South 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 part of the South West Coast Path National Trail from Cape Cornwall, rounding the granite cliffs of Land’s End and finishing at Helford. 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.
- The splendid cliff-top path from Cape Cornwall to Helford Village
- Brilliant coastal scenery throughout
- 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: Cape Cornwall to Porthcurno
Starting at Cape Cornwall, we walk past Carn Ballowall towards Porth Nanven and then along easy paths to Whitesand Bay and Sennen Cove. We traverse granite cliffs to Land’s End and continue over some of the most spectacular stretches of Britain’s coastline. Granite cliffs take us on past Mill Bay, over Gwennap Head and down to Porthgwarra, a delightful cove with unusual tunnels through the cliffs, and finally to the Minack Theatre, a unique open-air theatre created in the cliffs with the Atlantic as a backdrop. We descend to Porthcurno and finish the first day’s walk in an area that has seen many advances in telegraphy by the former Cable and Wireless Company. 11 miles (18km), with 2400 feet (730m) of ascent; terrain varied – sometimes rough and narrow with numerous short ascents and descents, at other times easy beach walking.
Day 3: Porthcurno to Mousehole
Leaving Porthcurno we ascend to Treryn Dinas, home of the Logan Rock, before we drop down to Penberth Cove (National Trust), completely unspoilt by commercialism. Further ascents and descents bring us to sheltered St Loy and its boulder-strewn beach. We have a short section through lush vegetation before returning to rougher sections as we approach Lamorna Cove and continue, with views of St Michael’s Mount, to Mousehole. There will be time to explore this delightful harbour, as the built-up section from here through Penzance will be omitted from the walk. 8 miles (13 km) with 1,860 feet (570m) of ascent; rugged with several short ascents and descents becoming easier towards Mousehole.
Day 4: Marazion to Porthleven
Starting at Marazion we walk along low sandstone cliffs towards Perranuthnoe, and then pass Cudden Point and Prussia Cove to reach the long sandy beach of Praa Sands. Dramatically sited at Rinsey Head, and Trewavas Head, we see partly restored mine buildings before continuing between fields and crumbling cliff edges to the fishing harbour of Porthleven to meet our coach. 10 miles (16km), with 1,800 feet (550m) of ascent; easy tracks becoming more rugged and difficult, ending with a series of ascents and descents on narrow cliff paths.
Day 5: Porthleven to Lizard Green
Returning to Porthleven harbour we follow the remains of a coast road to Loe Bar, the sand bank between Loe Pool, Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake, and the sea. We continue along the coast path to the fishing cove of Gunwalloe and then to Church Cove and the church of St Winwaloe, nestling down on the beach behind protective rock. The path continues to Poldhu Cove and the cliffs where the first radio signals were sent across the Atlantic by Marconi in 1901. A magnificent stretch of cliff scenery brings us to Mullion Cove and then to the scenic Kynance Cove. When we reach Lizard Point, the most southerly point in England we head inland to Lizard Green and our return coach.14 miles (22.5km), with 2510 feet (765m) of ascent; easy paths giving way to narrower and more difficult terrain; apart from a few little steep valleys, much of the walking is over level ground high above the cliffs.
Day 6: Lizard Green to Coverack
From Lizard Green, we walk back down towards Lizard Head and Polpeor Cove (the most southerly point in England) and past the Lizard Lighthouse. We continue towards a second Church Cove and past a collapsed cave known as the Devil’s Frying Pan, to Cadgwith. The path continues past the disused serpentine works at Poltesco across Kennack Sands, on to Black Head and down to Coverack village. 11 miles (18 km), with 2,225 feet (680m) of ascent; short steep ascents and descents, then easier walking around Black Head.
Day 7: Coverack to Helford
We start the day at Coverack beside a shingle beach and on to the raised beach of Lowland Point. Soon quarries, active and derelict, force the path away from the coast towards St Keverne. We rejoin the coast at Porthallow and continue to Nare Point where we get a view of the wooded Helford River estuary. We continue to the houses on the Gillan Creek, and reach the hamlet of St Anthony. The coastal path then goes towards Dennis Head before descending through the woods of the Bosahan Estate to Helford Village. 10.5 miles (16.5km), with 1,640 feet (500m) of ascent; a short ascent then good coast paths before turning inland on minor roads to ford (or ferry across) Gillan Creek – then wooded (often muddy) riverside walking into Helford.
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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