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.
Wonderful walk through pastures, woods, hamlets and villages. Beautiful views and plenty of sheep, horses, cattle, pigs, pheasants, geese and one guard turkey. Some ancient standing stones and very old churches along the way. Amazing wildflowers. Good accommodations and friendly hosts/hostesses. We had a last minute mix up wth our map and it was resolved promptly and cheerfully by Encounter Walking. Wayfinding was fairly straightforward with a few minor detours. Not kidding about the mud! Some long uphill stretches, but mostly gradual. Fowey is a lovely town to end in, recommend an extra day. Overall, a great once-in-a-lifetime experience for two couples in their 60's!
This was my first ever walking holiday and it will not be my last! We walked The Saint's Way in three days of rain and enjoyed every minute. All the overnight accommodations were outstanding, the luggage transfers seamless and the taxi pick-up on the dot! All the paperwork was superb and we laminated the extra walking notes as they were very helpful. All the telephone enquiries were dealt with very professionally....well done and thank-you to a great team!!
What can I say but well done to all concerned in the arranging of this lovely walking holiday, my first and certainly not my last! It was wet and windy, foggy and low cloud so we didnt see much but the lanes were lovely to walk along. It was very muddy and flooded in places but the helpful additional info sheets (we laminated them luckily) kept us on the right track. We only went wrong once and it was our fault as e went through an open gate rather than a shut one that led us into the wrong field just out of Withiel. All the accommodation was first class and helped with our wet boots and clothes.
Sue and I completed the walk on Friday, and really enjoyed the experience.
Here are a few points that may help other walkers:
The route at Little Petherick is not signposted. The map indicates that you cross the bridge and immediately turn right on to a path. This doesn't seem to be correct - one of the householders told us that the path was further up the road. In fact it would seem that you should indeed walk up the hill and turn right into a concreted drive just where the road bears left. Then follow the footpath to the left, just before you reach the property.
When approaching Blable House, tell people to head for the top left corner of the field. We saw a stile in the field at the top of the hill, but that led to someone's garden.
West Park Farm - tell walkers to follow the farm track through the wood and up the hill. We took the wrong footpath when we reached the wood.
The path through the fields from Higher Bosnieves is indeed confusing - there is a tall slatted stile at the top right hand corner of the first field, which is quite difficult to climb over. Once over this, follow the path down the hill, keeping to the left of the fence. Then make your way to the lane at the bottom right corner of the field - we saw a deer here.
The flooded trail beyond Withiel - it had been dry for a long time prior to our walk, but there was still some standing water in the lane, and so we took the alternative footpath to Retire. We were planning to continue along the lane through the village to the footpath at the far end, but a householder closed a gate across the lane and insisted that it was a private road, and so we turned right and joined the main road.
From Tremore Farm - we took the footpath short cut across the fields, missing out Higher Woodley. The stile is 3/4 of the way along the left hand side of the first field, but the stile is missing several steps in the wall, and so it's quite tricky to use.
St Benets Abbey - access is only from the A389 - the map indicates that there might be a track to the rear of the Abbey, but it’s closed off.
Incidentally, we would really have appreciated a hot bath after our walk, but our bathroom only only had a shower. It would be helpful for you to clarify with walkers whether or not they would like a bath, and so they could upgrade accordingly.
Helmans Tor - we thought that the sign to the left, i.e. for the Eastern leg, was easily visible! The old drove road from the foot of the Tor was dry and easily passable. We never saw the clear signpost to the Wilderness Way Walk - I couldn't find either Bodwen Farm or Whistow on the map.
The taxi back to Padstow cost £45, which we thought was reasonable, as was the £6 per day charge at the long stay car park.
Thanks again for arranging this very memorable adventure!
We greatly enjoyed our recent walk on The Saints Way. Warm sunny weather in late April was a bonus! We did the walk over 3 days, with an extra day at the start to explore Padstow. The distances were not too taxing (we are an older couple) and the varying terrain made for challenge and interest. The panoramic scenery at several points was magnificent. We found we could handle navigation with the help of the route notes and maps, although not without the occasional mistake. Mostly we could get back on track quite quickly. However near Pawton Mine we failed to take a right turn. We thought we were further along than in fact we were. Then a local farmer told us that the post with the waymark had rotted away and not been replaced, despite local request.
We missed several features mentioned on the notes – standing stones and crosses. Maybe locations of these could be better detailed in the notes. We found the accommodation in Padstow (Cyntwell B&B), St Wenn (Tregolls Farm), Lanlivery (Crown Inn) and Fowey (King of Prussia) all excellent. We appreciated the opportunity to have the evening meal at the somewhat isolated Tregolls Farm. From Fowey we went on to Charlestown, where Tall Ships B&B, also arranged by Encounter Holidays, was brilliant. Transfers of our luggage all took place without a hitch.
To say this walk was a challenge is putting it mildly. Partly due to storm Angus yes but also being November. We did enjoy but felt a bit pushed to get finished by dark after setting out by 10 each day. We did appreciate the daily weather updates from Damon. The accommodations booked were A1! We also found the iTunes app for the maps a lifesaver as sometimes you weren't entirely sure you were on the proper track. Love to do it again perhaps in Sept or Oct. Thanks again!
We had a great time on Saints Way followed by the Padstow to Tintagel coast section.
Sorry not to have sent our comments before but we have only just found your email in Spam! We did enjoy our walk although the first day was extremely wet and windy - we were very glad to find instructions on the front door of our B&B on how to find our room as our hosts were out when we arrived at about 3.30. We didn't have any problems navigating the route and managed to avoid the flooded track by taking the alternative across a field. We met a Canadian family at the second night's stay and were able to tell them about this as they were doing the route the opposite way. All the arrangements worked very well and than you for organising our trip.
The saints way, we have walked 3 day s the wether was good . the Luggage transfers between accommodations was perfect. the b&b s where we stayed where perfect. specialy Tregolls farm many thanks for the evening meal top super!! and she gave tips for walking . rein & nies
An interesting and varied walk through beautiful country with lots of panoramic views - which enabled us to see which showers had missed us and which were still to get us. These walks always seem more uphill than downhill - is that possible? Some ambiguous signage, some a bit overgrown, but the main signs on roads were clear and easy to follow. Overnight stops were comfortable, friendly, and helpful - and always with good food, Cyntwell b&b in Padstow (outstanding in the choice of eating places), the ancient pub in Lanlivery, and The Old Exchange b&b in Fowey. Luggage transfer worked well, and our two taxi drivers, Michael, from Padstow, and the lady from Fowey, were friendly, helpful, and informative. A wonderful three days.
Dear Damon and others, We enjoyed our walk along The Saints Way very much, 9 – 17 july. The first walk from Padstow and the last part to Fowey we found most beautiful.Lodgings were very good, people friendly! Thank you for all informations on bus etc. We had no trouble finding our way.
However, we had two very scary moments, crossing/passing busy roads. We were not prepared for this by the description. These locations:
1. Walking (on the Saintsway) a short piece of the A389 in Litte Petherick, the bridge and a piece of bending road. You see nothing coming and lots of cars come along this small road. When we looked back we saw a sign that walkers should not walk on this way. So the cars do not expect walkers. Very dangerous!
2. Walking along the A 390, near Lostwithiel. We were prepared by looking on the map. But yet, the road was crowded, cars, caravans, this holiday saturday. The trees were not cut, so for safety we walked bending our heads and schoulders between de branches, to walk on the grass.
Maybe you can put in a warning for these locations. Or even better: is there an alternative route possible?
Met vriendelijke groet,
Hei, We are very satisfied with our trip on Saints way. We were well prepared for this walking with your
arrangement maps and information etc. Your helpful attitude to answer questians and try to make a it a good experience for the walkers is important. I was a little exited to take a walking trip in a another country ,read maps etc., but it worked well.
The wheather on our 3 days walk was not bad.1 day with no rain.
