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Overview

Walking Holidays
8 - 12 Nights
107.5 miles / 172 km
  • Prices from: £780 per person
  • Start: Padstow, Cornwall
  • Finish: Penzance, Cornwall
  • Availability: Year-round
  • Grading: Moderate to Challenging
  • Way-marked: Yes

South West Coast Path - Padstow to Penzance Highlights

Stunning coastline
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Walk along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, enjoying secluded sandy bays, dramatic clifftop panoramas, and abundant wildlife.

Land’s End
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Visit Land’s End – the most westerly point on the English mainland, with spectacular views across the Atlantic Ocean to the Isles of Scilly.

Local cuisine
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Indulge yourself in Padstow, the culinary capital of Cornwall, where the availability of fine local ingredients has given rise to a foodie paradise.

Minack Theatre
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Visit the-world famous Minack Theatre – an astounding open-air theatre carved into a cliff.

St Ives
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Explore the artists’ town of St Ives, one of the prettiest towns in Cornwall and home to some of the best art galleries in Britain.

UNESCO World Heritage
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Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cornish Mining – an historic landscape littered with stunning rock formations and former tin mines.

A Spectacular Cornish Coastal Walk

The stretch of the South West Coast Path between Padstow and Penzance is one of the finest sections of the entire trail, and one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal walking in the British Isles. Breathtaking exposed cliff tops, tranquil sheltered coves and expanses of still, sandy beaches make this a truly unmissable adventure.

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The ancient Celtic kingdom of Cornwall has a long and fascinating history of mining, fishing, and smuggling – industries which have long since faded away, as Cornwall has reinvented itself as one of the most creative corners of Britain. Nonetheless, its heritage remains at the heart of the landscape, scattered with characteristic former tin mines and higgledy-piggledy harbour towns. Here, art galleries, museums and world-class restaurants sit alongside beautiful beaches and a magnificent coastline.

This must-see section of the trail takes in secluded coastal villages, bustling surfing hotspots, the beautiful harbour towns of St Ives and Padstow, as well as Land’s End and the awe-inspiring Minack Theatre.

To the more eagle-eyed walker, an abundance of wildlife can be spotted along the route. Seals and peregrine falcons are a common sight while basking sharks and dolphins make frequent appearances in summer.

South West Coast Path (Padstow to Penzance) Route

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is SWCP-P-P2 which covers the route in 9 days / 10 nights.

Travel to Padstow for your first night’s accommodation
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Make your way to the town of Padstow, the gourmet capital of Cornwall, where you can sample some of the freshest seafood in Britain, enjoy a boat trip, or sit with a drink overlooking the picturesque harbour.

Day 1: Padstow to Porthcothan (13.5 miles / 22 km)
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Enjoy a day of easy walking along low cliffs, with beautiful, tempting beaches below. The path passes the sheltered beach of Hawker’s Cove before leading you out to the Atlantic Coast.

If you can resist the sandy beaches on your journey you will have more time to enjoy the sheltered dune-backed beach of Porthcothan at the end of today’s walk.

Day 2: Porthcothan to Newquay (10.5 miles / 16.5 km)
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Follow the coast to Bedruthan Steps – a popular tourist spot since Victorian times, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the huge slate outcrops scattered along the beach.

The trail then winds between little coves and headlands before leading you into the popular seaside town of Newquay.

Day 3: Newquay to Perranporth (12.5 miles / 20 km)
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After leaving Newquay Harbour cross the famous surfing hotspot of Fistral Beach and the picturesque tidal inlet of The Gannel.

Your destination this evening is Perranporth – an idyllically-located village surrounded by golden sands and spectacular cliffs.

Day 4: Perranporth to Portreath (12.5 miles / 20 km)
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The hustle and bustle of Perranporth quickly disappears as the trail heads into an ancient coastal mining district, following rugged clifftops and narrow paths. There’s a handful of little villages to stop for refreshments and sandy beaches where you could enjoy a picnic.

Day 5: Portreath to St Ives (18 miles / 29 km)
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Seals are a common sight around the waters today and sunfish and basking sharks have been spotted from the North Cliffs. The dunes behind the spectacular beach which stretches from Godrevy Point to the entrance of the Hayle estuary are also rich with wildlife.

Your overnight stop this evening, St Ives, is one of the prettiest towns in Cornwall and has attracted artists for centuries. It’s home to some of the finest art galleries in Britain, including The Tate and the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden.

Day 6: St Ives to Zennor (6 miles / 9.5 km)
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This relatively short walk between St Ives and Zennor is one of the most challenging sections of the South West Coast Path due to the rocky and sometimes boggy ground, and several steep ascents and descents between the headlands.

