Walking has always been one of the most popular activities in Cornwall, which isn’t a surprise given the diversity of the natural landscape which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The region has a huge variety of coastal scenery, with over 250 miles of incredible coastal path for people to explore. Cornwall has endless amounts of winding country lanes, open moorland, accessible heritage sites and a vast network of public footpaths. For walkers, Cornwall really is hard to beat.
In our quest to unearth the finest walks in the region, we’ve asked local ramblers to share their favourites with us.
Holywell Bay to Crantock
The walk between the west-facing surf beaches of Holywell Bay and Crantock Beach is full of wonders of the natural world. Holywell Bay gets its name from the sacred spring cascading down a remarkable series of limestone basins (a miniature version of the world famous “Cotton Castle” in Turkey), that have formed within a cave that is only accessible at low tide.
The walk passes the pristine, undeveloped cove of Porth Joke, which is home to a range of wildlife including fulmars and grey seals. The inland loop of the circular route crosses the headland of West Pentire, described as one of the most colourful places in the world, due to the striking wildflowers during June.
The Penhale Sands dune system, which stretches to Perranporth, is the highest in Britain and is nearly fifty metres deep in places. The seashell fragments in the sand have created an alkaline soil as they gradually dissolve, resulting in an unusual habitat which supports rare plants, butterflies and moths.
For more information about this walk, visit iwalkcornwall.co.uk
Porth Joke Beach
It’s also possible to do a shorter walk around the headland of West Pentire. The shorter walk on the coast near Crantock, Newquay offers you wonderful views of Crantock Beach and across Crantock Bay to East Pentire Point. The walk takes you through fields of wildflowers to Porth Joke Beach and Kelsey Head, where you can explore Porth Joke Valley. The whole route is dog friendly at all times of the year. There is one short slope down to Porth Joke Beach and a small climb at the end of the walk up the track to the finish point.
For more information about the walk, please contact Angela at intocornwall.com.
Padstow to Poley’s Bridge
This beautiful riverside trail follows a disused railway line along the River Camel from Padstow to Poley’s Bridge. You start by Padstow’s lovely harbour near the delightful Prideaux Place with its deer park and gardens. You then follow the trail along the Camel estuary to Wadebridge which is an ideal place to stop for refreshments. The path continues towards Bodmin before a pleasant wooded section through Dunmere and Colquite Woods takes you to Hellanbridge. The trail finishes shortly after at Poley’s Bridge.
To view this walk in more detail, please visit gps-routes.co.uk.
After a short drive up to Pentire Headland (where there is ample parking), you will see Crantock Beach to the West. From here, you can take a short walk through the grass across the left side of the headland towards the furthest point which will give you stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can then walk back along the opposite side of the mound towards the car park, admiring the view of Fistral Beach and even a glimpse of Newquay’s infamous Huer’s Hut. Once you reach the car park, you may decide to take a stroll down to the Lewinnick Lodge for lunch or a spot of coffee and cake whilst you take in the beautiful views of the sea.
Alternatively, if you carry on past the car park and turn left, you’ll find another small walkway, which will take you alongside the pitch and putt course on the right if you fancy a game of golf. As you walk down the rocky path, you will be blown away by the view of Fistral Beach. At the West side of Fistral there are a set of steps down to another Newquay foodie delight in Bodhi’s Beach Café and Bistro before you venture across Newquay’s largest beach.
If you would like to know more about these great places to see and eat, please get in touch with Josh at Newquay.co.uk.
This walk is guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs whilst taking in the spectacular scenery of the Roseland Peninsula. You’ll need to head to St Mawes and catch the Place Ferry which leaves the quay every 30 minutes for the short trip from St Mawes harbour to Place.
From Falmouth or Truro, the best way to get to St Mawes is either on the St Mawes Ferry (from Falmouth) or an Enterprise Boat (from Truro, Trelissick Gardens and Falmouth).
After jumping off the ferry at Place follow the South West Coast Path which will take you along the shore line to St Anthony Head. At the southernmost tip of the Roseland Peninsula the headland overlooks the spectacular entrance to one of the world’s largest natural harbours.
Take some time to enjoy the view and explore the newly revealed remains from centuries of defensive fortifications. After rounding the headland follow the coastal path until you reach Porthbeor beach, then turn inland across the field and return to Place creek on the road then catch the ferry back to St Mawes.
For more walks in Cornwall, please contact Claire at falriver.co.uk