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.
31st January 2023 - We are currently processing a large number of returning customer bookings for 2023 season and this means we are not working on any new customer enquiries at this moment. We will review this again in the middle of February so please check back with us at that point when we are confident we will have got through the backlog.
Would you choose Encounter Walking Holidays for future holidays? Yes
Would you recommend Encounter Walking Holidays to others? Yes
Dear Ellie - We had a wonderful time and really embraced what the weather threw at us! It was an adventure that we will treasure for many years to come.
Thank you so much for arranging everything and it was a real pleasure to book with yourself and your colleagues at Encounter Walking Holidays.
Kind Regards, Ian and Lauren
Thanks for a wonderful walk. Great choice of accommodation, luggage transfer perfect, scenery breathtaking, etc.
An experience I'd like to share, though, as it might be useful to other walkers : On day five of our trip - from Cadgwith to Porthallow, we found it was easy to get lost - as indeed we did. After a place called Shag Rock, as the acorn path has been mingling for a while with the "coastal path", if you miss the place you are supposed to sway left you find yourself in Loggan Point... and realize too late that you should never have been there.
We tried to resume our itinerary, making our way through a stock of cows reluctant to let us through, looking for an acorn symbol that seemed to have vanished. Found ourselves in the coutyard of a bad tempered holiday maker who grabbed us by the arm to show us the way out...
By then, and according to the map, we deemed to be in Rosenithon. Further up the road the acorn we had been looking for suddenly made an apperance, and we thought we were saved.
Not so. A place calle Porthoustock had yet a few tricks of its own, as the acorn played hide and seek along an unlikely path that finally left us on the road by the "Fat Apple Café". We were almost there.
The trick is not to get mixed up with the coastal path, and stick to the "acorn" at all costs - even if it is sometimes malicious.
Well organised as usual. Instructions about each section of the walk and where to eat were excellent as was the OS map of our route. A lovely part of the SW Coast path and well signposted- we only got lost once which was around Caerhays castle where the signposting is poor. Accommodation in Coverack and Falmouth brilliant. B&B in Portloe tired but I guess there isn't much choice there. Luggage transfer excellent too. Well done Encounter Walking
We walked from Penzance to Falmouth during the last week of September 2018 and enjoyed it immensely. We were extremely lucky with the weather - sunny and mild most days. We were often walking in short sleeves and shorts, and we only needed the rain jackets while walking around Falmouth on the last day.
We loved the range of scenery, from wild to cultivated, from clifftop to beach, and urban to rural. The transportation, luggage, and lodging accommodations all worked perfectly. So nice to find your luggage waiting at the end of the day, and wonderful to start the day with a full breakfast.
For details and photos of our trip, check out the blog I wrote for friends and family at: spruceknobtravel.wordpress.com We found most days to be well-balanced in terms of distance and difficulty. However, the two 15-mile days were less enjoyable (mainly at the end of the day). It may not look like much extra on paper, but when you have to walk extra miles to get to the inn, they add up. Detours and diversions also add to the day's fatigue, as do the number of ups and downs from cliff to cove and back. Also, depending on location, you may have to walk another mile or two round trip to get dinner at the end of the day. Be cautious when planning the trip. A shorter mileage means more time to stop and enjoy along the way. It was hard to know in advance how difficult the walking would be. We are newly retired and quite fit. In preparation, along with our normal activities we took weekly hikes. Being in Vermont, this typically meant three miles up a mountain and then three miles down! So the altitude changes on the coastal path were not alarming to us, but the long days did wear out our legs and feet. (We are glad to report no blisters!) Overall, we would have called the "moderate" parts easy, and the "strenuous" parts manageable.
It was very important to have both the guidebook and the map. But we were especially grateful to also have a good hiking app on the mobile phone, which saved us from taking the wrong trail many times. The coastal path is well-signed in some places and not in others. There were multiple times when it was easy to lose the trail or follow the wrong trail. They could use some simple blazes at key places! However, dangerous areas were always well-marked.
FYI, a particularly unwelcome diversion from the expected trail was at Gillan, where you have to go a long ways up and then a long ways down simply to avoid a short bit of eroded harbourside trail.
We look forward to more walking holidays in the future!
I am grateful to the team at Encounter who managed the whole schedule and logistics so professionally and yet with a personal friendly approach. Thank you Damon for all your advice and guidance, and assistance with further bookings and travel arrangements beyond the walk.
This was a most memorable "slack-packing" hike, made so much easier and enjoyable having confidence that the best accommodation to our liking was all arranged ahead of us and we were sure to find our luggage waiting for us in our rooms. The rooms were mostly very comfortable with the exception of the size of some of the rooms that did not leave much space to move around in. All of them laid on excellent breakfast preparing us for the day's walk.
The recommended restaurants and pubs for our evening meals were always good. The cool Ale at the end of the day was well earned and particularly refreshing!
The coastal path is well laid out and mostly very clear signage. We seldom lost the path, but the Trailblazer guide book and the OS maps were very helpful in keeping us on the straight or helping us find the correct path when we erred.
The weather? Wow!! is that also arranged by Encounter? Because it was awesome. The previous week having been wet and stormy, we had the perfect one. This meant the views and scenery were spectacular, and there was always a cool breeze to keep the temperature at a steady 20 dogs C.
Our gratitude to Encounter Walking. We will certainly recommend you, and look forward to the next time we book.
Encounterwalking's planning and arrangements were all first class. They were able to tailor our requirements to allow for our age and level of fitness. Baggage transfers were always on time and a taxi was waiting for us at the end of our holiday. Accommodation was good especially Kota Restaurant in Porthleven and The Top House in Lizard Town. I would have no hesitation in recommending Encounterwalking to my friends in South Africa. Well done.
Many thanks to Prue, Damon and all the encounter team for another outstanding organisation of our second swc part. We challenged them with an unpredictable 3-day-off and they helped us through by even saving money. Once more their walking informations, the trailblazer and the map helped a lot to plan the tour. Whilst offline app maps me helped for navigation and Komoot for tracking the tours. 13 days of great hiking landscapes and accommodations. First of all Lugger Inn/Portloe: staff, room, shower(!), place, diner(!!!). Also remarkable: Wintara B&B/Bottallack, Houselbay Hotel/Lizard, Lerryn/Falmouth and St. Bernards/Newquay. Most impressive part around Kynance Cove, Bottallack to Porthcurno and around Gillian and Helford River. Several unattended sunburnts prouved: Hiking in september is a good choice.
Only remark in this area: the accommodations and pubs ruled by St. Austell Brewery where a bit disappointing. The places and rooms are perfect, but food (especially diners) quality is worth to look for alternatives.
We’re looking forward 2019 swc with encounter. Thank you ???? “
Many thanks for the perfect organisation of our walk. Everything - apart from my legs occasionally - worked magnificently. We are looking forward to doing our next walk in 2019.
Thanks for this Rich (if I may). We're just back from our holiday, which was very enjoyable in the main. The accommodation was all good, though we caught the Harbour Inn in Porthleven on a Saturday and the noise levels were quite high. There were no problems with the luggage. We managed some sections of the path but not others, the main issue not being the difficulty but the length. I suspect you're used to dealing with fitter hikers!
The only real issue I'd like to flag up is dogs. The path was pretty much awash with dogs, from start to finish, and given that my partner is scared of dogs this presented a massive problem. Dogs 'under control' clearly means different things to different people, and while most dog owners we encountered put their dogs back on the lead when asked, a couple were reluctant to do so and one owner insulted us. I like dogs myself (sometimes more than people!) but would strongly suggest that walking holidays on the South West Coast Path not be sold to anyone who doesn't like dogs, still less to anyone who is afraid of them. It's a sad but true fact that most dog owners simply don't understand that there are people who don't like dogs, and we saw little if any respect for recommendations and rules, including a few dogs running free on supposedly dog-free beaches and plenty running free on narrow clifftop trails.
Other than that, the holiday was good, as were the weather and the scenery. I would recommend your agency to other walkers, but with the caveats above.
A great thank you for a wonderful walk and the excellent organization, everything went smoothly. The accommodation facilities were well chosen. In particular we enjoyed the homelike B&Bs and the pubs associated to or located close to the accommodation.
Dear Encounter Team,
my friend Britta and I enjoyed our walk from Penzance to Falmouth hugely and are thoroughly enchanted! The path, the people, the great views, the accommodations...everything was simply lovely. We lost the way only once, just behind Praa Sands (map 76), where we couldn't find the sign "Rinsey 2 miles". Otherwise we had no problems on the trail.
I am very sure that this was only the first of many visits for me and that I'll be back requesting another quote quite soon. Thanks for everything so far!
P.S. we even saw basking sharks on the way, what luck!????
Wonderful walk along the Cornish Coast. Great combination of scenic beauty, interesting villages and fun pubs each night. Some of the days did get a bit long, but that was primarily due to hot and sunny weather that was unusual for the area. The organization of the trip was superb and it was very nice to have the bags transferred each day. The day to day text prepared by Encounter Walking Tours was very helpful. The book and detailed maps they provided were essential to making decisions from time to time. Don't be afraid to try the local ales, lagers, bitters and ciders in the pubs, they were a wonderful highlight each night. Food in this region is unique and very good ranging from simple fare to sophisticated and the people we met were very welcoming and fun. We both look forward to hiking in Cornwall in the future and look forward to working with Encounter Walking Holidays again.
This was our 2nd walk with Encounterwalking. Again perfect organisation, good information, good communication. The route was tailor made to our wishes. Good to very good accomodation. Blue sky throughout the whole week. As it got warmer and warmer and as we could not escape the sun we came to our limits and called a taxi on two occasions. Thank you for providing "telephone numbers for tired walkers"
The following tip may be helpful: the recommendation was to use the car park in Pensance. As we started in Marazion, we asked the parking attandents of St. Michael´s Mount parking. They allowed us to use the car park close to the village. It was even cheaper.
Rather annoying was that the path was in parts overgrown with grass, fern and other plants up the the breast and even higher (especially between Marazion and Porthleven and between Mawnan Smith and Helford Passage). These parts were very difficult and strenous to walk, especially as it was so hot, and one could hardly see the ground. Maybe Encounterwalking can use its influence and experience so that the cutting back of vegetation is done earlier (I have read the information on the coast path website but I think they can do better).
To sum it up: walking on the coast path is an unforgettable and wonderful experience (it was our 4th walk) especially when it is perfectly organised. Thank you, Damon!
I received an excellent service all round from Encounter Walking: they were so helpful, gave good advice and were accommodating of my specific requests through the entire planning and booking stages.
I'm something of a novice walker over long distances so wanted to take it easy, and I'd say this route is not too strenuous and doesn't require more than an average level of fitness.
The luggage transfers worked like a dream.
Encounter's notes on diversions were detailed and saved me from getting lost; it's really worth following them closely in conjunction with the OS map. The Dean Quarry diversion after Coverack would be tricky without such good notes to help (I met a French lady - not walking with Encounter's help - who'd ended up in St Keverne and had had to be given a lift to Porthallow by a helpful local resident). I did find the route around Gillan Creek a bit difficult: coast path signs are few and far between and often not easy to spot.
