Best walks in Cornwall

Posted on 23rd May 2017

Lush green fields, moody moorland and over 290 miles of coastline make Cornwall the perfect place to get back to nature. While you can drive to many beauty spots and attractions, the best way to appreciate the county is on foot.

 Best walks in Cornwall - Tintagel

We are currently mid-way through National Walking Month and to celebrate, we have put together a list of the best walks in Cornwall.

Coastal Walks in Cornwall

When presented with a 296-mile coast path, the difficulty is not finding a walk, but choosing one. To help you choose, here are some of our favourites.

Porthleven – Lizard Point

14 miles

Along the Lizard peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall is a 14-mile walk that commences in the picturesque fishing village of Porthleven. Weave your way past pretty Cornish cottages before reaching a pebbled beach. From here, the coast path will take you to The Loe – the largest body of fresh water in Cornwall.

In the shadow of the Church Cove Dunes, you find yourself walking through the remote coastal community of Gunwalloe before you head onto Halzephron Cove. Translated to ‘Cliff of Hell’ in Cornish, local legend has it that a freak wave claims the life of someone on Porthleven sands every seven years.

 Cornish coast path

This walk will take you to the most southerly corner of Britain, as you step into Kynance Cove. With arches, stone stacks, towering cliffs and a dramatic view, this is certainly the highlight of the walk, before concluding your journey at Lizard Point.

Perranporth – St Agnes

3.5 miles 

The walk from Perranporth to St Agnes offers some of the finest cliff-top views on our list. The mostly flat path takes you through the rich mining history of the area, with beautiful foliage and birdlife.

For anyone with a dog staying at a coastal cottage in Cornwall, this walk has dog-friendly beaches and pubs offering you stunning vantage points of the northern coast.

At just under four miles, you can either begin your journey at Droskyn Point, or explore Perranporth’s beach with its impressive cliff formations which are sure to inspire the photographer within. Heading west towards the Point, the mining heritage of the area comes into view. Relics of the industry which was the life-blood of the area still stand with an eerie beauty.

Further along the walk you get the chance to explore the interconnecting paths and trails above the cliffs once used by smugglers and pirates, before continuing on to an old war airfield.

You will then head towards Trevallas Cove, a quiet and rugged gem in Cornwall’s crown and onto the steep climb of Blue Hills to St Agnes.

Sennen – Lamorna

11.7 miles

The south of Cornwall is a landscape like few others in the country. Blue seas seem to blend into the sky at the start of this coastal walk which will take you long high cliffs and windswept moors.

Though influenced heavily by a booming tourist market, Land’s End is still a lovely place to start a walk. The rugged coastline can reveal the Isles of Scilly on a clear day as well as The Irish Lady – an offshore islet named after the sole survivor of a wreck that happened there. Local fishermen still claim that they have sighted a woman clinging onto the rocks, despite her dying many years ago.

 Sennen coastal path

As you walk along the headland you may be fortunate enough to catch a sighting of dolphins, seals or even basking sharks. The peaceful Porth Chapel Beach offers an idyllic rest stop and a great photo opportunity.

It continues on along to the famous Minack Theatre – built into the granite cliffs to host summer shows. Further along you will be faced with the 80-ton granite boulder, Logan Rock, perched on the cliffs south of Treen. The climax of the walk takes you through fairy-tale woodland past St Loy and into the picturesque hamlet of Lamorna. 

Walks with a view in Cornwall

Whitsand Battery – Rame Head

2 miles

This short walk is a regularly overlooked by keen ramblers and holidaymakers. Stretching the whole way from Polperro to Maker Heights in the east, the Whitsand Battery to Rame Head walk is a surprisingly challenging trek. But for your effort, you will be rewarded with stunning views.

For any walker seeking points of interest to stop and admire, the bay here has two Napoleonic forts (Palmerston’s Follies) with a number of shacks along the way. Cafes pop up along the route to help you refuel and save you from potentially rushing a naturally beautiful walk. The breathtaking views on offer across Plymouth, the Yealm Estuary and the Mewstone make it well worth the effort.

Rinsey

2.8 miles

Rinsey is a coastal walk occasionally winding inland, depending on which route you take. Explore the area’s rich mining heritage on this spectacular route. The views are unmissable on a visit to Cornwall

Rinsey coastal walk

Three old engine houses hold the esteemed World Heritage status on this route, where rare plants line the paths. Look out to sea to spot Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles. From the cliffs you may be fortunate enough to see dolphins playing in the bays, while inland, ponies can be found grazing. If you continue on towards Penzance the views of St Michael’s Mount are striking. 

Best pub walks in Cornwall

Blisland – Newton Downs

4.3 miles

The little cluster of granite houses in the village of Blisland gravitate around its namesake pub, the Blisland Inn, and the pretty village green. Situated on the legendary hills of Bodmin Moor, this area is steeped in mystery.

Here you can fully engage with the history and tradition of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago with a comfortable four and a half mile circular walk. Starting at the pub, the route passes a medieval church before reaching Lavethan Valley. Admire the rugged landscape of the Trehudreth Downs and Newton Downs before returning to the pub for a hearty meal and a pint of local ale

St. Keverne – Porthallow

5 miles

Set back from the Lizard coastline, St Keverne is a tight-knit community that as stood for centuries. The village revolves around the square and its two pubs, one of which, The White Hart, is the start and finish to this walk.

A five mile walk takes you through unspoilt woodland and valleys snaking down to the shingle coves on the coast. You begin by taking the footpath from the church which is opposite of the square and head towards Porthoustock. The South West Coast Path leads you over fields and meadows towards Porthallow, with detours coaxing you to Porthkerris.

Image Credit: Ed Webster Tim Green Tim Green