The Cornwall Coastal Path is part of the legendary South West Coast Path. At over a thousand kilometers (630 miles), this is the longest hiking trail in England and leads around the south-western part of the British Isles.
Walking tours in England are becoming more and more popular and the Cornwall Coastal Path is one of the best trails to complete. In this post, we investigate what makes this famous English hike so special and look at the highlights of the route going north to south from Padstow to Penzance.
The lovely fishing village of Padstow is well known for its culinary delights. Various restaurants located here pamper gourmet lovers with everything the sea has to offer. Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant is a special recommendation. History buffs will also get their money’s worth in the local museum. Here you will find many interesting artefacts and documents relating to the history of Padstow and its port.
Seven sandy beaches are just a few minutes’ drive away and outdoor enthusiasts can practice water sports, cycle the Camel Trail and, most importantly, start their hike on the Cornwall Coastal Path here.
Newquay is the UK’s surfing capital. If you want to venture into the waves here, you can rent a board and diving suit from various surf schools or book a surf lesson. Beginners’ courses are also on the program. Those who prefer not to get that close to the cold water of the Atlantic can admire the surfers on a walk in Fistral Beach.
Newquay is also a perfect stopover location on the Cornwall Coast Path.
3. Hell’s Mouth
Hell’s Mouth is the poetic name of a cliff that drops nearly a hundred meters into the sea. The adjacent bay was once a popular landing point for smugglers. The Cornwall Coastal Path leads over these impressive cliffs. From the top, you can often watch seals in the bay below.
4. Godrevy Point
Godrevy Point is to the east of St Ives Bay. The lighthouse on Godrevy Island dates from 1858 and warns of a treacherous reef. Ships had run aground there repeatedly but only after a shipwreck in November 1854, which claimed over 400 victims, was the construction approved. Allegedly, this building also inspired a piece of great literature: the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
5. Land’s End
The Land’s End signpost is a popular photo opportunity. There is a reason for this, as this is the most westerly point in the entire island. Land’s End is also the name of the headland, which offers wonderful coastal views surrounded by water from the north, south and west. Dolphins, seals, rare species of birds and various other wild animals live here. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it enjoys the same environmental protection as a national park.
However, the Cornwall Coast Path doesn’t end here and continues on to even more beautiful attractions around the head of the peninsula.
6. Minack Theater
The Cornwall Coastal Path also takes you to places of art and culture. The rows of seats in the Minack Theater seem carved into the rock and the sea becomes a stage here. Every summer you can enjoy a wide variety of performances from musicals to Shakespeare in front of a unique backdrop.
7. St Michael’s Mount
At low tide you can walk to St Michael’s Mount from Marazion. At high tide, the water cuts the way to the tidal island. The fortress and chapel have been owned by the St Aubyn family since 1650. This island is the Cornish counterpart of the French Mont Saint Michel and is subject to the same tides. St Michael’s Mount is located just outside of Penzance at the end of the Cornwall Coast Path.