The Trailblazer map helped a little but didn't always resemble what I saw on the ground. I did get the sense that farmers didn't go out of their way to make it easy for walkers. I didn't expect to St Michael's Mount to be anything other than touristy but it is a wonderful place (not least because the St Aubyn family have kept the excesses of the NT in check), and I happily spent a whole day there. Also unexpected were the gardens at Trebah, and again I spent the whole day here: the beach can't be reached from the coast path, so if the weather is good, take swimming stuff: it is truly beautiful. It's certainly worth planning rest days with things like this in mind.
Best tea and ice cream and cake stop? The Fat Apples Cafe on the approach to Porthallow. The best beer? The Ship Inn Porthleven. Best G&T? Curio Rock Samphire Gin at the Polurrian Bay Hotel. Best kept secret? Rinsey Cove. Quirkiest place to stay? The Artists' Residence, Penzance. By complete chance, I ended up in Falmouth over the 2018 Sea Shanty Festival: fantastic (free) live music all over the town. What an atmosphere, and what a great way to end a great trip.
Dear everyone at Encounter Walking,
I just wanted to thank you for helping with the organisation of my retirement celebration walk along the Cornish coast. Everything worked extremely well, and the whole experience did just what I wanted it to do. The luggage transfers went smoothly, the accommodation was great, and all the info and notes you gave me with my itinerary were invaluable.
This was particularly true of the diversions. I met a couple of walkers who had got lost on those inland diversions either side of Coverack, and while I can't say that I didn't put a foot wrong, your pointers helped enormously and I (barely!) strayed from the path - all useful map reading practice anyway!
All of the diversions in my itinerary are still in place as you have described. The one near Loe Bar is a tad frustrating as judging by the OS map, the NT could make this a much shorter diversion if they so wished, but there is no indication that they plan to do this. That said, the diversion is well signposted and a beautiful walk in itself. The sign at the start of the diversion says that work will begin on the repair to the path at the beginning of July (with no indication of how long it is likely to take).
Encounter Walking: Glad to say the diversion here was removed on Sept 1st after a new section of trail was built to deal with the cliff fall. Walkers are now back on the original route with no detour !
Thanks once again. This walk has certainly inspired me in so many ways, and I have lost count of the number of people who have expressed a desire to do something similar.
Very best wishes,
Altogether, my six-day self-guided walking tour was a asuccess. I got good information material beforehand, the baggage transport worked well, and the accommodations including the breakfast were o.k. Some items, though, in the description of the way have to be improved.
In the day-by-day itinerary the text how to find the path from Porth Saxon to Mawnan Smith is misleading: when you come from Durgan and enter the beach of Porth Saxon, the boat shed is not at the end of the beach, but at the very beginning of the beach! Therefore I passed the branch-off and walked further on on the coast path. The description should tell, that the branch-off to Mawnan Smith begins at the gate where there is the round sign "Carwinion" of the National Trust!
The trailblazer handbook is very good, but it should be updated in the following regards: p221 Porthleven:The Top Chippy fish and chips is closed on sundays. Roland's Happy Plaice does no more exist , there is only a take-away of fish and chips. p.228 Mullion: the post office does no more exist. The Galleon fish and chips is closed on sundays and mondays. p.234 Cadgwith: The "Old Cellars" were closed when I came there on a tuesday's afternoon. p.255 Falmouth: The entry to Pendennis Castle costs 9.50 pounds, not 7.50. Map 100 is wrong, when you want to find the entry to Pendennis Castle. The acces is from the south, and not from the north! So I made a detour of 30 minutes. p.259: The price for fish and chips in "Harbour Lights" ist 10 pounds, not 5.
Encounter Walking - Thanks Christian - just to note on the Trailblazer Guidebooks these come out every 2-3 years and are updated with things like prices and eating options as of course these things change constantly - good news is that a new 6th Edition of the Guide being revised right now will be out in April 2019 and will be as up to date as it can be at that point
A hint for walkers that walk from Coverack to Porthoustock: The description in the Trailblazer handbook ist very useful. You have to ignore the big signs saying that the path along Dean Quarry is closed. Behind the quarry you don't find signs for the continuation of the coast path; you have to look for the wooden bridge off the beach.
The highlight with respect to human encounters was the warm-hearted reception by Bridget in the Wellmore End Cottage in Porthleven.
The highlight with respect to landscape was the walk around Lizard Point from Kynance Cove to Cadgwith.
A strange thing was the booking of the railway tickets from London Paddington to Penzance by internet WWW.GWR.COM . 10 weeks before the date of travel I wanted to buy a ticket and reserve a seat. It was not possible to reserve a seat, so it seemed that all the seats were booked out. In reality, when I enterd the train, there were many vacant seats, and after Reading the train was almost empty. The software of GWR is obviously faulty.
Encounter Walking - Train travel is complicated in the UK so do ask us for help if you are not sure. The train companies only release a pre set number of seats for advance purchase usually around 12 weeks before travel date. A lot are not passed over for advance booking to allow for people who just turn up on the day to get a seat - GWR have had issues with their online bookings this year which I am told they have now dealt with but you are very welcome to check with us for updates if you are struggling to use it and we will try to help
I'm originally from Scotland and have lived in Germany for over 30 years. Some German friends wanted to do part of the South West Coastal Path and would I, being the native speaker organise it. So I searched the web compared prices, itineraries, etc and decided on Encounter Walking, not the cheapest so a difficult decision for a Scotsman but I struck gold!!!! They are professional, well organised and very customer oriented. They even managed to get us good weather. Without exception we all had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you're thinking about doing one of these walking holidays and aren't really sure about who to go with, you've now found the right site.
I walked with 6 other women from various parts of the US to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of our group. What a great time we had! We did the "relaxed" route, with 6 days of walking and a rest day at Mawnan Smith near the Helford River.
The daily mileage was 7-12 miles, a good pace overall, rated mostly moderate, though the first day (Marazion to Porthleven) ended with about 6 miles of strenuous ups and downs that made us all wish we could simply walk straight across the fields to our destination. We all enjoyed some R&R and the ambience of Porthleven that night.
A mix of sun and clouds made for perfect walking weather all week, and the coastal scenery was spectacular--we especially loved the clifftop trails on the Lizard peninsula and beautiful Kynance Cove. The diversion (a.k.a. detour) that had been in place between Porthleven and Loe Bar had just been lifted, saving us the extra 2+ miles of walking on day 3, which was good news.
All the accommodations were good--favorites were the Cadgwith Cove Inn, Gold Martin B&B in Mawnan Smith, and the Lerryn Hotel in Falmouth. (Budock Vean near Helford, where some of us were lodged, was beautiful but a bit too stuffy for our tastes.)
Our rest day in the Helford area allowed us to visit the beautiful Trebah Garden, with its beautiful valley of blooming hydrangeas leading down to the sea. There we appreciated seeing the beach where American soldiers left for Omaha Beach on D-Day (including my father, who made the same crossing 4 days later).
Everyone we met during the walk was friendly and talkative, and many had handsome, well-behaved dogs who were a lively presence along the trail and the subject of many photos. (Each day I chose a Dog of the Day--lots of competition.) When we reached Falmouth early on day 7 we were glad to have time to enjoy the town scene but sorry that our walk was over. Thanks go to Damon and the others at Encounter for making this experience so positive. We all hope to do another leg someday and will definitely use the services of Encounter again.
I haven't told you how wonderful my trip was in May on the Southwest Coast path with my husband. The weather was magnificent, as well as the flowers, accommodation and all the people we met along the trail. Also, I want to let you know that the folks who did the luggage transfers were great. Never a slip up.
I did manage to gain four pounds in two weeks, even with all that walking!
I'm now looking forward to my trip with girlfriends in September on Dartmoor Way.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. It is our "Canada Day" here. We are celebrating 151 years since confederation. So young we are.
Thank You for putting together another good hike for me in May.
Just like last year, everything was put together very well and it was all laid out very smoothly, completely, and concisely.
The daily distances worked out well - although the 18 miles from Portreath to St. Ives was a loooong, hot day. I had not stopped for a break until I reached Hayle (12 miles) and from there on to St. Ives, although the path was nice and not difficult or strenuous, it just dragged on. All of the other daily distances seemed just right.
The Lodgings were all top notch and very nice. All were very comfortable, welcoming, and hospitable. It's hard to note any negatives about any of them. The Trelawne Hotel at Mawnan Smith was a bit off of the path and would have been very difficult to find if walking straight from the Helford Ferry
The SWCP was generally well marked from Padstow to Falmouth. I had some difficulty in spots during the first week finding the SWCP out of town in several places. A couple of times I found myself walking up a town road heading south on the pavement, when I should have taken a quick right turn after crossing a bridge and going on down to the beach. In two places, I lost the official marked path completely and just had to head in the general direction keeping the cliff or beach on my right.
The first of these areas was in the Gwithian Towans. After finding the path beyond the Godrevy Beach Cafe and Red Rivere, I was initially able to find and follow the large slate path markers; but then I lost them and for about the last two miles of dunes before Hayle, I was just finding my own path, keeping just generally southward until eventually I spied an acorn marker just outside of Hayle.
The other area where I was unable to find and stay on the "official' path was the area between Poldhu Point to Lizard Point. As noted in the guidebook, the trail there is indistinct. I found so many paths in that area, that it was impossible to find the "real" SWCP. I just continued on heading south (and towards the Lizard Light that I had seen from over an hour away.) and eventually re-connected with an acorn marker.
The diversions during the first week of my hike were all well marked and well-established. One or two of the newer ones were marked with orange plastic fencing. No problems in that area. However that wasn't always the case with the diversions during the second week of my hike, which were perhaps newer.
Diversion #1 near Loe Bar was well marked (except for one field vs road choice on the far eastern end of the diversion); but this diversion seemed MUCH longer than it needed to be. It seems that a much shorter detour/diversion could be had by cutting across the western edge of the first field above the diversion. If I understood correctly, that field and land is also owned by the National Trust and could be made available to hikers(?).
Between Porthleven and the Lizard:
Diversion #2 near Gunwalloe is not well marked. The initial diversion is marked alright, but there is no visible/obvious marking to show where to return to the SWCP above the diversion. I walked back and forth twice, along with a couple of other hikers, trying to find where to return to the trail. Eventually we walked uphill and well inland following the gravel road into the towns of Gunwalloe and Chyanvounder before I could regain the SWCP. It was very frustrating because I knew the trail should be somewhere below and seaward of me, but I just couldn't find the proper turnoff after the diversion. I was really tempted to just bushwack across a planted field to find the path where I felt sure it would be, but I didn't. I wasted well over a half hour and, maybe, a couple of extra miles of walking.
Between the Lizard and Coverack:
Diversion #1 (Devils Frying Pan to Cadgwith) is still there but is well marked and fenced with no problems.
