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

  • Looking for something to do for #Halloween Trick or Treat Fun tomorrow? Try English Riviera this October Half Term! http://t.co/BDCoXQB4Js
  • RT @THCottages: Wow, check out these half-term visitors basking in Salcombe's autumn sea mist! http://t.co/vYLAv0DxD8
  • @HayleySpurway Perfect!
  • RT @HayleySpurway: Stomp along @swcoastpath, sand between our toes & hot chocolates watching surf at Blue Bar, Porthtowan #lovecornwall lif…
  • RT @TheRoyalBallet: A classic pic for #TBT - Anna Pavlova and friends at a Dorset swannery, studying Swans while rehearsing Swan Lake ^C ht…
  • @EastDevonAONB Giving the River Otter room to spread to help alleviate flooding in the area inc. on the #SWCoastPath http://t.co/wts1bH2F9K
  • RT @carpydan1983: Deep in thought staring into the distance #Southdevon #coastalwalks #deepinthought http://t.co/nSQw5BIb5c http://t.co/u…
  • @bagwellfarm Congratulations on this! Good work.
  • @DanJamesENPA I hope the owner is found soon.
  • RT @DanJamesENPA: Can you help reunite this little #lost #bear with his owners? Found admiring views above #Daymer Bay on @swcoastpath http…

Facebook

  • Just to let you know, the www.stmaweswatertaxi.co.uk/winter-season begins on November 1st. Great for getting to Place. now that the Place Ferry has finished for the season. www.stmaweswatertaxi.co.uk more
  • The South West Coast Path shared Phil Starkey - Photography's photo. A really atmospheric shot of Gyllngvase Beach, Falmouth by Phil Starkey - Photography. Here's some walks nearby where you can go to experience more of the same letting the train take the strain to get to your starting point www.southwestcoastpath.com/day-walks/railways-walks/walks-falmouth-station/ Just going through some of the photos that I have taken over the last week and will hopefully be posting more to the October album later. But for now I thought I'd share with you this one that I took on Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth. It had been a really murky start to the day but after lunch the weather started to break producing some interesting light and lovely skies. As always please do share if you wish. f/11 1/500 ISO 100 10mm All Rights Reserved — at Gyllngvase Beach. more
  • Long Rocks at Marazion is closed for repairs for three weeks in October 2014. An alternative route is signposted. www.southwestcoastpath.com more
  • Please see the upcoming diversion at Trevone Bay, near Padstow. more
  • Have a look at our friends' South West Coast Path Association shop for Christmas present ideas for your walking friends and family more
  • The South West Coast Path shared Walking for Health's photo. There are Walking for Health groups all over the UK. If you're looking for ways to increase the distance you can walk they make for great boot camps for walking further along the SW Coast Path - see if you can find a group near you. "I feel so much fitter and more active in general." "Now I walk for enjoyment, not just around the supermarket." "I’ve made lots of new friends as a result of meeting up with the group as well." How has walking helped you? Let us know! more
  • A walker's menu at South Sands Hotel - and somewhere to hire a thermos flask from! Also a great place to start a number of circular walks from. You can pick up a leaflet to guide the way before the off from their Walker's Hut more
  • The South West Coast Path commented on a status.
  • The South West Coast Path shared Alan Mccarten's photo. This reminded us to get a trip organised to North Devon soon. Have a look at some of our favourite walks here for your inspiration - Hartland, Heddon's Mouth and Croyde all beckon! http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/day-walks/seasonal-walks/autumn-ambles/autumn-ambles-north-devon/ more
  • The South West Coast Path likes a photo.