St Ives - Penzance

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St Ives to Penzance

Walking through our industrial past

Distance : 43.6 miles over 5 days.  Difficulty: Easy, but along rugged paths

The start and finish points on this route have great links with the trains services. In between the two main towns, the Coast Path leads you along a wild and rugged landscape that gives you a real feeling of remoteness. The remains of tin mines are dotted all along this stretch of coast as a reminder of its industrial past and form part of the UNESCO designated Cornish Mining World Heritage site.

Highlights

After a fairly gentle walk out of St Ives the route becomes more strenuous with lots of ascents and descents. There are some fantastic views from Zennor Head to Pendour Cove below and beyond to Gurnard’s Head.

The Coast Path then leaves the remote lighthouse at Pendeen Watch to follow the rugged paths of the Granite Coast. You pass the Levant Mine and Beam Engine and the ruined engine houses of Botallack, before taking a tour of Cape Cornwall with views out to the rocky outcrops known as The Brisons and as far out as the Scilly Isles on a clear day.

There are many birds that inhabit the cliffs and offshore rocks on this stretch of coastline, including peregrine falcons, shags, herring gulls and rock pipits. On the approach to Land’s End, the most westerly point of England, look out for the rare Cornish Chough, that has recently returned to these shores.

As you make your way around the peninsula, there are many more highlights including the Minack Theatre, Logan Rock and the fishing ports of Mousehole and Newlyn. Upon reaching the final destination at Penzance, St. Michael’s Mount appears like a mirage on the horizon and is well worth a visit as an additional short walk at low tide from nearby Marazion.

Itinerary

  • Day 1: St Ives to Zennor (7.5 miles  - includes 1mile inland to Zennor)
  • Day 2:  Zennor Head to Cape Cornwall (12.2 miles - includes 1mile inland to St. Just)
  • Day 3: Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove (6.1 miles - includes 1mile to Coast Path from St. Just)
  • Day 4: Sennen Cove to Lamorna (11.7 miles)
  • Day 5: Lamorna to Penzance (6.1 miles)

Relevant section guides

We have split the path into 52 sections, and for each one have produced a section guide. These pages do not aim to replace the guidebooks, but aim to give a flavour of what each section is like, and show you about the highlights and places of interest along the route, along with links to accommodation information and much more. The relevant section guides for this walk are:-

Travel

The easiest way to reach St Ives is by train (generally change at Plymouth and St Erth), and return is from Penzance which is on the mainline to London and the north.

As there are regular bus services around the Penwith peninsula, you can also use Penzance as a base. There is an hourly bus service (17A) from St Ives to Pendeen, via Penzance. The First Cornwall 300 bus service runs three times a day between St Ives and Pendeen, stopping at Zennor and Boswednack, while the Western Greyhound 504 runs once a day from Sennen to Lamorna, stopping at Porthcurno. There are a number of buses from Lamorna to Penzance.

For further information visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.

Latest News

  • Voting Opens For Top Dog Walk Competition

    Voting has just opened for the third annual Top Dog Walk competition with the continued backing of Your Dog Magazine and the Kennel Club’s access advisor Stephen Jenkinson, an expert on where dog owners can go and what they can do in the countryside. Dog owners are invited to nominate their favourite walk, for their four-legged friends, from walks all around the South West Coast Path. One lucky voter will receive a complimentary stay at one of Toad Hall Cottages 300 dog friendly cottages to the value of £500.

  • The Early Photographer Catches the Prize!

    Back in August saw the announcement of the winning photographs in Round 5 of the Amateur Photographer of the Year Competition – entitled Dawn and Dusk. Among the 30 most spectacular images the majority included the sea and coastline in some form.

    If you are thinking of entering this year’s South West Coast Path photographic competition it is well worth feasting your eyes on these to give you renewed inspiration.

    Amateur Photographer of the Year – Dawn and Dusk Gallery

  • Penny Mordaunt MP Visits the Coast Path to Discuss Storm Damage

    The new Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt MP, visited the South West Coast Path at Thurlestone, South Devon, earlier this week.

    Penny Mordaunt

  • South West Coast Path Secures £1 million Investment

    The South West Coast Path Association is delighted to announce today that they have been successful in their bid to the Coastal Communities Fund to secure £1 million investment in the South West Coast Path. 

  • Photo journalists - Create a story for the path

    We want you to help us to tell the story of a day in the life of the South West Coast Path. Our friends at Western Morning News have offered us a two page photo essay spread to include up to eight photographs with a 500 word editorial. We can do it ourselves of course but we know that you can do it even better! We're asking for help from Coast Path enthusiasts with photo journalism skills to produce this. 

  • Coast Path reopened near Thurlestone

    Devon County Council yesterday completed work to re-open a section of Coast Path south of Thurlestone which had been closed since early 2013 when it was severed by a cliff fall. The new route follows the edge of the field, and whilst slightly longer than the original route retains stunning views along the coast.  

