St Ives to Penzance


St Ives to Penzance is the most remote section of the South West Coast Path and offers some challenging walking and unmissable views.

  • Famous open-air theatre perched on the cliff edge above Porthcurno
  • Spectacular clifftop walking in the remote west of England
  • Lands End - the most westerly tip of Britain
  • The local seafood and great cornish beers and ciders
  • Secluded coves and golden sandy beaches
  • Ancient inland sites (optional extra day)



  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage Transfer - one bag per person
  • Maps and trail notes
  • Itinerary


Starting point: St Ives
Finishing point: Penzance
Avg. daily distance: 8 miles / 13km
Total distance: 40 miles / 63km
Terrain: Up and Down
Walking grade: Challenging

6 DAYS FROM £515


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St Ives to Penzance

This is the most remote section of the South West Coast Path and offers some challenging walking (daily distances have been kept short because of this). Its rugged path hugs the coastline around Cape Cornwall and then down to Land’s End which is the most westerly tip of Britain.
The beauty of the area is hard to beat with windswept heath and wild flowers dominating the cliff tops and turquoise seas with golden beaches below. Fantastic views, plenty of birdlife and delicious seafood can all be found on its 40 mile stretch. Listen to the waves crashing below, watch for dolphins and relax for lunch in one of the sandy coves on this wonderful coastal adventure.
The walk starts in the bustling fishing village of St Ives with its narrow cobbled streets and picturesque harbour. Heading south the attractive coastline dominates and you may even see across to the Scily Isles if it’s a clear day. The coast path heads round past St Just which is the most westerly town in England to Cape Cornwall and then the small fishing community at Sennen Cove. Porthcurno follows with its spectacular open air theatre which is situated right beside the sea and eventually you reach the busy town of Penzance.

Day 1: Travel to St Ives

Day 2: Walk St Ives to Zennor (7 miles / 11km)

Day 3: Walk Zennor to Pendeen Watch (7 miles / 11km)

Day 4: Pendeen Watch to Sennen Cove (9 miles / 14.5km)

Day 5: Sennen Cove to Porthcurno (6 miles / 9.5km)

Day 6: Porthcurno to Penzance (11.5 miles / 18.5km)

Day 7: Depart from Penzance

Day 1: Travel to St Ives

St Ives is a bustling seaside town, renowned for its artists, beautiful beaches, shops, galleries and museums. There are also loads of great restaurants to eat in before setting off on your big walk.

Day 2: Walk St Ives to Zennor (7 miles / 11km)

Start your walk in front of the Tate Gallery on Porthmeor Beach. Initially you will pass casual walkers and dog walkers before leaving them behind as the path winds around several headlands before arriving at the tiny village of Zennor. Zennor consists of a few houses, a church and a pub (The Tinners Arms), built in 1271 to accommodate the stone masons who built the church.

Day 3: Walk Zennor to Pendeen Watch (7 miles / 11km)

The path continues along some beautiful cliffs to Gunnard's Head, inland is a great pub (The Gurnard's Head) well worth a stop if you have time. A little way before arriving at Pendeen lighthouse is a lovely beach at Portheras Cove, where the brave could cool off with a swim. Pendeen Watch is home to Geevor Tin Mine Museum, well worth a visit, the tour includes a trip underground in the old mine workings.

(Optional Extra Day - An inland walk that takes in some of West Cornwall's ancient stone age sites. This walk includes Chun Quoit, Chun Castle, Men-an-Toi and Ding Don Mine.)

Day 4: Pendeen Watch to Sennen Cove (9 miles / 14.5km)

The path between Pendeen Watch and Sennen Cove goes past lots of the copper and tin mines and passes through the grounds of Levant Mine, which has the only fully working beam engine in the country. Cape Cornwall is a memorable sight, for many years this was thought to be the most westerly point in Cornwall. Arriving in Sennen Cove you are met by a beautiful sandy beach, a surf school and a great beach cafe, ideal place to enjoy some refreshment before going looking for your accommodation.

Day 5: Sennen Cove to Porthcurno (6 miles / 9.5km)

From Sennen Cove you soon arrive at Land's End, the extreme western most tip of England, which although a little touristy has wonderful views of outlying rocks and on a clear day the Isles of Scilly. The path follows a fairly easy route along the coast to the spectacularly located open-air Minack Theatre perched on the edge of the cliffs overlooking Porthcurno Bay. From the theatre, it might be wise to follow the road down to the beach as the path takes a steep treacherous route down the cliff edge. Porthcurno Beach is one of the most in Cornwall - golden sands, rugged cliffs and a turquoise sea, if you are walking in July, August or September and the weather is good do go for a swim here.

Day 6: Porthcurno to Penzance (11.5 miles / 18.5km)

The last days walking is tough. The path continually twists and turns and you must step over rocks and boulders, but the views from the cliffs are worth it and the cafe at Lamorna Cove provides some welcome refreshment before the last few miles along the coast to the enchanting fishing village of mousehole (nowadays the commercial fishing fleet is all based a mile or two along the coast in Newlyn) but the lovely little harbour at Mousehole reminds one of how it used to be. The last few miles through Newlyn and onto Penzance are easy walking and reintroduce you to 21st Century life.

