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

  • Join in and Celebrate an Award Winning Link on the South West Coast Path

    On Friday 24 October, you can join RIBA for a celebratory talk that will give you an insight into the design and build of the Gillespie Yunnie Architects’ staircase at Royal William Yard, Plymouth. This filled a gap in the South West Coast Path, bringing walkers around the Stonehouse peninsula for the first time. Online booking: http://royal-william-yard.eventbrite.co.uk

  • 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.

Tweets

  • RT @LoveSWCoastPath: Grab a membership pack for 2015 complete with a fantastic calendar http://t.co/o9AnUl7My5 One for you and one for a wa…
  • RT @TheSeafood: #Padstow is looking beautiful just now, sun setting over the estuary - see for yourself on our new webcam https://t.co/D737…
  • RT @ILoveCornwallUK: #Cornwall wins Gold at @BritTravAwrds for Best UK Holiday Destination, 6th year in a row. Thanks to all that voted htt…
  • @ojnicholas1 We're always happy to see #Lynmouth come into view around that bend in the #SWCoastPath. The waves are gorgeous in this shot.
  • RT @ojnicholas1: Lynmouth @swcoastpath #trailrunning enjoying exceptional views, fine weather and an outstanding bit of coastline. http://t…
  • Get your running shoes on! #SWCoastPath one of winter's best running routes @AthleticsWeekly http://t.co/AvYKOBJRGz
  • RT @EPLucas: wonderful walk today from @KingstonPurbeck to Kimmeridge and @swcoastpath see the surfers :) #fitness :)
  • Be in with a chance to win a spa break @CarbisBay_Hotel Enter our #photography competition http://t.co/daDVeuzYoj http://t.co/xfkKTRLoDb
  • @VinceVellum Have a fantastic walk!
  • RT @Devontriathlete: This mornings run route. You can't beat running on @swcoastpath http://t.co/Djwzc4R4Zf

Facebook

  • Christmas gift for the walkers in your family - or buy this special membership pack with 2015 calendar for yourself! www.swcpa.co.uk more
  • We've updated our Membership Packs in time for Christmas that include a fabulous 2015 Calendar - purchase a pack for yourself or buy as a gift for a friend or member of the family that loves The South West Coast Path www.swcpa.co.uk/products/Single-Membership-Pack-for-2015-%28including-Calendar%29.html www.swcpa.co.uk more
  • Help shape the future of Fort Bovisand near Plymouth - and be in with a chance to win a £50 shopping voucher! The Fort Bovisand Trust has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop Fort Bovisand, situated next to the Coast Path between Plymouth and Wembury as a heritage visitor attraction. The aim is to tell the story of the history of this nationally significant heritage site - including its role in defending Plymouth in WW1 and WW2. Visitors will also find out why diving from Fort Bovisand is so special: including the importance of the marine ecology around the site and the shipwrecks of the Plymouth Sound and the stories they tell. To help shape more detailed proposals for what may happen to the site, the Trust is seeking views of the public on what they would like to see. So if you know the site and are interested in its future, please complete the questionnaire at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BovisandFort - and you may also win a £50 shopping voucher. www.smartsurvey.co.uk more
  • The South West Coast Path shared National Trust South West's photo. Our friends at the National Trust South West tell us the latest from the Lizard and Penrose area - Swallows in November? Swallows in November? They are on the Lizard. Read more >> http://www.lizardandpenrose.blogspot.co.uk/ (Thanks for the photo by our ranger on the Lizard in Cornwall https://twitter.com/LizardRangers) more
  • The South West Coast Path shared The English Riviera's photo. Suddenly feeling a little like Christmas is coming! Take a trip to the Riviera to experience the countdown in style Countdown to christmas - Magical, mesmerising and magnificent Christmas events on the English Riviera. With Christmas fast approaching, a trip to the English Riviera on South Devon’s Beautiful Bay gives you a chance to tap into the festive spirit. Experience some fantastic magical events which will make your Christmas sparkle. http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-and-new-year more
  • The South West Coast Path commented on a photo.
  • If you have time today we recommend you watch this seven minutes of aerial bliss by Matthew Burtwell of glorious coastal Cornwall http://bit.ly/1uIjgkF more
  • Congratulations to everyone at the Countryside Mobility Hire Service for their Gold Visit Devon Award. more
  • It's always great to see the Coast Path highlighted with other long distance trails around the world - especially when it says ...'a fair argument could be made that the South West Coast Path, bumping along the cliff-lined shores of Cornwall and Devon, is the world's most spectacular coastal trail.' We heartily agree! http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/adventure/63307835/no-camping-the-worlds-best-walks.html www.stuff.co.nz more
  • If you'd like to get out walking and help others to do the same this might be a volunteering opportunity up your street, path, lane etc! www.walkingforhealth.org.uk more