Follow the most westerly section of the South West Coast Path National Trail over the majestic rugged cliffs of northern Penwith from Treyarnon Bay to Cape Cornwall. This trail was made throughout history by the fishermen, farmers, miners, smugglers, coastguards and patient soldiers watching for invasions which never came. With wonderful vistas, magnificent beaches, secret coves and almost forgotten fishing villages, this is a magnificent section encircling the coast of Cornwall.
- Rugged coastal scenery from Treyarnon Bay to Cape Cornwall
- Imposing cliffs, gnarled headlands and sandy coves
- Stay at Chy Morvah in St Ives
Starting at the sandy beach of Treyarnon Bay on the North Cornwall coast, we walk through Porthcothan and around Park Head to the spectacular Bedruthan Steps where the beach is studded with highly individual rocky stacks. Then on to Mawgan Porth and Watergate Bay, to finish the day at Porth on the eastern outskirts of Newquay. 11 miles (17.5 km), with 2,250 feet (685m) of ascent – mostly fairly easy but the path may be steep and narrow at times.
We cross the River Gannel at Newquay, the choice of route (tidal footbridge, ferry or road detour) depending entirely on the tide. The path winds around the National Trust cliffs of Pentire Point West and Kelsey Head, before dropping to Holywell Bay en route to Penhale and Ligger Points. The last couple of miles into the seaside town of Perranporth are along Perran Sands.
11½ - 14½ miles (18.5 - 23.5km), with up to 1,570 feet (480m) of ascent – a comparatively easy day of headlands and sandy beaches, complicated initially by a tidal inlet.
We leave Perranporth around Cligga Head with spectacular views, aiming for Trevellas Porth and Trevaunance Cove, along a cliff top path with terrain like the surface of the moon at times because of old mine workings – Trevaunance was once a harbour, shipping ore from the mines of nearby St Agnes. After the superb high level route around St Agnes Head, the route passes the restored Towanroath Engine House, part of the old Wheal Coates mine, before dropping into Chapel Porth, a secluded cove managed by the National Trust. After that, it’s along the cliffs (with two sharp steep descents and ascents) to finish the day at the one-time industrial harbour of Portreath.
12 miles (19.5km), with 2,790 feet (850m) of ascent – rugged cliffs often featuring narrow stony paths with some short steep ascents and descents.
Leaving Portreath, the route lies along Caravannel and Reskajeage Downs to the spectacular setting of Hell’s Mouth. We track around Godrevy Head with views of Godrevy Island and lighthouse (a good place for seal spotting), and the panorama of St Ives Bay. A short coach transfer from the Red River at Gwithian to Lelant Church avoids the built-up areas around the Hayle Estuary. The route back leads past Porth Kidney Sands, over Carrack Gladden and around Carbis Bay.
10½ miles (17km), with 2,150 feet (655m) of ascent – easy cliff and headland walking with a couple of steep sided little valleys.
From St Ives we go around Clodgy Point (“clodgy” is Cornish for leper). Then it’s undulating cliff walking all the way to the distinctive Gurnard’s Head, passing River Cove (good for seal spotting both in the cove and on the Carracks, two rocky islands a short distance from the shore), Mussel Point and Zennor Head along the way.
9½ miles (15 ½ km), with 2410 feet (735m) of ascent – rough and remote with short, steep ascents and descents, one of the more difficult stretches.
From Gurnard’s Head, the coast path leads past the Iron Age cliff castle at Bosigran and on to Pendeen Watch lighthouse before re-entering tin mine country. We pass the Levant Mine buildings – now owned by the National Trust and with a restored beam engine (one of only two working beam engines in the county and the sole steam-driven example) – and then Geevor with its arsenic condenser and the spectacular Crown Mines buildings at Botallack low down on the cliff just above the sea. The whole Geevor site is a Scheduled Monument. The Kenidjack Valley with more scenes of tin mining dereliction soon follows, before the week finishes at Cape Cornwall, once thought to be the most westerly point in England and the original “Land’s End”.
9 miles (14.5 km), with 1,790 feet (545m) of ascent – rough and remote with short, steep ascents and descents, another of the more difficult stretches.
Sea, sand and (hopefully) sun await at Cornwall’s Chy Morvah. This coastal bolthole, whose name means ‘House by the Sea’ in Cornish, basks in the famously lovely light of this artist-retreat town on the north coast of one of England’s most desirable holiday destinations. Those artists may have come to paint the sea and sky but you can simply admire it from the house’s privileged position. The building has been designed to maximise the effect of its elevated location, with stunning sea views and vistas of sandy beaches, while the bustling harbour and array of cafés and artists galleries are just a short cobbled street walk away. As well as 38 bedrooms, there are a large main lounge with panoramic views across St Ives Bay and a dining room that boasts similar mouth-watering views. To keep you entertained there’s a garden in which to enjoy the hazy pinky glow that falls on this seaside sanctuary every evening. Beyond the house, the Cornish Coast is the gateway to exploring the area, with easy access to St Michael’s Mount, the pretty fishing village of Mousehole, the beaches and cliffs of north Cornwall and the rugged cliffs of Land’s End. There’s even the option of an evening adventure to the Minack Theatre
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the adjacent Lanyons House. With 38 bright and airy bedrooms, Chy Morvah has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Simply but smartly furnished they let the view through the window do the talking.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive gardens with sea views, heated outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day strolling the coast, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the pretty gardens beneath the large mature trees and looking out over the sea. Take a turn in the heated outdoor pool if you still have the energy, or simply relax on the sundeck adjacent to it. Indoors, kick back in one of the lounges. The small bar with its seaside paraphernalia is well-stocked and welcoming while light floods the dining room through panoramic windows.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Chy Morvah is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to Cornish cauliflower and award-winning blue cheese soup, snack on a Stargazy pasty featuring locally caught fillet of mackerel and tuck in to either locally reared pork with a Cornish cider jus or fillet of plaice stuffed with white crab meat, prawns and chives for the best that Cornish land and sea has to offer.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.
- Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
- Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
- Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
- Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
- Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
- Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
- Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
- Rucksack with a waterproof liner
- Thermos flask for hot drink
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
- Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
- Small torch
- First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
- Insect repellent
- Sun hat
- Sun cream
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
25 Apr - 02 May
|7||Guided Trail||£875 £855||Unavailable to Book Unavailable||Trip Notes|
19 Sep - 26 Sep
|7||Guided Trail||£959 £939||Save £20 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
7 nights from £875pp £855pp
...or call 020 3974 8865