🔒 Europe Price Lock 🔒Save on France, Italy, Spain & Portugal 2025Book now
8 days
  • self guided walk
  • 7 nights in hotels and guesthouses
  • 7 Breakfasts





Trip Code: WCN

South West Coast Path Trip highlights

  • Classic Cornish Coastal walking
  • Padstow’s old harbour and Rick Stein’s restaurant
  • Newquay, Britain’s surf capital and St.Ives the famous artist’s town

A beautiful part of the South West Coastal Path, this northern section undulates along the coast between the popular resorts of Padstow and St. Ives, visiting the surfer’s paradise of Newquay. These are of course popular epicenters for tourism in the summer months, but dotted along the coast are also tiny thatched roofed villages, old tin and silver mining towns and harbours, which used to throb with the business of shipping minerals and landing literally millions of fish. It is a landscape of beaches and tiny coves, which foster childhood recollections of summer. There are impressive cliffs and treacherous off shore reefs that have claimed many victims over the years. Now the economic landscape has totally changed, the area is more romantic and reflective, inspiring generations of artists and writers to describe in their various mediums the area the best that they can.

Trip Grading


More info about grading system

Traveller Rating


Make your own way to Padstow. The town is named after St. Petroc who came here circa A.D 500. The church of St Petroc is one of a group of three said to have been founded by the Saint. It is quite large and mostly of 13th and 14th century date. The old harbour usually has a nice ensemble of boats including the old pilot vessels. Nice pub fayre and a Rick Stein restaurant. Accommodation: 2 nights are spent at The Golden Lion dates back to the 14th century and is the oldest inn in town. It has an open fire and parquet flooring.

Meals:  Nil

Leaving Padstow’s busy little tourist harbour, follow the shores of the picturesque Camel Estuary to Stepper Point, with views perhaps to Bodmin Moor inland and to the ‘Doom Bar’: an off shore sand bar which has wrecked hundreds of ships over the centuries, largely because the surrounding cliffs take the wind out of the boat’s sails as they try to enter the harbour. In fact it became so notorious that many vessels would risk being wrecked on the coast rather than negotiate the entrance to Padstow in poor weather. More coves pass by until you see the limestone and slate Porthmissen Bridge natural arch with colonies of Razorbills and Guillemots. From here continue on to Trevone Bay, a beautiful sandy beach, popular with surfers and onwards to Harlyn, another surfer’s paradise but once famed for fishing pilchards. The coastal path reaches Trevose Head where on clear days you can see both St.Ives and Newquay. There is a lighthouse, which maybe open in the afternoon. The path then turns south and crosses more sandy beaches around Constantine, passing Trethias Island nature reserve, threading its way through coves to descend to Porthcothan Bay. Taxi (included) and return to Padstow

Meals:  B

Start your day with a taxi to Porthcothan and then from the bay the path climbs up to Park Head, which provides wonderful views of Bedruthan Steps, a set of rock stacks that have been a popular tourist feature since the railway reached Newquay in 1875. Passing the village of Mawgan Porth the route follows the cliff top above Watergate Bay. Approaching Newquay, the path arrives at Trevelgue Head and the largest Iron Age fort remains in the county. Continuing over Barrowfields, with its three Bronze Age barrows, the path descends to Newquay. This is quite a shock after the day’s peaceful walk. Nevertheless the town overlooks fine golden sands, which cushion the Atlantic rollers and make this Britain’s surfing capital. Before surfing fame, Newquay was another famous fishing port, seining out the millions of pilchards that arrived every July. It was also a silver and lead mining centre. Accommodation: The Great Western Hotel is perched above beautiful sandy beaches.

Meals:  B

Leaving the harbour, the path climbs up Towan Head past the whitewashed Huer's Hut, where lookouts would shout the arrival of the pilchard shoals to waiting fishermen, and then follow the cliffs around Pentire Point to take the ferry across the Gannel River. The path winds around headlands and coves to Kelsey Head, the site of an Iron Age promontory fort, and then descends to the village of Holywell, named after an ancient well and equally aged inn called ‘Treguth’. Following golden sands along Perran Beach, pass the tiny ruin of St Piran's Oratory, said to be oldest church in Cornwall (8th century) but reburied to protect it from erosion. Depending upon tide levels, you reach the village of Perranporth either by the beach or the cliff. Accommodation: The 4 * St Georges Country house offers all rooms ensuite. The house is situated in its own grounds overlooking Perranporth and is only minutes from the coastal footpaths.

