St Ives to Pendeen

This short but beautiful hike takes you along the wild and windswept coast of West Cornwall.

It is rugged country with high cliffs tumbling down into the Irish Sea on one side and brooding moorland hills on the other. Often claimed to be the most isolated section of the entire South West Coast Path, there is a real sense of antiquity and natural power to the landscape.

Duration:
2 Days / 3 Nights
Distance:
15 Miles / 23 Kilometres
Average Daily Distance:
7.5 Miles / 11.5 Kilometres
Difficulty:
Moderate/difficult
Category:
A
? Category A: 7 to 9 miles/day
Price:
£ 280
? Price per person based on two people sharing a room. Prices may vary depending on availability and room requirements.
Single Walker Price:
£ 420

(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)

Duration:
2 Days / 3 Nights
Distance:
15 Miles / 23 Kilometres
Average Daily Distance:
7.5 Miles / 11.5 Kilometres
Difficulty:
Moderate/difficult
Category:
A
? Category A: 7 to 9 miles/day
Price:
£ 280
? Price per person based on two people sharing a room. Prices may vary depending on availability and room requirements.
Single Walker Price:
£ 420

(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)

Holiday Highlights...
  • Stunning cliff top views from Zennor Head and Bosigran
  • Portherras Beach is a real gem
  • Geevor tin mine at Pendeen (underground tour of the mine workings)
You Could Also...
  • Add an extra day to explore the moors and ancient monuments

Itinerary

Afternoon transfer from Penzance train station to your St Ives accommodation. Arrive early to enjoy time in the town.

Start
St Ives
Finish
Zennor

Distance:

7 Miles/11 Kilometres

Height Gain:

1890 feet/576 metres

Time Walking:

4 hours 30 minutes excluding breaks

? The estimated walking times on the itineraries are based on our own hiking experience, modified by input from our clients who range from seven years old to the mid-eighties. Age seems to make little difference when it comes to hiking.

Difficulty:

Difficult. The distance is short but there are several steep hills and rocky/muddy sections.

Description:

This first stage of the walk is a dramatic introduction to the Cornish landscape. Beyond the narrow, sheltered streets of St Ives the path soon leads out into one of the wildest sections of the entire Southwest Coast Path. Rugged granite moors rise inland, while the narrow strip of land between the windswept cliffs and the hills is studded with tiny farming hamlets and stitched with stone walls dating back to prehistoric times.

The views are spectacular from the craggy headlands, with buttresses of weathered stone dropping dramatically to an often restless sea. In sheltered spots flowers find sustenance in the thin soil, while myriad seabirds make their homes on the cliffs, facing the full brunt of the Atlantic Ocean.

This is an isolated area, and it is important to remember that long sections of the coastline are inaccessible and offer no refreshments or relief once you are underway.

Start
Zennor
Finish
Pendeen

Distance:

7.5 Miles/12 Kilometres

Height Gain:

1296 feet/395 metres

Time Walking:

4 hours 15 minutes excluding breaks

? The estimated walking times on the itineraries are based on our own hiking experience, modified by input from our clients who range from seven years old to the mid-eighties. Age seems to make little difference when it comes to hiking.

Difficulty:

Moderate to difficult. The path is hilly, narrow and for the first 6 miles it is littered with rocks, making for slow progress.

Description:

Along rocky paths and moorland fringes, the route passes through hard countryside littered with blocks of granite, towards the Pendeen and St Just mining districts. The harsh landscape maintains a beauty in its wildness, one that inspires countless stories of piskies and giants (how else can you explain the lumps of granite thrown across the land?).

Sections of the path take you away from the sea edge and there are grand views of the granite hills (carns) that back the coast. Particularly impressive are the Carn Galvers and Watch Croft. Finally, passing by beautiful Portherras beach, the coast path winds past Pendeen Watch lighthouse.

Map

Terrain

Its Not a Stroll on the Beach

The coast path is much more demanding and time consuming than hill walking and a 10 mile (16 km) hike typically takes five hours.


The Path

Throughout most of West Cornwall the coast path is made of compacted earth, sand and natural rock. Steps are often cut into the ground but it is rare that you will find a hand rail to support yourself.


Cliffs

The coast path runs close to the cliff edge and if you suffer from dizziness or vertigo, a coast path walking holiday may not be for you. However it is rare that you will be walking along high cliffs with a sheer drop to the sea. More commonly there is a series of rocky platforms leading down to the sea. The exception to this is on the north coast between Hayle and Perranporth and then Newquay to Padstow where the path meanders to within one metre of the cliff tops and usually there is no barrier.

Hills

The are a lot of hills in Cornwall and for every descent down towards the sea there is a corresponding climb back up. Consider that over its total 630 miles, the South West Coast offers an estimated 35,000 metres to climb – that’s almost four times the height of Mount Everest!


Signage

The South West Coast Path is a natural trail and signage is minimal. There are discreet signs at most junctions but in some places you will need to use a map.

