Coastal walks in Cornwall

Coastal, Walking

Posted by Kate W on 1st September 2020

Picture yourself striding out along the dramatic Cornish coast, taking in fantastic panoramas and the delightful scent of the salty ocean, and you’ll soon realise there is nowhere quite like this south-western county when it comes to walking holidays.

With the South West Coast Path looping around Cornwall’s entire coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choice! We’ve put together what we consider to be some of the best coastal walks in Cornwall, so you can quickly and easily pick your favourite before you travel.

Begin planning your trails by reading through our selection of coast path walks in Cornwall below or head straight over to our holiday cottages in Cornwall and book yourself a wonderful South West retreat.

Cornwall coastal cottages

1. The Lizard coastal walk

A National Trust coast walk in Cornwall with exquisite views

This peninsula is a local favourite with walkers, known for its rare wildflowers and rugged cliffs. Follow this National Trust coastal walk in Cornwall for a day out seeing the best of the South West Coast Path. The National Trust has lots of beautiful spaces in Cornwall for you to explore but this is one of our favourites for its remote atmosphere and secret coves; the serene shoreline of Kynance Cove is certainly worth a visit. Step out on this National Trust walk for an excellent view and natural beauty. 

Start and end: Kynance Cove

Distance: 7 miles

Difficulty: Challenging

Facilities: Kynance Cove has a café, car park and toilets. You’ll pass through the village of Lizard during your walk which has great places to eat and a post office.

Cottages on the Lizard

2. Perranporth to Trevellas Circular Walk

Pass the beach on this circular coastal walk in Cornwall

If you’re keen to try a Perranporth walk in Cornwall – it’s a particularly stunning corner of the country, after all – then roam along this Perranporth to Trevella Circular Walk. Quite possibly one of the best beach walks in Cornwall, Perranporth Beach is a sandy stretch of coast in North Cornwall with cliff stacks and cafes to enjoy after you’ve discovered every inch of this circular coastal trail.

Start and end: Perranporth

Distance: 5.4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: Perranporth is a town bursting with facilities from places to eat out to shops where you can pick up supplies to take back to your cottage after your coastal adventure.

Cottages in Perranporth

3. St Just in Roseland to St Mawes

Explore the Roseland Peninsula on a serene woodland walk in Cornwall 

Anyone who enjoys soaking up the sights of the classic English countryside will enjoy this circular walk in Cornwall from St Just in Roseland to St Mawes. These two destinations sit on the tranquil Roseland Peninsula from which you can take in views of Falmouth just across the estuary from St Mawes and watch boats and yachts bob about in the water. End your seaside stroll with a visit to English Heritage-managed St Mawes Castle.

Start and end: St Just in Roseland to St Mawes

Distance: 6.1 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: St Just in Roseland has a delightful tea room where you could pick up a traditional Cornish cream tea, while along the waterfront in St Mawes there are shops and cafes, and there are even gardens to the west of the village you may like to visit.

Cottages in Roseland

4. Gorran Haven to Mevagissey

End your stroll at the stylish Harbour Tavern on this pub walk in Cornwall 

After a day out and about, a tasty pub lunch is well earned and the wonderful Harbour Tavern, Mevagissey, is a delightful place for a pint while taking in views of this fishing village’s pretty harbour. Discover the sandy shores of Great Perhaver Beach in Gorran Haven and soak up the coastal vistas from Chapel Point to the south of St Austell Bay.

Start and end: Gorran Haven Beach to Mevagissey

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: There are a couple of cafes and a chip shop in Gorran Haven, as well as two beautiful beaches, while Mevagissey has plenty of pubs and shops. Mevagissey Harbour is a highlight while the renowned Lost Gardens of Heligan attraction is just 3 miles outside of the village.

Cottages in Mevagissey

5. Whitsand Bay Circular Walk

Stroll across gleaming white sands on one of the best beach walks in Cornwall

Take the long trail or choose the short cut during your stroll along this National Trust coast walk in South Cornwall; it’s less than 20 miles from the city of Plymouth so you could enjoy peaceful coastal trails and city days out in this region. Whitsand Bay is a bit of a hidden gem with important wildlife habitats including wetlands and a natural reservoir to see. The beach itself offers 3 miles of sand with rockpools dotted about the beach and some fantastic surf.

