Discover challenging and dramatic walking trails shaped by the footsteps of traders, smugglers, saints and pirates. Cornish walking trails will reveal ancient tin mines, clifftop castles, timeless fishing villages and wild moors as you travel through a landscape of huge cliffs and hidden coves that goes back to the depths of time itself. In between the coastal drama, iconic harbours such as St Ives and Padstow give walkers access to some of the UK‘s best restaurants and coastal hotels. A county encircled by the wild Atlantic ocean, there is over 330 miles of spectacular world class coast path here taking you around the farthest corners of England - put simply it feels like walking on the edge of the world.
Stretching from coast to coast across the southwest of England, Devon is a richly diverse county with rugged shores and cliffs in the north, and classic Victorian seaside resorts in the south. In between you'll find tranquil green pastures, wooded gorges and the two dramatic wild moors in the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Choose Devon for its walking variety, and you'll find that the popular image of cream teas and thatched cottages is true - but that Devon is so much more once you explore it on two feet. Coast to coast routes like the Two Moors Way will offer a journey through it all from the wild northern shores that inspired the Romantic poets to the maritime ports of the south coast.
Free your soul and clear your mind! Walking on the wild moors of these National Parks is a wonderful antidote to modern living. England's last true wilderness, Dartmoor offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom with high moors and twisted dramatic granite tors a land of myths, ghosts and legends. Exmoor, its smaller and more gentle neighour, is 250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, with high uplands swathed in heather and steep, wooded gorges and rushing streams. See Dartmoor ponies and Exmoor stags in these wildlife rich areas, home to 30 species of mammals and over 240 types of bird. The moors offer a unique opportunity for more challenging walking where the only human sound you will hear is the rhythm of your own breath.
Avoid the crowds and discover “Secret Somerset” missed by so many rushing headlong for the far South West. The 'land of the summer people' was named in a time when this area could only be visited in the summer months as the sea receded. Today its a rich, fertile and 'for real' landscape crowned by the fine walking ridges of the Mendip and Quantock Hills both protected areas of outstanding natural beauty. Rising up over King Arthur‘s Vale of Avalon along with the magical Tor at Glastonbury, walkers will find hidden gorges, wooded combes and the best inland panoramas of the South West. Also boasting its own Jurassic Coast Path, providing a gateway into the wilds of Exmoor National Park, Somerset offers walking routes without the crowds for those who want to find..... what the rest miss.
Dorset has a comfortable old world “English” feel to it and its walking routes traverse a rather more green and agricultural land of thatched cottages, cream teas.... and fossils ! Walkers here will find the more gentle rolling farmland, pretty villages and chalk ridges beloved by Thomas Hardy that sweep down to end abruptly at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Here, alongside the sea, those after more challenging routes can take a walking holiday through time itself amongst the dramatic chalk stacks, cliffs and arches of the Dorsetshire fossil coast. An area that can be very busy in high season but often suits walkers looking for more gentle and less exposed walking than the far west of the region.
Wales offers some of the best walking and outdoor activities to be had anywhere in the world. The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path was only fully opened in 2012 and is the world's first walk along the entire coast of a nation. The terrain is on an equally grand scale with towering cliffs, vast stretches of unspoilt golden sands, imposing castles, offshore islands and to the north there is the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park with its stunning mountains. Wales in general offers walkers great value for money compared to more popular areas like Cornwall with walking options to suit everyone, from those who want the cosmopolitan restaurants and facilities of towns like Tenby and St Davids, through to isolated and remote forests and coastal hills that sit on the very cusp of the Snowdonian Peaks. Bursting with confidence and pride in its “Welshness”, its Celtic history, language and culture there has never been a better time for walkers to enter Wales.
The South West Coast Path is the UK's longest National Trail and one of the top ten walking routes in the world. It snakes, dips and rises continuously on its way through a staggering 1014km (630 miles) of pristine coastline, 450 miles of which is through nationally protected areas. It's a challenge too; walking the entire South West Coast Path is the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest four times! From towering cliffs to hidden coves, ghostly tin mines to lush subtropical wooded creeks. One minute a dramatic rock theatre hewn out of the cliffs, the next a prehistoric fossilized forest or a 20thC Art Deco Island Hotel. What sets The South West Coast Path apart from other trails is that around almost every corner is yet another surprise as you retrace the footsteps and histories of the tin miners, fisherman, smugglers, wreckers and the customs men who chased them.
With our offices based just 2 miles off the Saints Way route in the village of Lerryn, this is our home territory and our local long distnce path - all our staff have walked and love this route and so you be assured that we know all the options, the highlights and the "do not miss" detours on the way.
We can provide whatever you need to get the most out of The Saints Way starting with a tailor made itinerary to suit your requirements. From sourcing and booking your accommodation, (be it B&B’s in Lanivet or 4 star hotels in Fowey), to providing detailed path notes and maps. We can also provide public transport or parking information and arrange transfers back to your car or to and from the mainline stations as well as the all important luggage transfers so you can walk without your packs.
More information and examples of these walking grades
There are no fixed departure dates and you can travel any day subject to availability of accommodation, walking the route in 2 longer or 3 short days. Walking unescorted from location to location you have the freedom to set your own pace and the option to build in extra days for further exploring or relaxing!
For fit and active walkers we strongly recommend walking the Saints Way over 2 days. Whilst the mileage may seem long at 15 and 13 miles the walking grade is easy with only a few moderate climbs.
The trail does not have the endless ups and downs of the South West Coast Path and therefore the distances of around 15 miles here are equal in effort to the 10 -12 miles walkers will normally undertake on the harder coastal routes.
