Quaint, mesmerising and breathtaking– the beaches of Cornwall are a sight to behold!
But is that the only reason Cornwall is on the bucket list of thousands of people? Certainly not! Cornish pasties, sub-tropical gardens, ancient castles, picturesque fishing hamlets, towering cliffs, and rugged moorlands– there’s more to Cornwall than scenic beaches.
Nestled at the tip of the United Kingdom, this faraway land offers a wealth of serrated coastlines, making it a perfect holiday destination. From jam-smothered cream tea to the finest spa hotels, a lot of hidden treasures await you.
So, have you made up your mind to spend this holiday season strolling down the majestic Cornish coast? If yes, we’ve got some fantastic recommendations for the best coastal walks in Cornwall, where you can stroll to enjoy the delightful aroma of the salty sea.
Ready to explore castles, turquoise-coloured beaches, and everything that you saw on the internet? Then dive in straight to know more!
Best Walks In Cornwall
1. Perranporth Beach (North Cornwall) To St. Agnes: The Tin Mine Pathway
Distance – 7.2 miles (3.6 miles one way)
Imbued with history, the Perranporth beach is starkly beautiful, where you’ll witness stunning cliff stacks as you stroll. You’ll also come across ridges that are pocked with ancient tin mines, which, if followed, will lead you towards an undisturbed wilderness, the fishing village.
After a while, you’ll reach St. Agnes Head– a place with picturesque coves, towering cliffs and a long sandy beach. Surrounded by multiple beaches, there are a lot of things that you can do in St. Agnes Head– ramble in the evening or gaze at the stars with your partner.
And if you feel hungry, check in at Chapel Porth Beach Cafe to feast upon smoked chicken wings or Robin’s iced hedgehog.
In the vicinity is the Wheal Coates, a UNESCO heritage that is carpeted with gorse and heather. The decrepit engine houses, dusty walkways and boulder-strewn bays will take you to the world of Poldark– the BBC series.
2. Kynance Cove To The Lizard Peninsula: Perfect Picturesque Nature Walk
Distance – 4.4-mile track
Known for rugged cliffs and rare wildflowers, the Lizard Peninsula is a favourite spot for locals of Cornwall.
On the west coast path of the peninsula is Kynance Cove, a sandy beach that is considered to be one of the best beaches in the world, not just Cornwall. With astonishingly white rocks and deep turquoise waters shimmering against the sunlight, Kynance Cove creates the dreamiest setting for every ocean lover.
You need to wake up early to secure a spot in the National Trust parking lot and walk along the coastal path to the furthest southerly point of Britain, the Lizard Peninsula.
Along the sloping coastline, you’ll pass through a chain of inlets or coves and come across shipwreck Pentreath beach. As you reach closer to your destination, be ready to witness the scenic beauty of a bed of purple Hottentot fig.
After a stroll, you can munch some chips and fish at Wavecrest Cafe while watching the turquoise-green waves crashing against the rugged cliffs.
3. Porthcothan To Mawgan Porth: The Stroll That Offers Breathtaking Vistas Of The Undulated Atlantic
Distance – 9 miles (4.5 miles one way)
The rough and stony coastline of North Cornwall is eye-catching at Bedruthan Steps– an area where the ocean has sculpted magnificent islands, stacks, caves and cliffs.
To witness this magnificent beauty of the Cornish coast, you’ll have to trek south from the Porthcothan settlement along the exposed coastline that descends steeply into the water. Ahead of Bedruthan, there are Carnewas Tea Rooms which sell scones, so you can have some refreshments before setting out for the final destination.
At the golden Mawgan Porth beach awaits one of the finest spa hotels, The Scarlet, with its steaming hot tubs and muscle-melting massages facing the surf. So, you can indulge in some me-time at the Mawgan Porth beach.
4. Sennen Cove To Porthcurno: Ideal For Trekking Lovers
Distance – 12.6 miles (6.3 miles one way)
With white sand dunes and Caribbean-blue waves, Sennen Cove is stunningly beautiful– so you’ll feast your eyes on breathtaking vistas even before starting trekking.
The way to Porthcurno isn’t a straightforward one; rather, it’s slightly different. You’ll have to come down to boats bobbing up and down at Sennen Cove and go up further to Maen Castle (Iron Age Fort). After a while, you’ll reach the most south-westerly point of Britain Land’s Ends– one of the most striking Cornish coastlines with stunning cliff views.
Before Porthcurno, you’ll come across the beautiful Porthchapel beach that lies comfortably between cliffs. After a hectic walk of two hours, nothing would be more refreshing than taking a dip at the Porthchapel beach, so take a dip!
Though famous for the open-air Minack theatre, resting your eyes on the turquoise-hued bays of Porthcurno is entertainment enough.
