Experience an incredible walk around mainland Britain’s most south westerly cliff tops and beaches. From wild cliffs and heath-land on the north coast to majestic cliffs in the west and deep tree-lined valleys on the south coast.
The trail takes you past such well known land marks as Cape Cornwall, Sennen Cove, Land’s End, the Minack Theatre and Mousehole. It is one of Britain’s most isolated and unique regions.
(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)
Afternoon transfer from Penzance train station to your St Ives accommodation. Arrive early to enjoy time in the town.
7 Miles/11 Kilometres
1890 feet/576 metres
4 hours 30 minutes excluding breaks
Difficult. The distance is short but there are several steep hills and rocky/muddy sections.
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.
7.5 Miles/12 Kilometres
1296 feet/395 metres
4 hours 15 minutes excluding breaks
Moderate to difficult. The path is hilly, narrow and for the first 6 miles it is littered with rocks, making for slow progress.
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.
9 Miles/15 Kilometres
1903 feet/580 metres
4 hours 30 minutes excluding breaks
A moderate start with few hills but some rubble on the path. Several moderately steep hills are encountered later on and there is some scrambling over/around rocks towards the end.
Along this exceptional stretch of coast, the natural beauty competes with human history for your attention. Proud headlands are crowned with Iron Age hill forts, towering cliffs are home to Bronze Age burial chambers and at every turn are reminders are of Cornwall’s mining heritage.
The end of the north coast is rugged and impressive, with high cliffs cut by zawns and moorland hills rolling away in land. This is the St Just mining district, perhaps the birth place of the Cornish tin mining industry and a world leader in tin production in its heyday. Engine houses perch in the most precarious of positions and the remains of stamping mills and arsenic works are found in sheltered valleys.
Moving on to the West coast, the scenery remains grand and impressive. From the treacherous Brisons reef to the golden sands of Sennen beach, it is the seascape that dominates. With lovely sheltered valleys and a path that constantly rises and falls, one minute you are at sea level and the next way up above, looking down on the gulls as they circle below.
6.5 Miles/11 Kilometres
1854 feet/565 metres
3 hours 30 minutes excluding breaks
Moderate - just one or two hills of note.
A short walk packed full of incredible scenery. Some of the most photographed and most acclaimed Cornish landscapes are to be found here. From the vaulted cliffs and sea arches of Lands End to the outstanding pink hued cliffs of Porthcurno Bay. Add to this crystal clear waters and a profusion of wild flowers and the region’s popularity is easily understood.
The coast path can be busy at either end of this walk, but remains relatively quiet in between. With Lands End and the Minack Theatre, it is a region that draws many visitors but it doesn’t take long to get away from the commotion. With just over six miles to cover, it is an easy walk with plenty of time to stop off and enjoy the incredible views.
8 Miles/12.5 Kilometres
1693 feet/516 metres
5 hours excluding breaks
A difficult start with several steep hills to climb. It remains relatively difficult until Lamorna, where boulders litter the path but from then on it is quite straight forward.
Leaving behind the beaches and windswept cliffs of the West coast, there is a significant change upon reaching the more sheltered South coast. Numerous deep valleys here are filled with palms, fuscia and gunnerera and even the highest cliff tops proudly display a good selection of wild flowers.
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.
You can enjoy great food in many of the stop over towns on this walk.
The Cellar Bistro (St Ives), the Gurnards Head (Zennor) and The Old Coastguard (Mousehole) all boast great reputations.
Mention this when booking and we will try to book your accommodation close to the best restaurants.
Walk through Botallack, Levant, Penberth, Porthgwarra and Porthcurno – all featured in the hit BBC drama.
Fancy a little luxury at the end of a long day walking?
Why not include a stay in the Old Coastguard, Mousehole?
Let us know if you would like to include upgraded accommodation (surcharges apply).
St Ives, Lamorna, Mousehole, Cape Cornwall are just a few of the locations used to film the popular Rosamund Pilcher television movies and they are all included in this incredible walk.
The coast path is much more demanding and time consuming than hill walking and a 10 mile (16 km) hike typically takes five hours.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
One bed for two people. The standard UK dimensions are 135cm x 190cm.
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.
Smaller rooms, often with a shared or private bathroom. The standard UK dimensions are 90cm x 190cm.
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.
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).
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.
Trains connect with the main London Paddington to Penzance train service at Reading and total journey time is 6 to 7 hours.
Cornwall’s own airport receives flights from major cities across the UK and 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.
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.
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).
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 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
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.
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.
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!
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 !
Hi, had a lovely time again. Everything went perfect just as before. I have and still will recommend you. Thanks ... Tim
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Thanks for a great holiday. Very well organised, the pack was invaluable and everything ran very smoothly.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We Hade such a Great Time at Cornwall . All was Perfect . Thank you, and i think it wasn‘t the last once.
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.
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!
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.
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