What to Expect on your Cornwall Coast Walking Holiday
On our self-guide Cornwall walking tour, discover the UK’s longest and best loved National Trail. Explore the Cornish highlights of our incredible 630 miles of unbroken South West Coast Footpath, along beaches, over cliffs, crossing to incredible islands and staying in gorgeous seaside towns and villages. Be enchanted by the stories and history revealed within some of the finest coastal landscapes and views in the world, from smugglers coves and 19th century coast guard patrol routes, to Poldark tin mines and the pirates of Penzance.
No Hassle Self-Guided Walking Tours
We take all the hassle out of walking in Cornwall by including all luggage transfers, booking and organising all accommodation, maps, GPS instructions plus access to incredible iconic castles, islands, cliffs, beaches and ancient sites along the way. Rediscover the English coast by walking on your own, as a couple or bringing a group of friends to walk with you and return to nature.
Most guests choose to arrive the day before the start of the tour, to settle in and explore the local area. Arrive into Bodmin Parkway, a 4 hour direct train from London Paddington and, after a short 30 minute transfer into Padstow, you’ll have the evening and next morning to look around this gorgeous harbour town.
Day 1Walk the Coast from Rock - Sand Dunes, Cliff-tops and Sandy Beaches
Our guide will meet you to set you up for your week, providing maps and Ride With GPS navigation on your phones and provide recommendations for the week along the trails. At your leisure, set out in the morning from Padstow by catching the foot ferry across the Camel estuary to the small seaside village of Rock where our route takes you through the sand dunes to the famous and once partially buried St Enodoc Church, with its peculiar spire, ‘bent like a crooked witch’s hat’ as Sir John Betjeman once wrote. Enjoy an afternoon walking along the idyllic beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay before returning to Padstow by foot ferry in the late afternoon. Dine on Rick Stein’s famous fresh caught Fish and Chips in the evening or one of the many restaurant choices in town and rest your legs in your townhouse hotel for the evening.
Mileage: 5-8 miles
Day 2Stepper Point and Harlyn Bay, Panoramic Views over Estuary and Coast
Walking from your hotel out of town and along the coastal path the route leads along the cliffs at Stepper Point, past the observatory with panoramic views of ocean, town and estuary. Keep an eye out for Peregrine Falcons, the fastest birds in the world, known to fly and nest in this area, as you traverse the coast and beaches towards lunch in Trevone or Harlyn Bay. Catching the bus back across the headland in the afternoon will give you plenty of time to explore Padstow, with further afternoon walking options available. Dine out in town with a wealth of restaurants to choose from by the harbour.
Mileage: 5-12 miles
Day 3Walking Into St Ives, Afternoon Exploring
In the morning we provide a transfer further South to Lelant for a beautiful walk into the jewel of Cornwall that is St Ives. Best known for its spectacular light, as a haven for painters and now as home to the Tate St Ives, this town is truly magnificent. Whether this is your first time here or if you have visited before, this town reveals something new with each trip. The stunning coastal walk passes historic churches, sandy beaches and the idyllic Carbis Bay before entering the town itself. Lunch at one of the wonderful seafood cafes and, in the afternoon, enjoy a lovely walk around the harbour or visit to the Tate or Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden. We then head to Penzance via the train for a dusk dip off Battery Rocks, before comparing Penzance’s fish and chips to Rick Stein’s on the harbour wall.
Mileage: 5-8 miles
Day 4Coast to Coast St Ives to Marazion, St Michael’s Mount
We start the day with the opportunity (optional!) for a dawn dip off Battery Rocks or in Penzance Lido, with its 35c geothermal pool. We walk to Marazion and cross the causeway – tide permitting – to the mysterious 14th Century castle on St Michael’s Mount, perched atop a great granite crag. Steeped in legend and folklore, the island has panoramic views across to Land’s End and to Lizard Point, the most Southerly point in Britain. We then have lunch and walk back along the coastal path to the wonderful beach at Praa sands from where we catch the regular bus back into Penzance.
Mileage: 7-9 miles
Day 5Mousehole, Lamorna Cove and Porthcurno
Today we walk the three miles to one of Cornwall’s most beguiling small ports – the beautifully named Mousehole, pronounced Mouse’l where we have coffee or an early lunch before walking past Lamorna Cove and onto the amazing looking Ped’n Vounder and Porthcurno beach – famous for its transatlantic cable station. From Porthcurno we catch the bus back to Penzance and the end of our wonderful week of walking in stunning Cornwall!
Mileage: 6-11 miles
Day 6Farewells and Ongoing Travel
After a relaxed breakfast we organise your transfer to Penzance station, helping all guests with their ongoing travel arrangements. Regular trains depart from here to London and beyond.
Download Detailed Intinerary
For full information about this tour and to find out all you need to know, download your copy of the detailed itinerary by clicking the button below.
Full GPS Routes (Ride With GPS downloaded onto your phones), Maps and Written Instructions
International Flights and travel to and from the start / end of the tour
Items of a personal nature
Entry tickets (e.g. to the Tate St Ives)
All Food, Meals and Drinks Other Than Breakfast
Gratuity for your local guide
Why choose a self-guided walking holiday?
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveler or groups of travelers; those who wish to walk at their own pace and speed. With GPS (our routes downloaded onto your phones) and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Hike at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is on standby
How do I get to Cornwall?
Your tour starts at Bodmin Parkway station in Cornwall, just 4 hours from London Paddington and as easy train journey from Bristol, the Midlands and beyond. There is station parking at Bodmin for those wishing to drive. Finish your day on the beach with your feet in the sea, ready for a wonderful week of walking.
What are the Hotels like in Cornwall on this tour?
We have handpicked a selection of hotels and bed and breakfasts in ideal locations along the beautiful Cornish coast, with great access into towns and views over the harbours and ocean. There is a wealth of great restaurants and gastro-pubs in each location and your hotels are the perfect place to rest your legs and relax during the evenings while on your tour.
Read M.W’s review of our hotels: “The accommodations were first rate — small inns scattered throughout the countryside. And the food — out of this world! […] It was so relaxing to have the whole trip prearranged.”