Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Brighlty coloured fishing boats
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Highlights

  • Walk from St Ives to Penzance on the South West Coast Path.
  • Remote and exhilarating walking along the clifftops.
  • Tasty, local seafood in the bustling towns of St Ives and Penzance.
  • Visit Lands End—the most westerly tip of Britain.
  • Picnic lunches on the golden sands of the many secluded coves.

Walk this rugged and remote section of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall from St Ives to Penzance, via Land’s End. Be prepared for some exhilarating walking and follow the trail that hugs the coastline on its way down to Lands End which is the most westerly tip of the UK.

Wild flowers on the cliff tops and turquoise seas with golden beaches dominate with fantastic views, plenty of birdlife and delicious seafood all to be found on this 40 mile stretch of coast path.

The bustling fishing village of St Ives is your start point, and you will also encounter small fishing communities, such as Sennen Cove, Mousehole and Porthcurno with its spectacular open air theatre situated right beside the sea.

This is a general stage by stage guide. For all the available day by day itineraries, please see the options on the right.


Arrive in St Ives

St Ives is a bustling fishing village with a wonderful harbour, winding narrow streets, art galleries, and plenty of restaurants.  


Section 1: St Ives to Zennor

Head out of St Ives and follow the wild and rugged coastline south.  Undulating paths on rough and demanding terrain make todays walk a strenuous one, but all worthwhile for the stunning views across the sea. Zennor is a small village which is a 10-15 minute walk inland from the coast, the local pub will be a welcoming sight after the walk today.  The local museum is worth a visit which is dedicated to Cornish life from Prehistoric times.


Walk: 6 miles, 10 km


Section 2: Zennor to Pendeen

The stretch to Pendeen Watch passes some beautiful little coves to Gunnard’s Head which is a great stop for a picnic. The cliffs of Bosigran can be seen and once you reach Pendeen Watch, visit the lighthouse in the afternoon before you head inland to Pendeen for your overnight.


Walk: 7 miles, 11 km


Section 3: Pendeen to Sennen Cove

There is  a lot to see on this section of the walk to Sennen Cove, with astounding views out to sea. Soon after leaving Pendeen you reach the remains of old tin and lead mines and then the Iron Age Kenidjack Castle—a wonderful place to take a break and look at the views towards Cape Cornwall.  St Just is the next place on the map and is worth a detour if you are not stopping here, it is a thriving village with artists and is the most westerly town in the UK! 


From Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove is a wonderful walk passing the sand dunes to Whitesands Bay.  Honey coloured cliffs prevail and keep your eyes peeled as dolphins are a common sight.  The route follows the dunes but alternatively you can walk on the beach until you reach the little village of Sennen Cove.


Walk: 9.5 miles, 15 km


Section 4: Sennen Cove to Porthcurno

This day includes wonderful cliff top walking and reaching Land’s End is a real high point on the South West Coast Path. Here views across to all of the amazing rock formations - The Armed Knight, The Irish lady and Dr Syntax head to name a few can be seen from here.  Heading onwards follow the path past many coves and cliffs to the spectacularly located Minack Theatre at Porthcurno Bay.  It is perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the bay and from here the steps lead down to the beach and the village. 


Walk: 7 miles, 11 km


Section 5: Porthcurno to Penzance

From Porthcurno you will quickly reach Logan Rock which is a 70 tonne boulder that used to be rocked by pushing it! You pass many coves until you reach Lamorna which is one of the few wooded coves on the path. 


The next section of the walk passes through a pine forest and then heads inland to Mousehole.  From here to Penzance the walk follows a track mainly on tarmac. Soon you will be amongst the buzz of Penzance with its galleries and cafés lining the streets.


Walk: 11 miles, 18 km

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. A delicious breakfast is always included.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable. This walking tour is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs, there is a solo walker supplement payable.


Additional Nights

We strongly recommend adding extra nights in St Ives and Penzance. In high season or weekends some accommodation will not accept one night stays in these locations.


Additional nights can be added at any point on the walk.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.



 

 

 




Queens Hotel - St Ives

The Queens Hotel is situated a 2 minute walk from the harbour, each room is bright and spacious, and comes with a flat-screen satellite TV.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Zennor Chapel Guesthouse - Zennor



Zennor Chapel Guesthouse - Zennor

Zennor Chapel Guesthouse and Café is situated in the village of Zennor just half a mile from the South West Coast path. There are five unique newly-decorated rooms, all with fantastic views of the sea of hills.


 

 

 


 

 

 




North Inn - Pendeen

The North Inn is a traditional ivy-clad Cornish village pub with purpose-built guest accommodation to the rear. The rooms have modern bathrooms and balconies on the seaward side.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Old Success Inn - Sennen Cove

The Old Success Inn is a delightful 17th century Fisherman's Inn. Over the years, The Old Success has been sympathetically modernised to improve its accommodation, restaurant and other facilities.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Rockridge House - Porthcurno

A very friendly run B&B, situated in the valley of Porthcurno. All the guest rooms are en-suite and it is located just a short walk from the beach and the Minack theatre.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Torwood House - Penzance

This beautiful Victorian house is situated on a tree-lined avenue close to the seafront. All original doors and features where possible have been retained to provide comfortable rooms with modern day comforts.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start your trip on any day between March and October subject to availability. This section of the South West Coast Path is very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.


Time of Year

This section of the South West Coast Path is probably best enjoyed in the Spring and Autumn when there are fewer people on the trails, however it is lovely during the summer months also. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans.


Grade

This holiday is graded from moderate to strenuous depending on the itinerary you choose. Although you follow the coast quite closely it includes plenty of elevation gains and losses and some steep sections.