5. St. Ives To Zennor
Distance – 12.6 miles route
Serviced by a train station, a circular walk along this South West Coast Path is another popular walk. Along with stunning cliffs soaring several hundred feet above the water, you’ll get to see the scenic view of magnificent coves and beautiful beaches.
For this sublime walk, head over to Compass House, the untouched Edwardian villa at the Porthminster beach and leave your sack there. Start trekking to the west of this Cornish coast path until you reach Zennor, situated on the north coast of Cornwall.
Soon, the pasty stores and slick art galleries will be replaced by sandy beaches, a rugged coastline of coves and the Carracks, which is home to Gray Atlantic seals.
Halfway down the walk, you can check in at The Tinners Arms and rest your weary feet before heading to St. Ives – passing beautiful countryside, Trevalgan and Tremedda.
6. Nare Head
Distance – 5.7 miles route
Tucked away from towns and villages, Roseland Peninsula is a muddy coastal path with a great deal of ascent and descent.
Kiberick Cove will be the best point to start your journey to Nare Head Point– so take no other route. As you tunnel through wood and hedgerows, you’ll catch sight of far-ranging vistas of the China clay hills on one side and Porthscatho to Falmouth harbour on the other.
After a 5.7-mile walk, you’ll reach Nare Head point, hanging magnificently out into the Channel. Beyond is a Bronze Age barrow, Carne Beacon that takes you towards the interior of the country, where you’ll pass through arcadian Veryan and sheep-dotted fields.
And if you keep following the route, you will be reunited with the coast that is situated west of Portloe. However, if you head off to the village, you can enjoy lip-smacking crab sandwiches– so take a detour and indulge in amazing cuisines to relax after a long walk.
7. Whitsand Bay Circular Walk
Distance – 6.5 miles circuit
Garden attractions, vineyards, boats and picturesque fishing estuaries– South Cornwall is certainly famous for its breathtaking beauty.
On the south coast, take a circular walk to Whitsand Bay to traverse wetlands, wildlife habitats and a natural reservoir. Besides, there’s an enchanting beach with several rock pools and three miles of sand, so you can enjoy it on the beach to your heart’s content.
Kick off your trip by walking down the National Trust coast walk, rather than from the city of Plymouth. Want to spend a day or two at Whitsand Bay? The Laburnham is a Cornish beach chalet that offers accommodation, so you can spend some time in nature away from the hustle and bustle of life.
8. Gorran Haven To Mevagissey
Distance – 8.8 miles one-way circuit
The seaside villages of Cornwall are well worth a visit because they are a blend of peaceful fishing hamlets and bucket-and-spade resorts.
Mevagissey, a marvellous harbour tavern, is another stunning place that you must explore when in Cornwall. This trekking trip starts at Gorran Haven, which is known for its low-key vibes and sandy beaches, so you’ll have to reach there.
En route, you’ll pass white-washed houses and grazing cows and reach Portmellon, wherein you can halt for rock pooling at the harbour or eat some tasty appetisers at Rising Sun Inn. For stunning coastal vistas, observe the scenic beauty that you’ll encounter between Chapel Point and St. Austell bay.
After covering a few more miles, you’ll reach Mevagissey, where you must explore iconic attractions like the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Land’s End, and other gorgeous gardens. And if you’re planning to spend more than one week in Cornwall, we suggest checking in to a nearby hotel, so you can explore all the villages of Mevagissey.
9. Godrevy To Hell’s Mouth Coastal Walk
Distance – 5 miles circuit
Planning to spend your winter vacation in Cornwall? If yes, then make sure you plan a trekking trip to Hell’s Mouth Coastal Walk because it’s splendidly beautiful during winter.
For this trekking trip, one of the most stunning destinations of St. Ives bay, Godrevy Point, is the starting point. Wake up early, grab your coat, sweater, gloves and woollen beanie and reach Godrevy Point to begin your five-mile hike.
As you backpack to the cliff top through the dunes, you will spot seal haulouts, a lighthouse, and cottages. Upon arriving at Hell’s Mouth, be prepared to catch sight of the waves that have wrecked numerous ships for hundreds of years.
10. Trebarwith Strand To Port Isaac Bay
Distance – 6.8-mile one-way walk
Strolling along the north coast of Cornwall to get an eyeful of nature with far-reaching views to the south and north.
The best route to reach the steep, narrow Port Isaac Bay is starting your on-foot trip from the remote Trebarwith Strand Beach. As the path to Port Isaac Bay is rugged and uneven, we suggest wearing hiking boots, so you can traverse with ease.
