury to you or the animals.
  • If animals – particularly cows – start to charge, it is better to move away quietly and calmly. Once they have established you are not a threat, they will leave you alone.
  • If you think animals are going to charge, let go of your dog. They will outrun animals – and you!

After a long day walking the coastal paths in Cornwall, it’s time to book some accomodation. Fortunately, we’ll save you some time and effort. Check out the fantastic variety of accommodation offered by Carbis Bay Holidays here, or get in touch if you have any questions!