Situated in the far Southwest of the UK, Cornwall is easily reached by train, bus or road. Journey times from London to Penzance/St Ives are typically 5 to 6 hours by either train or car and with airports at Bristol, Exeter and Newquay, these journey times can be significantly reduced.
This page is designed to help plan your journey to Cornwall and although we cannot book air passage, train/bus tickets or rental cars, we are more than happy to advise and help with the organising.
This information has been produced as a guide only. Times, prices and details can change and you should always check with the transport provider before booking/travelling.
Please use the links below to jump to specific sections within this page.
Having arrived in Cornwall, we will provide you with a transfer (unless stated otherwise at the time of booking) from your arrival point to your first B&B. At the end of your holiday, on the morning of your departure, we will provide a transfer from the last B&B to your departure point.
Most of our international clients arrive at one of London's major international airports (Heathrow or Gatwick) and then make their way to Cornwall by train. Another option is to pick up a rental car from the airport and drive.
This is the nation's largest and busiest airport, receiving flights from across the world. It is well connected by train, bus and road, making for easy access to the rest of the UK.
There are several ways to connect with the main London Paddington to Penzance train service:
Heathrow Express - This is a 15 minute non-stop train service to London Paddington. Trains leave every 15 minutes. Tickets cost approximately £20 for a single and £35 return: https://www.heathrowexpress.com/
Heathow Connect - This is a 26 minute train service to London Paddington. Trains leave every 30 minutes. Tickets cost approximately £10 for a single and £20 return: https://www.heathrowconnect.com/
Rail-Air bus link to Reading - Join the main Paddington to Penzance train at Reading. Buses leave Heathrow every 20 minutes and the journey time is approximately 45 minutes (but you will save a similar amount of time travelling from Paddington to Reading plus the journey time from Heathrow to Paddington). Tickets cost approximately £15 for a single and £23 return: http://www.railair.com/
Tickets for both of these services can be purchased on the day at no extra cost.
National Express have coaches that run to Penzance with a journey time of approximately 8 hours: http://www.nationalexpress.com/
Driving - There are a multitude of rental car companies operating out of Heathrow. Journey time is approximately 5 hours, not allowing for traffic and rest breaks.
Another busy international airport with good train, bus and road links. There are even flights to Cornwall's Newquay airport with Flybe and British Airways. The flight duration is approximately one hour but please note that it then requires another hour to reach St Ives from Newquay (we are happy to provide this transfer for an additional fee). This option can save considerable time if you do not have wait more than two hours between flights at Gatwick.
Trains connect with the main London Paddington to Penzance train service at Reading and the total journey time is 6 to 7 hours. Weekday trains depart approximately once an hour.
Driving - There are a multitude of rental car companies operating out of Gatwick. Journey time is approximately 5 hours 15 minutes, not allowing for traffic and rest breaks.
Situated to the north of the city, it is necessary to travel into Central London if you wish to travel to Cornwall by public transport. Total journey time is approximately 7 hours 30 minutes.
Take the train to Liverpool St, travel by underground to Paddington and then the main London Paddington to Penzance train.
Driving - There are a several rental car companies operating out of Stansted. Journey time is approximately 6 hours.
There is a direct train connecting the airport to Paddington station from where you can take the main London Paddington to Penzance train service. Total journey time is approximately 6 hours
Situated 7 miles from Bristol city centre, this airport is well placed for rail links to Cornwall and the Southwest.
The Airport Flyer Express Link is an express bus service connecting the airport to Bristol Temple Meads train station. Buses leave up to once every 10 minutes at peak times and the journey time is 30 minutes. From Bristol Temple Meads there are trains to Penzance although it is usually required to change trains at Plymouth. Allow 4 hours 30 minutes for the train journey.
Driving - There are a several rental car companies operating out of Bristol airport. Journey time is approximately 3 hours 30 minutes.
This is Cornwall's own airport, receiving flights from major cities across the UK as well as internationally. There are regular air links with London Gatwick (1hr) and East Midlands (1hr 15 minutes) and during the summer from Belfast, Newcastle upon Tyne (1hr 10 minutes) and Dusseldorf (1hr 40 minutes). Travelling from Dussledorf, it can be significantly cheaper to go via Manchester.
Bmibaby flies from East Midlands and Manchester.
Flybe flies from London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Belfast and Edinburgh.
Lufthansa flies from Dusseldorf.
The airport is rather isolated (the nearest main line train station is Bodmin Parkway (approximately £40 by taxi) although there are buses to Newquay town centre and Padstow.
We are happy to provide airport transfers at the start and end of your holiday for an additional cost (typically £20 to £35 per person). Journey times are approximately one hour to St Ives, Penzance and Falmouth, one hour 15 minutes to St Just and one hour 30 minutes from Lizard and Coverack.
If you are travelling to Cornwall by train, we suggest that you come to Penzance, from where we can provide a transfer to your B&B in St Ives. Although St Ives does have a train station, it is not on the main line and requires changing trains at St Erth. Penzance is the last stop on the main line and it is a pleasant 20 minute journey across to St Ives.
There are direct trains to Penzance from London Paddington (via Reading for airport connections), Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.
London Paddington to Penzance - This journey takes between 5 hours and 5 hours 30 minutes and trains leave at approximately hourly intervals. You can join the same train at Reading (30 minutes out of Paddington) for Gatwick/Heathrow connections.
Tickets can be purchased on the day of travel but this is often more expensive. Use one of the websites mentioned below to find cheaper tickets. Please note that the cheapest advanced tickets are only released 12 weeks before the day of travel and can only be used on the specific train for which they were booked e.g. if you miss the train, you will have to purchase a new ticket.
Train Operator: First Great Western
Best site for checking times and connections: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
Best site for finding cheaper tickets: http://www.thetrainline.com/
For those who plan on taking several trains whilst in the UK, BritRail offer a selection of passes.
Rental Cars - In addition to a standard rental, one way rentals are also possible, allowing you to pick up a car from anywhere in the UK and return it locally. Europcar offer this service (offices in Penzance, Falmouth and Newquay airport) and although there is a one way charge, you don't have to worry about the car or parking fees whilst on your walking holiday. Rhinocar are another company and are worth checking for discounted rates.
Parking - This can be difficult in St Ives, especially in the summer months and so we recommend leaving your vehicle in Penzance. The town is much more accessible once you have finished your walking holiday and we provide transfers from your car to the first B&B and then back to your car at the end (if required).
Secure car park - http://www.islesofscillyparking.co.uk/ charge approximately £6 per day and we find that our walkers enjoy the peace of mind, knowing that their car is safe. You must book this in advance and arrange times for drop off and collection (the car park is not staffed throughout the day and so if you do not arrange times, there won't be anyone there to let you in or out).
Council car parks - The Harbour Car Park (http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=19476) allows you to book week long tickets (£35), paying by phone.
Transfers - We will require an estimated time of arrival and will then wait for you to call us once you have finished parking. We aim to arrive at your car park within 15 minutes but unfortunately are not able to wait on site prior to your arrival. Return transfers will be to the vehicle but due to our busy schedules we are not able to wait outside locked car parks and will leave you either at the gates or a nearby cafe/pub in the case of the car park being unattended.
Journey times - For accurate driving times, use a journey planner. The following times are approximate and do not include rest breaks:
Heathrow/Gatwick - 5 hours
Central London - 5 hours 40 minutes
Bristol - 3 hours 15 minutes
Bath - 4 hours
Plymouth - 1 hour 45 minutes
Exeter - 2 hours
Dover - 7 hours