The accomodation was very good,all 4 places.The English breakfast is very good to start with before walking. It was nice people with good service. I will mention spesially Tresgollsfarm. The food and service was incredible. It was good that it is possible to eat lunch in Lanivet,so we did not bring packed lunch
We loved all the nice views on the route. It is interesting to know something about the history(trough the guidebooks) of the route.Some places it was a little difficult to see the signposts,but most places it was good signed. It was good to have the map in combination and the information about the route.Just before Blable house it was a signpost which was fallen down. The field below whith 10 bulls , before Blable house was a little scary, if the path is ment to go trew. We walked a little detour. We walked down to Breney farm instead of walk path,maybe we did not see signposts (maybe we was not obeservant enough).It was difficult to get out of the farm with fences with barbed wire all over. But we managed to go trough the farm.
The luggage transport worked well.
We loved these days with walking in Cornwell and will recomend it for everyone.
Thank you Damon for your help in our planning.
Great organisation by Encounter. THANK YOU. Luggage transfers were smoothly done. All stop overs were great with good breakfasts to start the day. Particular mention of Tregolls Farm where the owner was very hospitable and helped dry out boots! The Crown Inn was also a great place to stay. The route was well marked on Coastal Path and the views wonderful with plenty of options to enjoy our cornish pasties. On the Saints Way there were one or two places where we had to navigate main roads which were tricky and a couple of places where we could have done with a machete! The information sheets you provided were very informative and helped us to decide where to linger. The maps were very easy to follow and we didn't get lost! We would definitely recommend Encounter Walking and hope to do another one soon.
Despite the somewhat unseasonal weather we had a very enjoyable 3 days walking the Saints Way. We thank you for the excellent organisation of the walk, together with the very good walking guides, maps and individual notes which you provided. The three overnight B and B's were also very good with particular praise for Marilyn at Tregolls. The care and attention to detail which was provided by you and your staff was very much appreciated as was the courteous and efficient way in which any telephone enquiry was treated. We would certainly recommend ENCOUNTER to anyone who wishes to do a walking holiday in the South West.
Walk started 10/5/16 finished 12/05/16. Walked East route North to South. Many thanks to Damon and Richard in particular for accommodating my walking buddie and I especially as we only gave them a week's notice. Good instructions and all information received in time despite short lead in time. B&Bs were all good. Thoroughly enjoyed the walk with such history and interest. Great views along the way. Walking in May was good as a result of catching all the spring flowers along the way. Hope to be back to you to perhaps do the walk South to North / West route one day.
This walk was one of the highlights of our trip. We are in our 60s and were able to walk the route without much difficulty in 2 days. We were lucky enough to do it whilst all the bluebells, primroses and wild garlic was in flower. Some of the woodland stretches were the most beautiful walks any of us had done. The countryside was constantly diverse. We didn't get lost at all, but occasionally feared that we had taken a wrong turn. Especially when we were walking across fields. We used the map to check out contour lines. We also found the cards in the Saints Way booklet helpful. Many of the wooden Saints Way signs have become darkened with age, and would be very hard to see in a mist. We suggest tacking a coloured plastic disk to them.
Leaving from Padstow, and passing by Dennis Farm (with a side trip to Queen Victoria's obelisk), there was some indecision about the direction to go when crossing diagonally through the paddocks sloping down to the creek. We needed to consult the compass before proceeding (correctly) over the crest of the hill, bearing right, and down to the stile on the far side, in order to take the steep track down to the creek. Better sign-posting would have been good. We have been inspired to undertake further walks in the future.
Glorious weather for walking the Saints Way (too hot really, one or two blisters!!) Accommodation at Tregolls Farm nr Withiel superb, Marilyn is a wonderful host. Note for first time walkers, this is no walk in the park, my husband (62) and I (50) are regular gym users and reasonably fit, but still found some parts of the walk (should this be described as a hike?)a bit of a slog, admittedly the unusually high temperatures and strong sunshine probably added to the challenge, but hugely grateful that it was not raining, as there were still some pretty muddy bits to negotiate.
We had a good laugh, especially as my husband somehow managed to lose several items from his back pack along the way. If anyone finds some spectacles and a large orange water bottle - let us know! Don't be tempted to save a few pounds and carry your own luggage on your back, it's a long way with such weight and even with my military training, it is something I would never do again.Our walking poles were the best buy, would recommend them to every walker. Sign posts are good, but study the map closely, additional notes provided by encounter were excellent and came in very handy - we had no problems following the route.
Wonderful churches along the way and magnificent scenery. If you want excellent fish and chips in Padstow at local prices visit Chip Ahoy and eat them overlooking the harbour - perfect! So glad we did this, thank you Encounter for giving us everything we needed.
just to let you know that we had the most wonderful weekend walking the Saints Way - the weather was on our side and the card that I purchased to guide the route were helpful - although in some areas the actual description/ instruction is not very clear and having a map as back up would be helpful - but we managed it without! Encounter Walking "please note we provide all our walkers with the highest scale OS maps!"
There are certainly some areas with rather sketchy markers and other areas that are really well signed but we managed it all and found the whole journey wonderful.
Thanks for your help - the buses that we needed from Lanivet to Padstow all turned up - on time!
I found that the accommodation arranged by Encounterwalking extremely good and the baggage transfer faultless. The trail can be muddy in places but passable with caution. The pub at Golant doesn't open on Monday's and there is no shop, so carry food and drink when walking this section (No problem other days). All in all this was a well organised holiday and I would recommend Encounterwalking to people considering this walk.
Our group had a wonderful time walking the Saints Way from Fowey to Padstow from April 6-8th 2016. The accommodations were first rate, the food was delicious, the scenery breathtaking, and the people the most friendly we have ever encountered. The only negative I can report is lack of a warning to look out for guard geese.......those we encountered outside of Saint Blazey were vicious! (We were lucky to escape with our lives!????) Thank you, Encounter Walking Tours, for planning such a lovely time!
we enjoyed the saints Way very much. 3 x 10 mile per day is very manageable and not a slog. Route is undulating and very varied, with woodland,hill, coastal and inland aspects. toughest section is the middle three miles on day 1 out of Padstow-elevated plateau with limited protection from the wind ( an issues as we were walking over a stormy March weekend.)
Route has avery powerful sense of history, especially days 2 and 3. follows a neolithich droving path later used by Irish pilgrims crossing to mainland Europe. route is characterised on day 2 by historic churches, holy wells and (original) Celtic crosses at the junctions. Path is well marked.
Tips would be 1. interior of Cornwall is quite thinly populated-take some sandwiches 2. be aware of the weather forecast-hedgerows can provide some cover from any wind and allow you to walk parrallel to the path if necessary. 3. nb some signs came down in high winds on day 1 route.
highlights 1. historical route, ancient churches, wells, standing stones, crosses etc-take time to look at these things 2 variety of scenery 3. a manageable walk for most abilities 4 . very good cornish beers and ciders , especially the 'Proper Job'hopped ale 5.finish and start are at fashionable Fowey and Padstow respectively. ample chance for a bit of shopping or gourmet eating at either end- went to rick Stein's for my 50th birthday treat. accommodation was good in all cases- Fowey Hotel is a good thing to treat yourself to at the end for a wee bit more expense. overall interesting, varied and memorable.
Hi Damon, as I write I am overlooking the sea from our room at Honeycombe House in Mevagissey. Our Saints Way walking holiday organised by you has been a great success. All the accommodation was wonderful; the trip notes very detailed & helpful, & the weather of course, has been magnificent! Generally we found the way fairly well signposted with a few areas where signs had been "souvenired" or were just plain not there but I regret to say we didn't take specific note of locations hoping we would remember at the end - not so, except for yesterday when we had difficulty getting out of Golant & then again further up the track. A few spots on day 1 & 2 were very brambly too, but the muddy parts weren't too bad. We will certainly recommend you to any of our friends who come this way. You made the whole adventure very easy & enjoyable.
We had amazingly beautiful weather, rain only at night or while at lunch one day. Some mud, well quite a lot in places, as a result. We loved our walk!!! All transport went smoothly. All accommodations were lovely and hospitable. The food at the Crowne Inn was particularly excellent.
Signage was mostly good. But we did get lost, several times. We got better at understanding the map and where to go when there was no sign, but the first day was particularly difficult and we lost our way below Dennis Hill as the trail enters the woods. It looked like the arrow headed right, but in fact, it headed straight. Animal trails and others who obviously lost their way confused the issue. Entering fields was often confusing and I would suggest small binoculars to try to find the exit. It was often very confusing. Sometimes we thought it was a miracle we were actually on the "way".