Diversion #2 (west side of Coverack Village) is also still there but the markings are confusing, and the exact route of the path through the diversion is unclear, but in that area "all roads lead to Coverack", so you don't get lost although, you might not actually be on the official route.
Between Coverack and Helford Passage:
Diversion #1 by Dean Quarry is still there and well marked at the start and well inland. There is one spot just past Tregallast Barton where the path cuts diagonally across a field to shortcut to the 4-corner intersection that was not shown in your notes. After reaching well inland, in the fields, there are a couple of places where the diversion route isn't marked at road turns and/or intersections.
Between Helford Passage to Falmouth:
If I remember correctly there was an additional diversion after Durgan where the path was closed and diverted due to a crack in the ground in the path. The starting point of the diversion was well marked with the path leading up into the pasture fields. However, this was another instance where I was unable to find the "end" of the diversion. After going uphill through the fields, and attempting several small tracks to get back to the SWCP (each of which turned out to be cow paths through the bushes ending in impenetrable patches of briars and brambles) I never could find a path back to the SWCP.
Eventually, I backtracked back to the start of the diversion and walked past the closed gate blocking the path. I found "the crack" which was about 3 feet long under a rock along the trail.(Hmphh! it was hardly longer than the cracks that develop in our yards here during summer dry spells - and hardly worth a diversion at all.)
Between Hayle and St. Ives:
There is a route change near Carbis Bay, where the path does not cross over the railway where the guidebook map shows. Instead the path continues down the road to the hotel, crosses in front of the hotel, and then up and through the hotel's fenced and gated pool area, and out the back side before continuing on towards St. Ives.
The distance and time suggestions in the Trailblazer guide are not very realistic. As an example from Helford Passage to Falmouth (pg #250) it says: "The 10 miles (16km, 2-2-3/4 hours) to Falmouth......" I don't think many hikers - certainly not us mature, seasoned hikers - are going to be walking 4 to 5 mph! I think the time estimates in your notes are probably more comfortably accurate estimates and suggestions.
I noticed that "The Unicorn" in Porthowan is closed and the building is for sale.
It's interesting to note that on the night after I passed the Marconi Center at Poldhu Point, where Marconi did his thing with the radio in 1901, I couldn't get a cell-phone signal from Lizard Village in 2018!
And so that is what I can remember, offhand and with a few notes (I don't generally take notes during the day's hike, but wait until in the evening in my room so many things get forgotten.) I hope some of what I remember might be of use and value to you and other SWCP hikers.
Thanks, again, for a great trip.
Dear all at Encounterwalking,
Sorry I didn’t tell you how I got on as soon as I got home but the grass here was about a foot high and it take 3 hours to do even if only a normal trim.. so I was out doing it most of yesterday to beat today's rain.
I’ve been back through my walking notes, because, off hand, I cannot remember any problems with the route or navigation. It all went extremely smoothly. I walked the full diversion at The Loe..and then climbed up to see if a shorter version was possible. I can’t help thinking that all the new fencing and path grading that has got on, a quick diversion through the fields just behind the fall would suffice. I loved the warning notice which said THIS IS NOT A PLAYGROUND!
Your selection of B&Bs was absolutely spot-on. They were all very comfortable, they all did good breakfasts and they all had WiFi. All the landladies spoke very highly of Encounter..they appreciated your efficiency and prompt payments. They..and I, were also impressed with Luggage Transfers Southwest, who the B&B operators found helpful with pre-pick up telephone calls and general trustworthiness..to the point that many had left keys for the Transfer people to get in. Your whole team seems very competent. The briefings I received were excellent..including tide tables etc.
I was very lucky with the weather..rain on two days..but otherwise cool,but sunny.
All in all a very good walk..and I look forward to the next section in September.
Thank you and best wishes
My daughter and I took six days to do our walk and loved every step of the way.
We expected rain but had beautiful weather. The paths, however, were extremely muddy and it was often difficult to get through with thick thorny bush each side. Some of the detours were poorly marked but it didn’t matter if we took more time as we so enjoyed the process.
Apart from one night all the accommodation booked for us was quite pleasant. We really enjoyed staying at Chelsea House in Falmouth. Our hosts were charming.
Coming from Australia as the end of a nine week overseas trip, our every interaction with Encounter Walking (EW) was very positive and helpful, from the initial planning and modification of plans, to the quoting and payment, through early sending of maps and books for us and the flawless arrangements. Damon was consistently prompt, helpful and well-informed.
The choices of B&B were excellent and Rob who did the luggage transfers was quick and reliable. The only problems we had were with the state of the track and our feet - well beyond EW's control! The walk itself was a highlight of our trip. We drove to Falmouth (through melting snow drifts right into Cornwall which we were told repeatedly was the first snow in 40 years), left the hire car in a longstay carpark and took the train to St Ives, then Ace Cars to the B&B in the old town - EW's instructions were really useful!
We walked St. Michael's Way the next day. The OS map (both paper and on phone) were useful, but the instructions on britishpilgimage.org were so vague as to be useless. We then followed the SW Coast Path around the Lizard to Falmouth. Overall the hike was a good experience.
However a few issues:
1. We struggled with the mud. Being used to wide, sun-hardened paths, the narrow, deep and braided tracks took a while to get used to. It may be the time of year we walked the path but there were lots of muddy patches. Slogging through glutinous mud itself is not a problem - we don't mind getting dirty! - but it slowed us down considerably making walking distances difficult and the constant sliding sideways made my knees swollen and painful.
2. The moors on the cliffs between Mullion and Kynance were not just muddy, they were to all intents a vast bog, mostly under water with sticky clay underneath (reducing us at times to hopping from tussock to tussock even though our boots were soaked and we had long given up trying to keep our feet dry) so following the path is difficult. Admittedly it was raining quite hard at the time, but as that section is largely devoid of any signage, it was not surprising we lost our way! The descent into Gew-graze gorge is far from obvious in poor visibility and quite tricky stepping from one wet rock to another.
3. Due to the combination of the slow going, losing our way and the fact that there was a 2 1/2 mile diversion away from a cliff collapse before the Loe Bar, we did not complete the walk from Porthleven to the Lizard, taking a shortcut from Kynance Cove to Lizard village along the road despite walking 32km (20 miles) according to my Fitbit!
I'm highlighting these points only as a help for other walkers. Overall it was a great experience. The scenery was magnificent, I loved the bird and their calls and the positioning of the track so close to the sea is inspiring. The B&Bs were great - clean, well-equipped and with wonderful hosts. Special mention for Linda of Caerthillian who warmly welcomed two drowned rats on her doorstep, dried them (and their clothes and boots) and ensured they were okay and her husband, Austin, who gave great advice and a lift to the next B&B. Despite the difficulties we had, this walk is one would recommend. If doing it definitely go with Encounter Walking.
Our first organised walk and we weren't sure how it would all work! So we were very pleasantly surprised to find the organisation from Encounter was superb. Accommodation was always welcoming, comfortable and exceptional in places - our bags were always waiting which was the main thing (especially after soggy walking!). Once again the organisation was great and we were expected at the accommodation and very much welcomed. The level of documentation and detail on each day's walk was excellent and accurate - most comforting as we didn't know the area at all. All in all, the holiday was everything we wanted and we hope to do another section of the SWCP with Encounter next year.
A truly memorable week. We all greatly enjoyed it. It was a marvelous way to explore a great bit of the coast. Some days were more challenging than others but the distances (about 10 miles a day) were just about right for us with time to explore the many interesting places along the way and stop for coffee and cream teas. We always arrived at our destination in time to recover and relax before dinner. The organisation was excellent and many thanks to all at Encounter Walking. The instructions were comprehensive, the accommodation comfortable and welcoming and the baggage transfer worked flawlessly. The weather was very kind with plenty of sunshine and only one wet day (the last) and that could have been worse. Highly recommended.
The hike went well. All the accommodations were great, the weather was better than expected - only one day where we had about 4 hours of driving wind and rain and apart from that, the rain never lasted more than an hour or so at any one time. Didn't rain every day and we had quite a bit of sun and lovely hiking temperatures.
The baggage transportation service performed well, the B&B hosts in particular were all very friendly and accommodating, taxis were always there on time.
Got off the beaten track a couple of times. This usually happened when we took an alternate SW coastal path route and sometimes these did not always give clear instructions how to get back to the main path. So we had a couple of adventures crossing fields and jumping fences. You can't get lost on this hike though - if you can't see the water, you're going the wrong way.
Very enjoyable. Beautiful countryside. Thanks for organizing it well and selecting the accommodation for us. No complaints
A combination of truly terrible weather and a horrible cold (each) drove us home a day early…nothing serious just a combination of events
We managed to get some lovely days in, and enjoyed the ferries. Loved staying in the pubs particularly, Cadgwith cove, Pilchards and Feathers! Really friendly and full of atmosphere. Having a sunny afternoon to look over Pendennis Castle was delightful.
Thanks once again to you for great organisation – we will be back next year for more and hope that our waterproofs are not tested as much – we got truly expert at whipping the trousers on and off!
We had a marvellous time on our walk with spectacular scenery, quaint villages, atmospheric pubs, and a pirate ship that seemed to follow us along the coast to add to the photo opportunities which were many in any case. Encounter organised the whole thing extremely well. The accomodation was mostly excellent. Encounter was very flexible and helpful with a few changes in the lead up to our trip. All the luggage transfers were managed smoothly. The information we had received was accurate and largely complete, with plenty of pointers to help us navigate. Highly recommended.
Encounter thanks for the experience. Route maps and instructions were perfect, including the detours for the recent flood damaged sections. Accommodation was good, friendly service and the breakfasts welcome! The scenery was a real treat and the 13 or so miles a day a nice balance between making progress and having time to enjoy a beachside coffee or two. Thanks for doing all the hard work and treating us to a great holiday.
Hi Damon, we had a real great time on our walk, everything - including organisation by Encounter Walking and luggage transfer - was perfect. Each day was different as the landscape changes over the path. As one highlight we loved the cosy little village Cadgewith, where we had an excellent dinner with fresh fish and the opportunity to participate on a lively folk song evening in the local inn (takes place on Tuesdays).
Falmouth would have been worth to stay a day longer with its lovely beaches, its interesting National Maritime Museum, nice shopping and eating opportunities. At one place we had difficulties to find our way: We arrived at Gillan Creek at high tide, so we knew we had to do the walk around. This one was difficult to find, our impression was that a farmer digged the path over. Locals helped us to find the way, as much as in other places people were very friendly and helpful (I've got my lost pullover back thanks to an especially nice taxi driver!). We hope that we could come back one day and try other parts of the SW coast path. Definitely we will book the next trip by Encounter Walking again!
Thank you for organizing such a wonderful holiday for us. The accommodation was very good and also varied . This made it special. Sometimes a hotel and sometimes a home adress is very nice. We were always welcomed and good taken care of. We had the misfortune of a sprained ankle for one of us. But she made the most of it by walking easy parts and was kept busy taking buses to the next stop.
