Cornwall has the longest coast in the UK and much of it is designated as 'An area of Natural Beauty (AONB)' This stunning walk follows the coastal paths, from wild cliffs and heathland to golden sands and charming harbours, these are five days of exceptional walking in one of the UK's most spectacular and unique regions. The coast is wild in this area with stunning scenery and this holiday takes in Cape Cornwall, Sennen Cove, Land's End, the Minack Theatre and Mousehole.
Starting in picturesque St Ives, a beautiful town which seems to have it all, sandy beach, charming harbour and narrow streets full of interesting craft and art shops and galleries, not to mention the restaurants and cafes with their tempting treats, the trail heads West following the coast each day. The natural scenery often competes with human history for your attention, stunning beaches and impressive cliffs are punctuated by hill top forts, bronze age burial chambers and reminders of Cornwall's tin mining history along the way. As you reach the most westerley tip of mainland UK the geological feautures surround Lands End with its arches and stacks and the pink hued cliffs of Porthcurno Bay are a beautiful sight. Flora and fauna are visible at every turn on this impressive coastline, wonderful wild flowers, including sea pinks line the coast, look out for the sea birds and if you are really lucky you may see grey seals bobbing about in the waters below.
Staying in pretty villages all along the coast, starting in St Ives and continuing to Pendeen with excellent views across the coast. Stay in Sennen Cove, one of the finest stretches of sand in Cornwall and Porthcurno, the home of the Minack theatre (our B&B is only 400 yards away) before concluding your holiday in the charming fishing village of Mousehole.
Why not enjoy an extra night at the end or the beginning of you holiday to fully explore St Ives or Mousehole?
Arrival in St Ives
A dramatic introduction to the Cornish landscape today; 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.
Todays route passes along rocky paths and moorland fringes, 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 coastal path winds past Pendeen Watch lighthouse before reaching Pendeen.
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 steep inlets 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, the sea scape 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.
A short walk packed full of incredible scenery today. From the vaulted cliffs and sea arches of Lands’ End to the outstanding pink hued cliffs of Porthcurno Bay. Add to this crystal-clear water 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.
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 wildflowers. 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.
Departure from Mousehole
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
NEARBY:The Painters Cottages is a small and friendly guest house that provides all the features of modern hospitality in the setting of an historic former artist’s residence. Ideally situated to explore the ancient landscape of West Cornwall, the South West Coast Path, St Michael’s Mount and other local National Trust attractions. All of the rooms have been decorated with quality furnishings and fabrics that are evocative of the original artworks or artefacts featured in the room. Each room has a theme that is based upon the origins of the house and the legacy of artists and artisans associated with West Cornwall.
Built in 1271, The Tinners Arms has been at the heart of village life in Zennor for over 700 years. Originally built to accommodate the masons who constructed St Senara’s Church, famous for its mermaid, you’ll find little has changed over the years. Modern life slips away as you step inside.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
The Field House is a contemporary guest house with modern guest rooms and views across fields to the ocean. There are fantastic views to Poldark country, as the property is set just above the cliff tops of Levant and Botallack mines where much of the filming took place. Delicious breakfasts with finest local produce and a welcome Cornish cream tea on arrival.
NEARBY:The Old Success inn is situated in Sennen Cove, one of the finest stretches of sandy coastline in Cornwall. This charming bed and breakfast combines the contemporary with the characterful, providing somewhere to eat, drink or stay with magnificent views. The modern rooms make a comfortable base. The unrivalled location in Sennen Cove offers a slice of authentic Cornish culture!
NEARBY:Sea View House was built in 1910 Seaview House and is the oldest Guest house in the Valley. It's situated approximately 400 yards from the National Trust Beach, South West Coastal Footpath and Minack Theatre. The bed and breakfast enjoys spectacular views along the Porthcurno valley, and is able to offer guests comfortable and modern rooms. Porthcurno is an ideal base to explore the entire Lands End peninsula where you will find excellent and dramatic cliff top and inland walking. The Minack theatre, Porthcurno beach, the South West Coastal Footpath and the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum are all well within walking distance. A little further away you will find the beautiful town of St Ives, the quaint fishing village of Mousehole, the stunning St Michaels Mount and the world famous Lizard peninsula.
NEARBY:The Ship Inn is the perfect place to stay in the heart of Mousehole. Explore the narrow winding streets of this fishing village and historic harbour, the bijou boutiques and chocolate box cottages before returning to your comfortable bed and breakfast base and relaxing next to the stunning harbourside view.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Overall enjoyable and a helpful local representative. One B&B was below the standard expected, and there was a problem on our last day with our luggage going astray.
Thank you for your holiday summary. We wish to thank you for your time earlier on the phone to discuss in more detail our properties used on this holiday. We were also very pleased to hear the luggage going astray was resolved locally and the hotel arranged a bottle of wine for you as an apology. We look forward to welcoming you on a future holiday with us.
Headwater Customer Service Team
Very enjoyable, but the walking was challenging
Well organised, good comms and very good service with no hiccups. All the accommodation was very comfortable and close to our walking route. We were very happy with it all.
Beautiful walking, wish we had been able to complete the south coast elements, but zennor to sennen was on a par with Dolomites and Swiss walking for challenge and views
Looking forward to doing something similar in the uk again
Fantastic week away - we were blessed with perfect blue skies. The landscape is stunning. We are regular walkers and found the walks were strenuos in parts (particularly St Ives to Zennor and Portcurno to Mousehole) However that certainly didn't spoil the holiday. Accommodation was good. The local representative Russ couldn't have been more helpful. We definitely would recommend this holiday! Only criticism was the route notes were not very detailed and didn't really add much value.
This was an excellent holiday exploring some stunning countryside along the Cornish coast. The routes necessarily involved quite a few ascents and descents, but I don't think they would pose any problems for anyone who enjoys walking. The local guide was really helpful and attentive and the accommodation throughout was at very nice B&B's and pubs. Would definitely recommend.
Thank you Mr Flower for your lovely comments, we are really pleased to learn you had an excellent holiday with us and that you would recommend. We look forward to planning many more holidays for you in the future.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 6 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Route directions and maps
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.