From stunning seaside villages to wildlife– there are a lot of things stored for you along this South West Coast Path. And since it’s a long journey, spending the night at one of the resorts at Port Isaac will be your best bet. This way, you’ll recharge and return to Trebarwith Strand without getting tired.
11. St. Mawes Headland
Distance – 3.5 miles route
On the edge of a cape opposite Falmouth hangs one of the magnificent seaside villages of Cornwall, Little St. Mawes.
Mostly, tourists rent motorboats to travel around the Carrick Roads canal, pausing at the Pandora Inn for scrumptious lunch. While you can hire a motorboat to explore the enchanting corner of Roseland, we’ve got another way to help you soak up the coastal vistas– a circular walk.
Arrive at St. Mawes Quay and start your journey by walking the road along the coast towards St. Mawes castle. You’ll be rewarded with great views of the wooded valley and fantastic hilltops throughout the journey.
12. Rough Tor To Brown Willy
Distance – 5.2-mile path
Bodmin Moor of the southwest coast path is picturesque– as though you’ve stepped into the world of fairies. Wind-blasted shrubs, Highland cattle, and ponies grazing on grass and heather landscape and towering peaks– Bodmin Moor is well worth a visit.
As you trek, you’ll cross mysterious cairns, historic stone clapper bridges, giant tors and Brown Willy, the highest peak in Cornwall that is situated at 1,380ft beyond sea level.
And if you’re an occasional hiker, expect slight thigh burn and foot fatigue. For this reason, we’d advise you to book Coombeshead Farm for a night’s stay– one of the most popular hotels.
13. St. Michael’s Mount, South Cornwall
Distance – Nine-mile coast walk
Starting at Lamorna Cove, you’ll explore the busy Penzance and the Newlyn coastal town and halt only at the iconic world heritage site St. Micheal’s Mount.
In this nine-mile-long walk, you’ll enjoy the scenic beauty of one of the prettiest fishing villages, Mousehole. Famous for stargazy pies, Mousehole is full of age-old stone circles, towering granite cliffs, and changing weather.
While trekking, keep an eye out for sharks and basking seals because nothing is hidden in the tranquil waters of Lamorna Cove.
14. Trewarmett To Tregardock
Distance – 5.9 miles
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre lies Trebewith valley, where you can meander through the nature-speckled, lovely river setting.
Towards the end of this long walk, you’ll come across an astounding Tregardock Beach Waterfall, where water cascades onto the beach. So, don’t forget to take your DSLR with you to capture awe-inspiring images of the spectacular scenery.
15. Hawkers Cove To Stepper Point
Distance – 2 miles circuit
Are you going to Cornwall with someone who has mobility issues? Taking a circular walk from Hawkers Cove to Stepper Point gives stunning views of the Camel estuary and out to sea.
One route passes through uneven terrain, while the other is fairly smooth– so those travelling with limited mobility must opt for the latter circuit. To reach the majestic Stepper Point, those taking the latter route will have to set out on this trek from the charming village of Lellizzick.
16. Tintagel Walk
Distance – 1 mile
Travelling with kids to Cornwall? Make sure you set out on a Tintagel walk from Tintagel Forestreet because the castle is filled with classic tales of King Arthur and Merlin.
In the event of a low tide, you can seize the opportunity and trek down to the small beach underneath the castle and search for Merlin. After exploring the castle, don’t forget to drop in at the Tintagel village to enjoy fantastic cuisine.
17. Cotehele, South Cornwall
Distance – 1.7-mile walk
Boasting over 500 hectares of woodland, a circular walk along the Cotehele estate is perfect for people who dread long walks.
Located on River Tamar, the Cotehele estate has become a favourite spot for tourists, thanks to the engine house, woods, quays and mills. After exploring outside, you can move into the house and look at its interiors.
Of all the rooms, head over to the Punch Room first because it depicts scenes of Bacchic revelry.
18. St. Mary’s Loop: The Tropical Archipelago
Distance – 10.9 miles
The Isles of Scilly is a whole other world– a pocket-sized slice of paradise with a glistening sea.
Legends believe that the isles were once joined with a piece of land to Cornwall– the legendary kingdom of Lyonesse. Visitors will most likely have the island and many pristine beaches to themselves, so make sure you spend a day or two surfing and swimming.
Wrapping It Up
Cornwall, the southwestern county, is a walker’s paradise: deserted coves, clear azure waters, wooded valleys, and thatched cottages.
Cream tea, Cornish pasty, stargazy pie, fabulous hotels and stunning beaches wait for you at every end, no matter the route you take. Before catching the flight, book a cottage by the coast, so you can set out on walks right after reaching Cornwall.
So, ready to hit the rugged tracks and witness the scenic beauty of spectacular beaches? Then book your tickets today!
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