Park locator
A couple of friends taking photos of the views on a walk along the Cornwall coast

Step into nature on your Cornwall holiday

Cornwall hosts a perfect backdrop for a relaxing walk, from coastal trails to countryside hikes. A walking holiday is a great way to spend quality time with family, engage in light exercise and take in the surroundings.

But, where are the best places for a walk in Cornwall? We’ve asked locals Amy Smith, Senior Assistant of Visit Newquay, Aletha Mays, Head of Communications at the South West Coast Path Association and Joel Bishop, owner of West Country Surf School, for their favourite Cornwall walking spots.

Coastal walks in Cornwall

A walk amongst the sea air with beautiful beach views, is truly a highlight of a walk in Cornwall. Amy tells us, “Newquay’s part of the South West Coast Path, so it’s surrounded by coastal walks with stunning scenery. You can walk for as much or as little as you want.”

The South West Coast Path is a long-distance hiking trail, located along the southwestern coastline of England. It is one of the longest National Trails in the UK, stretching approximately 630 miles along the coasts of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and Dorset.

With a range of routes available on this walk, you can take on a strenuous hike or a peaceful stroll, depending on your preference.

A directions sign on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall

Aletha highlights the importance of walking and the South West Coast Path Association: “It's a cheap day out. It is free and accessible. It's an incredible natural resource, but it should always be free. There should be no barriers to accessing it. See where else you can explore. There are 630 miles of it, so there's a lot more than maybe that little pocket you walked around near Newquay or Penzance.”

Our favourite day walks along the South West Coast Path in Cornwall:

  • Boscastle to Tintagel - 5 mile walk
  • Talland Bay and Looe - 5 mile walk
  • Penzance to Marazion - 3 mile walk

Aletha recommends, “If you'd like to combine the Trail with a beach stroll then Hayle beach at low tide is perfect as you can walk for over 3 miles on beautiful golden sand. Godrevy lighthouse is located at the far end by Gwithian and if you make it here you can visit the seal colony at Mutton Cove.” Adding, “If you want to head in the opposite direction you can walk to Lelant and start the journey on the St Michael’s Way where you pass Carbis Bay, before heading on to St Ives where there is an abundance of shops, cafes, restaurants and art galleries, including Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden.”

Walks in Newquay

Joel also recommends a coastal walk, "The must-do thing in Newquay, I would say, is you've got to go for a nice hike across the Cornish Coast Path. The South West Coast Path is beautiful, so pick your route. It runs the whole way around the north coast. You can go Crantock Town or Watergate Bay to Morgan Porth. I'd say you’ve got to do one of those walks.”

For those wanting to switch it up from the seaside, there are a variety of other walks you can take in Newquay. Amy suggests, “Also, you've got Trenance Gardens and Boating Lake.” Trenance Gardens boasts luscious greenery and colourful flowers, with a tea room to enjoy a post-walk refreshment. With the boating lake by its side, Trenance Gardens is a great walking route away from the coast.

A walker on Pentire Headland in Newquay, overlooking Fistral Beach

Trenance Gardens is just 3-miles from our Newquay Holiday Park and Crantock Beach Holiday Park.

Do you enjoy a morning run? Joel tells us his favourite route: “I run from pretty much the centre of Newquay and go to the end of Pentire Headland. It’s about 5k. I do that a couple of times a week.”

Pentire Headland in Newquay is around miles from Crantock Beach Holiday Park by road, however, it’s just across the Gannel Estuary - which can be crossed by a footbridge at low tide.

Things to do before walking in Cornwall

Aletha tells us, “Always wear sensible shoes and check the weather before you go [on a walk], because that's one thing we've seen recently – it’s very changeable. You can leave on a beautiful sunny morning; but the wind, rain, and gales have come in by the afternoon.”

“We would advise people that if they are not experienced walkers, they should still get out there and enjoy it but just have a little check on safety advice.” You can read the safety advice from the SWCP to ensure peace of mind that they know what to expect and are well-equipped for their walking adventure.

Local insiders

Aletha Mays of South West Coast Path Aletha Mays

Head of Communications

Aletha has lived in West Cornwall for years and worked with the South West Coast Path Association for nearly three years.

Her mission is to highlight the South West Coast Path and the charity behind sustaining it.

Amy Smith of Visit Newquay Amy Smith

Senior Assistant

Amy was born and raised in Newquay and now lives there with her children, enjoying all the coastal region has to offer.

Amy manages the day-to-day of the Visit Newquay website as well as their social media, encouraging people to share her love of the area.

Joel Bishop of Westcountry Surf School Joel Bishop

Westcountry Surf School

Joel has lived in Cornwall his entire life, growing up in Looe. He opened his surf school 10 years ago in Watergate Bay.

Joel has a passion for the Cornish beaches and surfing, describing his business as a lifestyle.