Cornwall is perfect for hikers, as there are many stunning hiking trails. These are some of our favourite walks along Cornwall’s coast.
The southwest coast path stretches from Minehead in Somerset along Devon and Cornwall’s coastline until Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path is around 630 miles, and walking the entire trek takes seven to eight weeks.
The path goes through Penzance, and many walkers visit from early spring until we close our doors in October. Penzance is an excellent location if you want to walk parts of the coastal path, as it is the communication hub in Western Cornwall. We are five minutes walk from the train- and bus station that serves the entire southwest coast.
Best day hikes from Penzance
There are plenty of choices for almost every walker, from easy to advanced. Here are some of our favourite hikes.
Penzance to Lamorna
Walk through Penzance to the old fishing village Newlyn and continue to Cornwall’s oldest town Mousehole. Continue through Mousehole and towards Lamorna. This is where the path gets trickier. You can choose to walk along the coast or through beautiful farmland. Or walk through the farmland towards Lamorna, then turn back and hike along the coast to Mousehole.
The distance from Penzance to Lamorna is around 11 miles (18 km). If you walk back to Mousehole, it is an additional 2,5 miles (around 3 km). Have a look at this map if you are unsure about the route.
Buses go from Lamorna and Mousehole back to Penzance. If you take the bus from Lamorna, it is just outside the village centre.
Sennen to Lamorna
The route Sennen to Lamorna is perfect for those wishing to experience England’s most southwesterly point at Land’s End. It is a challenging hike, especially around Porthcurno, with hills, and sometimes the path follows close to the edge (nothing for those afraid of heights!). The landscape is beautiful and changes along the walk. It is one of our favourite hikes in the area.
If you have a bit of extra time, make sure to have a look at the open-air theatre at the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno.
Also popular for birdwatchers, dolphin sightings often happen along the stretch between Sennen and Porthcurno. And lots of seals! Perfect for those interested in wildlife, as the path goes along areas of outstanding beauty.
The route is 11.7 miles (18.8 km).
Buses go to and from Sennen and to and from Porthcurno and Lamorna. Look at the bus table before you leave, as their times change seasonally. If you want to walk only part of the distance, hop on a Porthcurno bus instead of walking to Lamorna.
St. Just to St Ives
If you are interested in old mining history, the area around Botallack is a must! Here, mines and other ruins are part of the landscape. Start your walk at St Just, and take in the stunning views from Cape Cornwall. Continue towards Botallack, and if you have time, look at the exhibition centre at Botallack or the one at Geever Tin Mine.
It is a moderate to difficult hike with some rocky and hilly sections, and the route is around 18 miles ( 29 km).
Continue to St Ives, passing Zennor’s stunning cliff-top views. End in St Ives, and maybe take a drink or a bite to eat before heading back to Penzance. The train and the bus often go from St Ives to Penzance.
Important to think about before heading out
- Always check the weather reports before setting out. This area of Cornwall is exposed; strong winds and rainfall can make the path difficult and even dangerous. Always follow advice from the coast guard (make sure to have their number with you!).
- Bring plenty of water, food and snacks, sunscreen, and protection against the weather.
- Take care of your surroundings. If you are lucky to experience wildlife, be careful and do not disturb animals. Leave nothing but footsteps – do not leave your litter; bring it with you.