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Padstow to St Ives - South West Coast Path Holidays


The iconic ruins of the Wheal Coates engine house perched on cliffs on the Cornwall coast at St Agnes

66 miles of North Cornwall’s best beaches and coves along the South West Coast Path UK National Trail

CLICK HERE to view a short video covering the stunning North Cornwall Coast Path scenery on this route.

Trail Introduction and Overview

bedruthan steps Cornish Coastal Path Walking Holiday UK Trekking RoutesTravel along the Cornish Coast Path on a magnificent journey to St Ives wandering white glistening sands lapped by turquoise blue seas and backed by pristine unspoilt dunes, a seemingly endless run of some of the finest, longest and most golden beaches in the West Country.

Sand and surf may be a recurring feature but this route brings you much more,  breaking out of the beaches into dramatic rocky headlands,  tortured cliffs, deep sea caves and fantastic rocky stacks and arches as you travel Cornwall’s Atlantic Coastline.  

The history of human habitation travels with you as you pass Bronze Age cliff top castles, hermit’s caves, abandoned mines, holy wells and smugglers coves.

Chapel Porth Mine South West Coast Path Walking Holiday on the UK National TrailFrom a historical angle this section offers an immersion into Cornwall’s proud and wild industrial past. In the St Agnes area alone over 100 mines clung to the cliff top and bored their holes out to sea in their heyday.

Today you are left to stumble across the abandoned engine houses and ghostly chimneys that dot the landscape along the path and add to the atmospheric backdrop of the walking. Smuggling tales and Cornish Legends enrich the locations on route as you pass the likes of Hells Mouth, Stinking Hole and Deadman’s Cove all testimony to the shipwrecks and free trade that was practised in these parts.

On hot days lizards bask in the ruined engine houses and adders and slow worms enjoy the sunshine in the rolling cliff lands. Keep your eyes open and you will spot an array of butterflies, moths and dragon flies in the dunes and marshes. Out at sea grey seals are a common sight and there is always the chance of spotting a basking shark from high up on the cliffs whilst the rocky headlands and islands are the home of Peregrine Falcons, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars and occasional oystercatchers and puffins.

Grey Seal Cornish Coast Path Walking HolidayThe Cornish Coast Path takes you through all this on an ever undulating trail carpeted with meadow flowers, purple heather and yellow gorse. Varied walking throughout, sometimes on the cliffs high above the crashing Atlantic rollers then down at sea level picking your way through superbly isolated and undamaged sand dunes or dodging the surf as you cross stunning sandy bays. You will climb and descend into hidden coombes and coves, each bay and panorama seeming to be better than the last.

This section of path is less strenuous than the far west of Cornwall on a route graded as moderate walking but be assured it is still challenging enough in places and you are guaranteed to get plenty of undisturbed coastal isolation along the trail. At night you will rest in the handful of idyllic little fishing harbours or the larger habitations such as Newquay, Padstow and St Ives with their excellent restaurants and bars geared up and ready to welcome the weary walker. 

Surfing and Walking on the SW Coast Path Padstow to St Ives route

If you want more than just walking en route you can surf the legendry Cribber Wave at Newquay, take a day out to Cycle the Camel Trail , race sand yachts or try kite surfing, eat world class food at Rick Steins restaurants, bathe in 18C seawater rock pools or take a torch into a sea cave to find a holy water grotto. For the rest of us we can look forward to 66 miles of stupendous coastal panorama and drama, to splendid isolation on a path which will rejuvenate all those who follow its golden trail from the calm of the Camel Estuary along the northern edge of Cornwall to end in the culture and art of St Ives.


Short Video of sections of the North Cornwall Coast Path to St Ives



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