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

  • Top Walking Holidays with your Four Legged Friend

    To celebrate the best of the west’s dog walks, the South West Coast Path, with the backing of Your Dog Magazine, are asking dog owners for the third year running to vote for one of 18 special walks all around the path. Enter the competition HERE. Find out more about walking with your dog on the Coast Path and where some of the best places are to walk and stay at while you're here.

  • West Cornwall provides a beautiful backdrop for Coastal Photography

    There is a month to go until entries close for the South West Coast Path photographic competition. David Noton, an award winning landscape and travel photographer and this year’s competition judge, tells us why he is especially fond of taking photographs in West Cornwall in the winter. Enter the competition HERE 

  • 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.

Tweets

  • @IndyTravel We love being featured in your winter walks feature with @THCottages http://t.co/oILA8Sge9n
  • @elementummag @TheHiddenHut Lovely to see your open in December too! Soup is just the ticket this time of year for hearty walkers!
  • RT @elementummag: @TheHiddenHut @swcoastpath sunny winter #soupsunday #Cornwall More images to follow. See you again soon! http://t.co/YsNy…
  • RT @trail_planner: South West Coast Path Part 2 - Padstow to Looe @swcoastpath @NationalTrails @LDWA1 I really miss Ann's Pasties http://t.…
  • Vote today for your favourite #dog walk on #SWCoastPath You could win £500 to stay @THCottages http://t.co/xuCqh1qEYj http://t.co/9rBOu6UUsl
  • RT @wildrunningbook: We went #wildrunning on the stunning @NTCornwallCoast from YHA Treyarnon @YHAOfficial @CornwallLifeMag @swcoastpath ht…
  • @HeartyLivesCIOS Thanks for spreading the news about our competition
  • RT @HeartyLivesCIOS: Perfect start to the HL Pedometer Challenge, walk the South West Coast Path and enter a fab competition http://t.co/yj…
  • Enter our #photography competition http://t.co/eI5Ga7WDw5. 1st prize is a luxury spa stay @CarbisBay_Hotel http://t.co/N1nMKk0qKy Good luck!
  • RT @brokenbrainliz: Such a beautiful winter walk @Wembury this morning @swcoastpath @nationaltrust @NTSouthWest #devonlife #winterwalk http…

Facebook

  • The South West Coast Path shared Cornwall, GB's photo. Newquay is a great place to walk your dog on the beach. Remember to vote for your favourite dog walk in our competition. You could win a fabulous stay worth £500 at a Toad Hall Cottages with your four legged friend. http://bit.ly/12byLrM Its a dogs life.... Fistral Beach in Newquay by Em Gallagher — with Em Gallagher. more
  • Stunning photos taken in a stunning location by these Wild Runners on a lovely sunny day. You can also walk here too! www.southwestcoastpath.com/walksdb/508 more
  • The South West Coast Path shared AdamBurtonPhotography.com's photo. A beautiful Hartland image by Adam Burton. A lovely part of the Coast Path to walk at this time of year www.southwestcoastpath.com/walksdb/53/ Sunset at Hartland Quay in Devon. more
  • The South West Coast Path likes a photo.
  • The South West Coast Path commented on their own photo.
  • Thousands of people each year take their foot legged friends with them on a walking holiday to the Coast Path. Where would you go with yours? Enter our competition and be in with a chance to win a £500 voucher to stay at a dog friendly holiday cottage with Toad Hall Cottages Read about dog walking on the UK's longest and most walked National Trail and where to walk and stay http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/newsapp/article/160/ more
  • A fantastic looking run! Some great photos from the Coast Path too. Don't forget to enter your photos into our competition - Winning 1st prize will see your image on the front cover of the 2016 South West Coast Path Calendar as well as a luxury spa break at The Carbis Bay Hotel www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk Enter the competition at www.southwestcoastpath.com/photo-competition more
  • These beautiful paintings sound just the ticket for a special Christmas gift - with all profits going to the South West Coast Path Association www.artbyanna.co.uk more
  • The South West Coast Path shared South West Coast Path Route Changes's photo. There is a new diversion on the South Dorset Ridgeway section of the Coast Path at Corton Down between Hardy Monument and A354 (Weymouth link road). It has been undermined by a Badger Set. Read more on our Route Changes page. http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/diversiondb/81/ more
  • Port Light Hotel on the South West Coast Path between Hope Cove and Salcombe will be open for Christmas on the 23rd December until the 2nd January. Pop in for a mince pie on your walk!