The countryside is superb, unspoilt and for Cornwall relatively remote in that there is virtually no habitation en route and no larger villages or towns to explore. This makes the two day route (around six hours walking on day 1 and five hours on day 2) about right as you don’t want to arrive early on this route as the overnight stops are in very small settlements.
For walkers looking for a more relaxed break The Saints Way from Padstow to Fowey can be walked over 3 shorter days of around 10 miles a day. We recommend it this option for those who have concerns about their fitness or walking ability, are not experienced walkers and don’t think they can manage to walk for 5 or 6 hours in a day.
An extra day allows you to walk the "missing" section of the Saints Way that you did not do on your way to Fowey (western or eastern leg). The Eastern and Western legs are very different and doing both allows you to experience the full route missing nothing and offers the greatest variety. We can accommodate this with 2 nights in Fowey and a transfer back to Helmans Tor on your final day to complete the section you have not covered on your coast to coast walk.
The Saints Way does use a higher percentage of back lanes than the South West Coast Path – mainly through necessity in some remote places but also to link some of the roadside Celtic crosses on route. If you don’t want to walk on any lanes or back roads then its best to avoid this route and stick to the South West Coast Path which rarely ventures onto any tarmac.
However the lanes that are used on The Saints Way are very quiet and scenic in their own right (a riot of flowers in the spring) and also make the mileage a lot more manageable as those sections are fast and easy walking. For an honest appraisal of the route call the office for a chat – we we have led guided and unguided trips across the route more times than we could recall – this is one route for which we are without doubt the local knowledge experts.
It is possible to take a dog on this route with a bit or reworking ! Sadly accommodation that is dog friendly in Lanivet and Withiel on the standard overnight stages currently just does not exist.
However we have another good inn option nearer Padstow just off the route that allows the route to be walked with a dog over 3 days. There are a couple of dog friendly options in Padstow and Fowey and the chance for more walking at either end if you want it. With minimal options in dog friendly accommodation you should try to be flexible with dates or book early but for those who want to bring their four legged friend Coast to Coast - we can help.
The Saints Way is a perfect link for those wanting to build a weeks walking with a few days on the North Cornwall Coast Path and the South Cornish Coast Path. A stunning walk encompassing all this could see you starting at Mevagissey on the South Coast, using the Saints Way to link to Padstow and then heading along the wild north coast to reach Tintagel or Boscastle. Six or seven days walking taking your thorough every landscape in Mid and Coastal Cornwall along with an unrivalled run of desirable and fascinating harbour town overnights at Fowey, Mevagissey, Padstow, Tintagel, Port Isaac and Boscastle.
There are many more posibilities of course with the South West Coast Path stretching West on from Padstow through Newquay to St Ives OR Eastwards from Fowey via Looe to Plymouth. Contact the office for ideas, suggestions and quotes for longer routes to add to your Cornwall coast to coast walk.
For those arriving in Fowey rather than leave early on departure day we include details for the Hall Walk. A stunning 4 mile walk around the natural harbour area including Polruan and the inland creek of Pont Pill. The walk is one of Cornwall’s Classics and uses two tiny ferries to cross the harbour and creeks along with a short circular walk that gives the best views of the area. Its royal pedigree goes back to Charles 1st who escaped to the coast by this route and was shot at from Fowey as he passed down the creeks which were the locations for much of the writer Daphne du Maurier's work. If you do one extra short walk in Cornwall it should be this one and if you don't rush off from Fowey we can help you add it to the Saints Way.
For very large groups we have some excellent 4* graded study centre accommodation mid way right on the route and we regularly undertake groups of between 10 and 20 persons managing your transfers to and from the start and end of the trail every day and adding in any extra days / canoeing trips to boot. The accommodation is excellent value providing meals on site and ensuite rooms and dorms at a much reduced price from using hotels and B&B’s. Perfect for walking clubs, groups of families and friends and those looking to keep costs to a minimum without missing out on the walking. See our Group Walking Page for more info on how we look after groups and keep your costs to a minimum and then contact us to discuss The Saints Way option.
Canoeing (Fowey) For those wanting something more active take a morning canoe trip on the river Fowey with Encounter Cornwall guiding you on gentle paddles through the creeks and woodlands of the upper estuary to tiny Lerryn. This is the best way to see the wildlife and access parts of the river that even you walkers can’t get to.
Cycling (Padstow) In Padstow if you take an extra day its easy to hire bikes and strike out on the Camel Trail, the regions premier off road, traffic free cycle trail. With up to 30 miles of route along an old railway line you get the views without the hills or the traffic. Pedal to Wadebridge or Bodmin and return to Padstow alongside the Camel Estuary perhaps with a stop at the Camel Vineyard on route. Bike hire is around £10- £15 for the day and just add an extra night in your Padstow Accommodation.
The Eden project is only around 1 mile from the western edge of the Saints Way, its a large site so we don’t recommend trying to fit it in on the longer second day of the Saints Way but it can easily be visited with a rest day OR a third day option with a morning visit to Eden and the afternoon walking back to Fowey on the Saints Way Western route as outlined above. Failing that its possible to visit on your arrival or departure day.
Ask us for the options on how to fit Eden in to your plans.
For those staying in Fowey the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Mevagissey can be reached from Fowey by boat and foot on the excellent daily ferry service that runs across St Austell Bay. Once you arrive in Mevagissey its a very easy 3 mile circular walk to get to and from the Gardens (or you can catch a bus) and an excellent way to visit - basking sharks and dolphins are spotted every year on the ferry over.
Map of all
Go to top
Go to top
Company Registered in England No: 8227323
VAT Registration No: 138 8656 68