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10 Walks in Cornwall

Walking in Cornwall offers a diverse array of stunning landscapes, from dramatic coastlines and sandy beaches to rolling countryside and charming villages. Here’s a short guide to 10 of the best walks in Cornwall.

Ten Walking Routes in Cornwall

On the South West Coast Path overlooking the beach at Watergate Bay
1. South West Coast Path
Overview: The South West Coast Path is England’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath, stretching 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The Cornwall section is particularly renowned for its breathtaking coastal scenery.
Highlights: Dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, sandy beaches, and picturesque fishing villages.

St Ives and Zennor Coast Path
2. St Ives to Zennor
Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km) one way
Location: St Ives to Zennor
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: This walk offers stunning coastal views, passing through rocky headlands and secluded coves. Zennor is a charming village with a historic church and a local pub.
Highlights: St Ives Bay, Gurnard’s Head, Zennor Head.

Lizard Point to Kynance Cove
3. Lizard Peninsula:
Lizard Point to Kynance Cove
Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km) one way
Location: The Lizard
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: A scenic coastal walk featuring dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and the iconic Kynance Cove. Lizard Point is the southernmost point of mainland Britain.
Highlights: Lizard Point, Housel Bay, Kynance Cove.

Walkers on the steep paths at Wheal Coates

Cornwall’s diverse walking routes offer something for everyone, whether you’re seeking challenging hikes, leisurely strolls, or family-friendly adventures.

The cheese ring on Bodmin Moor
4. Bodmin Moor:
The Cheesewring and Minions
Distance: 5 miles (8 km) circular route
Location: Bodmin
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: Explore the rugged landscape of Bodmin Moor, including the Cheesewring, a natural rock formation, and the historic village of Minions.
Highlights: The Cheesewring, South Phoenix Mine, The Hurlers stone circles.

5. Hall Walk
Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km) circular route
Location: Fowey
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Description: This walk combines coastal paths, woodland trails, and river views. Starting with a ferry ride from Fowey to Bodinnick, the route offers a mix of scenic landscapes.
Highlights: Fowey Estuary, Daphne du Maurier’s house, Penleath Point.

Waterfalls in Tehidy Woods in the Summer
6. Tehidy Woods
Distance: Various trails ranging from 1 to 4 miles (1.6 km to 6.4 km)
Location: Camborne
Difficulty: Easy
Description: Tehidy Woods offers a network of family-friendly trails through mixed woodlands. Ideal for a relaxing walk with opportunities for picnicking.
Highlights: Lake views, diverse wildlife, shaded paths.

cyclists and walkers on cliff, overlooking the sea

Each walk provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and rich history of this remarkable region.

Bedruthan Steps coastal pathway
7. Bedruthan Steps
Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km) circular route
Location: Newquay to Padstow
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: The Bedruthan Steps walk features dramatic cliffs and iconic rock stacks along the beach. The beach itself is currently inaccessible.
Highlights: Rock formations, magnificent panoramic coastal views.

Camel Trail in Bodmin
8. Camel Trail
Distance: 18 miles (29 km)
Location: Bodmin to Padstow
Difficulty: Easy
Description: A flat trail following a disused railway line, perfect for walking and cycling, with beautiful views of the River Camel.
Highlights: River Camel, woodland, family-friendly.

Pentire point and the rumps
9. Pentire Point
The Rumps & Pentire Point
Distance: Approximately 5 miles (8 km) circular route
Location: Near Polzeath
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: A fairly challenging walk with stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean and the chance to see seals and seabirds.
Highlights: Cliff-top views, wildlife, Iron Age fort

10. St Michael’s Way
Distance: 12.5 miles (20 km)
Location: Lelant to St Michael’s Mount
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Description: A historic pilgrimage route that offers a mix of coastal and countryside walking, ending at the iconic tidal island of St Michael’s Mount.
Highlights: Pilgrimage route, woodland, coastal views, St Michael’s Mount.

Tips for Walking in Cornwall

  • Footwear: Wear sturdy walking shoes or boots with good grip, as paths can be uneven and slippery.
  • Weather: Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Coastal weather can be unpredictable, so layers and waterproofs are advisable.
  • Safety: Stay on marked paths and keep a safe distance from cliff edges.
  • Tide Times: Be mindful of tide times, especially on beach walks.
  • Refreshments: Carry water and snacks, although many routes have cafés or pubs along the way.
  • Maps and Navigation: Carry a map, use an App or use a GPS device.
  • Wildlife: Respect wildlife and grazing livestock.

Additional Walks to Explore

  • Tintagel to Boscastle: A scenic coastal walk with historic sites and dramatic cliffs.
  • Mousehole to Lamorna Cove: A picturesque route passing through quaint fishing villages.
  • Penwith Heritage Coast: Explore the westernmost tip of Cornwall with its dramatic coastline, sandy coves, and historical sites such as the Minack Theatre.