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The Saints Way

The Saints Way Walking Route Options

What we offer on The Saints Way and why we are the best at it !

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.

The Saints Way route profile

The Saints Way route profile

Grade of Walking

More information and examples of these walking grades

The Saints Way bar chart

  Standard / Fast Route   
Day 1 Padstow to Lanivet - 15 miles More Details
Day 2 Lanivet to Fowey - 13 miles - Eastern or Western Leg More Details
  Depart Fowey or walk the West Leg of the Saints Way from Helmans Tor - 11.5 miles More Details
  Daily Average 14 miles  
  Relaxed Route  
Day 1 Padstow to Withiel - 10 miles More Details
Day 2 Withiel to Lanlivery / Lostwithiel - 10 miles Eastern Leg More Details
Day 3 Lanivery to Fowey - 8 miles More Details
  Depart Fowey or walk West leg of the Saints Way from Helmans Tor - 11.5 miles More Details
  Daily Average 9.3 miles  

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!

Things to Consider for those walking the Saints Way.

Number of Walking Days

River Fowey Estuary on The Saints Way Walking Holiday Cornwall UK

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.

Extra Walking Day to complete the full route -

Helmans Tor near Bodmin on The Saints Way Walk from Padstow to Fowey

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.

Terrain on the Saints Way 

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. 

Saints Way Walk near Little Petherick Creek UK Walking Holidays CornwallHowever 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.

The Saints Way with a dog

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.

Longer Walk Options combining the Saints Way and South West Coast Path

South West Coastal Path option at the end of The Saints Way Footpath

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.

The Hall Walk (Fowey)

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.

Large Groups and the Saints Way

Saints Way Walk from Padstow a coast to coast walk in Cornwall UK

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.

Other Saints Way Options

Kayakers on the River Fowey Saints Way Route in Cornwall UKCanoeing (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.

Eden and The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Saints Way Group Walk UK Trekking and Hiking Tour in Cornwall

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.

   

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