Located at the South-Western tip of the UK, Cornwall is a remarkable part of Britain that combines stellar seaside scenery with austere, windswept moors. It is at the very heart of British surfing and other water sports. Containing within it the southernmost point of Britain (Lands End) and some of the country’s finest seaside resorts, including the dramatic and stunning Newquay; the county is impressive in an often otherworldly way. It’s also perfect for hiking and rambling, with walks of varying difficulty to be found right throughout the county. Below, we lay out the ten best walks in Cornwall, and offer advice on what you can do once you reach your destination.
1. Perranporth to St Agnes
The Perranporth to St Agnes walk is considered to be fairly straightforward, with level ground, and amazing views of the surrounding area. In total, the walk is around 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometres) and involves the chance to see old Tin Mine workings as you traverse the cliffs and contend with the occasional steep climb and rough stone path. You’ll also be able to admire the beauty of the local wildlife, as well as flora such as heather and orange irises.
Perranporth to St Agnes
Website: Perranporth to St Agnes
2. Mount Edgcumbe to Kingsand and Cawsand
The Mount Edgcumbe to Kingsand and Cawsand walk offers a truly stunning experience from start to finish. Lasting a total of 5.7 miles (9.1 kilometres), you’ll visit the wonderful greenery of the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, as well as amazing views over Plymouth Sound and the chance to see fallow deer in the deer park, amongst other highlights, along the route. Rated moderate in terms of difficulty, walking boots are strongly recommended to ensure comfort for the duration of the trip.
Mount Mount Edgcumbe to Kingsand and Cawsand
3. The Cornish Celtic Way
The Cornish Celtic Way is the kind of walking route that can be explored in a variety of different ways. In total, the full length of the route is 125 miles (201.2 kilometres), though you can, of course, pick and choose different sections depending on the time you have available, what you’re hoping to see, and the distance you are willing to travel. If you do want to walk the entire length and admire the Celtic crosses and other highlights that dominate the landscape, then there are numerous hotels along the route that can make this possible and ensure you have a place to rest as you complete the course route. Though do be cautious, The Cornish Celtic Way is rated as moderate to strenuous; so plan to take your time if going the whole distance.
The Cornish Celtic Way
Website: The Cornish Celtic Way
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4. Porthcurno to Land’s End
Porthcurno to Land’s End is a popular walking route in Cornwall which also includes the chance to see Gwennap Head; a spectacular headland known for its geological architecture and amazing views over the sea. The route starts on the stunning Porthcurno beach and culminates at the most westerly point of England. In total, the walk is 6.5 miles (10.6 kilometres) in distance and is rated as moderate; depending on pace, it can take up to five hours to walk.
Porthcurno to Land’s End
Website: Porthcurno to Land’s End
5. Fowey Hall Walk
Fowey Hall Walk is a rather complex, as it involves two ferry crossings, but incredibly rewarding route in Cornwall. The conventional route involves starting in Fowey, then taking a ferry to Bodinnick to explore Pont, a quaint hamlet, before heading to Polruan to take the ferry back to Fowey. There are other variations on the route (some begin and then return to Bodinnick, for example) as well as a number of potential diversions. But whichever exact version you follow, you can look forward to spectacular harbour views and glorious flora and fauna to admire.
Fowey Hall Walk
Website: Fowey Hall Walk
6. Pendennis Point, Falmouth to Maenporth
This 3.4 mile (5.5 kilometre) walk commences at Pendennis Point in Falmouth, which provides the chance to take in the views of the stunning Roseland peninsula and the river Fal. The route includes the opportunity to explore three different beaches, with Maenporth perhaps the most well-known of these thanks to its natural beauty and views over the lighthouse at St Anthony Head and Pendennis Castle. There’s no doubt the walk is capable of providing amazing sights and should result in a fantastic time for anyone who decides to give it a try.
Pendennis Point, Falmouth to Maenporth
7. Tintagel to Boscastle
Tintagel to Boscastle - which can also be done in the reverse, from Boscastle to Tintagel - is a walking route that is a great example of the wonders Cornish coastal routes are able to provide. As well as admiring the beautiful rugged coastline, you will also be able to marvel at the beauty of Benoath Cove and the ruins of Tintagel Castle, the latter of which has always been associated with the legend of King Arthur. The total distance of the route is 5.5 miles (8.7 kilometres) and you can be sure of picturesque wonders from start to finish.
Tintagel to Boscastle
Website: Tintagel to Boscastle
8. Rame Head AONB
When it comes to exploring the Rame Head Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are a huge number of different walks to consider, largely because this stunning AONB has so very much to offer. You could focus on a walk that allows you to explore the intriguing villages and beaches of Kingsand and Cawsand, take in the beautiful 16th-century Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, or visit the hamlet of Rame itself to see Eddystone Lighthouse out at sea. The options are truly endless, so while this part of Cornwall might not be the best known, ramblers should have no issues finding a variety of amazing routes to explore.
Rame Head AONB
Website: Rame Head AONB
9. Bodmin Moor AONB
Bodmin Moor is a part of Cornwall that is steeped in history, as evidenced by the prehistoric settlements that dot the landscape. This history combines with wonderful sweeping views to ensure that anyone seeking an incredible walking route will never be disappointed if they focus on this wild region of the county. There are a number of routes available, including easy-moderate routes such as Blisland to Lavethan Wood circular walk as well as moderate-strenuous options like Inny Valleys circular walk from Altarnun. So you can explore the options and see which of these wonders most appeals to you.
Bodmin Moor AONB
Website: Bodmin Moor AONB
10. The Bodmin Way
The Bodmin Way is a term used to describe a route of around 18 miles (28.97 kilometres) that brings together five different churches in Cornwall. You can, if you wish, explore small sections of the route, or go from start to finish in order to immerse yourself in the full experience; if you choose the latter option, you can obtain a passport where each of the churches imprints a stamp to remember your visit by. Along the route you’ll have the chance to take in the visage of artistic, cultural, and spiritual significance, and will also be able to marvel at the spectacular landscape of the area.
The Bodmin Way
Website: The Bodmin Way
See the Cornish coast in fine style
The best way to find out just how great Cornwall looks is to simply go there - it will not be a wasted journey. The scenery is quite simply exceptional, and by immersing yourself among it as part of a coastal walk, you’ll get to see it at its very best. All of the towns and villages you stop in along the way have plenty of things to do and exude their own particular charm. And you’ll also have the chance to experience some of Britain’s finest beaches, with Newquay and Lands End offering particular treats. Which of the above routes make for the best walks in Cornwall, UK? The only way to find out is to try them out!
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