Only once did we get lost, when we walked from Portleven to the Lizard. A field were it was very muddy, but also the wonderful smell of camomile( it was raining all day, but still a beautiful walk ) On the path a bit away from the coast just before Soap rock. But the Ordnance survey map was very helpful. Most times the route was very clear. Apart from the one rainy day the weather was good and we enjoyed the views, the beaches, little towns, the flowers and butterflies.
Thank you for a lovely holiday walking the SWCP! Fantastic views, great people and places to stay, and very clear instructions. We did not get lost at any point. Thanks also for the help regarding the temporary path diversion around Coverack due to the floods. All in all, everything went like clockwork! Cannot thank you enough and will definitely recommend you to others.
This is the best company for a personalized experience. People ask me why I used a company to book my walking holiday. Isn't everyone on the internet these days? Perhaps they are. But a website can't tell which hosts will be helpful and which won't be. Which really have superb breakfasts verse good enough. Every single accommodation booked was excellent - far better than I would have found on my own. But it is the Encounter Walking staff and their on going support that sets them apart. I had been ill and hadn't gotten in as much training as needed for 14 miles plus days. I advised them of this beforehand and they provide a detailed list of how we could shorten everyday. It made our holiday enjoyable instead of a grind. Again, they are wonderful.
Again we had a wonderful Coastpath-Walking-Week along your perfect itinerary.
And dream-weather: not a drop of rain, no fog, just lots and lots of sunshine with a nice cooling breeze.
Just a few remarks:
The Fire-Engine-Inn at Marazion has new owners and is actually very good. We had a very nice dinner there. Phil of Glenleigh House recommends it now.
The path-diversion at Durgan Minor was still there when we passed the place.
Accommodations very much to our liking with one exception at Falmouth.
Many thanks for your good job; by now you obviously know very well how we like our walking days.
We “cheated“ only once and took a taxi from Coverack to Porthallow ;-)
Dear Damon and team: Thank you for the wonderful arrangements you made for us for our trip from Marazion to Falmouth in June - I'm only 3 months late in responding to your request for feedback!!
The accommodations were absolutely perfect and we met such lovely people - made us feel as though we should stay forever. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk from Marazion to The Lizard but thereon we weren't particularly happy - nothing to do with your arrangements but we just couldn't see enough with the undergrowth and bushes blocking the path and the spectacular views. Fortunately, the weather was fantastic and we are now looking into our trip for next year - we're wondering what to do next.... Will get back to you as soon as life has settled down a bit more. Greetings to you all and thanks again for your wonderful arrangements, itinerary, organizing luggage transfers, and everything.....
The walk was a big adventure. Well planned, thank you very much. Everything worked well. We reached the ferries time, the luggage transfer was perfect. NO RAIN and good weather every day. That was rather important because of the footpath. By rain sometimes it will be very slippery and dangerous.
Our problem: the daily distances of 14 miles were to long. On two days we walk from 10:00am to 5:30pm up and down. At least we were very erhausted and after drinking 1-2 beers we immedeatly went to bed. Often there was no time to look at the famous sights nearby.
But, it was great. Perhaps we come back. Next year one month earlier to see the blossom of the huge rhododendrons in the gardens.
Thank you very much
We liked our walking holiday from Marazion to Falmouth so much that we're already thinking about our next walk with Encounter! This despite the fact that we had some rain on most days and a lot of heavy, whipping rain on the walk from Porthleven to Mullion. It was sufficiently bad that we gave up walking at the bus stop at Prudhoe Bay. It turned out that we were not alone -- two other hiking parties were already at the cafe there waiting for the next bus to Mullion. The following days had some rain too, so by the end of our holiday the paths were goopy mud in places and slippery stone in others.
We spent the last two days mostly on inland footpaths, which were an interesting change from the coast, so the rain didn't stop us from enjoying our vacation. The days with about 12 miles of hiking suited us best. The last day from the Trelawne Hotel in Mawnan Smith was only a few miles, which surprised us. We should have looked at the map ahead of time to have avoided such a short day. Still, it was a great walk overall and we're looking forward to our next one.
Dear Encounter, many thanks for organising our walk recently. Bag transfer, hotels, etc, went without a hitch. The accommodation was very nice thanks. The only tough part for us was the approach to Coverack. For a 66 and 70 year old couple, it was quite a challenge!
Many thanks once again
We had a wonderfull walking holiday. Sure worthwhile to do such a walk oncemore. The combination to do first a walk through the country (the St Michaels Way ) and then the SW Coast Path was a good choice.
Finding our way on the St Michaels Way was no problem.
In your information of this route you gave a note at the point of Trembethow farm because of added buildings. Just follow the original way signs and not the black and white temporary signs. The route there is easy to follow.
On the SWC path we had one confusing point after the crossing of the Helford River. In the part between Polgwidden Cove and Durgan two trails are there with a hight difference of about 10 meters. Not on the map. We followed the top one and at Dungan we went uphill to Trebah farm instead going along the coast to Mawnan. We should have followed the bottum trail.
All the accommodations were very good close the trail, some on the trail! All the information from you was very good and usefull. Luggage transport has been very good.
Highlights: St Ives was very beautiful and the St Michaels Way showed us a very nice countrysite. The SWC path was very beautiful because the coastline and the special light. We can understand that a lot of artists are in Cornwall. The two parts of the SWC path between Mullion- Cadgwith and Porthallow - Mawnan Smith were the highlights of the trail.
For us we have some points of attention:
- more attention to hight differences of the trail
- an extra day of rest after a hard day.(long and many hight differences)
We are still in UK but finished our walk after a delightful time with superb weather. Thank you for arranging THAT for us!
It was a magnificent experience. We did find day 5 much shorter & day 4 much longer than expected. A taxi from the pub at Helford Passage day 4 and then backtracking day 5 helped balance it out a bit but a surprise after the first 3 days feeling accurate. Happy with the accommodations chosen, really not sure where to suggest a day 4 change!
Again thank you, we are truly happy with our arrangements.
The walk was magnificent with only two Cornish days of mizzle and four of glorious sunshine - I got a bit burnt the first day! Dropping car at Penzance and walking to Marazion was a great gentle start and the Marazion accomm was very nice with views of the bay. We visited the Mount before the tide came in and enjoyed a great meal at the Kings Arms where I was introduced to rum & shrub. I'd never heard of it before - possibly the smallest pub dining room ever - they didn't charge for the shrub apparently because our meals had taken so long to arrive. We're not in a hurry!
Have to say the next day was a hard one for me. All those stiles and scrambly bits of path. But we got to Praa Sands feeling pretty great and had a ploughman's before hitting the final 7kms (I can't think in miles, sorry) and it knocked me about a bit. Clearly 17 kms for me needs to be a little less rugged! Utterly due to my overestimating my ageing bones.
The Old Vicarage in Mullion was beautiful with a very informative landlady. The Old Inn is fantastic with it's community library in the dining room - 'The pub's the hub' as it says. We took the bus from there to Lizard for a look around before walking to Cadgwith. The new owners (2012) it seems had an idea of closing over winter but the locals told them they had a civic duty to stay open for them and now they do. I love that kind of good sense in the Cornish. The barman was quite indignant that someone had written on Tripadvisor that the place has "good food, nice rooms - pity it's run by emmetts!"
Gallen Treath guest house is run by an unlikely looking sort of gentle bikie bloke and his wife. They were really helpful and did a full load of muddy, sweaty washing for us and refused payment, just asked for a donation to the RNLI collection tin. Another lovely stop.
Gold Martin B&B was a great finishing spot - they picked us up from the pub as we were absolutely saturated (by the persistent 'mizzle'!) and then drove us to Mawnan churchyard to resume the next morning after I'd visited my friend's grave there. Their breakfast offering was also welcome after a week of full Englishes - croissants with melted Brie and ham and an egg on top. They told us that Encounter Walking is far and away the best company to deal with, replying promptly to emails, always keeping them informed of what they need to know and paying promptly. I thought that was good for you to know. (And it echoes our own experience). I think being Cornwall-based really helps.
So Damon - thank you for a great trip. We passed your name onto a couple of different people we met who are interested in planning a coastal walk and also the saint's way from North Cornwall to the Mount - not sure if you do that one?
Hi everyone, Firstly, all the arrangements were fine and well organised. The accommodation was in both Guest Houses and pubs, and in all cases they were friendly and expecting me at the appropriate times. Breakfasts were always well cooked and with a choice of cereals and fruit. The walking was fantastic and exhilarating.
The maps and guidebooks were invaluable, although I should have read the notes more carefully which described Day 1 as moderate to strenuous, and the last part was certainly strenuous. I was unable to locate the path at one point after the quarry at Godfrey Cove. It was raining hard and with no-one else in sight and no mobile signal, had to retrace my steps and detour to St. Keverne. I later learned from other walkers the path was not well marked and went through very marshy and boggy land which had become saturated due to the rain. Otherwise the maps and instructions were accurate in all respects.
Also, whilst walking alone, it was good to see a number of other walkers on various occasions who were following the same route. Not sure if these other groups were with Encounter, but they were staying at the same accommodation by and large. Perhaps Encounter could advise walkers if other groups were following the same route at the same time. Overall a very enjoyable holiday with magnificent views around the coast, interspersed with wonderful Cornish villages and pubs of real character. Harder walking than anticipated, but well worth the effort. Mike from Sheffield
Hi, We had a great time. Thanks. Everything went smoothly.
First thanks to you. We booked late and I appreciate that you still went ahead and tried to book things for us. I also appreciated the facility to have a choice and upgrade before we booked on individual night stops.
The accommodation was generally very high standard. We've done part of the coastal path before and think the accommodation this time was much better than what we have encountered before. I would single out three where it was exceptional. Fernleigh at Coverack. The host was extremely welcoming and the breakfast was delicious. She even checked and gave us advice about the upcoming ferry service on our walk (which was disrupted by an especially low tide that day). Very thoughtful. The views were great from the house and we had the run of several rooms at our disposal to relax in. Also extremely good was our first night's accommodation in Penzance (Treventan) which offered delicious breakfast. And the Lerryn at Falmouth - wonderful seaview room with balcony.
Dear Damon and Team Thank you for the perfect organisation of the walk! I had a wonderful time in Cornwall with most of the time sunny and warm weather. The B&B's and Inns I stayed were all very nice and I felt like coming home. There was everywhere a very warm welcome. The luggage transfer was really magical and my suitcase was always in my room when I arrived! I enjoyed all the walking, the landscape, the scenery, the weather, and the spirit of Cornwall. I'll be back again!
We enjoyed each of the 5 hiking days and the extra days in Penzance and Falmouth too. We had a little drizzle one morning, the rest was sunshine all day long. Thank you Damon and Ellie for perfectly meeting our wishes and answering all our questions.
