St Just to Porthleven: 3 days (Category B)
Distance: 39 miles
Av. daily distance: 13 miles
Difficulty: Moderate but with rocky and hilly sections
Price: £340 for 3 days/ 4 nights*
(includes bed and breakfast, bag transfers, maps & info packs, arrival and departure transfers between accommodation and local train stations/car parks. B&B includes the night prior to starting the walk and the night after finishing the walk)
Consider: adding an extra night at Porthleven to enjoy the restaurants and pubs of this lovely town
Three days exploring the Southwest tip of Cornwall where granite cliffs and pounding seas slowly give way to shingle beaches and calm waters. There are some great views on this walk, in particular the Mayon cliffs near Lands End and the beautiful bay as you enter Porthcurno.
The coast path climbs and falls for much of the walk but never takes you far away from the sea. This pristine region is ideal for bird spotting and it’s not uncommon to see seals and even basking sharks in the summer months. Entering Mounts Bay, there is a notable difference as the large towns of Newlyn and Penzance come into view and St Michael’s Mount serenely keeps watch from the bay.
Start Point: St Just
Finish Point: Porthcurno
Distance: 12 miles | Height gain: 2887 feet/880 metres
Time walking: 5 hours 45 minutes excluding breaks
Difficulty: A moderate beginning with few hills but some rubble on the path. Several moderatley steep hills are encountered later on and a little scrambling over/around rocks is required.
Highlights: The raised beach and 'dinosaur egg' rocks at the Cot Valley, surfing at Sennen Cove, the sea arches around Lands End, the view across to Treen headland and the Minack Theatre. To watch a performance on a summer’s night at the open air Minack Theatre is a magical experience.
This walk takes in the most significant staging post on the entire Cornish coast path – Land’s End, the most westerly spot in mainland Britain. After rounding the storm-lashed cliffs of Land’s End the path traverses open cliff tops that provide sustenance for only a sparse covering of heather and gorse. Further south these give way to open bays and sheltered valleys.
The waters are the clearest you will find in Cornwall and the beaches en route are spectacular. Porthcurno and Porthchapel are real gems, with turquoise water and golden sand. During the warmer months dolphins and basking sharks can often be spotted here, so keep your eyes open.
Start Point: Porthcurno
Finish Point: Penzance (buses available from Mousehole to reduce walk by 3 miles)
Distance: 11 miles | Height gain: 1775 feet/541 metres
Time walking: 6 hours excluding breaks
Difficulty: Varied. A difficult start with some serious hills to climb. It remains relativley difficult until Lamorna, where boulders litter the path but from then on it is straight forward.
Highlights: Lamorna Cove, Mousehole harbour (and the restaurants), Newlyn Harbour and Chapel Street in Penzance.
Navigating a grand part of Mounts Bay, this section of coast is divided between the empty wooded south coast valleys and the towns and harbours of Mousehole, Newlyn and Penzance.
The rocky sea line between Lamorna and Mousehole is lovely and the last section of open countryside until after Marazion. Mousehole is a working fishing village every bit as picturesque as the post cards suggest. Narrow streets run down to the tiny harbour where visitors enjoy the sea breeze.
Passing by Newlyn harbour and into Penzance, the land is increasingly urbanized. This can be a shock after the empty cliff tops of previous days but also a welcome break if you want to see a little life and explore the sights of Penzance and Newlyn.
Start Point: Penzance (buses available to Marazion to avoid dull 3 miles at start)
Finish Point: Porthleven
Distance: 14.5 miles | Height gain: 1795 feet/547 metres
Time walking: 6 hours excluding breaks
Difficulty: An easy start, with only one or two hills as the walk progresses.
Leaving behind Penzance and Marazion, the coast path soon returns to open countryside and empty coves. Initially it is a gentle and sheltered coastline with rocky coves and shingle beaches and the path is well maintained with no real climbs.
With the exception of Praa Sands, there is very little development from here on (Perrnauthnoe is nothing more than a sleepy village) and as the shelter of Mounts Bay decreases, the scenery becomes wilder, the path emptier and the cliffs higher.
Having worked its way around countless bays, mine workings and hidden beaches, the coast path finally brings you to charming Porthleven. This small port is an ideal stop over with a picturesque harbour, a couple of great restaurants and the nearby Loe Bar if you want to keep on walking.
Single Walker Price: £470
*Price per person based on two people sharing a room. Prices may vary depending on availability and room requirements. A supplement may apply for those who require a room for one person only.