But really, our experience was very positive and we were delighted to have accomplished our goal.
Thanks for all you arrangements.
The Saints Way tuned out to be a great walk for us (both age 64). We did a coastal walk in Padstow before we left and the Hall Walk in Fowey after our three days on the Saints Way. All the logistics went perfectly and our accommodations were good. The weather was perfect which made our walks even better. We had very few problems. We got a little lost a few times but recovered pretty easily. We did run into one flooded path that required walking in a hedgerow (thank heavens we had gloves!), but all in all a wonderful time.
The walk was very well organised with good maps and helpful information supplied. We left our car at the public car park at Fowey and took the train and bus to Padstow to start the walk. This worked out ok but be warned that you pay for the parking with your mobile phone and reception isn't great. It took us a while to get a good enough connection. The weather wasn't the greatest - it was quite a muddy walk! That made it heavier going than it might have been. We managed ok but glad we took the option of 3 days and not 2. The B&Bs were pretty good overall. Tregoll's Farm in particular is lovely, as is the hostess Marilyn. We did get lost near Dennis Farm - right at the start of the walk! The signage wasn't clear and we took the left one of 3 paths instead of the middle one and ended up on the Camel Trail. Some nice people from Dennis Farm set us straight - apparently it isn't an unusual mistake. There was one track on the second day, just before Tremorebridge, that was completely awash. We managed to navigate a detour around it but got covered in mud to our knees. Just part of the fun. Overall, a really nice, interesting walk with lots to see along the way.
Fantastic walk. Route well signposted & didn't get lost! Accommodation excellent. Some steep climbs but if I can manage them anyone can. Would recommend this walk as interesting places & stunning scenery.
Just a quick email.
The trip was terrific. The maps and notes were most helpful – we did not get lost.
Accommodation was splendid. The hosts were extremely pleasant and helpful.
Thanks so much
All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a fantastic journey. I took 10 days to do 100 miles plus 4 days to relax and be a tourist. I used muscles I didn't know I had and even with the training I did, it was nothing compared to the steep climbs and descents that went on and on! Loved every minute of it. It poured on my longest day - and with getting lost a few times, 15 miles turned into 20 with the end walking in mud and water up to our ankles - laughed our way through it- turned out to be alot of fun! I'd say when doing the Saints Way look carefully for signposts cause some are easy to miss. On one of my walks I took a wrong pasture and as I got closer to the end, a group of cows spotted me and started trotting toward me with two being the leaders. I knew it was wrong since usually the cows and sheep don't pay any attention to passing them. I eyed the gate and distance and hoped I'd make it over the fence before they reached me. Since I do animal communication, I hoped they got my message of what I was doing and to not hurt me. Then some turned away and a few walked with me to the gate as I climbed over. PHEW!
All the hamlets, towns, villages were beautiful. Great time of year since it was just the perfect temperature for walking. I live in the desert and am used to extreme heat, so I had to ask for heaters in some of the rooms. I loved having fruit in the morning along with a hearty breakfast. The Avalon in Tintangel has the best porridge - creme brulee. Great food places everywhere, especially Falmouth! Except for a couple of places, all accommodations were wonderful. I hated it to end. I was quite impressed I was able to challenge myself with this many miles (a year ago I couldn't walk a block without hurting - thanks to a great doctor who helped me heal) Be sure to have rain gear (NO poncho!) and two walking poles. I miss it already and if it wasn't for the US dollar exchange being so bad right now,
I'd plan another trip with Encounter Walking - Damon was fantastic with setting up my itinerary and answering my thousand questions and the services he used for luggage are wonderful. I did pass up a couple of the strenuous walks since I was alone but found my way with walking through towns on footpaths or took transportation - even still - walked many miles on those days too. Thank you, Damon, for a wonderful, exciting trip I will always remember!
The Saints Way was just right first us as first time walkers. Damon at Encounter was so helpful and his recommendations were spot on. We found closely following the OS map together with guidance from the walking directions was the best. The weather was good and mostly dry and we loved the accommodation booked for us - very hospitable hosts with good standard of accommodation with the bonus of being historic places as well. Very happy to do more Encounter walks - the difficulty is what to pick!
Being unfamiliar with Cornwall, I appreciated the expert advice on where to walk and the detailed itinerary to follow on a daily basis. The juxtaposition of the Saints Way walk and the coastal path was nice, and while the experiences differed, they were both great. After the happy absence of people on the Saints Way, the relative busyness of the coastal path was a little disappointing. There's no obvious way to avoid this, but I'd imagine that in high summer it's crawling with people. I might recommend including a suggestion of departing earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.
Overall we thought everything was very good. All the organisation worked: great to have such in-depth info on refreshments en route, getting to and from the area, and concern to make sure the route was followed. Instructions on the first day: the issues with the route that you highlighted may have been fixed. Clearer advice on how to find the trail at Padstow would be welcome and maybe confirmation of where it ends? There was no signage to indicate at Fowey to indicate start/finish. The bit around Pen Poll Pill was a bit confusing so some guidance/more signs would have been welcome there.
We walked quite slowly and took longer than you estimated each day. This isn't a criticism, just you might find this useful to know. However, we felt all three days were of a similar difficulty level (ie, a perfectly acceptable one) although we recognise that people walking in bad weather might feel differently about this! Overall we found the accommodation arrangements worked very well: everyone was welcoming and friendly and our luggage was transported perfectly. At Tregolls Farm we were told that packed lunches were not an option so perhaps this should be amended in your information. Her evening meal was excellent -- we couldn't eat it all! At the Crown Inn we were accommodated in the medieval building at the back. The electricity flickered from time to time and the hot water ran out quickly in the shower, also there were some stains on the sheets. Encounter Walking Note ! Thank you and sorry ...we have been in touch with the Crown to ask that a new set is bought rather than reusing !
The Well House was a wonderful treat for the end of the walk -- with a BATH, so welcome to have a long soak! Other walkers should perhaps be aware that non-pub food options in Padstow will probably be all booked up, so they have little chance of sampling those cool bistros, let alone the Stein establishments! We got packed lunches from the Golden Lion and the Crown Inn which (especially on the first day) were much appreciated. For the first time in 7 years of walking, we decided to bring thermos flasks which we filled with coffee at breakfast (all hosts were happy to do this) and brought flapjack from home. This was a great success so we offer it to others!
Best thing: We had wonderful weather and the countryside is breathtaking. It was well worth takinh the time on the last morning to cross over to Bodinnick on the ferry and walking the first (waterside) section of the Hall Walk, it is spectacular.
Worst thing: On two occasions the route takes you along an orange/red road without a pavement or verge. Some drivers really seemed to object to walkers and we flung ourselves flat against the hedgerows time and again. If people were walking with children or a dog this would be quite challenging. We would also stress that you do need to be able to read an Ordnance Survey map for this walk -- if you weren't used to reading field boundaries and contour lines it could be difficult. Overall a great experience and we will certainly recommend your company to others without hesitation.
Thanks we had a great time absolutely no problems even the weather was ok if not perfect, good walking weather.
The Old Ferry Inn was spot on for us much better situation than being in Fowey.Pity they don't do day tickets for foot passengers on the ferry as it became a bit of an extra fiddle at times.
Best walk was the one from Polperro superb scenery .It was very quiet walking met few fellow walkers which was great .Nice selection thanks very much.
Passed the very muddy and flooded bit on the Saints Way by clambering up the bank and walking along the side of the hedge, which somebody had done before us .