We’ve had a most enjoyable walk from St. Ives to Lizard. Great thanks to all of the Encounter-staff – their bookings (B&Bs, luggage transfer) and recommendations (break day, route) fit perfectly! The daily distances matched our fitness ideally – how did you know? Amazing scenery, stunning views, the trail just beautiful, thus in parts demanding – and the drop of clotted cream on top of it was the perfect weather: not too hot, but sunny all day long. So we recommend: book via encounter, bring walking boots and sufficient sunscreen, and enjoy perfect walking holidays! Communication with Encounter was very helpful – quick, very personal and always accurate. Thank you for this great walking experience! Nele & Peer
Like last year we enjoyed a perfect organization, beautiful sceneries and nice accomodation. Weather was fine and we had no difficulties finding the path. With two of our rooms we were not so lucky, because they were located next to noisy kitchen ventilators. This was at the Harbour Inn in Portleven and at the Paris Hotel in Coverack. At least they were switched off after midnight. Otherwise it was just brilliant and we will come again.
Hi, we would like to say thanks for all your help in making our walk so enjoyable and stress free. Everything went as planned with no problems of any kind. The b & b's were all great with really friendly hosts and great breakfasts - we would definitely recommend all of the b&b's for future visits. We have carried our own bags on past occasions but this time we had our bags moved on each day and this helped in making our week's walking a very pleasurable experience. Once again many thanks and we look forward to booking with you again soon for the next stage of the South West coast path!!
Just a quick note that we arrived safely in Fowey. Everything worked perfectly well, apart from the weather, it was quite wet at times. Nevertheless, we had a great time and lots of fun. Thanks for everything.
A massive thankyou to Encounter walking! Having not done anything like this before it was made easy and went without a hitch. The weather was good most of the time but you dont walk the Cornish coast for the weather! Its a bonus if the sun shines.the scenery was stunning, the people, the places all very freindly and excellent full Cornish every day to get me on my way, averaged 15 miles a day and that was enough! The guide book and map were a great help, you can miss so much if you just march on by, once again thanks to the guys at Encounter I will be organising another trip for 2017.
Thank you Damon for your the organizing. It was perfect. We had a great walk! Wunderfull views, superb landscape, lovely flowers and birds... The transport of luggage was going smoothly. All in all the accomodations were pleasant apart from the one in Penzance which was not of the same standard.
In Swedish: Fantastiska vandringar i Cornwall, något för alla som ledsnat på att bära tunga ryggsäckar, sova i tält och äta frystorkad mat. Här bor man på jättefina B & B, oftast mycket bättre än hotell, får superb frukost, förfriskning på vägen och god middag på kvällen. Sträckan vi gick i år var från Padstow till Fowey (The Saints Way), därefter buss och tåg till Falmouth och från Falmouth vandrade vi The Coastal Path till Marazion. Vackert scenery var det i stort sett hela tiden - engelskt landskap med kullar och åkerlappar, mysiga små vägar som slingrade sig fram som gröna tunnlar genom landskapet osv. Byarna är små, ofta väldigt gamla med vackra stenhus. Pubarna, där man ibland övernattar, kan vara så gamla som flera hundra år, delar byggda kanske redan på 1200-talet. Gott öl och ale och maten är god, mycket bättre än sitt rykte. Och så är det dessa engelsmän! Trevliga, vänliga och hjälpsamma! Synd bara att det är så få svenskar som hittat till denna vrå av världen - det är det ultimata vandringsmålet. Vandringen efter The Coastal Path går i stort sett hela tiden längs med havet - Atlanten. Ibland högt uppe på klipporna med bara en meter till klippkanten med allt från några meter till några hundra meter ovanför den klippiga stranden! Häftigt! Det är mycket upp och ner men inte värre än att man klarar av det. På de brantaste ställen finns för det mesta enkla trappsteg. Stavar är ett bra hjälpmedel. Stora chanser att se tretåig mås, stormfågel, skarvar, sälar och har man tur kan man också få syn på alpkråka som är väldigt sällsynt. Samma gäller basking shark, en jätte som äter plankon, delfiner osv. Encounter Walking Holidays hjälper till med allt som behövs men gå får man göra själv. De bokar B & B, kör bagaget mellan övernattningsställen, föreslår vandringsetapper, hjälper till med tåg- och busstider, telefonnr till taxi, ja allt som man har behov av. Ett otroligt trevligt och hjälpsamt företag! Vi är supernöjda och har anlitat dem 5 gånger de senaste åren. Stort tack till Damon och hans vänner!
First and foremost we all thank you for the wonderful arrangements and care you gave us on planning our trip which was FABULOUS. We had incomparable weather, only 10 minutes of rain the entire time and most of the days were incredibly gorgeous with just a windy day early on. Wildflowers were beyond anything we ever expected and the ocean surprised us, we never expected the water to be so beautifully blue and clear.
And now for a couple of points that could be helpful for other hikers: Those two photos above were taken in Coverack, about two miles from town. Unfortunately, on the other end coming from Cadgwith the sign which tells you to take the Inland route for easier going is NOT there and we stuck to the Coast and it was indeed challenging to say the least. Someone needs to get this same sign up on BOTH ends so folks could make the choice of the easier route and maybe be advised its a darn good idea to take it.
We are really glad we went to the Eden Project, a special place and well worth the visit. The train was a lovely opportunity to see more of the countryside as well. I am going to send another email with a few more photos you might enjoy. Your company is just exemplary and we are so grateful to have found you. With warm regards Deborah
Hi, Sorry I can't be of anymore help than this, but I had 5 days of walking from Penzance to Falmouth. I found that your planned holiday for me was very easy to follow and all the hotels were great. Some of the walk for me was sometimes a bit hard going but that was only what I had expected as I am 73. I found the detours of which you told me about all easy to follow. I am sure that you will be hearing from me again t give me a route to follow from Falmouth. I have now walked from Padstow to Falmouth. Thanks for all your help. Ivan
We had a really great trip and much enjoyed seeing Cornwall and the superb coastline with the rocky bays and the spring flowers en route, and had absolutely no problems. We covered 84 miles in all, and interestingly our total elevation was just over 5500 metres, so there was quite a bit of climbing up and down on each day. We averaged about 2 mph moving which is fairly slow by most standards, but we do have 148 years between us! We were also very fortunate with the weather, some high winds midweek but virtually no rain at all.
Firstly, many thanks indeed for all your excellent organisation and the very detailed itinerary with maps which made everything so easy and completely stress free. Your planning and attention to detail were exemplary, and you provide a first class service. A few comments follow:
The Route. This was easy to follow being well marked and pretty obvious. Just occasionally there were minor variations, but nothing that use of a GPS and map could not solve. We were particularly impressed by the complete lack of litter which other parts of the country including up here could do well to follow. The various cafes you recommended en route were very pleasant and made very good pit and fuel stops.
Accommodation. All the places you found for us were very satisfactory. Our favourite was the Cadgewith Cove Inn which was very high standard indeed, but the good quality inns where we could eat in the evenings were just right for us. The Lerrin Hotel in Falmouth made an excellent start and finish point and we were able to park the car on the street outside the hotel for the week with no problem.
Luggage Transfers. Worked perfectly.
Dog. He thoroughly enjoyed the trip with us and was made very welcome by everyone. He is pretty well trained and very phlegmatic and biddable, but anyone taking a dog on the path should be aware that there are dangers for a less well trained and controlled dog, and that the larger beaches forbid dogs from 1 May to 30 September.
Summary. As said, your organisation and attention to detail was faultless and made our trip completely stress free and therefore a thoroughly enjoyable holiday for both of us. We loved our time in Cornwall - a beautiful place and a great contrast to our more rugged mountain territory here in Scotland - and we very much look forward to coming back.
Thanks to Damon and the team for another really enjoyable, well organised holiday (our third with Encounter). Damon went out of his way to tailor the itinerary to our preferred overnight stops and gave us some excellent options for upgrading the accommodation. Baggage transfers worked very smoothly and the accommodation was generally very good. We particularly enjoyed the Polurrian Hotel, the Five Pilchards at Porthallow and Gold Martin B&B at Mawnan Smith. Most enjoyable evening meals of the week were at the Five Pilchards (great steak) and Giuseppe’s in Mawnan Smith (fantastic turbot). We would also recommend the Brew House at Porthleven for great coffee, friendly staff and views of the harbour (the cakes looked great too!). The weather was rather mixed at the beginning of the holiday with intermittent heavy rain and strong winds but steadily improved as the week went on and we had lots of sunshine and fantastic views. Some sections of the path were extremely muddy – especially around Coverack. We were amused to be stopped on the coast path near Gunwalloe Cove while a scene for Poldark 2 was being filmed. The ferries at both Gillan Creek and the Helford River worked perfectly for us and added interest towards the end of the week. Thanks again Damon and we hope to be back walking with Encounter in the near future.
It was really great, the scenery extremely impressing, and well, we were also more than lucky with the weather, only half a day some showers, otherwise pure sunshine with some white clouds. Organisation was perfect, in all guest houses, inns and hotels we were always expected and warmly welcomed. The luggage was always at the places where it should be. Quality of accomodation was fine in general, but two inns (the Harbour Inn in Porthleven and the Old Inn in Mullion) should spend some money in the refurbishment of their lodging, particularly in the bath rooms. Breakfast was in general fine, reaching from the standard cooked breakfast (and toast and marmelade and cereals) to more interesting variations around smoked salmon. The coastpath was so fairly wayposted that one could not really get lost (together with the Trailblazer Cornwall Coast Path Book and the AZ Adventure South West Coast Path Map), with the exception from Coverack to Porthallow, where the former official route was abandoned, the path now going inland, with no sign post of this change (at least we did not find it), fortunately we met some locals knowing the place. Not much more to say - it was just great (I'm not sure if I would come to the same conclusion if we would have had one week of rainy weather, but this may not happen in Cornwall ?)
We enjoyed the walk along the SW Coast Path. The accomodations were very pleasant, providing good food and drinks. We included a walk around Loo Lake, which provided a pleasant diversion from the coastal landscapes. Parts of the path we (being 65+ and 70+)found rather strenuous. We were very lucky with the weather. The first days, walking in our T-shirts. The daily weatherforecast promised more rain than we actually experienced. We had only one day of walking with our raingear on; and yet the rain was intermittant, not continuous. Thank you for the well organized vacation.
For way: Like all long-distance footpaths, the label is partly good and partly bad. Especially bad is the mark of Coverack by Porthallow. To evaluate the Section it would be good if the altitude would indicated. If the Section has a lot of steps, this information would also be good. To Orgarnisation: the Orgarnisation was excellent. The Lodging is always close on the way. The description of the way the property very well. the Lodging: -Sea View House- the room is very small and not very clean. There is no wardrobe. We had to take off your shoes, although they were not wet or dirty. -House of Props- the arrival to 4 clock or after 6 clock is bad for walking. The furniture of the room was a bit uneven. The food and the breakfast was very good. -Nantarrow farm- the information that the Farmer guests for a small fee drives to the pub and pick up again would be good. We noticed that people are very friendly in Cornwall. "Encounterwalking" we would recommend it to anyone with a good conscience.
yesterday we came back from our walking week on the South West Coast Path between Marazion and Falmouth. I just wanted to let you know that everything went well and we very much appreciate the perfect organization of the trip.
