Camping & Outdoors Blog

The 5 Best Walks in Cornwall

Home to the longest coastline in England, Cornwall is a haven for stunning scenery and offers some fantastic walking trails along its sweeping 483 km coastal paths, perfect for novice hikers or seasoned trail blazers. 

Ready to put your boots on and get going? Let’s get started…

Porthcurno to Lands End

Distance: 8.2km 

Avg Time Taken: 2.5 – 3hrs

Difficulty rating: Moderate

Kicking off our list is this stunning 8.2km walk along the South West Coastal Path, one of the region’s most popular coastal routes.

This moderate trail takes you along the cliffs to view some of Cornwall’s jaw-dropping sea views and, in good weather, is ideal for walkers of any skill level. It’s important to be mindful of the weather when walking this route, as areas near cliffs may be difficult for children or novice walkers in heavy winds. 

While the walk is easygoing, there are transport links back to Porthcurno, making it easy to get back.  Should you want to make a stop off at one of Cornwall’s most unique attractions, the Minack Theatre is a beautiful open-air theatre perched on the cliffs of Porthcurno itself, making an excellent starting point for your group.

Porth Nanven and Gwynver Beach

Distance: 9.7km

Avg Time Taken: 3hrs

Difficulty rating: Easy

This easy route is suited to walkers of all skill levels and is situated amongst some of Cornwall’s most picturesque scenery. One of many circular walks in Cornwall, this looping trail is great for those staying near Porth Nanven. 

Featuring stunning cliff top sea-views, plenty of natural flora, and an opportunity to soak up the sights at one of Cornwall’s stunning beaches, this trail ticks all the boxes when it comes to exploring the region’s beauty. 

The route is a brilliant choice for families, dog walkers, or simply groups looking for a steady, relaxed walk. Don’t be fooled by the ease of this route, the gradual pace of this trail doesn’t take away from the beauty of its views or scenery. 

We recommend this walk for families with older children or bigger social groups looking to explore somewhere new – or a perfect route to introduce people to hiking

Perranporth to Portreath

Distance: 19.3km

Avg Time Taken: 7 hrs/ 2 Days

Difficulty rating: Hard

Now, for a challenge! This trail is a harder point-to-point route, taking roughly 6-7 hours for advanced-intermediate walkers. However, if you’re travelling with mixed abilities, don’t miss out. Split this trail across two days, with the Mount Pleasant Eco Park campsite making a good halfway point just 1.2 miles off the trail. 

Set amongst Cornwall’s rolling cliffsides overlooking iconic sandy beaches, this walk reaches a maximum elevation of 473m so sturdy gear is recommended. If you find yourself battling the elements take care on the clifftop pathways in high winds or rain as these may become slippery when wet. 

Alongside stunning views, this trail also boasts interesting heritage stops along the way. Amongst these stops is Wheal Coates, a UNESCO world heritage site offering a look into Cornwall’s mining history as well as sensational views out to an open sea and a backdrop of lush green hillside.

Padstow to Mawgan Porth 

Distance: 27.8km

Avg Time Taken: 8 hrs/ 2 Day

Difficulty rating: Hard

Another route suited to those looking for a challenge is the Padstow to Mawgan Porth route. The longest on our list, this point-to-point trail winds along almost 28km of spectacular coastal pathways and includes three of Cornwall’s picturesque beaches, among other brilliant scenic stops. 

A route recommended for advanced groups, we suggest camping or staying nearby and planning this across two days to make the most of this walk and the scenery along the way. 

Popular for not only its breathtaking views and natural flora, this route also showcases some of the local fauna – a popular choice for birdwatchers as well as those looking for a challenging coastal walk.

Lydford Gorge

Distance: 5.6km 

Avg Time Taken: 1.5 – 2hrs 

Difficulty rating: Easy

While not in Cornwall itself, Lydford Gorge makes the perfect pit-stop to stretch your legs and take in some stunning scenery en route. An hour outside of North Cornwall, on Dartmouth National Park you’ll find the Lydford Gorge. 

Home to the deepest river gorge in South West England, Lydford Gorge is well worth stopping for. This route also boasts the White Lady Waterfall, a 30m fall elegantly cascading down the gorge. Adorned with luscious greenery and stunning sights this easy walk is suited to groups of all skill levels and is accessible year-round. 

As a National Trust site be expected to pay an entry fee for this trail but prepare to be spoiled by natural landscape and views. Walks to the waterfall mean that things can get wet so bring your dry packs and wear suitable footwear in case of slippery rocks! 

Planning your Walking Holiday

We’ve made planning the ultimate walking holiday easier. Plan your activities around our top 5 Cornish campsites to find the perfect pitch and make the most of all Cornwall has to offer. 

At Sea to Summit, we want everyone to enjoy getting outdoors. Wherever you go, planning is key to an enjoyable adventure –  make sure to check out our camping check-list to make sure you leave none of the essentials behind.

If you’re looking to get started with the basics, or expand your existing kit we’ve got everything from premium lightweight backpacking tents to camping accessories perfect for any outdoor expedition. Join the #seatosummituk community on Instagram and Facebook for more tips, guides, and inspiration, or share your own experiences with us!