Very well organised, thank you very much. Accommodation : Day 1, Woodlands House, near Padstow. 20 minutes walk into Padstow . Easy to find with plenty of car parking. Large and clean room. Very helpful hosts, Pippa and Hugh who let me keep my car there for the duration of my walk. Outstanding breakfast. Day 2 , Tregolls Farm B&B. Very, very friendly and helpful owner Marilyn who greeted me with a large glass of squash and a plate of biscuits and supplied an ice pack for my sore ankle. Old fashioned style farmhouse but spotlessly clean and great views .There were cute pet goats. Marilyn cooked me a delicious meal of roast chicken followed by apple tart and clotted cream. Very good breakfast. Very quiet and peaceful, this is where I had the best nights sleep. Day 3, Crown Inn , Lanlivery. Room ok, cleanish, but quilt and pillows very, very stained. No excuse for this and made me feel uncomfortable. Food quite good and staff friendly. Day 4, King of Prussia, Fowey. Room surprisingly nice with a great view of the quay and river. Noise from the town but not too bad and noisy seagulls in the morning, ear plugs were provided ! Good breakfast.
The transfers all worked like clockwork and Graham from Fowey coastal taxis was there on time to take me back to Padstow, friendly, chatty and a good driver.
The walk : There were some nice parts of the walk, for me these were when the walking was on high ground and the downs. I didn't mind walking on the lanes because it was peaceful and easy to navigate. However a lot of the walk wasn't particularly ' nice ' or pretty and I really didn't like the bridleways with high hedges, very claustrophobic. The walk has to be seen, in my opinion, as kind of a means to an end i.e. coast to coast rather than a picturesque walk. There was one part, just coming out of Withiel, where I am pretty sure the map or the signs or both are wrong. I had to walk around the perimeter of two fields to try to find where I was even though I had strictly followed the field boundaries on the map. This was followed by a ' green lane ' which was ankle deep in mud for quite some distance, high hedges both sides and thousands of horse flies, very unpleasant indeed. The Saints Way signposts on the roads were very good and even though the navigation was easier on the roads it was still reassuring to see the signs. The signposts were not as prolific across the field sections which is where they were most needed.
Overall I am pleased I did the walk because a coast to coast gave me a sense of achievement. The history and facts were interesting but I think a religious person would find it much more interesting than I did. The logistics from Encounter Walking worked perfectly and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again or recommend them to anyone. From a personal point of view in the future I would rather walk on coastal paths. Thanks very much.
This years charity walk went very smoothly thanks to your excellent organisation. A real professional service with a very personal touch. The hotel location was perfect (albeit the seagulls were a little noisy with their dawn chorus!!), the transfers where spot on and very flexible (please pass on my thanks to coastline) which was important due to our inability to judge what pace we were walking. The actual walk itself was challenging but doable despite the youngest walker being 12 and the oldest 71! It was also very picturesque. My colleagues and family all really enjoyed the whole experience which wouldn't have been possible without your support. Thanks from all of us!
We had a super time. We only got really wet one day and were dressed properly so no harm done. We cars were all on time and great. Graham was a wonderful tour guide and his local knowledge made the day better.
Dinner was great at Tregolls and Lanlivery was a fun stop at a really old inn. I would have couples take rooms with two beds, as the double beds are small for two peoples. We switched and it worked our great.
The best advice on the tour was where to avoid the mud. We took your advice and went the driest route where recommended. It could be pretty sloppy. We had no trouble following the trail, all the sign posts were up and in the right direction. The OS maps are exceptional. There was one small section, where we needed to walk on the busy road, but that was the only time cars played a role. Almost all the country lanes were car free.
The enjoyed ourselves and truly loved the flowers on the hedgerows.
I really enjoyed my 3 days walking. The organisation was excellent and I was grateful for the help in arranging an extra day at short notice for the end of my walk. My general points: you really do need the map and have a basic ability to read it! It is true that the Saints Way pack has interesting commentary but I actually used another set of printed instructions (http://www.yor-tec.co.uk/cornwall/saints.htm) and the maps. The luggage transfers all worked perfectly.
Day 1: accomodation in Padstow (50 Church St) excellent, really good start to walk. Walk generally good, didn't really get lost, but instructions on Dennis Hill could be clearer i.e. either take kissing gate to the left to visit monument or take stone stile to the right for Saints Way. The Saints Way posts were still knocked down. Follow the field hedge to the left. Also in Little Petherick, where the path emerges onto the track, it would be good to advise people to walk past the row of moderm holiday homes (I first turned right up the hill before realising my mistake).
I planned to have lunch at the Halfway at St Jidgey but did not ring ahead and arrived only to find it closed. I heard from the taxi driver that it is not unusual to find it closed, so as advised I should have rung. As advised, the section between Higher Bosnieves to Tregustick is tricky due to lack of signposting - it was difficult to know where the exit from the field was. I followed the line of trees (past the cattle). Tregolls Farm - very welcome! Easy to find, very comfortable, nice evening meal, lots of helpful books on Saints Way.
Day 2 - If staying at Tregolls you can start by using the lower farm trail which links up with the Saints Way at the ford. You go through 2 fields, the 1st is easy enough, but it's not clear in the second where you should go. There is now an 'official' diversion which does not go through the yard of Blackay Farm. Got lost early on leaving Withiel across the fields of Churchtown Farm. Signpost down. Had to retrace my steps and look at map and use field boundaries to find stile and footbridge at the foot of the valley. Withielgoose Lane was inundated and there was no alternative but to wade through it! Had lunch at Lanivet Inn - was Ok. I found the eastern branch of the Way south of Lanivet easily (thanks to the Encounter warning) but it might help to warn people that they will see a Wilderness Way sign first that they can ignore. The Saints Way sign looked quite clear to me. However, I found the Saints Way signs and arrows around Helman Tor quite confusing. Again, looking at the map I found the old drove road ok. It was muddy in places but it was relatively easy to go round the puddles. The Crown Inn - accomodation ok, meal there disappointing, poor quality and bad service. Tried to find St Brevyth well behind the pub but signage is misleading, you need to turn left from the public footpath through gate into a permissive path (rather than continue on public path as sign suggests). Nice little detour on artiving or before leaving next day.
Day 3 - easiest part of walk. Footpath between No Man's Land and Castle must have been recently worked on as was very dry and easy to walk on. Good tip in Encounter instructions on taking left hand lane before farm (really should be signpost here though). Stopped for drink at Fisherman's Arms, Golant. Well House - good accomodation, nice breakfast. Helpful hints on Hall Walk (i.e. slight detour to Lanteglos). Taxi Return to Padstow - Mike from Ocean Taxis, excellent service.
Just wanted to feed back to you on behalf of myself and my walking buddies that we have had the most fantastic few days. I feel the good weather has played a great part in this as we have seen Cornwall at its best. The walking was so varied and interesting which helped keep up the spirits with all the walking up those big hills!!
The three places that you arranged for us to stay in were excellent. We all especially loved Tregolls farm and especially Marilyn , she was so friendly and made us all feel so welcome. I think it was actually nicer to stay there the two nights than having to move on after the first night. The accommodation was between the cottages and the farm house was outstanding along with the excellent daily full Cornish breakfast... We were all very sad to leave.
The Crown and Gallion Pubs were also good . All were clean, comfortable with excellent breakfasts. The only but was the lack of hot water at the Crown for showers , we reported this, but perhaps to many people trying shower at the same time!!! WE would all happily stay at all three places again.
The instructions you provided for the walk were excellent, we managed to find the eastern route on day two quite easily actually stumbling across it.. thought we had missed it as you pointed out.
Helmams tour is a must the views were breath taking.
The only problems we encountered were on the first day at the end finding the way down the last hillside to find the road to walk to the farm..probably all tired by then ...
Day two- no real problems
Day three - I think would benefit from another indicator post or mention in your paperwork as you join the junction of the A390 and B 3269 . As we made the mistake of turning right instead of left and walked along the side of the busy main road and crossed over to rejoin the B3269 walking until could turn left down a steep hill to eventually rejoin the Saints way around mill town. Totally our mistake but could also be made by others if not paying attention....
No problems with luggage transfers or taxi picks ups
Our train journey back was considerably quieter than the one down, lots of snoozing going on!
Thanks once again to both of you for putting this trip together for us, I certainly feel better for the days away and have some fantastic memories and photos to remember it by.
Some delightful scenery was experienced along the Saint's way. Accommodation was excellent and luggage transfers were excellent. A set of fit for purpose notes is really needed to enhance the experience as it is difficult to juggle maps and cards and more specific instructions are needed to help walkers re-join the trail when leaving towns. I copied notes from a guide at Tregoll's Farm written by two Americans and it was more helpful than the cards and map. Some advice to walkers on how to deal with bulls and electrified fences in fields would also be helpful as local knowledge is assumed.