We were very lucky with the weather: Only one hour of rain, a day of heavy winds and other than that lots and lots of sunshine. We have enjoyed all the accommodations with wonderful hospitality everywhere, very nice people, excellent breakfast, good food and even better beer so what else could we have wished for.
The luggage transfer worked out simply perfect with no hick up at all.
And since we had received very good information from you we never got lost.
So all in all it was a perfect trip. I promise we will tell lots of people about it and we we will certainly recommend Encounter Walking Holidays as the partner to choose. And I hope we will do it again ourselves in the near future.
Thank you very much for your support.
An interesting walk in sunshine and rain. Waking up in a misty Porthleven was a kind of surprise after the sunny previous day. No view of St Michaels mount and even the view of the sea was blurred but everything cleared after visiting St Winwaloe church. Kynance Cove and Lizard point would have been more enjoyable with fewer 'day tourists'. Cadgwith harbour was very attractive. Heavy rain and wind held us away from the coast between Porthallow and Helston. Instead we explored alternative paths inland and reached the Helston ferry after a nice lunch in Manaccan. A day off at Mawnan Smith with a visit of Trebah Gardens was a splendid idea, so was the extra day in Falmouth with Pendennis castle and the Maritime Museum.
All accomodations were excellent, with often remarkably large rooms. We very much liked the more personal touch of "Gold Martin" in Mawnan Smith. All walks had their strenuous parts, especially where staircases with huge steps were inserted... and for us, as walkers of a certain age who also take time to enjoy the beautifull vegetation, the longer walks such as Cadgwith-Porthallow were somewhat exhausting. Signposting could be improved a lot, certainly in the neighbourhood of beaches. Of course, as a coastal path is supposed to stick to the shore, walking it is most times not really difficult and we were provided with excellent trail documentation: The OS map in book-version was extremely handy. We preferred this to the trailblazer which, however, was informative for smaller (but necessary) details such as the location of toilets... Thank you for this much enjoyed walking trip, and also for the pleasantly efficient and well timed way the foregoing communication was handled.
thanks for the well done preparations of our walking holiday in Cornwall. Basically we had a very pleasing time and the two days rain were really no hindrance having a very good time in this lovely place. The daily transport of our suitcases and the arrangement and length of our tours were nearly perfect. For even making your service better for the forthcoming people we'd like to give a few tipps or suggestions, which might be helpful:
- We have learned, that our plan to take rests for two days each at the end of our stay (Mevagissey and Fowey) was not necessary. We should have gone on, which we really did by taking tours round the town. We should have lengthened our way on the coastal path.
- the B & B's in Penzance, Coverack and - most of all - Mevagissey were very goot, the others were ok exept the night and breakfast in the Harbour Inn in Porthleven.
- Concerning the route: The ferrie from Mevagissey to Fowey didn't drive because of the bad weather. The tour by bus was ok, but as an alternative it would have been nice to take a walk or - if too long for a daytrip - a combined suggest for a walk and bus tour.
- In parts the south coast path, as far as we have gone it, was not at all places clearly signed. Definitely on the days with bad weather the orientation was sometimes difficult and the combination of coastal-path signs and the local round paths had been desorientating, so that we missed our way for two times.
- Looking back we were both sorry, that we didn't combine trips on coast with ways through the heartland.
But these suggestions are not thought to really criticize the stay in Cornwall. It's a really nice place, we really enjoyed it, you did really good work and we are very confident, it was not our last time to come to "Kernow".
Thanks for everything you have done for us up to now,
We had a wonderful hike. The “relaxed” pace was just right for us and it left us with time to visit a number of fascinating attractions in the afternoons after we had reached our destinations. The uphill work really wasn’t too bad, and the twelve or thirteen mile longest days weren’t too hard. We did take the bus from Mousehole to Penzance but walked the three miles on to Marazion. The mid July weather was pretty good: we had three days of sun and several half days too. We saw plenty of mist, but were really rained on only one day.
Must say we didn’t run into any other Americans in eleven days of walking! Our favorite sections of the walk were St. Ives to Zennor, Zennor to Pendeen, Prussia and Bessie’s Cove are, the Loe Bar and especially Gillan’s creek where, in mid July, we had no trouble in hailing the “ferry” to St Anthony’s at high tide. Cadgwith was the prettiest village. We learned a lot about Cornwall at the following stops, and we strongly advise those unfamiliar with the area to take time for a visit: Wayside Museum in Zennor; Geever Mine in Pendeen; Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno; St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion and the Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
In general all the accommodations were fine, but several stand out. Best B&B, hands down: St. Michaels B&B, Marazion, felt more like a boutique hotel; the caveat being that they generally accept only two night stays, which worked well for us because we were taking a rest day there. We appreciated the route planning that got us there. Best meal, hands down: Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Marazion. Exceptional food, but you must book ahead and they are closed two days a week. Other good or fun meals at Logan Rock Inn, Treen, near Porthcurno, Kota In Porthleven; Kynance Café, Kynance Cove; Cove Restaurant, Maenporth. We also stayed at some really nice places that had only a few rooms (Tinner’s Arms in Zennor) and think that we were able to stay only because we booked early (last October). Finding our way was pretty easy and the directions along with the maps and Trailblazer guide meant we never had any trouble. For what it’s worth the boulders on the beach at St. Loy were not any trouble at all (in dry weather). All in all a terrific walk.
The walk went really well. The fog at The Lizard was a bit eerie.wWe enjoyed the track and all the accommodation places were really welcoming and friendly. Great bird life and scenery.
All arrangements went well. Using map and book the path was quite easy to find!. Plenty of good coffee, cream teas and pasties en route! Accommodation all great even the sun shone! St. Michaels Mount, Lizard light house and Glenduggan Gardens all worthy of visiting.
This was the second time we had booked with Encounter and again everything was perfectly well organised. We were pleased with all the varied types of B&Bs and can especially recommend good food in The Kings Arms in Marazion (reservation beforehand necessary) and The Mounts Bay Inn in Mullion. We took the bridal path to reach Mullion from the coastal path, which was easy walking and a pleasant way. The next day when walking from Mullion to The Lizard make sure you allow enough time to have a Cornish cream tea at Kynance Cove, a beautiful spot. The walk from Coverack to Mawnan Smith is 13 miles. We shortened this 2-3 miles by taking the bus from Coverack (departs 9.45am) to St.Keverne, a 7min bus ride. From there we took the public footpath through the church graveyard along a lovely river valley to Trendwith Mill. Trenance is only a few minutes walk up the road where we joined the coastal path and walked on to Porthhallow.
Sometimes the footpaths make a nice change to the coastal path. This is all clearly marked on OS map. When we reached Gillan Creek the tide was going out so we were able to wade through shallow water - watch out for the crabs! When we arrived at Helford Passage it was still low tide, but this is no problem as we had a welcomed rest and drink in the beer garden at the Shipwright Arms. If you are staying at Gold Martin it's nice to walk from Porth Saxon to Mawnan Smith along the Woodland Trail. This is not strenuous at all. What made this a fantastic holiday was the weather - 8 days sunshine and pleasant temperatures for walking. Thanks Damon for arranging everything and we hope to be walking again with you.
a terrific walk, everything planned by Encounterwalking was well thought out and went smoothly. lots of useful info: alternative routes/taxi numbers/places to eat etc. and smashing accommodation! not knowing the area I was a little apprehensive about the walk and I particularly appreciated all the helpful, supportive emails during the planning stages. due to circumstances out of our control we finalised our booking rather late in the day but Encounter pulled out all the stops and managed to find places for us to stay. Thank you!!
this was a spectacular walk! I can't say enough wonderful things about the scenery-around every peninsula was another amazing view. I don't know if it's typical for late May-early June but the wildflowers all seemed to be in bloom at the same time. I know count bluebells as my favorite flower. I consider myself to be a moderately fit person so the 6-8 mile average walk was perfect (I took a LOT of pictures!). The only long day was Porthcurno to Marazion but I discovered that the bus service was perfect for cutting out the "boring" beach walk around Mounts Bay. For all trip planning I credit "Encounter Walking" for perfect advice and patient responses to my random questions from this non-Brit about rail and bus service. Accommodations were likewise spot on. I am already plotting how to return to Cornwall asap and I will definitely be working with "Encounter" again. This was the best vacation I ever had. Thanks, Damon, for helping to make it a reality.
We are now in London and will be heading home tomorrow. We had a great week and did not have to give in to the weather (except for an hours delay in starting one day while we waited for the rain to stop). We practically got blown off our feet as we walked from Polurrian Bay to Lizard Point but it was quite exhiliarating! The flowers were amazing all the way.
Our accommodarion was excellent all the way and the baggage handling was perfect. We used both the OS map and the guide book all the time as well as your notes so we had no problems with the trail. We managed to catch the ferry across Gillan Creek but we just missed the one at Helford and had to wait 2 1/2 hours for the tide to turn. The forced rest was actually a good break that we enjoyed in the end. Oh yes, the trail to go around Gillan Creek was unclear. We thought we would walk around but ended up on the wrong road, asked directions, got a bit lost but then ended up under the calling board for the ferry, which came and got us right away!
Thanks for everything. We will not hesitate to recommend Encounter Walking to others.
I had a wonderful holiday. Although the weather forecast often was far from good, on several days it turned out okay. I even went home with a tan.The hotels and B&B’s were all to my liking. Two very nice B&B’s were The Caerthillian Guesthouse in Coverack and Goldmartin in Mawnan Smith. The luggage transfer service was excellent. Every time I reached one of my sleeping accommodations, my suitcase had already arrived.
The travel documentation I received from you (I mean the map and the Trailblazer’s guide) was excellent. But I hardly used them, because I navigated with my iPhone. I found gpx-files of all my walks on the Wandermap site I used an iPhone app called Topo GPS (about GBP 3 (!)), but I’m not sure that app is available in the United Kingdom. Without any doubt there are British equivalents though. The advantage of navigation is threefold:
a) you know exactly where you are (navigation via satellites also works when your mobile phone is out of reach) and notice very quickly when you have taken a wrong turning
b) you know exactly how many more miles you have to walk and can decide to speed up if you are progressing too slow.
c) on one of my walking days there were gusts of wind of about 60 miles per hour. Under those circumstance holding a phone is easier than holding a map or a guide.
I bought expensive new walking shoes (A/B) for my holiday. However, the soles of those shoes were probably too thin for the terrain, because the soles of my feet got quite painful during the last two days. Maybe it is a good thing to advise people to use shoes with a thick sole that fit the walking conditions. Hopefully some people in the area could give you advice about what kind of shoes one should use for particular walks. I could sometimes feel the stones and the rocks, although the soles of my shoes appear quite thick.
