South West Coast Path: Falmouth to Plymouth (9 Days & 8 Nights)9 Days & 8 Nights 4.7 Read 7 reviews
- Walk this varied section of the SWCP from Falmouth to Plymouth.
- The fortress of St Mawes, one of Henry VIII’s best preserved castles.
- The historic and charming port town of Fowey.
- Whitewashed cottages and colourful fishing villages.
- The tall ships at the tiny port of Charlestown.
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Multi-Generational, First Timers
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Coastal & Island
- National Parks & Trails
Grade & Terrain
This holiday is graded from moderate. Although you follow the coast quite closely it includes plenty of up and downs and some steep sections.
The route is well waymarked and easy to follow. We supply detailed maps and guidebooks so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.
During peak summer months and due to minimum 2-night restrictions there is a possibility, in order to confirm your booking, that we may have to use accommodations that are not close to the trail. If this is the case, we will need to charge extra for these transfer costs. Please also note that the Shanty Sea Festival takes place on the 11th – 13th of June in 2021 in Falmouth therefore accommodations are already completely booked out. We recommend switching your dates slightly if your overnight in Falmouth lands on these dates.
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is a single room supplement payable.
- Overnights in B&B's, hotels and guest houses
- Door to door baggage transfer
- A detailed info pack, guidebook and map
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Travel to Falmouth
- Travel from Plymouth
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
When To Go
Favourites are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holidaymakers have gone home.
Getting to the Start
By Rail/Bus - You can reach Falmouth from London by train which takes 6 hours, this does involve a couple of changes.
By Car - There is parking in Falmouth but again it can be very busy. Here is a website with some car parks listed in Falmouth.
Getting from the End
By Air - The closest airport is Southampton. You can take a train to this airport from Plymouth with one change and the journey takes around 4H. Other airports you can fly into are Bristol and any of the London Airports.
By Rail/Bus - You can reach London from Plymouth by a direct train in approximately 3-4H.
By Car - There is limited parking in Plymouth.
If you need to get back to Falmouth from Plymouth then you can take a train via Truro to Penmere and then walk to the centre of Falmouth (2H30)
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.
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.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Falmouth and overnight
Your first overnight will be in Falmouth where its worth arriving early to explore this bustling seaside town. Plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets and there are many local beaches near the town for a relaxing stroll.
Originally built as a private dwelling for a Falmouth Sea Captain in 1850, The Grove Hotel has since had many Sea Captains at its helm until 1920 when the Gibbons family bought it. At The Grove Falmouth they have 15 bedrooms simply decorated to very high standards and spread out over three floors assuring you privacy in an intimate environment. Every bedroom is individually decorated in a relaxing style.
The Lerryn offers stunning views of Falmouth Bay, beautiful beaches and a warm and friendly welcome. The breakfasts are home cooked from local fresh produce.
They can also cater for guests with special dietary requirements with prior notification.
Bar snacks are available. All rooms have a colour television, free Wi Fi, radio and drink making facilities.
The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth is set in an enviable position, with its idyllic seafront location. It has one of the best panoramic waterfront views in England. Dating from 1640, the Greenbank is Falmouth’s oldest hotel and is a fascinating collection of beautifully restored buildings. The Harbourside Restaurant is elevated above the harbour and is the perfect setting to enjoy the delightful food and the Head Chef creates great seasonal menus described as Modern British. In the bar and terrace you can sit back in a soft chair and relax whilst overlooking the harbour.
Begin today today by taking 2 small passenger ferries, firstly across to St Mawes and then to Place where the walk starts its route to Portloe. Its worth having a look around St Mawes with its wonderful clover leaf design castle and built by Henry VIII. From Place you follow the trail around St Anthony's Peninsular passing the coastal church and prominent lighthouse. Sandy beaches and small valleys bring you round to Portscatho which is an ideal resting point and lunch spot.
From here the path follows low cliffs and quiet bays past Veryan Castle to Nare Head where you can see fantastic views across to Veryan Bay. Passing more coves the trail ends in the tiny harbour of Portloe fronted by jagged black rocks and an unspoilt harbour.
Jago Cottage is situated in the small hamlet of Trewartha which is within easy reach of the village of Veryan with its unusual Roundhouses, convenience store and pub. Also nearby is the quintessential Cornish harbour village of Portloe which still has an active fishing fleet. This is big walking country and there is easy access to the Coastal Footpath. Shane and Haydn will be sure to provide you with a warm Cornish welcome into their splendid abode.
The Lugger Hotel named “Best Seaside Hotel” by the Sunday Times – sits right on the water’s edge in the centre of this delightful village. Each of the 22 bedrooms is beautifully decorated and has deluxe showers and fine linens. There is a two AA Rosette restaurant where you can enjoy the best of local produce and cuisine.
Overlooking Carne beach, this privately-owned country house hotel is 13.4 miles from the city centre of Truro.