Our party of 3 enjoyed the walk. The wildflowers in the banks and woods were glorious. The organisation,route directions given to us by Encounter walking were great, even to taxi numbers for tired walkers, which we didn't need. The places we stayed were fine too. Being in Padstow for the preparation for May day was quite an experience! They were still celebrating when we returned on May 2nd to collect our car. Journey from Fowey to Padstow by buses and train worked well, again helpful hints from the information. Our only slight disapointment was to do with the route, there is rather a lot of road walking, mostly side roads, but much more tiring on the feet. We would recommend this walk.
Excellent B&Bs, perfect weather and perfect arrangements. Nothing needs to be changed - very little room for improvement. Thank you very much; keep up the good work!
We had a great time despite the weather on the first 2 days. We got a bit lost at the beginning in the fields around Withiel, but it may have been partly because we were walking it backward, because the accommodation wasn't available. We certainly got better at reading maps! We didn't walk the 2nd day as torrential rain and thunderstorms were forecast, ,so we spent a very pleasant day in Padstow instead. We would suggest more notes with directions - especially on the field bits as it was often confusing which direction to head. The taxi and accomodation were easy and good. We really enjoyed our last 2 days walking - we were powering up the hills by the end and felt better for it. Highly reccommend.
Overall great holiday.
Route: - Broadly, fine but muddy and overgrown in parts (OS helpful if path not obvious e.g in some fields).
Near beginning of route sign in field below Obelisk pointing wrong way (in future could include sketch of path in notes ) Eating: - Rick Stein's cafe great and the bistro and Sam's good in Fowey - Organisation v good (no lost bags) and helpful free parking tip in Padstow
Would recommend to other, particularly if prefer a route less travelled so no crowds and queues
All B&Bs good - especially liked Tregolls Farm and the Well Inn (excellent location and family suite meant the luxury of space) - many thanks - Emer
We thoroughly enjoyed our Saints Way walk from Padstow to Fowey and we're grateful to Encounter for their efficient and helpful advice. Luggage transfers went without a hitch and accommodation was generally very good, particularly the Old Custom House in Padstow (lovely view of the harbour, very clean room) and Willowbrook B&B in Lanivet, where Elaine was a wonderful host - I don't think I have ever seen a room so sparklingly clean! We had an extra night in Padstow and an extra night in Fowey to properly explore those towns, and that was well worth it. Fowey was the most pleasant surprise - a lovely place. We were lucky to be there during Regatta week which added a wonderful buzz.
We are reasonably fit forty-somethings and we found the Saints Way perfectly manageable over two days. In fact we felt that had we taken three days we'd have been at a bit of a loss for things to do in the afternoons/evenings outside of Padstow and Fowey, as the towns along the way are tiny. We were quite surprised at the lack of pubs or even tea/coffee shops along the way particularly on the Padstow/Lanivet stretch - we recommend taking a packed lunch, plenty of water and some snacks with you on that leg (the second leg was fine as there were more options - the Crown Inn in Lanivery and a few options in Golant).
Signposting was generally good. We used the OS maps particularly when off-road and the additional walking notes provided by Encounter were most helpful. One little surprise was how much of the walking is on roads. Generally these are very small roads - quite narrow and hedge lined. There's usually not a lot of traffic but I would strongly recommend bright clothing (fine for us as the weather was nice but I suspect tricky if you're in waterproofs) because there's often not a lot of space to get out of the way of approaching traffic, and not a lot of time for a car to spot you. The Hall Walk from Fowey (a circular walk from Fowey to Polruan and back) was a real highlight - a stunningly beautiful walk and one not to miss. It's only short but we added on a bit of strolling along the South West Coast Path to make the most of a beautiful day. Thanks Encounter!
The Saint’s Way Padstow to Fowey. 4 days 8th-12th July 2013 Eastern and Western Legs Sylvia and Geoff (UK) Janet (NZ) We used the £2/day parking at Trevethan Farm next to Tesco’s. Mr Hagley gave us a ticket for the park and ride into Padstow which was very convenient. Our accommodation at the Golden Lion, Padstow, Tregolls Farm Withiel and the Crown Inn at Lanlivery were all excellent with friendly helpful staff /host Marilyn, good rooms, good showers, lovely dinners and breakfasts. We did not feel that the accommodation at Trevanion Guest House in Fowey was of the same standard. The best bit there was the easy convenient access to the pub on the corner (The Safe Harbour) and the bus stop for the return journey to Padstow. We were walking in the heatwave and as a result found that the timings for each days walk were disheartening. We were taking nearly half as long again to reach the end of our day’s journey. I disagree about the description of Day 2 being easy. I would describe it as moderate. We all found walking the tarmacked roads hard on the knees and feet. We missed the turn for the eastern leg, partly because we weren’t paying attention but also there were no signs of any sort to prompt us to check which way we should be going. We thought what turned out to be the correct turning, was a driveway to a house. We made full use of the information cards. Our NZ companion was particularly interested in the history along the way. Although there were many Saint’s Way signposts, sometimes they weren’t there when they were most needed. We wouldn’t have found our way without the OS maps. They were invaluable. Due to the hot weather we had no problems with waterlogged foot paths, even the one that had been closed between No Mans Land and Castle was open. Our luggage was always waiting for us each day. We had efficient service from Graham on the last day who took us to Helman Tor for the western leg. We all enjoyed the walk through the nature reserve. South of Luxulyan (SX053575) we missed the path and followed a path to the east rejoining The Saints Way at SX055568. The diversion at Trevenney Farm was well signposted but it was not clear that we had to cross the electric fence. We had to check this with someone on the farm. At SX058555 we missed the path and ended up on the road at SX058553 Overall we found it a tough walk but as we were all fit we put this down to the heat. We certainly weren’t weighed down with waterproofs or warm clothing. Keeping cool was more our problem. Thank you for the excellent organisation and we would definitely consider using Encounter Walking again.
Damon and all...
We are back from our walk in Cornwall (and visiting other parts of England), and I wanted to let you know that everything was great.
The maps and directions you gave us kept us from being lost...even though we were doing the Saint's Way the wrong way...and the notes you made for us kept us ready for whatever came our way.
Everyone we interacted with was kind, professional and helpful. Janet at our Padstow stop and Marilyn in Tregolls Farm deserve extra praise for their kindness and helpfulness. We also appreciated Mike's promptness in getting us to our train on time. The only time we requested an unscheduled taxi ride...pouring rain and wind and fog from Port Gaverne to Port William led us to get a taxi to Tintagel...and Tony was entertaining and helpful and a very good ambassador for Cornwall.
Many thanks for all your help.
Unfortunately my friend hurt her foot before arrival and we had to curtail our walk quite a bit. However the information provided about taxis was very helpful. The walk was lovely - some of the directions on the Saints Way are not very clear in parts particularly when cutting across fields. However the support provided by Encounter travel was first rate.
Faultless organisation all of the accommodation was of very good standard
The Padstow b&b was of exceptionally high standard with the best breakfast award The best view from a room was king of Prussia the view over the estuary was excellent
The path was pretty well signed posted and your route issues of the day still stand Had to use a bearing once over the fields on day one which was one of your route issues
Thanks once again for organising and hopefully be in contact again to sort another walk
This is rather brief I am afraid since I am back in the thick of parish duties. We had though a lovely three day walk and thoroughly enjoyed the Saints Way from Padstow Church through to Fowey Church. In fact I used our experiences for my Sunday sermons yesterday - and the Celtic faith influence. Not too many of your clients I guess would do that !
We only met one American couple coming towards us on part of the SW route over the three days and I think you had assigned them to it. Further we only met one couple (also Americans) going in the same direction as us. So we saw four people only en route over three days - amazing. Your directions, ie the printed sheets you provided were excellent in every way. I might describe the Day 2 more as moderate than easy but the timings you suggested were spot on. However, we used the OS maps constantly both across fields and the for roads. I occasionally used a compass directionally when off the roads. Generally though, we had no problems at all in picking out the whole distance and indeed explored the Breney Nature reserve and topped Helman Tor in passing The nature reserve we found fascinating especially my wife who is something of a botanist. On the way more generally we loved seeing hares and woodpeckers; the hedgerows were in full bluebell bloom plus wild orchids and campion (we see less of this in Somerset).
