Best Walks in Cornwall
Published: Wednesday 17th Apr 2019
Gather your boots, bags and binoculars and get ready for some of the best walks in Cornwall.
Lizard Point to Kynance (4.5 miles) link
Few other places in Cornwall compare to the Lizard for raw, rugged beauty. Contrasting the soaring, gnarly cliffs of the most southerly point to the Mediterranean-esque scenes of Kynance Cove, this 4.5-mile circular walk should not be missed. Starting from the Lizard lighthouse, you will walk past the old lifeboat station and onwards through Pistol Meadow, said to be the mass grave of soldiers shipwrecked in the 18th century. Tracing the coast path above Pentreath, you will eventually pop out on the cliffs above Kynance, rewarding you with some of the most fantastic views in the country.
Penrose to Porthleven (3.5 miles)
A fairly gentle walk from the National Trust’s Penrose Estate to the picture-postcard fishing town of Porthleven, this walk takes you through lush woodland and open coast. A popular choice for families and dog-walkers, you can wander under green canopies enjoying the gentle soundtrack of birdsong. If you have kids with you, the various exercise stations dotted along the trail are a fun addition, whilst your pups will love splashing in the lake. Crossing Loe Bar, look but don’t touch as the sea meets the shore. Notoriously dangerous, the sea here is definitely not for swimming! Upon arriving at Porthleven, pubs and restaurants await.
Porthcurno to Mousehole (9 miles) link
This spectacular 9-mile walk is not for the fainthearted, but absolutely worth the effort. Starting at Porthcurno, a mind-bogglingly beautiful sandy beach backed by towering bluffs, you will tread the cliffs, descend into valleys and tunnel beneath windswept trees. All the while keeping the open ocean to your right, this hike requires lots of picnic stops along the way to refuel and soak in the scenery. A well-known spot, you will cut through Lamorna Cove en route, once the haunt of the post-impressionist artists Alfred Munnings and Laura Knight.
Sennen to Land’s End (3 or 6 miles for circular walk) link
Whether you want to walk the 3-mile straight or 6-mile circular walk, Sennen to Land’s End is a classic. Park at Sennen and wander along the shoreline before making your way through the village to join up with the coast path. A gentle route, this walk weaves its way high above the sea. Towards Land’s End, keep an eye out for the wreck of the RMS Mulheim in a cove below. A German cargo ship built in Romania, the ship was wrecked in 2003 after its chief officer accidentally knocked himself unconscious and unwittingly steered the vessel towards the shore. If you would like to finish your walk in Land’s End, the site is home to family-friendly attractions and a restaurant.
Lelant to St Michael’s Mount - St Michaels Way (12.5 miles) link
One of the networks of trails snaking their way across Europe, St Michael’s Way is part of the famous pilgrimage to St James' Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, northern Spain. Starting at St Uny Church in Lelant, this is a demanding 12.5-mile walk that leads hikers across the peninsula. Head up to Knill’s Steeple and onwards to Bowl Rock. Affording superb views along the way, the best vantage point is atop the 550ft Trencrom Hill, thought to have been a Neolithic hill fort and the site of at least 16 hut circles. At the end of the walk, the legendary St Michael’s Mount is an awe-inspiring sight.
A relatively level walk from St Agnes to Perranporth, this route gives walkers a real insight into the county’s rich heritage. Start your walk with a backdrop of St Agnes’ engine-house chimneys and head forth past the impressive Trevaunance Cove. After passing Trevellas Cove, you will reach Hanover Cove, so-named after a cargo ship that wrecked in 1763. Here, the perfect opportunity for a rest stop presents itself. Twist open a flask of hot tea and gaze back at the mine adits and mineral-stained cliffs. Just beyond, the town of Perranporth is within easy reach, home to a year-round dog-friendly beach and multitude of eateries.
From Tintagel Castle to Bronze Age carvings at Rocky Valley to the magic woodlands of St Nectan’s Glen, this walk is awash with history and romance. Start your adventure at Tintagel and imagine yourself immersed in the pages of Arthurian legend. Strolling north along the coast, you can look down upon secret coves and rocky outcrops inhabited by seabirds as you follow the flow of headland after headland. At the final stage, you can savour views of Boscastle before rewarding your heroic efforts with a slice of cake and cup of tea.
Blisland to Lavethan Wood (2.2 miles) link
A relaxed circular walk that starts at Blisland Inn, this trail meanders its way through the enchanting Lavethan Wood. Showcasing another side to Cornwall, this pretty patch of woodland on Bodmin is home to a variety of wildlife and plants. Great for those looking for something a little less challenging, there are a number of paths through the wood so you can branch off if you wish. To complete this loop, cross the woods from mill race stream to Cock's Penrose farm. Take the lane to Barlendew Farm and then across the fields back into Lavethan Wood, then following the lane past St Pratt’s Holy Well and back to Blisland.
Gribbin Head Walk (4 miles) link
Another great walk, this 4-mile loop leads you through a variety of landscapes. Take in beach scenes, rocky coves, pretty woodland and verdant grassland and experience first-hand the places that captured Daphne du Maurier’s heart, mind and pen. To begin, park in the National Trust car park and strike out towards Readymoney. Choose between a path towards Readymoney Cove or St Catherine’s Castle for a little detour. Continue through Coombe Haven, Polridmouth and then Gribbin daymark. On the way back, take a left towards Coombe Farm, skirting the edge of the fields and arriving back the car park.
Gorran Haven to Dodman Point (5 miles) link
Boasting some of the most glorious views in the country, the Roseland Peninsula is a must-visit for anyone in the county. To make the most of the unparalleled vistas, the circular walk from Gorran Haven to Dodman Point and back is a particular favourite. Pick up the coast path and continue to Vault beach, a sweeping sand and shingle beach. Dog-friendly year-round, it is situated on the eastern side of Dodman Point and great for bathing hot feet and paws. Enjoy the coastal scenery around Dodman Point and Hemmick Beach, before turning inland to Penare Farm and Treveague. Make a final descent through the valley and return to Gorran Haven, legs a little heavier and mind a little happier.