WHAT TO SEE AND DO in cornwall

Editor’s Choice…Only The Best Will Do...








CoAstal footpath



We believe the average walker will cover 1.5 to 2 miles per hour. The coast path can be gruelling especially as so much of it is up and down from one bay to the next. You will stop to catch your breadth, to take a photograph and to take in fuel. If you manage 20 miles per day you will have most probably walked for a good 10-hours, and be extremely fit - only really possible in summer.

If you are travelling as a group and have two cars it is wise to leave one at the end of your walk. Failing that ordering a taxi is a good bet if you believe public transport to be hit and miss. As most folk carry a smartphone this should not be a problem. For the majority 12-15 miles will be a sufficient challenge and rewarding, too. Below, you have a choice to appease an adventurers desires.


Marsland Mouth to Bude:
Approximately 19 miles. A remote and wild coastline; the rocks, razor sharp and contorted, the pathway hard going, yet exhilarating and rewarding. Rest at Morwenstow and visit the church and tearoom or Inn. Onwards to pass beside RS Hawker’s Hut. Two miles on, the white dish aerials of GCHQ, then into Duckpool where a path leads up to the Coombe Valley Nature Trail. At low tide one can follow the sands to Bude, or take the cliff top path. Photography: Copyright ©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish/Chris Lacey & William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Bude to Boscastle:

Approximately 15 miles. Ascend to Compass Point for extensive views northwards. The path overlooks reefs, buttresses and pinnacles. Easy going to Widemouth Sands. Through car park, up Penhalt Cliff and on to Millook Haven with cliffs of contorted slate. Rough ascent to Dizzard Point (500ft), prone to landslides, so beware, on to the contorted rock forms of Pencannow Point. What follows is an easy descent to Crackington Haven. It’s a hard slog up to Cambeak - rewarded with views across from Hartland Point to Trevose Head. Climbing beside further land- slipped sections, passing jagged cliffs, and The Strangles (beach), scene of many shipwrecks, to High Cliff, at 731ft the highest cliff in Cornwall (although slumping has created a massive sloping undercliff so it lacks the drama of a precipice) and supposedly a favourite courting and riding spot for Thomas Hardy and his first wife, Emma Gifford. Then to Beeny Cliff, the only headland carved from Chert, a tough black flint-like rock, and often below, basking seals. Along to Pentaragon Waterfall, falling 100ft down a deep chasm. And, then, to Boscastle Harbour for refreshments, via Penally Point, and below fine views of the tortuous, harbour entrance. Photography: Copyright ©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish & William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Boscastle to Port Isaac:

Approximately 12 miles. The cliff walk to Tintagel along springy turf with spectacular views seaward to jagged rocks is quite superb. Worth a diversion inland to visit Rocky Valley, and St Nectan’s Kieve, a 60 ft waterfall, and ancient hermitage. Return to the coast path; offshore Lye Rock was renowned as a puffin colony; now the cliffs are nesting sites for fulmars, guillemots, razorbills and shags. The landscape is wild and remote, a place of legends, and the romantic setting for the C13 Tintagel Castle and the mass of older remains on Tintagel Island. On leaving the castle ruins, the path climbs sharply to the cliff top church of St Materiana, guardian of many shipwrecked sailors. Along Glebe Cliff past numerous old slate quarries to Trebarwith Strand, a lovely beach to freshen up before the switchback path to Port Isaac.  Photography: Copyright ©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish/Joshua Day & William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Padstow to Newquay:

Approximately 12 miles.  A coastline dotted with superb sandy beaches and pounded by mighty Atlantic rollers but best appreciated out of season. Splendid views at Stepper
Point, then on past caves and sheer cliffs at Butter Hole and Pepper Hole. Passing by the surf beaches of Trevone and Harlyn Bay, then to overlook the turquoise waters of Mother Ivey’s Bay, passing the Lifeboat Station. The path continues to hugs the coastline past camping sites and beaches ideal for a quick dip, or if you have a board to hand, a surf. The coastline is peppered with stacks and islands and none more spectacular than at Bedruthan Steps just below.    Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


St Ives to Land’s End:

Approximately 22 miles. Considered by some to be the finest stretch of all: wild, rugged and besieged relentlessly by the elements. The path is lonely and remote, up and down and at times, very hard going following the cliff edge and cliff top. Seals laze on the Carracks. A blow hole roars below Zennor Head. It’s worth a detour to Zennor for refreshments and to meet the mermaid in the church. On to Gurnard’s Head (good pub), sphinx-like with great views, and then you are entering the heart of tin mining country, so beware of unprotected mine shafts. The cliffs between St Ives and Pendeen sometimes glitter with minerals. Hereabouts, paths criss-cross in all directions and there’s much to interest  the industrial archaeologist, especially at Geevor, Levant and Botallack. Following the cliff tops, Cape Cornwall appears, marked by a lonely stack, remains of a mine abandoned in the 1870s. The cliff drops to Aire Point, and ahead the thunderous breakers, and the dedicated surfers of Whitesand Bay. And now the well worn path to Land’s End. Photography: Copyright ©National Trust Images/Sue Brackenbury/John Miller & William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Land’s End to Mousehole:

Approximately 15 miles. Another superb stretch of coastline: precipitous cliffs, great blocks of granite, sandy coves and minute valleys with sub-tropical vegetation. Spectacular rock formations to Gwennap Head, equally as wild a headland as Land’s End. Here are great gnarled granite boulders, cracked and sculpted by the elements - a popular place for climbers, and below a haunt for seals. There are two paths: the first follows every cranny and contour, the second cuts off along the headlands for a wonderfully invigorating walk. Down into tiny Porthgwarra, and on up to St Levan’s Well above the little cove of Porthchapel. Then along to Porthcurno passing the famous open-air Minack Theatre; beyond an improbably turquoise sea and the outline of Logan’s Rock. On around the dramatic granite columns of Treen Cliff and then Cribba Head, to the tiny fishing cove of Penberth. Along clifftops to Lamorna Cove, a favourite spot for artists. The path….  Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


 Porthleven to Lizard:

Approximately 13 miles. The path follows cliff edge to Loe Bar, Gunwalloe and Church Cove, apparently buried treasure is hidden here. On to the caves, arches and black rocks of Mullion Cove. Fine walking on cliff tops around Vellan Head and past breath- taking precipices to Pigeon Ogo, a vast amphitheatre of rock. The crowning glory is Kynance Cove, a spectacle of swirling currents (at HT), whooshing blow holes and wild shaped serpentine rocks, great bathing at LT and a café. Well-trodden path to Britain’s most southerly point, Lizard Point. Caves and caverns about Polpeor Cove. East is the Lion’s Den, a large collapsed sea-cave, a sudden vast hole in the cliff turf. The Chough is nesting on the cliffs.  Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Flora Fricker/Goldeneye Guides


Lizard to Falmouth: 

Approximately  26 miles. The east side of the peninsula is less rugged, the slopes are gentler, the landscape becomes more hospitable as one travels northward. First, you pass pretty Church Cove, and along cliff top to the Devil’s Frying Pan, a larger version of the Lion’s Den, its blow hole roars when the easterlies blow. Through thatched Cadgwith to Kennack Sands where the path is easy going, hugging the cliff edge, and almost at sea level from Coverack to Lowland Point, scene of an Ice Age ‘Raised Beach.’ Offshore, at low ide ‘The Manacles’ are visible, a treacherous reef that has caused the death of more than 400 sailors, many are buried in St Keverne’s churchyard. The 60ft spire of the church serves as a daymark for sailors and fishermen. At Godrevy Cove, the path turns inland to Rosenithon and Porthoustock to avoid quarries, returning to the coast at Porthallow. A peaceful stretch to Gillan Harbour, possible to wade the creek at low tide, or continue to bridge crossing the head of the creek at Carne. Through tangled woods to Helford village and ferry across Helford estuary, which runs from Easter to end of October, to either Helford Passage or the beach at Durgan. From here the path passes Mawnan Church and along the cliff tops to Swanpool Beach (Falmouth).  Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Par Sands to Looe:

Approximately 18 miles. Lovely walk through pretty Polkerris, then up to the impressive cliffs of Gribbin Head (224ft) and an 84ft landmark, erected by Trinity House in the 1820s. There are fine views across towards the Lizard and Rame Head. At Polridmouth, you will come across sub-tropical flora, and on following the path, you will soon spy fine views of Fowey and its busy Harbour. Soon to pass the remains of St Catherine’s Castle. Follow road into Fowey where there is a regular ferry to Polruan. Then, six miles of magnificent, lonely, cliff-top walking to Polperro. Inland are grazed fields and gentler contours, but the coast path is often steep and hard going in places. Polperro must first be explored before setting out again along a well maintained path that follows the cliff edge to Looe.  Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides


Looe to Cremyll Point:

Approximately 21 miles. The path crosses National Trust land and soon descends into Seaton to be followed by a stiff climb up to Battern Cliffs (450ft), the highest cliffs in South Cornwall, and a reminder of the gruelling ascents and descents of the North Coast, all now a distant memory. A quick descent to the little harbour of Portwrinkle. The path now hugs the cliff edge and you can walk through the M.O.D. ranges at Tregantle, except during firing when  you will be re-routed inland. Around the great sweep of Whitsand Bay to Rame Head with splendid views of Plymouth Sound, and beyond. Along to the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, passing Mount Edgcumbe, and to Cremyll Ferry which has carried passengers across the Tamar since the C13.  Photography: Copyright ©William Fricker Photography/Goldeneye Guides