Accommodation for our four nights was absolutely fine and hosts did their utmost to make us comfortable and were very helpful. We enjoyed Tregolls Farm and Marilyn the most, and Mike of Ocean Taxis was a delight. The Bridge Bistro is Wadebridge is first class. The Crown Inn restaurant service is a little chaotic but acceptable really. You have to like a friendly dog called Frank at The Well House in Fowey. The couple there were very helpful and ordered us a taxi on the last day. If ordering a taxi in Fowey to get to Parr station then allow plenty of time. It can take an age for a taxi to arrive in busy times through the narrow streets.Thank you again for everything. The luggage movement was without a hitch. We will seek your advice in due course about the SW coast path sections and short breaks.
With best wishes to you and your team.
We recently completed this walk, starting with 3 nights in Padstow, 2 en route, finishing with 2 nights in Fowey. This was our first walk with Encounter. We did find it quite challenging, but thoroughly enjoyable. We don't think of ourselves as particularly unfit, but would have struggled to complete it in 2 days. Several detours meant we ended up walking (what felt like) more than 10 miles a day. Also, the terrain is very undulating which can be rather tiring. However, the scenery was stunning in places and we were very fortunate to see an abundance of wildflowers (specially Bluebells) due to the lateness of spring this year. The walking notes could have been more detailed at some points where signs were missing or obscured. Even where there were signs it wasn't always clear of the exact direction to take across a field. We had to make a long detour along minor roads after Withiel church due to a severely waterlogged field which would have required wellies to negotiate. We were pleased with the standard of accommodation throughout, however Symply Padstow was our outright winner due to the amazing views from our room and the excellence of Tina's breakfasts! Overall it was a wonderful experience with excellent organisation from our inital enquiry to completion of the walk and we wouldn't hesitate in booking with Encounter again.
The organisation went without any hitches. We enjoyed all our night stops and meeting our hosts. The views were spectacular. The No Man's Land Section is still closed. The mud was not too bad and mainly avoidable. We would have preferred less metalled road walking (although minimal traffic), the hedgerows were a delight - the spring flowers at their height. The weather smiled on us so the compass was unnecessary, as were water proofs, but we carried them anyway. Thank you for enabling it, a happy few days.
And from Jeremy who walked with Sheila
Apart from many positive delights and appreciation for what we received during a great holiday, my main concern was to warn that after Milltown, going under the railway and up hill there was no sign telling us to take the left fork on the lane (and so be nearer the Fowey). We also had to be vigilant near Helman Tor and found the east route entrance with a little difficulty: only the right stone marker is standing. We scrambled up onto the blackthorn hedge, following others' trail, at the two most muddy spots. I made myself learn to look at the direction in which the red/orange arrows were pointing when crossing styles and going through fields - that usually saved some time wandering towards the wrong side of a field.
We loved the B & Bs especially and were blessed with very good weather and with wedding cake at a reception going on in the Fishermans's Arms at Golant!
This was the first time I had walked on my own (and over fields) and I was quite anxious about doing so, but with the notes and the maps I got only slightly lost (that is, trekked diagonally over a very large field near Withiel, only to find I should have walked to the right along the fence line). Some marker posts were hard to see until I got quite close (obscured by bushes for example) but I soon learned to look for signs like trodden grass, or overhead power lines that gave me clues about where I was, or should be!
I'm a slowish walker but I was pretty much on time on the first and third days (I did the relaxed walk). Heading over St Breock's Down on the first day was a little cold as the wind was strong and I was heading into it, but the sight of the wind farm and then the waiting stone kept me trudging on. Tregolls Farm B & B was excellent (best lemon meringue pie ever). The second day was probably the most exhilarating as I had to negotiate a flooded lane not far from Withiel by clambering along the steep bank, which took some time. Lunch at the inn in Lanivet was a welcome interlude, then heading south along the ridge from Helman's Tor there were three more sections of flooded track; I didn't want to wade through them and I was determined not to go back, so that meant more clambering along banks and avoiding brambles and mud, much more fun than I had anticipated.
On the third day I met the only other walker I saw in the whole three days (I guess it was pretty early in the season) at the Fisherman's Arms in Golant. The trees were still almost bare but I loved the daffodils and primroses everywhere. And I had a lovely reception in Fowey from a passing holiday maker who exclaimed at length to his friends about the fact that I'd just walked nearly 30 miles! There was a talk about the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in St Finbarrus church that evening which my B & B host told me about; a fitting end to my much shorter trek (though the next day I completed the Hall Walk, accompanied for a few hundred yard by a pheasant which led me through the woods)!
Many thanks to Damon for all the help with figuring out what route to take, and the excellent organisation of the accommodation (all good). If I didn't live as far from Cornwall as it's possible to get (in the Southern Hemisphere) I'd be back like a shot to walk all the places I missed, including the western route. As it is, I have great memories of an all too short walk.
Just a quick line to say thanks for your assistance in providing the guide book and other details to enable me to complete the Saints Way. I walked into Padstow on a sunny Sunday afternoon (last weekend) patting myself on the back! This was my first walk alone with map and compass.
The only damper, if any, was paying for a very over-priced bed and breakkie at Hustyns, due to my late booking of accommodation in or near Withiel. B&Bs win hands down for comfort, hospitality and conviviality.
En route there were a few marker posts that have fallen, some obscured by vegetation and a few turns where there was no marker so that having the OS map was necessary. (I'd always walk with an OS map anyhow).
It's an interesting, picturesque walk, particularly the western route through Luxulyan valley, which I'd like to return to. I attended the church service in St Petroc church Padstow as a fitting end to walking the Saints Way.
ps: Liz and John Edwards at Ivy Cottage, Luxulyan, were excellent hosts and are excited to begin receiving walking guests. They happily drove me from Luxulyan to St Blazey where I had decided to commence walking around to Padstow.
We had no problem finding where the east and west route split but did find another way mark fallen deep in a hedge. Generally we found the way marks were placed very far apart and began to lose confidence that we were on the right track at times.We only walked for two days both were very enjoyable...... We encountered a lot of mud but expected to after the recent rainfall, it was not too much of a problem......50 Church Street, Padstow was particularly good.
As mentioned above, a little more detail of the route between those way marks which were very far apart would have been helpful. We did not get lost but there were times when we dithered and were uncertain.......The organisation was excellent.
Generally the Saints Way was fairly well marked, some posts had rotted and fallen into undergrowth, it was more picking the right direction across fields that proved tricky, the post at Lanivet had been vandalised, at little petherick it should be noted the road is narrow and busy as you have to walk up the hill to pick up the footpath, a small section we didn't enjoy. With the combined help of notes, map and signposts we found the way without too much difficulty.
Best days walk and why - day 3, from lanlivery to fowey, fab sunken lanes, less fields.
Worst days walk and why - day 2 Tregolls farm, lot of roadwork.
Estimated times were spot on, we took slightly longer......Our best night was at Withiel at the Farm as we were put in one of the self contained cottages, fantastic log fire which was very welcome after a good days walk and a bath to soak in. Magic.
It all worked extremely well, couldn't fault the organisation, we will certainly do this again.can't think of anything, but will let you know if we do. Many thanks for a great holiday, as you say we faired well with our choice of walk as we were protected from the full force of the weather, although we had to pick our way through some very squelchy and sometimes flooded parts of the walk. Whilst enjoying our last night at Fowey, were surprised to see the sea rising above the harbour wall and along the streets of Fowey! Good food at Sams.