  • New National Trail Geocoins to be released

    In July, August and September ten new Geocoins, one a week for ten weeks will be released. The first will coincide with the start of the National Trail Geocaching Week from 12th to 19th July. The last as part the Great South West Walks event 20th to 28th September.

  • South West Coast Path Photographic Competition attracts Top Professional as Judge

    The team behind this year’s Coast Path Photographic Competition is excited to announce that David Noton has agreed to come on board as their Professional Judge. 

  • The Great South West Walks 2014 Opens For Bookings - 100 New Walks Announced

    With 100 stunning coastal walks to choose from, the Great South West Walks 2014 is now open for bookings.

    These specially selected circular walks by the South West Coast Path Association, will take place across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset from 20th – 28th September.

  • South West Water teams up with SWCP

    South West Water and the South West Coast Path Association announce today that they are working together to ensure that the South West Coast Path is one of the best walks in the world for all to enjoy.

Tweets

  • RT @mwardlephotos: @swcoastpath Just part of the #SWCoastPath at #Swanage #Dorset. See more at http://t.co/aUmkbQF7tv http://t.co/kzerOrTU…
  • @OakhavenHospice @yourdog Yes that is a firm favourite!
  • RT @TelegraphTravel: Do you roll or fold? 50 top packing tips #traveltips http://t.co/BfIbCyaY3Q http://t.co/mWZeQm0cxc
  • RT @Parkdean: Best thing about getting away in the UK this #autumn? >>http://t.co/HTD0P68o2n http://t.co/HIR6PFMCnT
  • RT @yourdog: Vote for your favourite walk around the @swcoastpath National Trail http://t.co/SxtnMGgqXB #dogwalks #SWCoastPath http://t.co/…
  • RT @Boscastle_TC: Getting lively down the harbour today! @RamblersGB @coastmag @BBCCornwall @myCornwall_ @SouthWestUK @swcoastpath http://t…
  • RT @lovenorthdevon: This is the walk from Baggy Point in #croyde (image from @swcoastpath) http://t.co/Og4JbO6HJm
  • RT @KingsArmsGham: @lovenorthdevon @swcoastpath a short diversion leads to Georgeham and lovely pub welcome, roaring fire and great food an…
  • RT @LustyGlazeBeach: Who has not booked their #christmasparty yet?
  • RT @LoveSWCoastPath: Thanks to our amazing volunteers the latest member's newsletter is on its way! http://t.co/CTbdOCchmi

Facebook

  • fantastic weather this Sunday at Bosigran just round from Zennor. more
  • Beach clean at Westward Ho! 25th October. Please see link or more details. https://m.facebook.com/groups/699401573442801?view=info&sfd=1&ref=bookmark more
  • There's a couple of route changes to tell you about in Cornwall... Both of these are new repair works being carried out due to storm damage Get the latest here Penzance to Marazion The path will be closed between Penzance and Marazion, for up to 3 weeks whilst repairs are undertaken. Whilst closed, the alternative route (the road inland of the railway) will be signposted. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/48/ Talland Bay A section of the path at Talland Bay will have to be closed for coastal defence works for almost 4 weeks from the end of October 2014. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/79/
  • The South West Coast Path commented on their own status.
  • Hi All I walked the entire SW Path from Minehead to Poole in 23 days - 3 years ago. I wild camped, carried all my kit and bought food along the way. Most amazing journey - spent 40p on water!! Thinking of completing the path again this summer but this time sharing my experiences and try to get it down to 20 days. Nice round number!!. 'There is a book in everyone'
  • The South West Coast Path shared Your Dog Magazine's photo. Please join in with our competition with Your Dog magazine to vote for your favourite dog walk around the South West Coast Path. You can win a great stay in one of Toad Hall Cottages dog friendly places near the sea Nominate your best dog walk in the south west. http://www.yourdog.co.uk/The-Your-Dog-Blog/vote-for-your-favourite-dog-walk-in-south-west-england.html more
  • The South West Coast Path likes a photo.
  • The South West Coast Path shared Sue Read ART - Seascapes and landscapes of North Cornwall's status update. more
  • The South West Coast Path shared Countryside Mobility Hire Scheme's photo. What great news! A really lovely place to get out and about in. More exciting news! National Trust Trelissick near Truro in Cornwall is set to join the Countryside Mobility scheme in 2015. On its own peninsula with ever-changing views of the estuary of the River Fal, Trelissick has one of the most amazing natural settings in the country. There are more than 12 hectares (30 acres) of elevated garden to explore, with twisting paths that lead you through significant collections of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, ginger lilies and year-round exciting woodland plants. As well as the garden, the 121-hectare (300-acre) estate, with its countryside, woodlands and coast, makes for breath taking walks. more
  • The South West Coast Path shared South West Coast Path Association's album: Autumn Mail-out. Our friends at the South West Coast Path Association tackle another mammoth mail out of their newsletter at the weekend. We're looking forward to receiving our copy in the mail soon. more