Penzance to Falmouth

HIGHLIGHTS


Exhilarating walk around the beautiful wild and secluded Lizard, Britain's most southerly point.

  • The Lizard - the most southerly tip of Britain.
  • Secluded coves and golden sandy beaches
  • Staying in picturesque fishing villages dotted around the coast
  • The beautiful unspoilt Helford River.
  • The local seafood and great cornish beers and ciders.

PHOTOS


WHAT'S INCLUDED


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    KEY INFORMATION


    Starting point: Penzance
    Finishing point: Falmouth
    Avg. daily distance: 12.5 miles / 20 km
    Total distance: 63 miles / 100 km
    Terrain: Cliff path
    Walking grade: Moderate

    6 DAYS FROM £625

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    Penzance to Falmouth Walk

    This is an exhilarating walk around the beautiful wild and secluded Lizard, Britain’s most southerly point. The Lizard is almost an island, girded on three sides by the sea and the fourth by the meandering waters of the Helford river, only a tiny land bridge connecting it to the rest of Cornwall. Golden beaches and pebbly coves, dramatic cliff tops, still rivers and creeks full of bird life. Freshwater lakes, open heathland, fabulously hued Serpentine rock outcrops and gardens full of sub-tropical plants warmed by the Gulf Stream, you will come across them all on this walk.

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

    Day 2: Penzance to Porthleven. 13 miles (21km)

    Day 3: Porthleven to Lizard. 13 miles (21km)

    Day 4: Lizard to Coverack. 11 miles (18km).

    Day 5: Coverack to Helford. 13 miles (21km)

    Day 6: Helford to Falmouth. 10 miles (16km)

    Day 7: Depart from Falmouth after breakfast.


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

    Penzance is an attractive small town that is worth exploring. Places of interest include the Market House, the extraordinary Egyptian House, the Maritime Museum and the National Lighthouse Centre.

    Day 2: Penzance to Porthleven. 13 miles (21km)

    The path from Penzance follows the beach around Mount's Bay to the ancient island castle of St. Michael's Mount. Approached by a granite causeway at low tide or by boat at high tide the little harbour, village and dramatic castle perched on top of this rocky island is a delight to explore. Returning to the mainland, cliff top paths lead around Cudden Point to Prussia Cove. Taking its name from the King of Prussia inn, run by the notorious smuggler John Carter, the cove was the base of the Carter family 'business', with storage caves, a landing and roadway from it - the ruts in the rock above the beach bear witness to the scale of operations. The path crosses the lovely beach at Praa Sands before returning to the cliff top to pass the beautifully restored engine house and chimney of the Wheal Prosper Mine. Further along the cliffs are the impressive ruins of Wheal Trewavas Mine. After a while the path descends into the attractive fishing village of Porthleven.

    Day 3: Porthleven to Lizard. 13 miles (21km)

    After passing the old coastguard station you follow the natural shingle bank of Loe Bar, the sea ano one side and a large freshwater lake noted for its birdlife on th other. Above the bar is a memorial to Henry Trengrouse who invented the rocket-fired lifeline after witnessing the loss HMS Anson that was beached in a storm in 1807, with the loss of 120 lives. The path continues along the cliff edge to Gunwalloe church, which has an unusual detached bell tower cut into the cliff-face, and then drops down to Polurrian Cove before climbing back up and and down to the delightful fishing village of Mullion Cove. Exhilarating walking along the cliff top path past Rill Point leads to the outstanding beauty spot of Kynance Cove. With its islands, stacks and arches of serpentine rock. Around the islands' bases and the cliffs bordering the cove are several exciting and interconnected caves and blowholes. The path then winds past the old serpentine workings before reaching Lizard Point, Britain's most southerly point.

    Day 4: Lizard to Coverack. 11 miles (18km).

    The Lighthouse, Coastguard station and lifeboat station are passed in succession as you turn around the headland and follow the cliff edge past the Devil's Frying-pan, a vast chasm caused by the collapse of a sea cave, to Cadgwith, another beautiful Cornish fishing village with thatched, whitewashed cottages and a small harbour. The route continues past the ruin of an old serpentine works before dropping down to Kennack Sands, renowned for its multi-coloured pebbles of serpentine, granite, gabbro and gneiss. The cliff top path goes around Black Head Point to Coverack, whose name - hideaway- suggests that smuggling, rather than fishing provided its main source of income.

    Day 5: Coverack to Helford. 13 miles (21km)

    The cliff top paths leads around Lowland Point, which provides thrilling views over the Manacles, a notorious reef that has caused countless shipwrecks over the centuries. After visiting the former fishing villages of Porthoustock and Porthallow, the path continues around Nare Point, with glorious views over the Helford River, to Gillan Harbour. Cross the pretty Gillan Creek and past St Anthony Church, which is as beautiful as its surroundings, before you continue along the shores of the Helford River to the delightful village of Helford, an old Smuggler's haunt of snug thatched cottages with an ancient inn. Just upstream of the village is Frenchman's Creek, one of many creeks and inlets branching off the river that was the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier's novel of the same name. Her description of it still holds true: “ still and soundless, surrounded by trees, hidden from the eyes of men”.