Getting off Dennis Hill did pose a problem as you predicted, causing an encounter with brambles. Maybe it should be described as going straight down through the gate..... I think the last day from Charlestown to Mevagissey was the best part of the walk despite all those steps. The scenery outstanding and there was no road walking as on other days which when there are high hedges can prove tedious...... Generally rather slower than the estimated times despite walking evenly and with very little dawdling. We did consult the maps a lot but possibly being obsessional. No6; Wreckers @Charlestown; Roovray’s@Mevagissey all had superb food and excellent service......At the Eden Project Walkers discount now at main entry point not at pre-pay desk. We were graded as ‘walking seniors’ and were given all the discounts due. We have been very impressed with the way the whole holiday was arranges. In particular your speedy replies which made us feel we were being looked after personally and not just another number. This was echoed by two ladies we met on the path. Thank you! Beware we will return!
We did get lost a few times, we were most confused on the second day and ended up on the A398, via the big round about, we must have missed earlier signs, but I don’t know....... Each day was different and delightful, the weather was superb and the scenery such a pleasure to be part of...... Walked much slower. I reckon a Cornwall mile is two of any other!...... Anything we could add that would have been useful-more specific noted on the trail would have been useful, especially between Withiel and Lanlivert...... Everyone I dealt with, especially Damon, we’re helpful over and above need:) Thanks for a fabulous walking holiday, we had a fabulous time!
Best day was the west route back into Fowey (day 3 for us)- weather finally blissful so able to appreciate beauty of countryside, and also this length of walk was for us best (ie Lanlivet to Padstow-we reckoned 16+ miles, we strayed off the path –was while lovely a bit far and we arrived pretty tired)....... Hardly need recommend Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant-good but expensive. We ate very good seafood in pub below St Finbarrus Church near harbour front it was good value. All 3 B & Bs were comfortable and clean and all provided copious cooked breakfasts. The pub accommodation in Padstow was quite noisy (bar below and rowdy people out on the street outside the window) but acceptable....... Well organised. We would use your company again and recommend it.
Since we had a fantasic 2 weeks of holiday in Cornwall without a drop of rain, 12 days of blue sky and a superb organization preparing this trip I can only say THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!!!
EVERY DAY on the swcp: splendid views, superb vegetation. Sometimes walking slower due to our 7 y. Old. YOU DID A GREAT JOB-CONGRATULATIONS!!!
In general we had a good walk apart from the weather! The only problem we had with the route was mentioned in your info . . . I thought the signposted route did not follow the same route as the map - although this might have been my map reading! There were places were the path was so overgrown it was difficult to see the signposts and long stretches where there no (reassuring)posts. It is important to keep checking the OS map. The best day was the part from Lanlivery to Fowey-we had a pleasant stop at the pub in Golant and found the church there interesting. Also the weather had improved by then. We kept roughly to the estimated walking time. The organization we could not fault with good advice and very useful information. We felt we had personal service and you listened to what we had to say. We would certainly recommend Encounter Walking to anyone planning a walking holiday in the West of England.
Field with bulls but the farmer told us it was OK...... We recommend Camel Valley vineyard for those wet days when you don’t walk. We loved the “Rest-A-While Tea Garden,” Hawkers Cove, on the Padstow- Trevone walk. The seafood restaurant in Padstow was a real treat, but book well in advance. Sam’s Bistro with its cocktail bar on Fowey was amazing. The Pier House Restaurant in Charlestown was lovely, and has some very original vegetarian dishes....... People were really friendly. 50 Church B & B is fabulous and Janet is the hostest with the mostest. She deserves a special mention for being so efficient, friendly and helpful e.g the longstay carpark system is not as straightforward as it seems and Janet sorted that out for us using her own computer and making phone calls. Great breakfasts too. Try the pancakes!
I enjoyed all of the walk despite the mud, the most enjoyable part being around Helman Tor. My stay in Padstow was great. The downstairs of the Golden Lion was a bit off-putting but the bedrooms were very good. Food was good there especially the landlady’s fish stew. Also her picnic was one of the best I have had anywhere, especially her fruit cake. The farm at Withiel was most enjoyable and very welcoming. My luggage was always waiting for me. Thank you.
The weather prevented me from enjoying the first two days. I had thick wellies instead of the walking boots I meant to bring, and they were soon wet through. After two days I decided to go with the taxi to Fowey and do the Hall Walk. All the accommodation was very good, especially at Withiel (Tregolls Fram). The organisation was very good.
Finally we’re back in London after an amazing week in Cornwall- with the hike and sightseeing, and two weekends either end, in Devon. We really enjoyed the hike and would thoroughly recommend it. Have some great photos to remind us of the lovely time we had. We found it quite a challange to walk the 15 miles each day, and found it quite undulating-but we would NOT have wanted to do it over three days- as the day would definitely have been too short-so many thanks for suggesting the two days!...... We did find the OS map was pretty essential as some of the signposts were quite short, set up against the sides of buildings- and were often over-grown...... We loved both days – for the different terrains- field and bridleway walking on the first day, and then the small roads and walking through the woods on the second day........The distances were fairly accurate. We started both days around 9am and finished around 5pm-with 2, ten minute stops and a stop of around 20 minutes to eat lunch...... We completely enjoyed the hike- and would definitely recommend it to friends! The terrain was so diverse- and that made it all the more interesting. It was nice balance of walking..... We never stop at pubs etc on walks so we look for interesting places to eat our lunch/have rest stops. We stopped at St. Breock standing stone to eat our picnic lunch on the first day- which was perfect timing, and had two other small stops for water/fruit. The second day was misty and we sat on a bench near the church in Lanlivery .......The accommodation was perfect. EVERYONE was very very friendly. Janet at 50 Church Street was extremely welcoming- and we had lovely, light, bright room. It was great for us to be able to walk into Padstow and eat in the evening and she recommended a pub for us to watch the football (after our Rick Stein fish and chips!) Janet gave us some local saffron bread- but we were so full that she wrapped it up instead for us to take on the hike! It was a perfect location as the hike started across the road through the church yard!!.... We also loved the accommodation at St. Benet’s Abbey. Again Carol was extremely friendly-showing us some of the house and giving us some history about it. The taxi service from Fowey to Padstow worked out well too- and was a great idea to leave the car at our final destination...... Everything was fine-great detailed instructions. We found the pack with the cards very usuful to read up about local things we were passing and a very useful thing to have-rather than just rely on the OS map...... We had everything that we needed......We have been VERY impressed with Damon, and the company in general. The accommodation providers were also, all very complimentary about Encounter Walking.
There were several incidents of “Help! Which Way?” We only walked for three days and honestly, each one of those days was truly wonderful. No day stood out as better than the others. If pushed for a ‘best’ we’d probably say the third and final day when we walked from Fowey, full of celebratory ice-cream, to visit the beach at Polridmouth where we used to go as children, and from there up to Gribbin Head. The memories almost overwhelmed us. There wasn’t a worst day. A few dodgy moments here and there, when we were a bit lost, perhaps or when the howling gales and lashing rain impeded progress somewhat, but there was nothing really awful. Probably walking at or near the estimated times, but we did stop often to savour the countryside and, on occasion, to visit churches (Withiel and Golant) to pick wild strawberries and just stand and stare in awe...... We loved being in the countryside so much that it is like a slap in the face when we had to walk along real roads...... We felt from the outset that we were in totally safe hands. Everything worked like clockwork and we were so impressed that we are already discussing where we could go next with Encounter. It’s a shame you can’t make the weather behave, you ought to win prizes, but perhaps you do!
..No specific highlight all walks were excellent and very varied cutting across different vegetation and landscapes......Probably toughest bit climb out of Lanivet along road good views from top & once turned off onto quiter road no problem.......Got to each destination comfortably with sufficient stops along the way. The first day felt slightly slower but I think we were slower at spotting signs etc...... It is important people can read maps as where there are gaps in the signs and it is good to reassure yourself you're still on the right track......Both pubs excellent and very good welcome and both genuinely dog friendly - loads of sausages and dog biscuits. Both served good breakfast and evening meals to suit all tastes. Sharps & Skinners brews good and helped the happy travellers along the way...... Maps and notes and The Saints Way Guide all complimented each other & used all three equally. Car park & transfer worked well. Right from the beginning organisation & all contact been excellent......We had a great time blessed by good weather each day unbelievably lucky. The walking & variety was great. . loads of places to stop and rest for a wee while or just stop and enjoy the views. The accommodation at the end of each day just added to the overall success of our mini trip. Thankyou.