The luxurious rooms have en suite bathrooms; many have balconies or terraces, and sea views. The individually decorated suites have separate lounges; there’s 1 spread over 2 levels with a kitchenette.
Breakfast and Cornish cream teas are included, and additional meals are available from the hotel’s 2 restaurants for a surcharge. There’s a cocktail bar with original art, plus 2 pools, a tennis court, a billiard room, a gym, steam rooms, a sauna and an outdoor hot tub. There’s also a spa. A yacht is available for private hire.
From Portloe pass West and East Portholland which are both isolated hamlets. Porthluney beach is a great resting point today with its fabulous beach and a well earned rest from the cliff walking. Caerhays Castle stands behind the bay which is worth having a look at and especially its glorious gardens.
The path then climbs up to Dodman Point where the views are spectacular both back to Lizard and onward. Gorran Haven is a nice resting point and soon you reach Mevagissey, a working fishing village with a busy harbour, narrow backstreets and quaint shops.
Tremarne Hotel is all about comfort, relaxation and individuality. Their guest rooms, all ensuite, are light and airy, individually styled and impeccably presented, providing thoughtful touches that will make your stay just that bit more special. They are very proud of their award winning Restaurant, which is an essential part of any stay at the Tremarne Hotel. The décor is inviting with comfortable seating and crisp white table linen. Their evening dinner menu offers traditional, contemporary and vegetarian choices using the very best of Cornish produce.
A quaint and quirky B&B on the doorstop of the Lost Gardens Of Heligan and close to the Eden Project. This small accommodation dates back to the 1700’s and offers quaint rooms with low beam ceilings yet they have decorated and styled it with a unique blend of old and new.
Honeycombe House B&B is a family run Victorian house situated a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the 14th Century picturesque working fishing village of Mevagissey. All their rooms have double glazed windows, central heating, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and also a hairdryer and clock radio. Breakfast is served in the dining room between 9.00 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. during the week, and between 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. at the weekend, and during school holidays.
Leaving the harbour head up to Penare Point passing many overgrown ruins and the small harbour at Pentewan, The village is worth a visit with a nice pub and café. Pass golden sands and head up past Gamas Point and uphill to the rugged Black
Head up to where the Iron Age Castle used to sit proudly on the cliff top. The path heads back down to the coastline and subsequently takes an inland turn towards St Austells bay. This section ends in Charlestown with its tall ships and very interesting visitors centre.
Rashleigh Arms is a delightful 4-star Gold village inn and restaurant with en-suite accommodation in the heart of Charlestown. Overlooking the historic Charlestown Harbour, Rashleigh Arms offers superior en-suite bed and breakfast accommodation in a unique setting which is used regularly as an international film location. All of the bedrooms are equipped with colour television (mostly LCD), hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities plus complimentary toiletries. They provide a full English and continental breakfast and also morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas which are served in the tearoom or garden.
Hidden in a tranquil location, the warm charm of the 18th century, the manor house is draped in lilac blossom and hugged by neat lawns and colourful flowerbeds. The rich character continues inside – in the snug lounge with its deep velvety sofas and open fireplace, in the dining room with its wooden floors, sumptuous drapes and heady touch of grandeur, and in the light and airy climes of the conservatory. The individually designed bedrooms are contemporary in style; with luxe bathrooms and impeccable attention to detail. All relaxation needs are catered for: take a dip in the indoor pool, indulge in a treatment in the Zento room and sink into the hot tub.
The White Hart Hotel is a small, comfortable hotel in the centre of St Austell. All of the hotel’s en-suite bedrooms combine the individuality and character of this beautiful old building with modern comfort and facilities. The Bar and Restaurant provide comfortable surroundings where you can enjoy freshly prepared dishes, specialty coffees and St Austell Brewery Ales. The Walter Hicks Restaurant serves a seasonal menu, using local ingredients and freshly caught fish. A full English breakfast is served in the large dining room, and there is also a bar, offering a selection of award-winning local ales.
From Charlestown the path heads round St Austell’s Bay and crosses the wide and spacious Par Sands before entering the wild and remote area at Gribbin Head. A fabulous viewpoint marked with a candy striped daymark tower which stands 84 feet above the cliffs.
The Daphne Du Maurier coastline follows where much of her novels were written and inspiration sought. At Polridmouth a hidden beach opens to reveal the boathouse where the author lived for many years. The path into Fowey passes many coves and St Catherine’s Castle perched on the cliffs. Wander through the remains before you finally reach the village of Fowey with its many bars and restaurants.
Wellingtons is a beautiful spacious B&B 10 minutes’ walk to the historic town of Fowey. They are a friendly family business and we will do everything we can to make your stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. All rooms are comfortably furnished with quality beds and linens. Traditional breakfast each morning with a choice of cereals and juices, fresh coffee and teas.