    Day 6: Helford to Falmouth. 10 miles (16km)

    After you take the ferry across the Helford river (there has been a ferry crossing here continually since the middle ages) you proceed through Durgan and onto Rosemullion Head, the views from here of The Helford river and south to the Manacles and north to the lighthouse at St Anthony are truly magnificent. The path continues towards Falmouth taking you to Maenporth, then Swanpool and finally Gylinvase beaches (each has a beach cafe that can provide refreshment). The path then curls around Pendennis Point to reach the town of Falmouth. There are many places of interest here, firstly Pendennis castle with its magnificent views and history of royalist resistance in the English civil war is a must. The National Maritime museum should not be missed either.

    Day 7: Depart from Falmouth 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 Penzance to allow one to explore St Michael’s Mount, Coverack to give you a well earned rest midway and Falmouth to allow you to explore the Fal Estuary and maybe take a trip on the ferry to come and see us in St Mawes.

    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 the couple of tricky bits.

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

    Travel information:
    TRAVEL BY RAIL: Arriving: London mainline trains go from Paddington to Penzance. Returning: From Falmouth it is a 30 min train ride to Truro, from there trains are direct to London Paddington (about 5 hr )

    TRAVEL BY CAR: Arriving take the M5 from Bristol, then the A30 from Exeter, this takes you to within just a few miles of Penzance. Long term parking is available in Penzance. Returning: Take the train from Falmouth to Truro (30 mins) and then on to Penzance (30 mins).

    TRAVEL BY AIR: Arriving, Newquay Airport has regular flights from London Gatwick. It is about a 40 minute taxi ride from the airport to Penzance. Returning: Falmouth to Newquay airport is about a 35 minute taxi ride.

    PRICES:

    5 Day Walking Itinerary (6 nights accommodation) from £575 per person

    6 Day Walking Itinerary (7 nights accommodation) from £625 per person

    Single supplement (for person walking on their own) £30 per night

    Extra nights from £50 per person

    Cliffs in North Cornwall

    Penzance to Falmouth

    George Steers - May 2015


    We are back home in Seattle, now, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for arranging our trip to Cornwall. I particularly appreciate your making the last minute arrangements for our son, Andrew (who, if I hadn’t told you before is 46 years old - more on that in a minute.) It was a glorious adventure. The range of weather we enjoyed made the trip even more interesting and exciting.

    On the leg around the tip of the Lizard, we made it almost to the lighthouse before we decided the wind was getting just too dangerous, so we headed in to Lizard itself, had lunch in the pub and got “Lizard Taxi” to take us to Cadgwith. The accommodations were delightful from start to finish - we each had our favorite - and we fell in love with the pub life. I can’t remember know which house it was, but one of our hosts was under the impression that “our son” meant someone considerably younger.

    They thoughtfully provided a child’s bunk bed (Andrew is 6’2”) and stuffed animals. He was fine with that, it just added to our appreciation of the warmth of our hosts. Again, thank you for your help. We loved every minute of it.

    Penzance to Falmouth

    Dan - July 2015


    Hi Tim,

    I just wanted to let you know that my daughter and I had a great time last week, and I wanted to say thank you for organising this trip for us at such short notice.

    We particularly enjoyed the stretch around the Lizard and on to Cadgwith.

    My daughter coped with the miles very well, although I discovered that 7 miles on the coast path was probably her outer limit at the moment, and so we ended up changing plans slightly towards the end of the week and used some buses to complete the journey after Coverack. This still worked out well, as after 5 solid days walking she needed a little beach time, and so we used our last 2 days to spend a bit more time in Coverack and Falmouth.

    I would be more than happy to help with any customer references that you might want to include on your website and I have also started a blog myself to record this trip, and also in preparation for some more travelling that we’re planning next year.

    My blog address is www.roundtheworldwithmyfamily.com, and there is a separate page on our initial SWCP trip.

    Happy to add a link to your website onto my page if you wanted, albeit the site is new and so traffic is low at the moment, but hoping this might grow a bit over the next couple of years as I add more content on our upcoming round the world trip.

    Thanks again for your help.


    Penzance to Falmouth

    Sigrid Bilawski and Barbara Bremekamp - May 2018


    A quick note to tell you that we had a wonderful week doing the stretch between Penzance and Falmouth. We were so pleased with the wonderful itinerary and the accommodation you chose for us!
    And of course the perfect weather conditions last week also helped to make this holiday an unforgettable event.

    Thank you, too, for the excellent planning and organisation of the trip.

    Falmouth to Penzance

    Ann Grace - 18 June 2022


    Hi Tim,

    The walking holiday worked out incredibly well. We spent the first day walking on the Roseland peninsula and then started off on the Nearwater walk. We liked having varied distances with both long and short days. The last day was very long, but not a big deal since the last part was flat. Still, if we could have ended up in Marazion, that would have been welcome. I know, it was booked out for a Saturday night.

