Getting to Cornwall

How do I get to Cornwall?

Airports
Heathrow Airport

With connecting flights to Cornwall’s Newquay airport, it now even easier to reach the county. 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 Heathrow.

There are also 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/

Tickets for both of these services can be purchased on the day at no extra cost.

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/

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.

Gatwick Airport

Another busy international airport with good train, bus and road links.

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.

London Stansted

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.

Newquay Airport

This is Cornwall’s own airport, receiving flights from major cities across the UK as well as internationally.

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.

Flight Connections with Newquay airport:

London Heathrow – 70 minutes – Flybe

Manchester – 70 minutes – Flybe

Birmingham – 60 minutes – Flybe

Frankfurt Hahn – 1 hour 40 minutes – Ryanair

Dusseldorf – 1 hour 40 minutes – Eurowings

Stuttgart – 1 hour 40 minutes – Eurowings

Dublin – 1 hour 20 minutes – Aerlingus

Bristol Airport

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.

Trains

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’s not on the main line and requires changing trains at St Erth. Penzance is the last stop on the main line and it’s 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: Great Western Rail

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.

Driving

Driving to West Cornwall is straight forward but journey times can be long and in July/ August heavy traffic can be an issue. Once you leave the motorway (M5), just follow the A30 all of the way to Penzance.

 

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 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.

 

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.

Isles of Scilly car park 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 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

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