I was able to cross Gillian Creek via the stepping stones, so this is again possible.
The contact with you, as a representative of EWH, was both friendly and professional. That is the ideal combination. I thought the quotation was very clear and I appreciated the links to the places where I stayed. Your website is very good as well.
We had a great walk. The weather was perfect and all the accommodation and luggage transfer were great. Special mention to Warwick House and the Trelawne Hotel. Both were superb! Anyway thanks for the great job on all the accommodation.
The transfers that you arranged around St Just worked out well. Of course we forgot that cell phone coverage is spotty in the valleys but we found a pub that had a pay phone. ( we had arrived earlier than planned ). Very entertaining driver! We had no problems on the walk itself . No sign of a ferry at the Helford River but a pleasant walk around. ( its entirely possible that this is related to the time of year ).We’ll be back again next year to do another segment. Thanks again for all your help. You make it all work so well.
We are back from our overseas holiday and we want to thank you for helping us organise the walk which truly was the walking highlight of our holiday. For we five walkers, two Americans and three aussies, the walk was just about perfect. The scenery was absolutely wonderful, the weather perfect, and the connections between places via transport were excellent. The taxi driver from Falmouth was an absolute delight…and gave us lots of helpful local info.
Overall the accommodation was great…authentic, great customer service from some truly wonderful hosts, and great locations. As older travellers, we were portably looking for a little more comfort and space re bathrooms and room size, but we’d ask for that next time. A couple of highlights…Warwick House room was great, ocean view, and sensational breakfast. Hard to find in a car though. Harbour Inn was a bit run down, frankly, but the staff were nice enough. We loved the host at Caerthillian guest House, but the rooms were small, and a non en suite took the edge off our enjoyment. Great spot, though, and great local pubs. Gold martin B and B was so lovely and quaint, and another super breakfast, but again, sharing a bathroom was a bit tedious for us oldies. Loved clare’s botanical art…and great local pub. Lerryn Hotel….great rooms…and the new owner, Lyn, was absolutely wonderful to us. Great personalised customer service. A gem!
Honey combe House was great…food lovely, view sensational, but the toilet bathroom was simply too small. What a pity. Million dollar views. TGallants was fine too, but the owners weren’t super helpful or friendly.
Galleon Inn was great…nice big room and right in the middle of everything. We asked for an early breakfast and they were so obliging. Schooner Point was frankly hard to get too with heavy bags, and not ideal. But the owners were simply delightful, gave us so much help with planning, and lovely cakes and breaky that we forgave them the location.
Some thoughts on the walk. We managed the distances pretty well, but on reflection, we had underestimated the toll of the ups and downs, and next time would go for 10 mile days, not twelve.
My goodness, though, the scenery was so worth all that climbing.
Damon, we really appreciated the outstanding service you gave us as a group, and me in particular. All your advice was wonderful, and we’d love to do another section of the walk with you another year.
Thanks again for making our holiday so special.
PS We can’t believe how good the food is now in England. We lived in London/Bedfordshire for 6 years in the late 70’s and pub food was pretty ordinary then. We had some simply marvellous meals in magical settings, thanks to all the good suggestions in your notes. When the food was outstanding, I wrote reviews on Trip Adviser….
Just a few lines to let you know that I had the most wonderful trip on my walk around the Lizard.
The weather wasn't just kind, it was fantastic, almost too warm. Accommodations perfect, lovely people.
When I reached Falmouth last week Tuesday, I felt ready to do it all again.
Must say I didn't do the whole distance, days 4 and 5 were too long for me, following the first part. I sorted that through alternative transportation.
But I must say, this first time walking alone and finding my way, meeting all sorts of beautiful people along the way and on the other side, hours on end with nobody but me, was the best choice I could have made.
Thanks for all your help and advice and see you next time.
Sorry for delay in responding - the walk was great. Excellent organization; bag transfer went without a hitch and the accommodation was lovely too. The weather was superb (almost too hot at times and we're from Australia!), had some unexpected swims, most notably at Kynance Cove. Looking forward to coming back and walking further next time!
Thank-you for the organisation of everything-our accommodation was great,our luggage with fresh clothes was always waiting for us and was a very welcoming site!! The weather was absolutely beautiful which made the scenery even more stunning. We've got home expecting to have lost weight only to find we've gained!! What do they put in the cider I wonder?? We will definitely book another walk if the knees will hold up. Thank-you!
One of our best holidays ever! Encounter were extremely efficient despite very short notice - thank you Damon! Particularly enjoyed the scenery (and seals!) at Cudden Point, the beautiful coastline from Porthleven to Lizard Point and crossing Helford River on the ferry. Didn't realise the sea could be turquoise in this country! Would recommend the cappuccinos at Poldhu Cove and the friendly welcome at The Top House in Lizard Town. Only became 'locationaly displaced' at one point walking around Gillan Creek - just after the walk up out of Gillan the directions said to proceed diagonally across the second field however sweet corn had been planted and the path was obscured - eventually spied the ladder over the field edge but retraced our steps a couple of times before we saw it. All in all a fabulous, fabulous trip!
We were completely lucky with the weather, was spectacular. Everything was great as usual. The accommodation in Marizion was wonderful and a great place to land after the long haul from Canada to Cornwall. We “cheated” a bit and took a bus one day and taxi another as we were a bit tired but still managed to hike every day. We saw a pod of dolphins and one Caugh (sp?) on the cliffs (the emblem of Cornwall bird). We really loved Lizard Town and had a wild Saturday night party at the Witch Ball with the locals. That was a definite highlight. The golf course poshy place was a bit weird but we managed OK without the proper dining attire (LOL). All in all another awesome adventure in beautiful Cornwall. Thanks so much again and talk soon !!
We had a very lovely time and think the walk was absolutely beautiful! The fact that we were so
lucky with the weather did not hurt either. I think all the arrangements you made for us were great and it all worked out beautifully. We did get lost a couple of times, but always due to our own stupidity, not lack of information. Just added to the adventure. We did find the walk a lot more strenuous than we had expected though, mainly because of the constant (and mostly very steep) up and downs. It slowed us down quite a bit, as of course did the breathtaking scenery requiring constant stopping to admire and photograph. Also we have never done anything like this, so probably most of your walkers would be in much better shape than us. But we live to tell the tale, so all is good.
Also we loved the gardens, particularly Trebah - I think anybody who does the coastal walk should take the time to see that, it is so magical. We also enjoyed Glendurgan, but if someone only wants to do one, it should definitely be Trebah. In Lostwithiel we did enjoy Lanhydrock, but we're very glad we decided to go and see Restormel, which we thought was lovely and the more interesting and enjoyable of the two.
We would definitely recommend the walk to others - it is totally fantastic. As to the organization by Encounter - we think it is absolutely amazing how well everything was organized and everything happened without a hitch, no problems anywhere. We particularly appreciated all the pointers on what to look for, (loved those crows with the red beaks and feet, however never did see any sharks - probably basking in the Med by now) and the really good info on eating places for both lunch and dinner.
A big THANK YOU to you Damon, for doing all the organizing so well and so make it very easy for us to enjoy it all - it was very special.
Very fine walk. Excellent arrangements throughout. At a few weeks shy of 80 - itineraries all well within my capabilities - most days finishing by 4-5 pm with a 9 am [ish] start. Much less strenuous than North Coast route for example - so I would estimate that the categories were all one degree excessive. Strenuous being Moderate plus and so on. Some path diversions but all very clear with no ambiguity. One or two places not so well signed and route difficult to discern. This especially approaching Kynance where I did lose my way. However as this day was marked by a very dense sea mist this might be an unfair criticism. B & Bs were almost all [tho varied] very good with helpful proprietors. The only downside was The Grove at Falmouth. The room being next to some machinery/plumbing [?] which was the noisiest operation I have encountered. Luggage transfer as well as transfer from Train all excellent. Even in mid Sept. a number of other walkers - both day trippers and half a dozen or so coastal path walkers. A very enjoyable holiday.
Very well organised, thanks for that. Route very beautiful. Minor diversions well sign posted. Had a timing issue on the ferry transfer at Helmond River. Impossible to combine B&B breakfast planning with low tide break on ferry, but that was only a minor issue (approx 2 hours waiting time). Thanks for the high quality service !!
Everything was OK, weather was magnificent, even too sunny. All accomodation places were expecting us, rooms where ready, clean and fine etc. Luggage transfers had no incidences, etc. With plenty of signals along the path we almost did not need maps or gps tracking. The path has very good infrastructure, it is well maintained, has a lot of signals, and clean public facilities in remote places, etc. We got lost once between Gillan and Helford where the path went straight through a maize corn field! Some hightlights: * walk from Penzance to Marazion in low tide across the huge beach * take the boat trip sailing up the Fal river from Falmouth to Truro
Thanks for a well organized walking holiday. The guide book was sufficient for us so the maps were somewhat redundant. As pointed out in the guide book there were areas that were not well marked but we managed to find our way. Places which the guide book noted as muddy really was - even if the weather had been good for a while. The walking times in the guide book was far too optimistic! And we did not agree on some of the opinions (good and bad) on cafés on the trail. As foreigners we appreciated staying at small picturesque places like Zennor, Marazion, Porthleven and Lizard Village. We took a detour from the trail to St Just for lunch, well worth the extra hour. On the other hand Sennen Cove was not more than a standard small beach resort and maybe not the best option for a rest.
Great holiday with excellent weather. Route notes provided by Encounter were very good and enabled the map to be followed easily. Luggage transfers were smooth. Accommodation was varied. Some B&Bs were better than others, but that was probably due to our late change of dates into the school holiday period. We had the South West Coast Path almost to ourselves on many days. Only saw six other people between Mullion and Kynance! Wildflowers were great - in full bloom along the route, providing lots of colour and interest.
A very pleasant walk. Itinerary was clear and helpful. Pick up Luggage well organised. As we did the walk in reverse the coast to caost handbook was a bit hard to follow so the extra handbook was very useful. we apprciated the efford you to took in e-mailing with useful tips and extra information.
This was an excellent walk with plenty of interesting scenery. We had no problems with the route although in some places the signs were few and far between. However by being careful and keeping an eye on the map we had no difficulties. There were plenty of places where we could get refreshments - just as well as some days it was very hot! We did make a detour between Coverack and Porthallow where, because we were feeling pretty tired because of the heat, we cut inland along a well-marked path to St Keverne and on to Porthallow. By chance it took us very close to the Roskilly Ice-cream farm- surprise, surprise! The accommodation was generally very good and in some cases top class. We would recommend eating at Kota in Portleven - excellent food and good value on the fixed menu. We also had a great evening sitting on the terrace in the late evening sunshine at Pizza Express near the Maritime Museum in Falmouth. The organisation by Damon and the Encounter crew was first-class and we again felt we had personal service - very many thanks.
