Discover history, heritage, secret coves and foodie delights this summer; fly to Cornwall Airport Newquay and enjoy the trip of a lifetime all the way to St Ives – by foot on the South West Coast Path!
Day 1 – Newquay to Perranporth (11 Miles)
Once landed at the Airport, make your way to Newquay town centre (find out about transport options here). Once in Newquay get onto the coast path towards Perranporth. You’ll walk through Newquay Harbour, out to the world famous Fistral Beach and up to Pentire Headland. Once over Pentire, you’ll see the Gannel; a tidal estuary, which you’ll need to cross – so make sure you’ve pre-planned your timings. When the tide is out you can walk across the estuary bed, or in the summer there is a ferry named ‘Sunshine’ which will take you across for a small fee.
Over the Gannel, you’ll reach Crantock Beach, a beautiful sandy bay popular with families and lined with rolling sand dunes. Make a pit stop at the Bowgie Inn for food and drink with an amazing view out to sea. On a sunny day they have a particularly nice beer garden to enjoy!
Sticking to the Coast path, you’ll reach Holywell Bay next, another sandy beach with dramatic sand dunes which have been a popular filming location for the BBC’s Poldark. Making your way through the sand dunes can be tough so be sure to take plenty of rests to enjoy the view.
Heading up from Holywell onto the coast path, you’ll follow the rocky terrain until you reach the dunes of Perranporth Beach – the final stretch of the day! You can walk over the dunes or if the tide is out drop down onto the beach for the last three miles.
Enjoy a well-deserved drink at The Watering Hole (the UK’s only pub on the beach) and a spot of something to eat at The Summerhouse, a restaurant built into the cliffs, serving the freshest of local ingredients to compliment the magnificent view. Accommodation options include Perran Sands who offer caravans, glamping or camping pitches, or if you prefer a B&B try out St George’s Country House.
Day 2 – Perranporth to Portreath (12 Miles)
Leaving Perranporth and joining the rugged coast path towards St Agnes, you’ll pass through mining history and fascinating natural geology. The path gets particularly steep as you reach St Agnes so grab a coffee and a slice of cake in Genki to give your legs a rest before heading on towards Chapel Porth beach.
Just above Chapel Porth, you’ll pass the famous Wheal Coates tin mine and the remains of it’s buildings before sloping down to Porthtowan – a charming village with Blue Flag status beach. Stop at Blue Bar for a spot of lunch on the Porthtowan sand dunes.
Back on the path, you’ll hit the final part of day two towards Portreath, another pretty seaside village with a great atmosphere. Try out The Basset Arms for dinner and stay at The Portreath Arms or Tehidy holiday park who offer camping, glamping and caravan options.
Day 3 – Portreath to Hayle (12 Miles)
Heading up out of Portreath, join the coast path towards Godrevy. A stunning section of path, home to much wildlife, including seals if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse. Just beyond the lighthouse there is a couple of places to grab something to eat including Godrevy Beach Cafe (take away only) and The Rockpool.
Continuing on through Gwithian, you’ll eventually reach Hayle. Famed for it’s three miles of beautiful sand, Hayle was once an important part of the Cornish Tin Mining industry. Head for dinner at Salt Bar and Kitchen who serve fresh local food in a chilled-out atmosphere, stay at The Old Quay House B&B or Riviere Sands Holiday park who offer caravans and camping.
Day 4 – Hayle to St Ives (6 Miles)
The final day’s walk is a much shorter one! Walking out of Hayle town centre, join the coast path towards Carbis Bay, a sandy bay with a stunning view out towards St Ives to the left and Godrevy to the right. Stick on the path and you’ll eventually arrive in one of Cornwall’s most famous seaside towns. Home to the Tate, Barbara Hepworth and many more, the light in St Ives is said to be perfect for artists even on the dullest of days, and you can’t help but notice the sea is a different kind of blue in St Ives. With an array of shops and two fantastic beaches, make sure to explore the pretty town.
Fly to Cornwall Airport Newquay from London Heathrow (commences 24th July with British Airways) Leeds-Bradford (Eastern Airways), Teesside International (Eastern Airways) or Dublin (resumes 1st August with Aer Lingus).
An outdoors staycation is a great option this summer, and whilst we’ve done our best to ensure that the accommodation, restaurants and cafes in this blog are all open, please make sure you check their websites before you head out.
For more information on the South West Coast Path and the walks in this blog post visit their website here.