Start and end: Freathy Farmers Field Car Park

Distance: 6.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: There are few facilities in Freathy and Whitsand Bay, although over in Millbrook (2.5 miles) there are cosy pubs and shops you can stop by.

Cottages in Whitsand Bay

6. Trewarmett to Tregardock

A secret gem that’s just the place for a quiet walk in Cornwall

Get away from the crowds by exploring Trebewith Valley along this circular walk in Cornwall and come across beautiful natural spaces as you meander through the countryside and along the coast. Tregardock Beach Waterfall is a spectacular sight at the end of this trail where water tumbles over the mouth of a cave and down onto the sandy beach below, a real treasure for explorers and photographers.

Start and end: A car park and old slate quarry called Jeffrey’s Pit.

Distance: 5.9 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

Facilities: There’s a pub nearby, while more facilities can be found 2 miles away at Tintagel village.

Cottages in Delabole

7. Rinsey Walk

One of Cornwall's best historical walks with old engine houses to pass by

Uncover Cornwall’s rich mining heritage on this National Trust coast walk with three old engine houses with World Heritage Site status to see on your visit. You may also glimpse a range of wildlife as you follow this circular walk in Cornwall, such as ponies, choughs and even dolphins out in the water.

Start and end: Rinsey Car Park

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Facilities: There are limited facilities in Rinsey; we’d recommend stopping at Praa Sands or Porthleven (both 3 miles) to pick up supplies.

Cottages in Praa Sands

8. Hawkers Cove to Stepper Point

One of the top accessible walks in Cornwall with stunning views  

If you are travelling with a wheelchair or have limited mobility, this fantastic walk in North Cornwall offers breathtaking views out to sea and of the Camel Estuary. The South West Coast Path passes through here with uneven terrain but you can also take your pick of two other fairly smooth, firm paths from the peaceful hamlet of Lellizzick out to magnificent Stepper Point.

Start and end: Lellizzick to Stepper Point

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Accessible

Facilities: There’s a tea room in Lellizzick but we’d recommend heading into Padstow (3 miles) for more facilities.

Cottages in Padstow

9. Godrevy to Hell’s Mouth coastal walk

An impressive and dramatic coastal trail for wonderful winter walks in Cornwall 

Godrevy Point in St Ives Bay is a beautiful destination year-round but it becomes even more magical in winter. With the crowds long gone and the early morning frost glistening across the landscape, wrap up warm and make your way through the dunes up to cliff tops for unforgettable views. On reaching Hell's Mouth, you’ll get to see the full force of the waves that have wrecked many ships over the centuries.

Start and end: Godrevy National Trust Car Park

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Facilities: There are two beaches and plenty of places to eat at Godrevy, while there’s one stylish kitchen/bar over by Hell’s Mouth. The cultural hub of St Ives is 12 miles away while Camborne is 6 miles.  

Cottages in St Ives

10. Tintagel Walk

A family-friendly walk where children can hear about knights of old 

Kids will be in awe of this ancient castle filled with tales of King Arthur and Merlin, and you can even climb down to the small beach below the fortress at low tide to see if you can spot Merlin in his cave. Pop into Tintagel village after exploring this legendary location for a bite and to discuss this impressive and ancient family attraction.

Start and end: Tintagel Forestreet

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Moderate (if you decide to pop down to the beach, the steps are pretty steep!)

Facilities: There are car parks, shops and pubs in Tintagel village.

Cottages in Tintagel

Discover these coastal walks in Cornwall on a map:

Need more inspiration?

There’s so much to see and do all around this beautiful county renowned for its impressive coast; you’ll soon the perfect route for you on your break. Whether you choose to follow one of our routes in this blog or strike out on your own along the coastal path to see where it takes you, Cornwall will amaze with its unbeatable scenery.

Find a holiday cottage in Cornwall by the coast so you can go walking along the South West Coast Path whenever the mood takes you; we have a wonderful collection for you to browse through.

Cornwall coastal cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.