The South West Coastal Path, the most popular hike in Cornwall and one of the most popular in Britain, is now well way-marked. In times gone by, this wasn’t the case. If you didn’t know your way around the laneways and paths that weave throughout the landscape, you would get lost. Ships here were once lured onto the rocks by smugglers who wished to steal their valuable cargo. The smugglers knew these routes like the backs of their hands. The authorities who chased them were just as knowledgeable. Many of the routes that now make up the South West Coastal path were forged by coast guards as a means to stop smugglers bringing contraband into the country. History is evident all around. Iron Age forts dot the landscape, providing a glimpse into well over 1,000 years of history.
Cornwall is a hiker’s paradise. Rugged coastline, steep climbs, dramatic cliffs, and an immersing history. Tiny, quaint fishing villages – hundreds of years old – are dotted throughout the coastal landscape. There are over 100 hikes to choose from in Cornwall, connecting villages and old smuggler routes.
The ocean is wild. Four hundred metres below the dramatic cliffs, it crashes and erodes. It was hard to be a smuggler in eons gone by, and even harder to catch them. The paths of the South West Coastal Path were designed to quickly traverse the landscape. These are the paths that you will traverse on the South West Coastal Path.
Fishing is a way of life along the Atlantic coast of Cornwall. You will find quaint fishing village after quaint fishing village. Roots here stretch for decades, centuries even. Many families continue the fishing tradition, providing a real sense of culture and history in the south west of the country. Newquay, the surfing capital of the UK, lies amongst these fishing towns and villages. Land’s End, the most westerly point in England, is a popular stop for one hiking the South West Coastal Path.
The beaches in this part of England are phenomenal. Clear waters and white, sandy beaches give the look and feel of the Caribbean. Mixed with the wild ruggedness of the Atlantic, it’s a truly unique environment. Seals bask on these beaches, and birds call the cliffs home. Cornwall’s coast is teeming with life – birds, marine life, flora, and fauna. It’s a paradise in every sense of the word – for hikers, for wildlife enthusiasts, for photographers, and for tourists.
Take A Hike?
Your opportunity to experience the diversity of hiking in Cornwall is here. One of our newest hiking tours brings some 173km along the South West Coastal path, from Padstow to Penzance. Immerse yourself in this culture, history, and landscape. It’s a unique hike unlike any other. A hike that offers so much and will slam you right back into nature.
|South West Coast Path|
|Self-guided tours from £449! Accommodation and bag transfer included.|