Initially the South West Coast Path was used by the coastguard to combat smugglers off the south west peninsula during the 18th Century. The coastguard would regularly check every inlet and cranny, therefore their cliff-top walk became well established. In full the path measures 630 miles long and is the UK’s longest national trail. This week we look at one of our favourite sections of the SWCP, the walk from Padstow to St. Ives, along which the cliff top views over the pristine white sand beaches and crashing Atlantic Ocean are as good as the fresh seafood on offer.
This section of the SWCP starts in the charming seaside town of Padstow, a town that, other than being synonymous with TV chef Rick Stein is a delightful mix of piers, craft shops, inns, and restaurants. Over the course of the next six days you will walk the 98 kilometres or so to St. Ives, stopping by coastal towns and quaint little villages, such as Porthcothan, along the way.
98 km over the course of 6 days with daily distances ranging from 10 km – 21 km.
Moderate to strenuous. Despite the beautiful scenery and proximity of settlements to the trail, with an average daily distance of 17 km over undulating terrain, the Padstow to St. Ives section of the South West Coast Path is a challenging walk that should not be underestimated.
We offer a comprehensive service on the SWCP, including arranging selected daily accommodation, guidebooks, emergency support, and baggage transfer, see our website for further details.
This tour is available from March to October, however we recommend doing the SWCP between March to June or September to October. The holiday season between July and August, although warm, can be quite crowded which really takes away from the experience.
By Rail/Bus—Trains run from London to Bodmin Parkway (3hrs40) 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.
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.
If you have any queries about the South West Coast Path or a particular section of it, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team on [email protected].