The tricky walking is made up for with spectacular coastal views, and a feeling of remoteness unlike any other part of the Coast Path.

Day 7: Zennor to St Just (12 miles / 19 km)
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More challenging walking awaits today as you journey through Cornwall’s mining landscape, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape is littered with stunning rock formations and former tin mines, which soon give way as you make your way to beautiful Cape Cornwall – once thought to be the most westerly point in England before Land’s End stole the accolades.

Your overnight stop of St Just, one mile inland from Cape Cornwall, is an attractive former mining town with some excellent pubs and restaurants.

Day 8: St Just to Porthcurno (11 miles / 18 km)
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A couple of star attractions of the South West Coast Path await today – Land’s End and the Minack Theatre. Land’s End is the most westerly point on the English mainland and the closest point to North America. The excellent Wildlife Discovery Centre has telescopes to help you identify local seabirds and wildlife (look out for basking sharks and dolphins), and the view out to the distant Scilly Isles is nothing short of spectacular.

The trail continues alongside attractive cliffs and stacks, including the arch of the Armed Knight, before more wonderful cliff-top walking leads to the amazing open-air Minack Theatre and the picturesque village of Porthcurno.

Day 9: Porthcurno to Penzance (11.5 miles / 18 km)
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The final day offers a wonderful finale to this part of the South West Coast Path. Explore the clifftop castle of Treryn Dinas, which was thought to have been occupied as early as the Mesolithic period (9000 – 5500 BC), and the pretty village of Lamorna.

The trail leads you into the picturesque village of Mousehole, which poet Dylan Thomas called “the prettiest village in England”. The last native Cornish speaker, Dolly Pentreath, died here more than 200 years ago.

From Mousehole, the scenery becomes increasingly urban, and a stretch of road walking will take you into the bustling town of Penzance where you can enjoy views of distant St. Michael’s Mount.

Onward travel
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After breakfast, you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the South West Coast Path.

What's Included?

Your South West Coast Path walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully-selected accommodation along the route, and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfers
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional English breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 3 suggested itineraries for walking the South West Coast Path between Padstow and Penzance.

Our most popular itinerary is SWCP-P-P2 which covers the route in 9 days.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
SWCP-P-P1
7 Days / 8 Nights
15.5 miles per day
Challenging
From £780
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 15.5 miles per day
Tour code: SWCP-P-P1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Challenging

7 Days / 8 Nights (SWCP-P-P1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Additional information

Due to the difficulty of finding a one night stay in St Ives, we highly recommend adding an additional day in this location.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £35 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Padstow for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Padstow to Mawgan Porth (overnight Padstow) 18 miles / 29 km
2
Day 2 Mawgan Porth to Perranporth 18.5 miles / 29.5 km
3
Day 3 Perranporth to Portreath 12.5 miles / 20 km
4
Day 4 Portreath to St Ives 18 miles / 29 km
5
Day 5 St Ives to Pendeen 13.5 miles / 21.5 km
6
Day 6 Pendeen to Porthcurno 15.5 miles / 25 km
7
Day 7 Porthcurno to Penzance 11.5 miles / 18 km
Depart Onward travel from Penzance

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£780 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

SWCP-P-P2
9 Days / 10 Nights
12 miles per day
Challenging
From £930
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 12 miles per day
Tour code: SWCP-P-P2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Challenging

9 Days / 10 Nights (SWCP-P-P2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Additional information

Due to the difficulty of finding a one night stay in St Ives, we highly recommend adding an additional day in this location.

Due to the high cost of accommodation in Newquay during the months of June, July and August, there will be a supplement of £40 per person / per night added to overnight stays in Newquay during these months.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £35 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Padstow for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Padstow to Porthcothan (overnight Padstow) 13.5 miles / 22 km
2
Day 2 Porthcothan to Newquay 10.5 miles / 16.5 km
3
Day 3 Newquay to Perranporth 12.5 miles / 20 km
4
Day 4 Perranporth to Portreath 12.5 miles / 20 km
5
Day 5 Portreath to St Ives 18 miles / 29 km
6
Day 6 St Ives to Zennor (overnight St Ives) 6 miles / 9.5 km
7
Day 7 Zennor to St Just 12 miles / 19 km
8
Day 8 St Just to Porthcurno 11 miles / 18 km
9
Day 9 Porthcurno to Penzance 11.5 miles / 18 km
Depart Onward travel from Penzance

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£930 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

SWCP-P-P3
11 Days / 12 Nights
10 miles per day
Moderate
From £1130
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 10 miles per day
Tour code: SWCP-P-P3
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

11 Days / 12 Nights (SWCP-P-P3)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Additional information

Due to the difficulty of finding a one night stay in St Ives, we highly recommend adding an additional day in this location.

