5 of the best walks in Cornwall

There is nowhere in Cornwall that you can’t get close enough by road to explore on foot within a day.  Due to Cornwall’s compact and varied landscape, you can spend a leisurely day with about 2-3 hours walking time, cover 4-6 miles and see more beauty and variety than you can in most places in the world.  We’ve picked five of the best walks in Cornwall to whet your appetite which all start in locations with plenty of parking.  The walks are available in the iWalk Cornwall app (search the App Store or Google Play) which guides you around the route using GPS and includes information about the local history and natural history around you. For 200 more of the best walks in Cornwall why not download the iWalk Cornwall app.

Sennen Cove and Land’s End

Best walks in Cornwall Sennen Cove
View from Sennen Cove

There is a lot more to Land’s End than the tourist attraction: surrounding it are dramatic cliffs, white sandy  beaches. On foot you can also enjoy the spectacular displays of wildflowers along the coast here and spot the passing marine wildlife.  The circular walk between Sennen Cove and Mill Bay also includes the National Trust lookout and the “Song of the Sea” cave.

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Porthcurno to Gwennap Head

Best walks in Cornwall Porthcurno beach
Footsteps across Porthcurno

Much less well-known but no less impressive than Land’s End is Gwennap Head – the southwestern corner of the British mainland.  A short distance offshore, a pinnacle reef known as the Runnel Stone claimed many ships until in 1923 a 6,000 ton steamship hit it at full speed and the top 20 feet of the reef snapped off.  Conical navigation markers are still present on the headland which helped shipping to avoid the reef on clear days.  The circular walk from Porthcurno includes the Minack Theatre and the tiny beach of Porthgwarra, now famous for the nude bathing scene in the BBC’s Poldark series.

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Holywell Bay to Crantock

Holywell bay
The holy well at Holywell Bay

Holywell Bay gets its name from a holy well, but there is a question over which one since it has two.  In pre-Christian Celtic Cornwall, springs were revered as sacred portals in the the fairy kingdom and were assimilated into the Church by the Celtic monks.  It’s likely the “original” is the remarkable series of mineral basins hidden in a cave which is only accessible at low tide.  The circular walk from Holywell Bay to Crantock is largely on National Trust land including the sheltered cove of Porth Joke where Atlantic Grey Seals can be seen wrestling in the surf during the autumn and winter.

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Trevone to Padstow

Best walks in Cornwall Stepper-point-pepper-pot
Pepper Pot at Stepper Point

The approach to Padstow was one of the most treacherous shipping routes and the number of shipwrecks caught by the infamous Doom Bar runs into many hundreds.  The walk from Trevone follows the route taken by Mediterranean traders, passing sink holes created by collapsed caves and the stone navigation tower now affectionately known as the Pepper Pot.  The route passes along Padstow’s sandy beaches before entering the port town which has become a “foodie” capital for which Rick Stein is perhaps the most famous advocate.

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Rosemullion Head

Best walks in Cornwall Rosemullion
Underwater view of Rosemullion

Sir Walter Raleigh suggested that the deepest natural harbour in Western Europe might be a good spot for a port town, and so Falmouth was born, merchants made fortunes and collected exotic plants to decorate their stately homes located between Carrick Roads and the Helford River.  The circular walk around Rosemullion Head has panoramic view of this area of the coast and is ideal to combine with a visit to Glendurgan and Trebah gardens.

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Hopefully this great blog by John at iWalk Cornwall has whetted your appetite to get out and start exploring the beautiful coast and countryside of the Duchy. For more of the best walks in Cornwall be sure to download  iWalk Cornwall app (search the App Store or Google Play).

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