Padstow to St Ives


Wonderful headlands and sweeping beaches and the ever present roar of the ocean combine to make this a classic coastal walk.

  • The great headlands of Trevose Head and Godrevy.
  • Spectacular clifftop walking.
  • The local seafood and great cornish beers and ciders, particulary great restaurants in Padstow and St Ives.
  • Huge golden sandy beaches of Watergate Bay, Perranporth and Gwithian with their ever present surfers.



  • Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
  • Luggage Transfer
  • Maps and Trail Notes
  • Itinerary


Starting point: Padstow
Finishing point: St Ives
Avg. daily distance: 11 miles / 17 km
Total distance: 66 miles / 103 km
Walking grade: Moderate

6 DAYS FROM £625


01326 279 278





Padstow to St Ives

The walk starts in Padstow “The Food Capital of Cornwall” and finishes in St Ives “The Artists Capital”. The walk takes in exhilarating cliff top walking, golden sandy bays with ever present surfers catching the waves as well as ancient Tin Mine workings, remnants of Cornwall’s industrial past.

Day 1: Travel to Padstow where your first nights accommodation has been booked.

Day 2: Padstow to Porthcothan. 13 miles (21km)

Day 3: Porthcothan to Newquay. 11 miles (17.5km)

Day 4: Newquay to Perranporth. 11 ½ miles (18.5km)

Day 5: Perranporth to Portreath. 12 ½ miles (20km)

Day 6: Portreath to Hayle. 12½ miles (20km)

Day 7: Hayle to St Ives. 5 ½ miles (9km)

Day 8: Depart from St Ives after breakfast.

Day 1: Travel to Padstow where your first nights accommodation has been booked.

Day 2: Padstow to Porthcothan. 13 miles (21km)

From Padstow harbour the path follows the shores of the Camel Estuary to Stepper Point, marked by the Daymark Tower. The path continues along the coast, with distant views of the Merope Rocks to Trevone Bay and then follows the coast around to Harlyn Bay, whatever time of year it is you can almost guarantee to see surfers in these two bays. At Trevose Head, which provides exceptional views stretching along the coast to St Ives, the path turns south and crosses the sands of Constantine Bay to the hamlet of Treyarnon. From Treyarnon the path takes you past spectacular cliffs and coves onto which the sea pounds, you will become used to the sound of the ocean roar as the waves crash into the rocks below.

Day 3: Porthcothan to Newquay. 11 miles (17.5km)

From Porthcothan Bay the path climbs up to Park head, which provides wonderful views of Bedruthan Steps, a series of rock stacks. The path follows the cliffs behind the magnificent stretch of beach that is Watergate Bay. The path drops down into Watergat Bay and then rises up and as it approaches Newquay, arrives at Trevelgue Head and the extensive remains of the most heavily defended Iron Age cliff castle in Cornwall. The path then descends to Newquay, which overlooks fine golden sands and Atlantic rollers, and is now Britain's surfing capital.

Day 4: Newquay to Perranporth. 11 ½ miles (18.5km)

The path starts with either a ferry across the Gannel River or a crossing via its small wooden footbridge. The Gannel estuary is a quite magical place so close to lively Newquay. The path continues around Crantock Bay and Porth Joke to Holywell Bay, these are 3 beautiful gentle isolated bays that are great places for a morning drinks stop and a swim! From Holywell Bay the path goes around Ligga Head and then follows the golden sands of Perran Beach to the village of Perranporth.

Day 5: Perranporth to Portreath. 12 ½ miles (20km)

From Perranporth the coast path follows the cliffs around Cligga Head past the remains of buddles and other processing works at the Cligga Wolfram and Tin Mine, with dramatic views of the mine buildings and chimneys dotting the landscape around St Agnes. St Agnes is a pleasant little village with terraces of miners' cottages and an interesting little museum in an old chapel. Continuing around St Agnes Head, where kittiwake, guillemot and razorbill nest, the path descends past the evocative ruin of Wheal Coates Mine to the sandy inlet of Chapel Porth. Returning 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, which once served the mines at Cambourne and Redruth.

Day 6: Portreath to Hayle. 12½ miles (20km)

Leaving Portreath, the path climbs Western Hill, which provides good views of Portreath and its difficult harbour, and then after a couple of down and ups flattens out and runs along high above the sea beside Reskajeage Downs. After the sensational chasm of Hell's Mouth, the coast path goes around The Knavocks, where you will see wild shetland ponies grazing. Just before Godrevy Point look down into the isolated coves as there are often seals and their pubs lazing on the beach. The lighthouse at Godrevy Point marks the landward end of a treacherous line of reefs, The Stones, which have claimed many wrecks. After descending to the little village of Gwithian with its pretty thatched cottages and interesting old churchyard packed with the graves of shipwreck victims, the path meanders through the sand dunes (or at low tide you can walk across the beach) to the little port of Hayle.