We provide route notes and 1:25000 maps and most walkers find that as they progress along the path they become quite adept at spotting the coat signs.

Map reading skills are an advantage but with a smart phone/GPS, our route notes and a little common sense you should be fine. If you feel uncomfortable with this and would prefer a walk with regular sign posts, we advise looking for an alternative holiday.


For full information on terrain & conditions and to see videos of the path click here!!

Accommodation

We are walkers ourselves and we know that at the end of a long day you want a warm welcome and a comfortable bed. That is why we use B&Bs, hotels and guesthouses that we have carefully selected and importantly, visited ourselves. These are chosen for their access from our walking routes, their quality and their friendly atmosphere.

In practice this means that you will not have to walk more than 20 minutes from the coast path to your accommodation, there are restaurants or pubs within a short walk of all the B&Bs, you will be greeted by a friendly owner and enjoy a decent breakfast.


If you have any particular requests you must let us know at the time of booking. Special requests in the past have included en suite facilities, room size and internet access.

For more information on accommodation click here
Rooms and Beds

Double room

One bed for two people. The standard UK dimensions are 135cm x 190cm.

Twin room

Two single beds in one room. The standard UK dimensions for a single bed are 90cm x 190cm. These offer less floor space than a double due to space between the beds.

Single room

Smaller rooms, often with a shared or private bathroom. The standard UK dimensions are 90cm x 190cm.

Family room

A double bed plus single bed or a double bed plus bunk beds. These can accommodate three or four people.

Ensuite – Toilet, shower and wash basin are contained within the room.

Private – Facilities are outside the room but are not shared with any other room.

Shared – Facilities are shared with at least one other room.

Travel Information

Airports

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 (five hours 30 minutes from London Paddington).

For full information on Travel to Cornwall and details of airport connections click here!!

Heathrow

Good connections with the main London Paddington to Penzance train and journey time is 6 to 7 hours. Connecting flights to Newquay take less than one hour.

National Express coaches run to Penzance and journey time is approximately 8 hours.

Gatwick

Trains connect with the main London Paddington to Penzance train service at Reading and total journey time is 6 to 7 hours.

Newquay

Cornwall’s own airport receives flights from major cities across the UK and Frankfurt Hahn, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.

We can include 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.

London Stansted

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.

Bristol

An express bus service connects the airport to Bristol Temple Meads train station (30 minute journey) from where there are trains to Penzance (4 hours 30 minutes).

Trains

If you are travelling to Cornwall by train, we suggest that you come to Penzance, from where we will 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) and journey time is 5 hours 30 minutes with trains leaving at approximately hourly intervals.


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.

Parking – This can be difficult in St Ives, especially in the summer months and so we recommend leaving your vehicle in Penzance. We will provide transfers from your car to the first B&B and then back to your car at the end.

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

Plymouth – 1 hour 45 minutes

Exeter – 2 hours

Dover – 7 hours

We had a great holiday in Cornwall. Thank you so much. We would recommend your company very highly. Hope to see you again

Denise King, Brisbane

We're an 60+ couple and up to now we never commented on a (hiking)holiday - this time it's different! The guys from Western Discoveries (Russ) offered a perfect hiking-tour along the South West Coast Path. The info-material was straightforward, very helpful, informative and the organisation plainly perfect. The chosen B&B's were cosy, our hosts friendly and helpful. Since even the weather was on the bright side, we enjoyed a challenging but splendid hiking along Cornwall's coast.

Dorothee & Wofgang, Bornheim-Roesberg

We are very satisfied with our holiday as organised by you, amd we have used every opportunity after we returned home to recommend your services. The information package is comprehensive and the size of the individual items fits well with the trouser pockets.

Trond Maeland, Norway

We want to thank you for making our trip so wonderful. We found all the B&B’ s lovely, beds and pillows excellent, hosts/hostesses friendly, helpful and gracious. The walks were both beautiful and challenging...and we were grateful to jump into the luggage transfer van when the weather was, in a word, nasty! This experience will be on the top of our list of travel memories!

Dian Jahn, Anacortes

Yes Russ and Matt, your organisation and support as required during our recent Cornwall walk was “par excellence”. It all worked liked clockwork each day. Thank you again, and yes we will be up for a walk next year, but not sure exactly where !

Geoff Russell, Victoria

Hi, had a lovely time again. Everything went perfect just as before. I have and still will recommend you. Thanks ... Tim

Tim Hyde, UK

Thanks for your email and, more importantly, for the really excellent service you provided to my wife and me, and also our daughter and her friend. We and I had a great time walking from St. Just to The Lizard. The accommodations were excellent, and just what I expected, and the luggage transfers worked perfectly. You also arranged for remarkably good weather; we had rain on a couple of days but nothing that was a problem. I am not sure how you managed that, but thanks for that also. We had a great return trip to the Lizard Peninsula and also enjoyed the chance to see some parts further West with which we were not familiar. I would certainly use Western Discoveries again and will gladly recommend you to friends who are planning similar trips.