We have been very lucky with the weather. We didn't see any raindrop. This gave a good base for a wonderful experience. Normally the walk is done the other way round, but I would it do again like this because like this we had an increase in the beauty of landscape. And I think it is better to end the walk in St Ives than in Falmouth. With a few exeptions it was very easy to find the way. It is a very good signalisation with the signs. The Explorer Maps are very helpful and we didn't need any other description. The organisation was excellent and we didn't have any issues with it. The selection of accomodations was great and between a good walking distance. Damon did an excellent job! Thanks a lot for all!!
We had a fantastic 8 days walking. The weather started wet but got better and better and even allowed for swimming! After a day sightseeing in St. Ives we followed St Michael`s Way across land to Marazion. This was the only part of our trek that required using the map but to be honest without the fantastic notes from Encounter we would have been totally lost. Visibility was poor and many signs missing or lying on their sides!
From Marazion on signposting was excellent and it was never a problem to follow the coast path. There are too many highlights (stunning views, super beach cafes etc.) to mention them all but our meal (and the B&B) at Kota Restaurant in Porthleven was great and I would highly recommend booking a table there. Kynance Cove was superb and I regret missing low tide and a chance to explore the beach there. Lizard Village was a bit of a let down compared to other villages we saw along the way but we did see a very rare Cornish Chough at Lizard Point! Mullion and Coverack were our favorite villages.
Recommend The Cornish Curry Company (selling from a van in Mullion tues + thurs evenings) and great fish and chips in Coverack. All aspects of the planning and organisation went very smoothly. Luggage transfer was excellent and all our B&Bs gave a friendly welcome. Anne at Fernleigh in Coverack spoilt us with homemade Lemon Sponge and after many full English breakfasts we were happy to see some thoughtful alternatives on offer at Gold Martin in Mawnan Smith. Will most certainly use Encounter Walking again and have already recommended you to friends. Thanks again for a wonderful walking break!
All the arrangements were excellent as was the booked accommodation. We had a few issues with the waymarked path (posts & arrows missing) particularly between Marazion & Praa Sands although the heavy rain did not help! We will be using you again in 2014 to walk Falmouth to Plymouth.
Just completed a 6-day walk from Perranuthnoe to Falmouth, organised by Encounter. Lots of magnificent coastal scenery and pretty little villages. Itinerary was very suitable for our age (65) and level of fitness; my wife notes that walking speeds are surprisingly slow for those with short legs ill-matched to larger steps. Route notes were excellent, with no problem finding our way or managing coffee/food stops. Accommodation was variable in style but very acceptable, and breakfasts excellent. Luggage movements were flawless. The weather was fresh to gale-force windy, but generally dry. Yes, we will do another leg of the path if the opportunity arises, and we will recommend Encounter to others.
Six of us from Portland, Oregon, USA did a 5 day walk from Marazion to Coverack. What a great trip - Damon and team helped us from the early planning stages back last Fall all the way through to the van that picked us up at the end and ferried us back to Penzance for the train. We stayed at 5 great inns (the beer was terrific!) and luggage delivery was reliable and on time. We started with a rest day in Marazion. That may seem counterintuitive, but since we needed a little time to to recover from an 8 hour time change and we wanted to see St Michael's Mount, it really worked out well. The only thing that could have been better was the weather, and we can't blame Encounter Walking for that. Since we are from Oregon, a little rain and clouds don't bother us. This was the first walking trip for any of us. It really went off without a hitch. Can't say enough about Encounter Walking!
This walk surpassed our expectations. We (along with 4 other friends) chose this stretch to experience a "moderate to strenuous" hike which accurately describes it! Over 5 days we saw such beautiful and dramatic coastline. All of our accomodations were comfortable, offering good meals and beers! We worked with Damon at Encounter Walking who was excellent at organizing our walk and was always very responsive to answering all of our questions. Looking forward to organizing our next walk with Encounter in the near future.
A very good trip overall. This walk will give you good variety of trees, bluffs, surf beaches, smugglers' coves, small remote villages and the big town of Falmouth. This part of Cornwall is also a good place to eat. The route is clearly marked and the guidebook accurately identifies potential wrong turns. We only used the OS maps to see our relative location and what other towns were around us. We did not need them to stay on the Coast Path. As noted in the guide book the path can be very muddy in parts due to either rain and underground springs. The weather was very windy which made for great waves. We were fortunate too see more sun than rain but we mostly saw cloud.
We brought our dog and took lots of photos so we were normally 30 to 60 minutes slower than the predicted walking time. If you like to stop and take a look around frequently at the crashing waves, the views over the edge, the light house in the distance, or the errant cow or pony on the trail you might take longer, too. The longest day was from Coverack to Mawnan Smith / Helford Passage. The need for lodging that allowed dogs limited our choices and lengthened the route. We also waited an hour for the tide to fall at Gillian's Creek rather than walk around. Note that the ferry across the Helford River only runs until 5:00 p.m. (not 5:30 p.m. as stated in the guide book). We just made it. We would have liked to make the 2 mile diversion to Roskilly's Farm on the same day or visit the Trebah Gardens which sit on the path, but we did not have time to do it on this stretch. By comparison, the next day from Mawnan Smith was a breeze. There was good or great service at all of the B&Bs and hotels. Almost all were of very high quality. It is very nice to have a cup of tea and be offered cake by your host at the end of the day. It is a lovely area and we look forward to coming back to explore more.
We did get lost before Kyneton cove. Ended up on a farm track leading to a public footpath. I’ll email a couple of pics so you know where I mean. I think we missed a turn off leading closer to the cliffs....... All days were great. Scenery fantastic, St Michael’s mount really interesting.......
Difficult navigation after Marazion. Maybe because we were novice at this point. Instructions could have been a little clearer....... It’s hard to say the best day, because all so good and varied. However, I loved the walk to the Lizard, and Sue loved the walk to Helford.Saw a pod of dolphins up close on approach to the Lizard.
We loved crossing Gillan creek – would recommend bare foot on hot day – wonderful feeling.
As you enter Coverack take the route as directed to the left. DO NOT follow the old coast path to the right as we did (and others). It is very badly overgrown and very tricky. There are warnings, but we didn’t heed them as it was the old coast path.
There is a new place called the Fat Apples Café on the enclosed path leading to Portallow.Strongly recommend for refreshments and homemade cakes. Apple juice very welcome.
Strongly recommend Warwick House – the owners were very hospitable in a quiet but generous way. Lovely food, best breakfast until last day in Hotel, vey comfy.
Strongly recommend The Caerthillian – again great host. Offered to dry our boots. Extremely comfy bed. Good breakfast.
The Grove Hotel was an excellent end, great and varied breakfast with superb fruit. Bit noisy, but a great location. Superb room.
Tell people to take their boots off and walk the creek! We saw others struggle with the stepping place very unsatisfactory.
Worked like clockwork thanks!
The best days walk was the stretch from Mullion Cove is breathtaking and hard work and got good rest stops. The worst day, if it wasn’t for the weather there simply isn’t a day on this walking holiday which isn’t worth every second, we talked all the way through it about how we would like to do it all again...... At the moment a lot of the trail is over grown and could do with some maintenance, it is just the monumental amount of rain we have had this year. A little care and taking your time is all that’s requires- defiantly long trousers and probably gaiters..... From the Cornwall Coast Path calculator it says Mullion to Cadgwith 10.4 miles and I think the leaflet we received said 9. Anyway with the mud it took us 6 hours (walking time)...... Everything went extremely smoothly, baggage transfers etc, truly wonderful holiday and genuinely nothing but positive things to say about Encounter.
The best days walk was around the Lizard, the scenery was fantastic....... We were slightly slower, but we did stop to enjoy beaches, cups of tea, talk to people etc..... they were very welcoming at the Five Pilchards and the food very good. The Cove restaurant near Mawnan Smith was very enjoyable and a lovely setting.
We lost the trail just after Porthallow, a SWCP sign was propped up after falling. We did not mind seeing some “inland” scenery, but it took a little while to find “permitted” paths. Best day was the first day, Perranuthnoe to Porthleven- simply because it was so wonderful to “be back”..... Thw worst day was Cadgwith to Porthallow pretty muddy footing, and the bushes were not trimmed yet. Otherwise the path is well-tended....... Victoria Inn has especially fine cooking......We find the private Band B providers (this time Gallen-Treath and Gold Martin) to be the most pleasant and comfortable places to stay. The other places were fine, but we felt that extra welcome from our hosts the two places mentioned. First-rate!.... The information supplied was excellent! Your worst competitor for next summer is my own desire to try and arrange a similar walking trip here in Denmark where we have our summer house. A peninsula that could be compared to Cornwall as a "little brother" (very little!)
We had no problems finding the route, but we had our gps device with us. I think if the weather is not too bad there will be no problems finding the route...... All the days were fine we had alot of fun and a beautiful walk on the path. Only one day was bad because of the weather...... Normally we were in time, rather a bit slower than expected, but we were on holidays not on escape, so we really enjoyed our time on the path...... One of the best restaurants we had dinner was the Navy Inn in Penzance, it is not far from the accommodation and has really excellent food.......All of the accommodation was fine, with nice ensuite rooms and very friendly owners...... The nicest B and B was in Mawnan Smith there is a spacious rooms with a fine bathroom and a very obliging owner. For breakfast we had delicious self-made bread and jam. Really excellent.....The organisation, accommodation and luggage transfer was perfect, we have nothing to criticize. Hope we can return another year to walk another part of the path.
A brilliant 3 days! Some of the best walking I have done. Fortunately I had some good weather. Harder than I expected, Cornish miles are like their pasties, bigger than everyone else’s! More climbing than I expected as well, especially on the first day. Each day was a ‘full days’ walk, I probably exceeded your estimates on all 3 days, and I wasn’t hanging about...... The coastal path guides supplied by yourselves were very informative, accurate and useful. The only thing missing from the walk description in the guides is ‘feet of ascent’, something that is included in mountain walking guides; the amount of climbing took me rather by surprise; the walk is more strenuous than the mileage would imply; others may be caught in the same way......Accommodation was very good; I expected to prefer staying in pubs rather than B&Bs, but to be honest it was the other way round; the B&Bs were more personal. Your organization was spot-on, thank-you All in all, a very enjoyable and memorable experience, I’m already thinking about St.Ives to Penzance for next year! I will certainly recommend your services to friends and colleagues at work.
I know, in the meantime a lot of water run down the themse but we often remember our beautiful walking days in Cornwall. All the paths were well signed except for a few hundred meters after dean quarries and before we arrived at rosenithon where there was a deviation where we could hardly find our way and where the path was very muddy. Last but not least we would like to mention, that at gillan creek there is a ferry service, when the tides are high. This ferry is mentioned also in the paper that you gave us. What we estimated a lot, was the complete information you gave us on the daily papers we had, for example the phone numbers of the taxis to get and the tips for getting refreshments before and on the way.
We will recommend your organisation to everyone who will ask us for advice in walking in cornwall and we will be booking with you on our next stay in cornwall, when we still want to walk.
With the kindest regards from switzerland
Go to top
Company Registered in England No: 8227323
VAT Registration No: 138 8656 68