Day 7: Hayle to St Ives. 5 ½ miles (9km)

Skirting Hayle Estuary, which is noted for its seabirds and waders, the path passes along the dunes above Porth Kidney Sands and through Carbis Bay before reaching the beautiful town of St Ives. St Ives was once the most important fishing port in Cornwall, a small fishing industry survives but it is now more famous for its artists, galleries and museums. The St Ives Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum are two of the best known examples.

Day 8: Depart from St Ives after breakfast.

ACCOMMODATION: Our standard itinerary provides accommodation in either 3 or 4 star bed and breakfasts or small hotels or inns. When quoting for a holiday a draft itinerary is provided showing typical accommodation used on the route.

ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: Extra nights can be taken anywhere, popular ones are extra nights in Padstow or St Ives.

NAVIGATION: Navigation is generally straight forward, follow the acorn signs and keep the sea on your right. The guide notes provided will help you with any of tricky bits.

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS: All our prices include transfering one bag per person (max weight 20kg) between your overnight stops.

Travel information:
Arriving: London mainline trains go from Paddington to Bodmin, then it is about a 20 min taxi ride to Padstow.
Returning: From St Ives it is a short train ride to St Erth, from there trains are direct to London Paddington (about 5 hr )

Arriving take the M5 from Bristol, then the A30 from Exeter, this takes you to within just a few miles of Padstow. Long term parking is available in Padstow.
Returning: Take the train from St Ives to St Erth and then the mainline to Bodmin, from there it is a 20 min taxi ride to Padstow. The alternative is about a £40 taxi from St Ives to Padstow (much quicker).

Arriving, Newquay Airport has regular flights from London Gatwick. It is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the airport to Padstow.
Returning: St Ives to Newquay airport is about a 40 minute taxi ride.


5 Day Walking Itinerary (6 nights accommodation) from £570 per person

6 Day Walking Itinerary (7 nights accommodation) from £665 per person

Single supplement (for person walking on their own) £40 per night

Extra nights from £60 per person

Tintagel to Padstow, then The Saints Way, then St Ives to Padstow

Mr and Mrs Jackson - May 2014

Dear Tim

We had a great trip weather was great for the last 5 days and really was not bad the first half. The lodgings were great. The Old School in Port Issac was nice since we are Doc Martin fans. The best place was Gurnard’s Head was well worth the longer first day. The Saint’s Way was a good for a different kind of scenery.

( Mr and Mrs Jackson

Padstow to St Ives

Benjamin & Jennifer Trimborn - August 2013

Dear Tim,
we have just returned from our Cornwall holiday and want to say a big thank you for the great organisation. Everything went smoothly and it was fun to arrive at new places with our suitcases waiting for us. We were very lucky weatherwise with only two little showers during our walking week: while we were having our lunch safely inside anyway.

The walk was wonderful and we enjoyed the gorgeous countryside. Thanks again!

Kind regards
Benjamin & Jennifer Trimborn

Padstow to St Ives

Sören Börjesson - August 2013

Hi Tim,

The distances were OK. The information of how to cross the Gannel was a bit confusing, but we managed. Crossing by boat was nice. I think it should be recommended if it isn’t already.
The accommodation was very good. The place in St. Ives especially. We were lucky to get a top floor room with a spectacular view.
Luggage transfer worked absolutely smoothly.
The weather was marvellous. Thank you for that! Perranporth to Portreath was even better than the rest. There was some morning mist that day, which actually enhanced the views.

Best regards,

Padstow to St Ives

Nina Marx - May 2022

Dear Tim,

First and foremost I had a really lovely experience walking from Padstow to St. Ives.

I have walked parts of the SWCP in Devon and have done similar walking tours in Ireland and Germany but I’ve never done it alone so I really appreciated your super organisation. It was perfect and everyone was nice, friendly and helpful if needed. The accommodations were comfortable, clean and good to get to although the Pub in Newquay was a bit loud.

All the paths were well maintained and I didn’t find the walking too strenuous. Due to the tide it was quite difficult to cross the Grannel river in Newquay and unfortunately the ferry wasn’t operating and I had to walk inland to cross over the footbridge. That added about 45 minutes of walking but I was able to walk across the beach at Perranporth which totally made up for it.

In addition to your guide book I used a free walking app on my phone which I used quite a bit to find the way back to the path after passing through villages. As I don’t tend to take long breaks during the day I usually got to the destination relatively „early“ and then enjoyed relaxing at the beach or in a café.

Kind regards