Meals:  B

A fairly easy stretch today on well used paths occasionally dipping into valleys. The coast path follows the cliffs around Cligga Head, past mineshafts, now home to horseshoe bats, and the remains of tin mines, with dramatic views of the mine buildings and chimneys dotting the landscape further on around St Agnes. Enroute you drop into Trevellas Porth and then Trevaunance Cove which has a waterside pub. It is then pleasant ascending to St Agnes Head past bird nesting cliffs, to the little village with the same name and terraces of miners' cottages including an interesting little museum in an old chapel. The path descends past the ruins of Wheal Coates Mine to the sandy inlet of Chapel Porth. Then back up to the cliff tops, the path goes past the Wheal Charlotte Mine, drops down to the beach at Porthtowan and then follows the cliff top path to the harbour at Portreath, from where minerals were exported from the mines at Redruth. Accommodation: You stay at the small and friendly Cliff House bed & breakfast, 2 minutes walk from a sandy beach and situated on the coast path.

Meals:  B

Leaving Portreath, there is a strenuous climb up Tregea Hill and 10 km/6 miles of National Trust land, continuing high above the sea along Carvannel and Reskajeage Downs. You then reach a rather sensational breach in the cliffs called Hell's Mouth. At Navax Point, you might be lucky enough to see grey seals. Walking on to Godrevy Point you will see the lighthouse perched on Godrevy Island, probably the inspiration for Virginia Wolf's ‘To the Lighthouse’. The lighthouse marks the landward end of a treacherous line of reefs, called The Stones, which have claimed many wrecks and many of their victims are buried in the churchyard at Gwithian, a sleepy thatched cottage village with an interesting old pub, The Pendarves Arms. The path then meanders through the Towans sand dunes to the busy port of Hayle. Accommodation: Stay tonight at the White Hart Hotel, constructed in 1838. It is the oldest hotel in the town but all rooms are tastefully furnished and ensuite.

Meals:  B

A short day which should give you enough time to discover beautiful St. Ives, with its museums and galleries. Skirting the Hayle Estuary, which is noted for its seabirds and waders, the path passes along the dunes above Porth Kidney and then passes beautiful Carbis Bay to reach the town. St Ives dates back to AD460, when the missionary St. Ia, daughter of an Irish chieftain, landed here and gave her name to the settlement in a similar way to how St. Beda gave her name to St. Bees in Cumbria. Protected from Atlantic storms, St Ives was once the most important fishing port in Cornwall, but like elsewhere on the surrounding coast, by the beginning of the 20th century, the fish stocks became depleted and the fishing fleet largely disappeared. However as early as 1811 Turner visited to paint the seascapes and by the late 1880s there were several artists installed and the town became famous for its vibrant artists' colony. This perhaps reached its heyday during the late 1940s and the 1950s. Today their work can be seen in the St Ives Tate Gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Bernard Leach Gallery. Accommodation: There is a mixture of accommodation here but our 1st choice is a 4 * guesthouse The Old Vicarage, set in the quieter part of St Ives.

Meals:  B

Depart St. Ives after breakfast

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels and guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 20kg.
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline
  • Return taxi from Porthcothan to Padstow
  • GPS Files

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess luggage
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self-guided walking holiday




Moderate, days are not particularly long but with some tough ascents and descents and walking on sand in places. This is a coastal path, so some scrambling may be in place.

Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 20 Oct


High Season
This section of the South West Coast Path is preceded by the Westward Ho! to Padstow (code WPS) trip and succeeded by the St Ives to Penzance (code WCS) or St Ives to Mevagissey (code WTR) trip.
Please note that minor changes to your 2024 itinerary may apply.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement 2024USD$800
  • Single Supplement 2025USD$880
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2024USD$930
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2025USD$1020
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation ther4e is very limited and no one wants to do offer one night stays

There are some famous beaches on this walk and it would be a shame to miss out on swimming where you feel like it. Be aware of local conditions though such as tides, rocks etc, and any red flags.

You will encounter some tin mining ruins around St. Agnes Head, including Wheal Charlotte and Wheal Cotes Mines.

This is to give you plenty of time to enjoy St. Ives with its beaches, pubs and art.

Yes there is a train station there. It maybe a bit of a walk with luggage from your accommodation, so you may like to request a taxi.

South West Coast Path Trip reviews

Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

South West Coast Path Videos

South West Coast Path

Similar trips

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips