North Cornwall Coast Path Guided Trail
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Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
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
Chy Morvah, meaning 'house by the sea' in Cornish, is an appropriate name for this characteristic seaside property. Situated within walking distance of the centre of St Ives, it enjoys wonderful views along the north Cornwall coast.
Chy Morvah has 39 bedrooms, either located in the main building or in the adjacent Lanyons House.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the layout of Chy Morvah, it is not recommended for wheelchair users and guests with restricted mobility.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Treyarnon Bay to Porth
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 (17.5km), with 2250 feet (685m) of ascent – mostly fairly easy but the path may be steep and narrow at times.
Day 3: Newquay to Perranporth
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 1620 feet (495m) of ascent – a comparatively easy day of headlands and sandy beaches, complicated initially by a tidal inlet.
Day 4: Perranporth to Portreath
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 2790 feet (850m) of ascent – rugged cliffs often featuring narrow stony paths with some short steep ascents and descents.
Day 5: Portreath to St Ives
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 2150 feet (655m) of ascent – easy cliff and headland walking with a couple of steep sided little valleys.
Day 6: St Ives to Gurnard’s Head
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 (15.5km), with 2410 feet (735m) of ascent – rough and remote with short, steep ascents and descents, one of the more difficult stretches.
Day 7: Gurnard’s Head to Cape Cornwall
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 (14.5km), with 1,790 feet (545m) of ascent – rough and remote with short, steep ascents and descents, another of the more difficult stretches.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors.
Chy Morvah is situated in the attractive seaside town of St Ives. A 10 minute downhill walk will take you to the harbour and old town; a maze of narrow streets and shops. The harbour front is always bustling with activity, and there are numerous artists’ galleries to enjoy. There are also two excellent sandy beaches. Nearby Porthminster Beach (5 to 10 minutes' walk) is very sheltered and very popular with families. Porthmeor Beach on the far side of town (15 to 20 minutes' walk) is more exposed and excellent for surfing. There are several surf schools if you want to give this a go – a popular option for all ages! St Ives has a full range of facilities including shops, banks, chemists, pubs and cafés.
During your stay at Chy Morvah you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Tate Gallery & Barbara Hepworth Gallery
Opened in 1993, this branch of the Tate Gallery celebrates Cornwall’s rich artistic legacy. Tate St Ives also manages the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which gives a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important 20th century artists. Both galleries are within easy walking distance of Chy Morvah. www.tate.org.uk
Justifiably popular with visitors, the fascinating ‘Biomes’ of the Eden Project house a flamboyant collection of plants from around the world. Explore the two gigantic geodesic conservatories – one a majestic rainforest, the other is host to the fruits and flowers of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. Outside the extensive grounds are landscaped and produce tea, lavender, sunflowers and hemp. The Eden Project is just over an hour's drive from St Ives. Between May and September guests staying at Chy Morvah are able to book a coach excursion each Wedneday, organised by Oates Travel. www.edenproject.com
St Michael’s Mount
The jewel in Cornwall's crown, a fairytale island with an exotic garden, ancient harbour, a church and a medieval castle. Access from Marazion is by foot along the causeway, or by ferry at high water. Marazion is about 20 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can also be reached by regular local buses. www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk
National Maritime Museum
Cornwall's £21 million attraction in Falmouth is housed in an award winning building on the harbour-side. The museum transports you into the world of small boats and Cornish maritime history. Falmouth is about 50 minutes' drive from St Ives, and a day here could include visits to Pendennis Castle, or a delightful boat trip up the River Fal to Truro. www.nmmc.co.uk
National Seal Sanctuary
Situated at Gweek beside the Helford estuary, the seal sanctuary cares for injured or abandoned seals, before returning them to the wild. The seal sanctuary is about 40 minutes' drive from St Ives. www.sealsanctuary.co.uk
Geevor Tin Min
Discover Cornwall's mining heritage at this excellent museum. Guided underground trips as well as surface tours are available. The musem is about 30 minutes' drive from St Ives, and can also be reached using the 300 open-top bus. www.geevor.com
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Created in the mid 18th century, the gardens at Heligan are one of the best examples in Britain, famed for displays of rhododendrons and camellias. Following years of neglect they have been subject to extensive restoration work over the last 20 years. The gardens, located near Mevagissey are just over an hour's drive from St Ives. www.heligan.com
This uniquely situated open-air theatre is cut into the cliffs at Porthcurno, near Lands End. Performances take place most evenings with some afternoon matinees. The Rowena Cade Exhibition Centre tells the story of its creation. An evening theatre visit is offered on most weeks to guests staying at Chy Morvah (May to September). www.minack.com
St Michaels Mount image credited to Mike Newman, Eden Project image ©Hufton+Crow,
Travel to Chy Morvah
Our address is: Chy Morvah, Bishops Road, The Belyars, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DB
The nearest railway station is St Ives, however you may find the journey to St Erth on the main line more convenient. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
St Ives station is only ½ mile from Chy Morvah, but it is rather a steep uphill walk. Taxis cost approx £4 for this short transfer. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Chy Morvah Manager.
Head to Cornwall via the A30. At a large roundabout take the A3074 signposted to St Ives (2nd Exit). You will now come to 2 small roundabouts, go straight across the first and take a right at the second heading towards the village of Lelant. Pass through Lelant and Carbis Bay on the same road.
Pass Tescos and the Treganna Castle hotel on your left hand side, then as you approach St Ives take the left fork which heads slightly up hill, following signs to visitor parking and the leisure centre. Follow the road and turn left up the steep hill. Almost immediately the road turns left again but instead of following the road around to the left you need to turn off the road and head directly up the hill on Porthminster Terrace.
Chy Morvah is right in front of you at the top of the hill. To reach the car park drive left past the front of Chy Morvah and turn immediately right behind the back of the building. The car park is on the right 15 yards along the lane called Bishops road.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to St Erth, and finally a short branch line train to St Ives. This is a relatively straightforward, if lengthy journey - allow 6½ hours, so a morning arrival into Heathrow would be preferable.
There are also airports at Bristol and Newquay which may be more convenient for some guests. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
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