P. D., UK

we realy enjoyed our trip on the coast path of Cornwell. The scenery was very beautiful and impressing. All Britains we met were realy friendly and helpful. The organization by Western Discoveries was prefect. All B&Bs were nice and their owners realy kindly.

Gisela Meilands, Germany

We had a wonderfull time in Cornwall, thank you very much. The weather was good for hiking. We were surprised how different the northern coast is from the south. Also we enjoyed all the great beaches and the lovely towns. We don´t regret our upgrates, because our hotels were very nice, especially the Carlton in Newquay. We loved it!

H.P. Hieser, Germany

We had an incredible experience in Cornwall. We are home now and watching old Poldark shows and are "homesick" for the scenery and people we met along the way. At this point I am not sure we have any suggestions, just compliments for you and all of the inns that we stayed in.

John & Rita Goebel, USA

we had a wonderful hiking-week and your service for us was perfect! Every day we are talking about our travel in Cornwall and we will recommend your company to our friends.

Susanne Mundhenk, Wedel

Thanks for a great holiday. Very well organised, the pack was invaluable and everything ran very smoothly.

Laurie Esparnon, Edinburgh

Thanks for facilitating our Cornwall hike - the service you provide at Western Discoveries was absolutely spot on for our needs. It provided us with the freedom to walk at our own pace without the worry planning routes, booking accommodation, or carrying heavy packs.

Stuart Worboys, Cairns

We have nothing but good things to say about our recent visit to Cornwall! We loved the scenery, the hiking, and the incredible variety of Inns along the way. And, of course, the Innkeepers -- welcoming and helpful without exception! Your staff made our holiday seamless -- never a problem with accommodations or baggage. And when we did experience a couple of bumps along the way (train delays, traffic jams, etc.) you made it work out smoothly.

Julie Ottoson, Colorado

We enjoyed the walk around the cost of Cornwall very much. You have organized everything very well. The B&Bs have been very nice, the people friendly and helpfull. Thank you very much for everything! If every we will be so happy to come back one day, we would choose Westen Dixcoveries for a second journey!

Cecile Arnold, Switzerland

Thank you for organizing our trip to Cornwall. We were not disappointed by the incredibly beautiful scenery or the great service we received. I've hiked Ireland and Scotland with another company and Western Discoveries was just as good or better. We never had to worry about our bags and the accommodations we're variable but always good.

Janette Skaar, California

We very much enjoyed our holiday and the beautiful scenery of Cornwal. We also like to thank you for the perfect organization and your kindness. Everything was right! Thank you again and we will certainly choose again for Western Discoveries if we decide to do another hike holiday and of course we will recommend here in the Netherlands!

Tonny Renckens, Amersfoort

thank you for helping us out with our holiday. We found breath taking views, even more beautiful than anticipated. Great places to stay at, with Gurnard's Head as our absolute favourite. Using your services was a pleasant experience, you manage to be professional and personal - a wonderful combination.

Corina Holmberg, Stockholm

Our hiking holidays were fantastic. Thank you for the super organisation of the B&Bs and the transport of the luggage. We were very happy with it all. The B&Bs were all very well chosen. They were all very nice and the people were very friendly.

MIchele Stampe, Switzerland

We enjoyed our days in Cornwall. The hiking was fantastic; the boys really enjoyed it. The B&B's were all well chosen. Thanks and we will come back for sure.

Cecile Brand, Amsterdam

We enjoyed every part of it, the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful scenery, wonderful beaches, all the friendly people and the lovely dogs we met on the way. Evenings at wonderful local pubs or restaurants, sitting down and enjoying scones with clotted cream (the jam first) in a spectacular environment, night at the Minack, the lovely weather and of course the hiking.

Gudny Sif, Iceland

Uur Coast pad hiking tour was one of the best holidays we have ever had! Thank you very much indeed for your help. We were really impressed about your perfect organisation.

J.P. Jebens, Dresden

We really enjoyed our holiday and the landscape is amazing. Thanks for the great organization and setup of the journey and your reliability. We felt well taken-care of.

Ursula Porth, Darmstadt

We Hade such a Great Time at Cornwall . All was Perfect . Thank you, and i think it wasn‘t the last once.

Lisa Zurbuchen, Zwitzerland

We had a great holiday, wonderful hiking , wonderful scenery, great weather. Everything worked very well, contact with you was easy, everything was done on time, there were no problems at all. It’s been years since I’ve stayed at a B and B, but we were both positively surprised at the standard of all the B and B s booked. Great breakfasts. Cornwall was beautiful. We would love to come back.

Guy Shanks, Örebro

We enjoyed our hiking holidays very much. Thank you for the perfect oranisation! The weather was almost always sunny but sometimes a little hot. The maps and descriptions were very helpful. We enjoyed our stays in the different accomodations and liked espiacially the ones in Zennor, Treen and Lizard very much!

Karin Hunger, CH

We would like to thank you for your excellent service during our stay in Cornwall. We really apprechiated your "flexibility" and look Forward to visit Cornwall again.

C Koch, Switzerland
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