Well you were absolutely right we easily managed the middle day and of course feel really good about it. The walk was great and the accommodation excellent, all the arrangements worked out well and we are truly delighted with our trip particularly the help, and patience you took to get us organised in the beginning. Billy the border terrier loved it and there were lots of opportunities where he could run off the lead - on the last day enjoying a drink at Golant overlooking the estuary in sunshine was about as good as it can get mind that said the pint at The Crown Inn on Monday evening also in sunshine was near nectar. Like many before us I imagine, we are inspired to do more and will definitely be in touch again.
I don't know how long your business has been established but we can't fault it long may it prosper. Our thanks again ,best wishes Marion
All days excellent. May is a beautiful time to walk the Saints Way. We had miles of bluebells, red campions and white flowers along the hedge like rows of natural bunting. The bluebell woods were gorgeous and so was the wild garlic flowers. The bird life was abundant. So much to see. And the weather made such a difference. The villages decked out in flags as well to celebrate Torch relay & Jubilee made it a walk through spirit of Britain......Cool pint and a pasty at the Fisherman’s Arms in Golant was so welcome before the last steep climb and into Fowey......Tom the chef at the Crown in Lanlivery is great. Tell everyone who will listen to go to Paul Ainsworth @ No.6. Second time there and the food is still superb. Worth doing the walk for a meal there as a treat......Golden Lion in Padstow-great access to the Link car park. Staff welcoming. Room 2 although smaller is much nicer than room 3. Hearty breakfast. Tregolls- Marilyn is lovely. Such a pity there’s not a pub nearby. Lucky we took our own. Lovely room, tasteful decoration. And she’ll let you use her bath if you ask nicely. Nice touches with a fresh jug of milk not plastic stuff......The Crown at Lanlivery, rooms lack personal touch (no biscuits) BUT wonderful dinner. Not cheap but get what you pay for. Think they were short staffed for breakfast as service slow. King of Prussia in Fowey, room1 a delight with comfy sofa. Great views. Lovely bathroom. Massive, soft towels. Heaven.......Organisation second to none. Everything taken care of most professionally by Damon. Made for the most relaxing break. We knew we were in safe hands. We had met a previous customer of Damon’s. Cathy from New York who was singing her praises. She was independently at Tregolls. Your fame goes before! Where should we walk next year? We loved this. Feel like the accommodation providers know and care about us. But feel we should flex our wings or stretch our legs somewhere else in Cornwall. Suggestions???
Briefly it was excellent- the reduced distances worked well for Sue who is now full of confidence ready to embark on the next one!!..... Took wrong route leaving Padstow despite your warnings.
Best days walk: Day 4 with detour up Helmans Tor..... We walked slightly faster...... The Bistro in Fowey was very good - around £25pp inc wine...... No problems- just thanks for your teams patience and work to sort out the "slow itinerary”...... We returned and spent two additional nights at the Crown and also at B&B in Fowey (hope that helps with next years negotiations!!)
Hope the info below is helpful. We had a great walk and pretty good weather considering the recent wet period. We would recommend it to others. Thanks for everything and best wishes...... One or two signs were on their sides or missing but the OS map sorted us out. Best Day’s Walk : 2nd day because the weather was fantastic- sunny with a gentle breeze and we all enjoyed the views from Helmans Tor ......We found the times pretty accurate and mostly took the time as on printed sheets.......Overall very good. No complaints. The Withiel Farm was a great favourite. Lovely supper- all very comfortable there. The Fowey Hotel had very comfortable rooms. Breakfast did not begin before 9am and we would have liked this to be earlier. Slow service...... All the info you gave us was helpful especially the notes about the history/flora/wildlife etc...... Very impressed with organisation. All emails were answered promptly.....We all parked at a private car park in a field next to Tescos just above Padstow. It was £2 a day per car but was a lot cheaper than the council car parks in Padstow. The car park was at Trevethan Farm: contact Mrs Hagley email@example.com
The only area where we had a problem was on Dennis Hill and you had already warned us...... Day 3 was best as there was less walking on roads...... Didn’t use any of the pubs but found the benches outside the different churches great for refreshment stops, and Woodgate Woods overlooking the river was a beautiful place to stop for afternoon tea...... We were upgraded at the Hotel in Padstow so had a fab suite overlooking the harbour, excellent, staff all very friendly. Lanivet Accommodation was very quaint and Carol and her family were extremely hospitable. Also found the Fowey Hotel excellent again had a wonderful room overlooking the quay and had two evening meals there which were excellent. The staff again were all very friendly and made us feel very welcome...... We will definitely use your service again for our next walking holiday, we have thoroughly enjoyed the Saints Way, the history and scenery and the people we met along the way have all been great and the weather wasn’t too bad either. The whole route was full of bluebells on banks, in woods and on roadside hedges which has added to the beauty, I feel we have done a 40 mile bluebell walk. It has been great, Thank You.
This walk was the first walk which had done with the help of an agency and I must say that we found it exemplary. The information that you supplied was spot on. Baggage transfers were excellent, room to room service. Accommodation was really good and Graham of Coastal Cars was so helpful in explaining details and surroundings en route. We also enjoyed the Hall Walk at Fowey which you recommended. Thank you. Weather wise it was fantastic, we had two heavy showers: one-we were near a railway bridge and took shelter and the second shower was when we were in the Kings Head at Luxulyan (the food is excellent and huge portions. Well recommended). May I suggest that in your information pack you consider including Grid References, particularly when points you are referring to are long distances apart (I could not find Helmans Tor, it was on the other map!).
Worth emphasising that one should be looking at the map, the route cards and those final instructions all the time...... We really didn’t have any difficulty and the instructions were clear...... We really enjoyed every single day, but if we had to choose, we would have probably say that the second day, including the climb up Helman Tor, was the best (may be worth suggesting ascending from the car park – we went up at the first opportunity- pretty steep!)...... Enjoyed Rick Steins Bistro before setting off, and his cafe when we returned to Padstow. Also had a warming bowl of soup at the pub in Golant. The Bistro on Fore Street in Fowey was excellent...... We probably enjoyed the stony track onto St Breock Downs the least...... Really enjoyed the friendly welcome at 50 Church Street and Saint Wenn was good......Excellent, friendly and helpful organisation- couldn’t be bettered!......The weather was fine! Came home weather-beaten. Excellent waterproofs from Rohan coped with the showers and we had a lot of sunshine in between. Really enjoyed it all, thank you very much.
No big problems but the signage around Dennis Hill to the river and Blabel is (as you warned us) poor......Lovely weather and views......Lanivet is a useful stopping place...... Following very heavy rain some parts of the path were flooded, particularly around Helman Tor and needed detours. The Fishermans Arms in Golant is an excellent (sandwich) lunch stop on day 3......50 Church Street and Tregolls were really excellent. The Crown Inn was good, and friendly staff. Trevanion provided good breakfast, hot water and importantly is well placed for the bus stop to Par......All the arrangements were excellent. We were impressed that Damon bothered to suggest we might like a lift from Tregolls to Lanlivery because of the weather-which in fact wasn’t nearly as bad as forecast!.....We had an excellent holiday. Your organisation could not have been better and you will be pleased to hear that our B & B hosts all spoke very highly of you. Thank you and well done!
Once again-thankyou for making it possible for me to have this fabulous experience of walking in Cornwall!! The accommodations were also excellent! I will defiantly do more walking in Cornwall, and I have already started to plan my next walk...... The routes were generally well signposted. The only places where I got confused were: 1. On the Saint’s Way at the Babel house, where no signpost showed the way from the field through the buildings. 2. On the Saint’s Way, at No Man’s Land where the path leaves the A390, there was no signpost. 3. After leaving the A390, going south, the signpost where the tracks split was missing. I found it knocked over on the ground along a fence. But thanks to the map, I managed it right away......There was new exciting scenery to discover every day....... day is not enough to experience the Eden Project......The accommodation was excellent and everyone was extremely nice and friendly.
Thanks very Much Viktor glad you enjoyed the walk and we are advising Cornwall County Council about the signpost situation on this route. - Encounter Walking.
Go to top
Company Registered in England No: 8227323
VAT Registration No: 138 8656 68