    Overall, all the accommodation was excellent. The rooms were clean but very small - we are used to larger rooms, so this is just us being Americans. If there is anything we could have changed (and I understand that we are probably a small minority), it would be great if the B&Bs offered an earlier breakfast. Some didn't start until 8:30 am. Since we were walking with lots of daylight, this didn't matter, but the walks were so incredibly beautiful, we wanted to be out there earlier.

    Nice to have the coast path guide book and we used it to scout out the details of the next day's walk. Thanks for including a map, but I didn't think your map choice was the best (although nice that it was waterproof). We recommend the A to Z coast path maps for more detail (1:25,000). Also recommend that walkers use an app - we use All Trails (good in the US), but there are probably better ones for Cornwall.

    A suggestion for overseas visitors like ourselves. It was incredibly easy and cheap to get a 30 day SIM card from Vodaphone in Falmouth.

    Dinners: A week before we left, Caroline Fox at Glendurgan suggested booking dinner at the Ferryman which I did, and then realized that I needed to book all of the dinner places. Some of your suggestions were already fully booked. It would have been very helpful to have that information earlier in the process. We always got fed (well) by asking for early bookings or showing up early. All of your dinner suggestions were great.

    Luggage transfers: worked perfectly. So great to leave our bags in the morning and then see them again at the next stop.

    Falmouth:
    Loved Hooked on the Rocks for dinner. Went to a South African place the next night, which was also great.

    Falmouth Hotel - was lovely but a couple of caveats. It's a pretty good walk from downtown - and not a particularly pleasant one. We know that this was the only thing available for the dates we wanted, so not a complaint. However, they put us in a room right above an exuberant wedding event which was a nightmare. At 10pm we asked to be moved to another room which they did by moving us up a few floors but still right above the wedding. So, I would recommend asking about party plans before booking and making sure that they think through the implications of booking walkers who want to go to bed early when they have "events".

    Glendurgan House
    A beautiful and welcoming place to stay and just delightful to walk up to the house through the garden. The room was gorgeous, the location and views were incomparable. It felt slightly magical, with the full moon shining across the Helford River. The hosts were very charming and personable. Highly, highly recommended. Dinner at the Ferryman was great. We ate outside, enjoying the "scene".

    Coverack - a beautiful place to end up after traversing some rather sad ex-mining landscape. Loved the cheerful Paris Hotel and dinner there was great. Thank you for working out the correct timing to get over Gillan Creek (rather a slimy experience). If we had been there at high tide and if there was a ferry, I would have taken it.

    Cadgwith - a short day and this was a perfect place to spend an afternoon lolling around. Loved the Cadgwith Inn, the lovely view, the dinner and the Tuesday night singing. Our favorite place on the walk.

    Mullion - Polurrion Hotel
    A beautiful location, somewhat marred by the current construction going on. The room was very comfortable, although at the back with no view. I know you were trying to keep the costs down and this is an expensive place. The dinner was fine, but definitely overpriced (5 Pounds for a bottle of water??). Our least favorite place overall, but it was still a lovely place to end up.

    Porthleven - Artist's Loft
    We arrived in Porthleven at low tide when it was muddy, smelly, full of bored tourists and predatory seagulls. By the time we left, we completely changed our minds about it. The harbor is fascinating, the food at the Kota Kai restaurant was wonderful and we really enjoyed wandering around the town, running into a band practice and kids jumping into the water off the harbor walls. The room was small but serviceable. Right on the main bus line, so a bit noisy until evening festivities ended.

    Penzance - Premier Inn
    The long walk was incredibly beautiful. We would have preferred to end up at Marazion, but we booked late. Premier Inn was completely serviceable, and dinner at the Bakehouse was wonderful.

    Thanks for putting it all together for us, we had a wonderful time. I'll create a photo album for you and will share it. Feel free to use any pics or videos.

    Best regards,

    Ann

    Penzance to Falmouth

    Catherine Wilson - June 2022


    Tim,

    Our holiday went very well. We had spectacular weather. It wasn't crowded, and we met a lot of nice people along the way. The third day I had to take the bus to Coverack from Lizard as my hips were worn out from all the hills -- but my daughter completed the whole five days. It was a little more strenuous in places than I expected.

    Our accommodations were mostly good. It was especially nice when we had breakfast at our accommodations as we could chat with other visitors and the hosts -- Lizard, Coverack, and Glendurgan. Those three places were our favorites and the hosts were so friendly. The host at Glendurgan, Caroline Fox, had contacted us about dietary preferences and had some dairy-free options for us. And the gardens were wonderful to walk through. The Westbourne Guest House in Penzance (which did not have breakfast) was a little far from the train station (and the trail). It would be nice to have a place closer to the train station.

    Thanks for all you did to make our trip so enjoyable.

    Catherine Wilson