Due to the high cost of accommodation in Newquay during the months of June, July and August, there will be a supplement of £40 per person / per night added to overnight stays in Newquay during these months.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room.

  • Standard: £35 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £10 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Padstow for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Padstow to Porthcothan (overnight Padstow) 13.5 miles / 22 km
2
Day 2 Porthcothan to Newquay 10.5 miles / 16.5 km
3
Day 3 Newquay to Perranporth 12.5 miles / 20 km
4
Day 4 Perranporth to Portreath 12.5 miles / 20 km
5
Day 5 Portreath to Hayle 12 miles / 19 km
6
Day 6 Hayle to St Ives 6 miles / 10 km
7
Day 7 St Ives to Zennor (overnight St Ives) 6 miles / 9.5 km
8
Day 8 Zennor to Pendeen 7.5 miles / 12 km
9
Day 9 Pendeen to Sennen Cove 9 miles / 14.5 km
10
Day 10 Sennen Cove to Porthcurno 6.5 miles / 10.5 km
11
Day 11 Porthcurno to Penzance 11.5 miles / 18 km
Depart Onward travel from Penzance

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£1130 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

South West Coast Path Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to Padstow
By Air

Nearest International Airports: London Heathrow and London Gatwick

From London Heathrow, you can take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington. From Gatwick, the Gatwick Express goes to Victoria Station, from which you can connect with London Paddington via the London Underground.

There are direct trains from London Paddington Station to Bodmin Parkway (journey time 3 hours 45 min) From Bodmin Parkway you can connect with a bus to Padstow (journey time 1 hour 5 min).

By Public Transport

Nearest railway station: Bodmin Parkway

There are direct trains from London Paddington Station to Bodmin Parkway. From Bodmin Parkway there are regular buses to Padstow (journey time 1 hour 5 min).

By Car

Padstow is a 4 hour 50 min drive from London. There is long term parking available in Padstow, however, leaving your car here is at your own risk and the parking is often very busy and expensive in the summer months, so we do advise that public transport is the best option.

Departing from Penzance
By Air

Nearest major airports: London Heathrow and London Gatwick

There are direct trains from Penzance to London Paddington Station, and the journey takes approximately 5 hours.

From London Paddington, the Heathrow Express offers a service to Heathrow Airport. Alternatively, for Gatwick Airport you can take the London Underground to Victoria Station and then take the Gatwick Express to the Airport.

By Public Transport

Nearest railway station: Penzance

Penzance is well served by direct rail routes from many parts of the UK. It is the terminus of the InterCity line from London and the North and is approximately 5 hours to London Paddington.

There are direct train services to the Midlands, the North West and North East of England, as well as to Scotland.

National Express coaches also serve Penzance.

As the bus and train services can be very busy, we recommend booking in advance.

By Car

There is limited long-term parking in Penzance and, in peak season, it is very busy. We always recommend public transport.

If you need to return to Padstow from Penzance to collect your car, take the train to Bodmin Parkway (journey time 1 hour 20 min) and then a bus to Padstow (journey time 1 hour 5 min). 

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the South West Coast Path – Padstow to Penzance.

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Due to the difficulty of finding one night stays in St Ives during high season, we do recommend adding an additional night in this location.

Padstow
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  • Explore Prideaux Place – a fine example of a 16th century Elizabethan manor house
  • Enjoy some of the freshest seafood in Britain and dine at celebrity chef Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant
  • Take a boat trip from the picturesque harbour where you can spot seals, basking sharks, puffins and more
Newquay
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  • Relax on one of Newquay’s gorgeous beaches
  • Try your hand at surfing at the famous surfing hotspot of Fistral Beach
  • Visit Newquay Zoo – set in lush sub-tropical garden and home to over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and most exciting creatures
St Ives
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  • Explore the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden which gives a remarkable insight into one of the 20th century’s most important sculptors
  • Learn more about the history of the area at the St Ives Museum. The exhibitions and collections reflect the fishing, railway, tourism and mining that have defined the town
  • Take a trip on the St Ives Bay Line – one of the most scenic railway journeys in England
  • Enjoy a pint in the historic Sloop Inn – one of England’s oldest pubs dating back to 1312
Porthcurno
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  • Visit the amazing open-air Minack Theatre where you can watch a play while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • Learn about the dawn of wireless science at the fascinating Telegraph Museum – the former global hub of cable communications
Penzance
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  • Take a trip to St. Michael’s Mount – a spectacular tidal island steeped in legend. Explore the medieval church and castle 
  • Enjoy the attractive little harbour, with a wealth of independent galleries and shops

Make an enquiry

South West Coast Path – Padstow to Penzance

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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