- Walk the Padstow to St Ives section of the South West Coast Path
- Freshly caught fish and chips at Rick Stein’s in Padstow.
- Walking for miles along white and pristine sandy beaches.
- The wild Atlantic surf crashing into the cliffs below you.
- Vast selection of local Cornish galleries and traditional culinary delights.
Walk along Cornwall’s Atlantic Coast from the charming seaside town of Padstow to bustling St Ives on the South West Coast Path.
Golden beaches, picturesque fishing villages, wild seas crashing and secluded coves are all features of this wonderful week of walking.
As you head south you will discover estuaries full of fauna and flora, some of the UK’s best beaches and relish each overnight stop, all of which are highlights. By the time you arrive in St Ives, the most famous of Cornwall’s holiday towns, all you will want to do is turn around and do it all over again.
For all the information you need on the South West Coast Path, you can download our free guide.
Starting Point: Padstow
Synonymous with TV chef Rick Stein, Padstow is a delightful mix of piers, inns, restaurants and craft shops huddled around a small harbour.
Padstow is a 270 mile (5 hour) drive from London. It is also accessible by train and bus from London in 5 hours.
Section 1: Padstow to Porthcothan
A lovely start to your walk along low cliff tops, with tempting beaches below. The prominent Trevose Head offers wonderful views of the beaches ahead and Constantine Bay is a great spot for a relaxed picnic.
Distance: 13 miles, 21 km
Section 2: Porthcothan to Newquay
This rugged coast of little coves and jagged headlands has been the graveyard of many ships. Local legends, expansive views and the three miles of sand at Watergate Bay are real highlights.
Distance: 10.5 miles, 17 km
Section 3: Newquay to Perranporth
Leaving the busy town of Newquay behind you immediately find yourself on the famous surfing beach of Fistral. Then look out for the prolific wildflowers on West Pentire Headland and the colonies of kittiwakes and waders.
Distance: 11 miles, 18 kmAscent/Decent: 482m
Section 4: Perranporth to Portreath
A day of steep climbs and descents through an area of ancient mines, many of which are now home to bats. The area around St Agnes Head is a favourite for birders.
Distance: 12 miles, 19 km
Section 5: Portreath to Hayle
Smugglers coves, with colourful names such as Ralph’s Cupboard pepper the coast. Cliffs, dunes and estuaries all contribute to a wonderful day of walking.
Distance: 12.5 miles, 20 km
Section 6: Hayle to St Ives
Your walk begins at the Hayle Swing Bridge, the oldest in Britain and ends in the delightful town of St Ives, where you could easily spend a few days exploring the galleries, craft shops and excellent cafes.
Distance: 6 miles, 10 km
Depart St Ives
Before your onward travel day from St Ives, you may wish to explore the promenade and dive into the local culinary delights!
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the 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.
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is a single room supplement payable.
Solo walkers are welcome, but there is a solo walker supplement to cover the additional cost of luggage transfer.
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.
We strongly recommend adding extra nights in Padstow and St Ives. 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.
Althea Library - Padstow
This Grade II listed building has been tastefully converted from a school library into a lovely B&B, with a patio, lounge, and a breakfast area, which overlooks the garden.
St Bernard's Guesthouse - Newquay
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.
The Seiners Arms B&B - Perranporth
Oceanfront living at Perranporth Beach allows you to eat well and sleep well. The hotel offers locally sourced and freshly prepared food to order served in our traditional Cornish bar.
Portreath B&B - Portreath
Beachside Bed & Breakfast is steps away from the sandy beach in the small village of Portreath. With a handful of rooms available and run as a family run business, they aim to make everyone feel at home
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.
You can start this trip on any day between March & October subject to availability. This area is very popular so it is best to book far in advance.
Time of Year
We recommend April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and September and October when the summer holiday makers have gone home.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you, subject to availability. There is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome, but there is a solo walker supplement to cover the additional cost of luggage transfer.
Grade & Terrain
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 up and down and some steep sections.You will be walking on a national trail, so the paths are usually well-maintained.
The path is well waymarked throughout and we supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn't have any problem following the trail.
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.
Getting to Padstow
By Rail/Bus—Trains run from London to Bodmin Parkway (3h40) and connect with buses to Padstow. Use Traveline to plan your journey.
By Car—Padstow is a five hour drive from London and long stay parking is available for £2 per day.
Getting from St Ives
By Bus/Train - Bus to St Erth (15min) and train to London (5h). Returning to Padstow to collect your car is possible by train and bus but will involve a couple of changes.
- Accommodation in B&B's, guesthouses and country inns
- Daily breakfast
- 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
- Travel to Padstow
- Travel from St Ives
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
- Single room supplements
- Solo walker supplements
- Accommodation upgrades
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?
My favourites are April, May and June when the spring flowers are out and 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 info pack.