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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  • Views from the Coast Path - behind the scenes! ymlp.com more
  • Cape Cornwall. The only 'Cape' in England. The cape was bought by the Heinz Food Company in 1987 and donated to the nation to celebrate 100 years of trading in the UK. The chimney on the cape, all that remains of Cape Cornwall Tin mine, was retained as a navigation aid a dedicated as the Heinz Monument. The rocks offshore are 'The Brisons' and are said to look like a fat man (some say General DeGaulle), lying on his back in the sea. In the mid-distance, in the green field, are the remains of the ancient St Helen's oratory which dates from pre-roman times. The SW Coast path passes around the cape and can be incorporated in a circular walk from St Just to the Kenidjack valley and back via Priest's Cove and Tregeseal. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more
  • Following a temporary closure, the Coast Path around Lannacombe beach has now reopened thanks to money raised through the South Hams Appeal. A total of £1,000 from the South Hams Appeal was put towards this project, helping to ensure the work completed in time for the Spring walking season. Many thanks to all those who kindly supported it! http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/82/ southwestcoastpath.com more
  • The Coast Path around Lannacombe beach has now reopened thanks to money raised through the South Hams Appeal to repair access to the coastline following last year's storms. This project cost around £1,000 to complete the work in time for the Spring walking season. Many thanks to all those who kindly supported this project! southwestcoastpath.com more
  • Goodnight from Towanroath Shaft, Wheal Coates, Chapel Porth, St Agnes, Cornwall. The SW Coast Path runs alongside this wonderful engine house. and the area is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more
  • Wheal Coats, Chapel Porth, St Agnes, Cornwall. (Not the more usually photographed Towanroath Shaft, which is on the cliff path below). The area is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. There is a very scenic circular walk which will take you from the NT car-park at Chapel Porth, along the cliff (SW Coast Path), to Wheal, Coates, up onto St Agnes Beacon, and back. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more
  • We are looking at what we offer South West Coast Path Association members and it would be great to have your views and thoughts if you can spare two minutes. If you have the time and you love the Coast Path please follow this link and spread the love by sharing with your friends too! #Love2walk http://ow.ly/J0ga4 more
  • Pilot gig, St Aubyn, at St Michael s Mount. Gigs were originally built in the 1700s as a way of getting a local pilot out to sailing ships. The first piolot to reach the ship wold get the job (and the money), for guiding the ship. Gigs have also been used in smuggling, and as lifeboats. The SW Coast path passes by St Michael's Mount at Marazion. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more
  • Godrevy Lighthouse and the SW Coast Path. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more
  • Portloe, Roseland, Cornwall. As seen from the SW Coast Path. Please feel free to like/comment/share this and any other photos from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KernowPhotos Please like my page in return. more