Navigation

The route is well way marked and easy to follow. We supply detailed maps and guidebooks so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to St Ives

By Rail/Bus - Trains run from London to St Erth (5H), where you need to change trains to St Ives (15mins)


By Car - St Ives is a 5H30 drive from London, there is limited parking and the car parks can often be very busy in the summer months.


Getting from Penzance

By Air  - Newquay Airport is the closest airport and is served by Flybe and Air Southwest from UK Airports. The closest international airports are Bristol and any of the London Airports.


By Rail/Bus  - There is a direct train from Penzance back to London Paddington (6hrs)


By Car - There is parking in Penzance but again it can be very busy. If you need to return to St Ives from Penzance you can do this by bus, it is only 8 miles and takes around 45 mins.


Information on train and bus travel may be found on the Traveline website

Included

  • Overnights in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
  • Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers
  • Detailed Information Pack, guidebook and map
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to St Ives
  • Travel from Penzance
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single room supplements
  • Solo walker supplements

How fit do I need to be?

Although you are following the coast the ascents and descents are often steep and you will need strong knees and a good level of hill fitness. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness, regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 3 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

Do I need to be able to navigate?

Yes, but it's really easy. The path is well waymarked throughout and we supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn't have any problem following the trail.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Cornwall is extremely popular over the summer months. Even if you are booking last minute we will always try and accommodate your plans, so please do give us a shout.

Are there upgrade options available?

We use a variety of B&B’s, guest houses, small hotels and Inns on our trips. In the larger towns, there are hotel options available. Please note that these can be at a slightly higher upgrade cost, but they are not similar to our ‘In Style’ accommodation options

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. We will send you a full equipment list as part of your info pack.

When is the best time of year?

April, May and June when the spring flowers are out is just great. Also September and October when the summer holiday makers have gone home.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your information pack.

I would definitely use Macs Adventure again

5

I retired a few days before I began this week long walking holiday so I was hoping it would be memorable and it certainly was. Receiving the confirmation pack with full itinerary, a quality map and 2 guide books got me even more in the mood. I was very lucky with the weather as it was gorgeous sunshine all week which is remarkable for mid Oct. The accommodation was high quality save perhaps for one evening but even then it was ok. There was a last minute change of hotel mid-way through the week but I must have been upgraded to a 4 star hotel which was a lovely treat. would highly recommend Macs Adventure and hope to use them again myself soon.

Rob

Bristol

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Penzance to Falmouth on he South West Coast Path

5

Some long days because of the distance between loggind.

Sue

Petaluma, California

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Absolutely stunning landscape

5

The trip was spectacular. All the arrangements were perfectly organized, the communications before hand were exactly what we needed in order to prepare, and the B&Bs were perfectly comfortable. And the views! The coastline is absolutely spectacular. Be warned it can be pretty hilly and testing on the knees, would recommend taking the difficulty ratings seriously. We had one day where we had to hike through a significantly stormy conditions all day. Would highly recommend for anyone signing up for a trip like this, be prepared with appropriate weather protective gear and clothing. Overall we couldn't have asked for more from this trip.

Ficali McPipe

New York

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Exhilarating walk in spectacular scenery

5

Everything was very well organised by Macs Adventures and most of the accommodation was excellent. Some of the days had very long walks which were quite tiring and we were lucky with the weather. The walk itself was interesting and varied and a great way to see the Cornish coast. In hindsight we would have preferred more shorter days but I think the length of each walk was determined by the availability of accommodation.

Walking girl

Hertfordshire

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Cornwall at its best

5

I have used Macs to organize adventures for myself, my husband and my friends. The itineraries are flexible and varied, the organization top notch. The trips are challenging, enlightening and fun. I will be using them again, and again.

Joyce the grey

New Hampshire, USA

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I will repeat with MACS

5

The trip was very well organised, great accommodation. The path was tough but the views, the cliffs and landscape were amazing. MACS´s staff (Caroline Sloan) gave us good information to have a pleasant and safe walk. They were always available

Edu Hiker

Sevilla, España (Spain)

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Spectacular hike along the Cornwall coast

5

We loved our SWCP experience from St. Ives to Penzance. If I were to book again, I would have added a day and done the hike in 5 days vs. 4 days to have more downtime to explore the towns and relax. All the Inns were lovely and the hosts were friendly. We were pretty disappointed in the Western Hotel in St. Ives. With all the hotel/Inn options in St. Ives, Mac should strongly consider replacing this hotel option as it was quite run down and not comfortable.

Susan M

Atlanta

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St Ives to Penzance trip

5

We had a great time

Catherine

Rugby

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GOOD STIFF WALK

4

AT BEST THE WALK WAS REALLY GREAT, BUT FOUND THE FIRST WALK, BETWEEN ST IVES AND PENDEEN WATCH VERY TESTING, PLENTY OF ROCKS ON THE PATHWAY WOULD BE VERY TESTING FOR MOST PEOPLE.

ROBBO

TOTTON, SOUTHAMPTON

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Penzance to Falmouth. Beautiful Cornwall coast

4

This walk is along the beautiful Cornwall coast. It is lovely with lots of picturesque villages and small inlet beaches along the way. It did rain a day or two but we had good sunshine also. The rain brought out the beautiful colors on the hillsides. The first two days were a bit longer than advertised clocking in at 15+ miles each vs. the 13 or so that is stated in description. There are some good hills but if you are reasonably fit it is very doable. It's definitely easier than some other parts of the SWCP such as the walk from WestwardHo! to Padstow. We kept an extremely slow pace and still managed each day to arrive for a slightly late dinner.

JayDee

Massachusetts, USA

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South West Coast Path: St Ives to Penzance

4.5 33

100.0

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