This Grade II listed building is so named because they have a Well in the rear courtyard. Situated in the heart of the historic port of Fowey, this former merchant house has immediate access to a marvellous array of attractions including shops, pubs, restaurants and the fantastic harbour. All rooms have Tea & Coffee making facilities, Freeview TV and Fresh Flowers. The Well House is also a tearoom where you can indulge in one of their homemade cakes, treat yourself to a traditional cream tea or try a delicious ice-cream from Trelevans of Looe. Their menu includes a dish of the day, light bites and ice-cream. Why not try one of their Panini’s or baguettes freshly made to order and, of course, there are always the traditional Cornish pasties.
A warm welcome awaits you at the King of Prussia in Fowey from the present tenants Reg & Carol Tambling and their team. The King of Prussia is situated on Town Quay with beautiful views of the estuary from the bar area and all 6 bedrooms. Guest rooms are all simply furnished and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
Today you start off by catching a small passenger ferry across to Polruan. Its quite a steep start to the walk today heading up to the cliff tops but you will be rewarded with some fabulous views. The route today is very remote and wild with plenty of cliff top walking en route to Looe. Head down to the unspoilt beach of Lantic Bay with its turquoise sea.
Polperro is a great stop for a refreshment and thenceforth the walking becomes a little easier through the pretty village of Talland Bay.The final section to Looe is along the seawall with some fantastic views across to St Georges Island.
Shirley offers a warm welcome to guests of Little Harbour in Looe. The rooms are very comfortable, well presented, and furnished to a high standard throughout and serviced every day. Many of the rooms have a view over Church Square. There is Digital TV in all rooms, together with tea and coffee making facilities, hand soap and shower gel. You are welcome to come and go as you please and are provided with your front door key for the convenience of 24-hour access.
Our Hotel in Cornwall, The Hannafore Point offers stunning panoramic views across Looe Bay and the unspoiled Cornish coast.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of freshly cooked local produce, complemented by some interesting wines from the cellar.
Enjoy beautiful views from the A la Carte and Terrace Bar Restaurants. The majority of bedrooms have balconies. The en-suite bedrooms offer full facilities and the hotel has an indoor heated swimming pool.
The Portbyhan Hotel is situated in an unrivalled position right in the heart of Looe, allowing you to relish the panoramic views of the vibrant harbour with only a short stroll into Looe town. The Edwards family have invested a lot of money in a full-refurbishment of the exterior, bedrooms, restaurant, bar and public areas. These renovations, the location and the excellent services that the hotel offers have all contributed to the Portbyhan Hotel recently winning “Best Individual Hotel” at the prestigious National Coach Tourism Awards.
The walk from Looe to Portwrinkle starts by passing the holiday parks at Millendreath and then the path climbs up to Bodigga Cliff. Some lovely woodland walking up on the cliffs follows until you head down to Seaton Beach where there is a lovely little beach café to take a well deserved rest.
Head through Downderry and if the tide is out you can walk along the beach. A zig- zagged path leads up to Batten Heights which is the highest point on the whole Cornwall coast at 461ft. The path continues around Whitesands Bay to finish the days walk in the pretty fishing village of Portwrinkle.
This charming, family-run 14th Century Inn sits in the ‘Forgotten Corner of Cornwall’. It awaits you, your family & friends. Situated in 8 acres of quiet private grounds providing extensive views over to Dartmoor. The Coastal Path and beautiful beaches are just a few minutes’ walk away.
This last day to Plymouth is a varied day of woodland, cliff top and beach walking. The path passes behind Tregantle Fort which was originally built to protect Plymouth from the sea and then heads along the top of Long Sands beach. The view point at Rame Head is a highlight where the views are wonderful.
From here head around and up to Cawsand and Kingsand Bay which are both great lunch stops. Woodland walking follows through Mount Edgecumbe County Park and then on to Cremyll where you take the ferry across to Plymouth. The last couple of miles of the walk follow the waterfront walkway to Plymouth Hoe where your accommodation is booked for your final night.
Why not try some freshly caught seafood in one of the waterfront restaurants on the Barbican, or relaxing in the sunshine with a picnic on the Hoe. It’s also possible to take a behind the scenes tour of Devonport Dockyard. Each area of Plymouth has something special and unique to explore.
Sea Breezes is a luxury guest house in Plymouth, the six en-suite rooms have flat screen TV, DVD player and luxury toiletries. The tastefully furnished rooms have sparkling shower rooms, good quality beds, beautiful bed linen and fluffy towels. Breakfast orders are taken from 8am – 9am on weekdays and up to 10am at the weekend. If you need an earlier breakfast, please let them know and they will try to accommodate you. Breakfast will be served in your room.
The Rusty Anchor Bed & Breakfast is a classic Victorian (1898) townhouse adjacent to Plymouth's bustling harbour. This elegant six bedroomed property has been modernised to provide a chic, eclectic look whilst maintaining much of its originality. The Guesthouse is situated adjacent to Plymouth's harbour front, just a stroll away from all the major attractions including the city centre. The rooms are tastefully decorated in a chic modern style. Free Wifi, superfast broadband, flat screen TVs are standard.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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