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.

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  • He's done it!! Stunning & inspiring achievement by Patrick in breaking the record for running the entire 630 miles of the path in just 14 days 8 hours and 2 minutes! (just over 6 hours quicker than the old record) barefootpdqswcp2015.wordpress.com more
  • Lyme Regis has a new improved route heading east http://ow.ly/LTJri more
  • Explore waterfalls and climb Cornwall’s highest coastal clifftop as part of Boscastle Walking Week - perfect weather! http://ow.ly/LTKiy visitboscastleandtintagel.com more
  • The South West Coast Path shared a link. easyhiker.co.uk more
  • The South West Coast Path shared Easy Hiker - Adventure for Beginners's post. more
  • The South West Coast Path shared Easy Hiker - Adventure for Beginners's post. more
  • The end's in sight for Patrick Devine-Wright's attempt to break the record for completing the #SWCoastPath Can he do it? #630miles http://bit.ly/1bokWev
  • Polperro from the South West Coast Path. Polperro is situated in the valley of the River Pol and its narrow twisting streets are packed with traditional colour-washed cottages. I found the talking car-park meters with their (fake), Cornish accents a bit tacky, but the rest of the village remains largely unspoilt. If you are feeling energetic there is a very scenic walk from Polperro to Looe and back via Talland Bay. If you are feeling less energetic there is a shuttle service from the car-park into the village. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
  • The Parish Church of St Manaccus and St Dunstan, Manaccan, Lizard, Cornwall. The 12th century church is a grade I listed building and is noted for the 250 year old fig tree growing out of the wall. In 1791 Rev. William Gregor, minister at the church and amateur geologist discovered an unknown mineral in the black sand in the village stream which he named Manaccanite. It later became known as Titanium. Richard Polwhele noted poet and historian was vicar of Manaccan 1794-1822, he was a friend of Sir Walter Scott and he is said to have befriended Captain Bligh (of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame), when during the Napoleonic wars Bligh was arrested as a suspected spy while surveying the Helford River. Bligh was locked in Polwhele's cellar but eventually released when his identity was confirmed. Manaccan lies just off the South West Coast Path. There is a very pleasant circular walk of about 4 miles from Manaccan to the coastal village of St Anthony and returning via the SW Coast Path and Gillan Creek. Please feel free to share/comment/tag or like, this photo and any other photos from my facebook page. All I ask is that you credit www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos and, if you feel inclined, like my page in return. more
  • We are coming to stay at Sandford caravan park next week. Is there a walk we can do from the park to the coast thanks.