South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is a spectacular long-distance walking route that unfurls along the coastline of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset.

Stretching over an impressive 630 miles, it is the longest National Trail in the UK, offering some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the country.

The path navigates rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, wooded estuaries, and quaint fishing villages, providing an unparalleled walking experience that attracts ramblers, nature lovers, and adventure seekers from all over the world.

Discovering The South West Coast Path in Cornwall

Cornwall’s section of the South West Coast Path is renowned for its dramatic landscapes, historical landmarks, and diverse wildlife.

It encompasses everything from the mystical legends of Tintagel, associated with King Arthur, to the artistic haven of St Ives, and the serene beauty of the Lizard Peninsula, the southernmost point of the British mainland.

Highlights of The South West Coast Path in Cornwall

Land’s End: The most westerly point of mainland England, offering stunning views and dramatic cliff-top walks.

St Ives to Zennor: A challenging but rewarding stretch that features rugged coastlines and offers the chance to spot seals and dolphins.

The Lizard Peninsula: Discover unique geology, rare flora, and serene coves along this picturesque part of the path.

Porthcurno to Penzance: Pass by the iconic Minack Theatre and enjoy spectacular views of St Michael’s Mount.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The path is accessible at numerous points along the Cornish coast, with major towns and villages providing good access points and public transport links.

For those travelling by car, there are parking facilities near many sections of the path, though it’s advisable to arrive early during peak times to secure a spot.

Walking the Path

The South West Coast Path is well-signed and maintained, but its terrain can vary significantly.

Some sections are challenging and rugged, requiring a good level of fitness, while others are more gentle and suitable for casual walkers.

It’s possible to tackle the path in shorter sections or embark on longer treks, with accommodation and camping sites available along the route.

What to Bring

Appropriate Footwear: Durable walking boots or shoes are essential, as the terrain can be uneven and rocky.

Weather-Appropriate Clothing: The weather can change quickly along the coast, so layered clothing and waterproofs are recommended.

Navigation Aids: While the path is well-marked, carrying a map, compass, or GPS device is advisable for longer or more remote sections.

Food and Water: There are many places to eat along the path, but carrying water and snacks is important, especially on less populated stretches.

Maximising Your Experience

Wildlife Watching: The Cornwall coast is rich in wildlife. Bring binoculars for birdwatching and keep an eye out for marine life.

Photography: The path offers endless opportunities for photography, from dramatic seascapes to detailed close-ups of plants and insects.

Cultural and Historical Sites: Explore the heritage of Cornwall’s coast, visiting ancient ruins, mining heritage sites, and picturesque harbours.

Tips for Your Visit

Plan Your Route: Decide on the sections you want to explore and plan accordingly, considering your fitness level and interests.

Check the Tides: Some parts of the path can be affected by high tides, so it’s worth checking tide times, especially if planning to visit beaches along the way.

Respect the Environment: Stick to the marked paths to protect the fragile coastal ecosystem and take litter home.

Nearby Attractions

Tintagel Castle: Legendary birthplace of King Arthur, offering dramatic views and a rich history.

Minack Theatre: An open-air theatre set into the cliffs, providing a unique setting for performances with the ocean as a backdrop.

St Michael’s Mount: A tidal island with a medieval church and castle, accessible by foot at low tide or by boat.


The South West Coast Path in Cornwall offers an unforgettable walking experience, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse wildlife.

Whether you’re embarking on a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the path provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature, discover hidden gems, and experience the rugged beauty of Cornwall’s coastline.

With careful planning and respect for the natural environment, your journey along the South West Coast Path is sure to be an adventure that stays with you for a lifetime.