Day 7: Depart from Penzance

WALKING DIFFICULTY: This is a coastal walk, for the most part along quite high cliffs with quite a lot of ups and downs. It will not be beyond the average walker but distance covered per hour will be low.
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: An extra night is recommended in St Ives, there is lots to see and do. Also due to its popularity in high season the number of places offering a single nights accommodation is very limited.

NAVIGATION: Navigation is generally straight forward, follow the acorn signs and keep the sea on your right!

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 St Erth (about 5 hours), where you change for a short (15 min) train trip to St Ives.
Returning: From Penzance trains are direct to London Paddington (about 5 hr 30 min)
Arriving take the M5 from Bristol, then the A30 from Exeter, this takes you to within just a few miles of St Ives (travel time traffic free 2 hours from Exeter). Long Term Secure Parking can be arranged in St Ives.
Returning: Penzance to St Ives is only a 15 minute taxi ride, or there are regular bus services, or a 25 min train trip via St Erth.
Arriving, Newquay Airport has regular flights from London Gatwick. It is about a 60 minute taxi ride from the airport to St Ives.
Returning: Penzance to Newquay airport is about a 60 minute taxi ride. (Taxi ride costs approx £100)

This walk can be done at anytime of the year, but because of the vagaries of the weather we would usually recommend March to October
5 Day Walking Itinerary (6 nights accommodation) from £565 per person
4 Day Walking Itinerary (5 nights accommodation) from £475 per person
Single supplement (for person walking on their own) £40 per night
Extra Day to visit the Ancient Sites inland of Pendeen £70 per person
Extra nights from £50 per person

St Ives to Penzance

Alice Hirschvogel (from Switzerland) - July 2015

Dear Tim

We just wanted to say how perfect our walking holidays were! Nice bed & breakfast, lovely people and a wunderfull landscape!
And every day our luggage was in the next bed & breakfast. Thank you for organize it!
I'll send you a few impressions from our great holidays.

Kind regards

Trip to the Scilly Isles followed by Penzance to St Ives walk

Susan - September 2014

Dear Tim,

I am back in Munich since a couple of days from my fantastic walking holiday. Everything was perfect. Transport from my Luggage - it worked very well. You organized all so well, that I could imagine, to book one day again such a journey - (Coast Path -Walking). :-))

I enjoyed the whole holidays - including the Scilly Isles - very very much. People were so friendly - I had many nice talks. I felt all the time very well.

Thanks a lot!

Kind regards, Susan

St Ives to Penzance

Katrin and Jannik - August 2014

Dear Tim,

i wanted to say thank for this great organisation at our holidays. We had a wonderful walk, at a lovely coast.

The Blue sky inn in St Ives is a wonderful acomodation, nice room, nice people, the Pub in Pendeen watch was a litttle bit dirty, but rustic, i think a typical pub, and in porthcourno, i think it would be important to let the people know, that theys are not allowed to get into their rooms before 16.00 . we arrived at 15.00 and we had to wait until he opened the door. It was a nice room and the man, chris was really nice, and the atmosphere in there was very friendly- But if we had knwon that we are allowed to go in at 16.00, not earlier, we could have make the walk a little more slowly.

But i told, we had had great holidays. And i should say, that ACE Taxi was so in time, and they were so nice the drivers, my son was happy about it. I will put some pictures at facebook.

Thank you very much again! Regards from Germany!
Katrin and Jannik

St Ives to Penzance

Carlo - July 2013

Dear Tim,

not sure if you got my message yesterday when we left.
We simply wanted to tell you that all went perfect and everybody really enjoyed everything, hotels, walks foods and the fantastic weather.
I am sure sure that we will be back for another time and will pass on our experience to others and give them your contacts.
best personal regards from everybody

Carlo & the whole team (17 walkers)

St Ives to Penzance

Carlo & the whole team (17 walkers) - July 2013

Dear Tim,
not sure if you got my message yesterday when we left.
We simply wanted to tell you that all went perfect and everybody really enjoyed everything, hotels, walks foods and the fantastic weather.
I am sure that we will be back for another time and will pass on our experience to others and give them your contacts.
best personal regards from everybody

St Ives to Penzance

Sven Engstroem - 4 July 2022

Dear Tim,

We have been at home for a week after three extra days in Bath. We are very pleased with our walking holiday.

It turned out to be even better than our expectations both regarding the landscape and accommodation.

We had rather bad weather with rain and wind our first walking day to Zennor but the accommodation had excellent drying facilities so shoes and clothes were perfect the next day.

All accommodation was excellent with nice rooms and strengthening morning meals (very positive with private bathrooms for older men at night …).

From Porthcurno we walked to a village nearby for dinner. Our hosts helped us booking a table and showed us the nice walk across the fields.

In summary, I should be happy to recommend this walk to both seniors like us (in fairly good shape) and beginners with children from, say 10+. The scenery is dramatic and fantastic with wild flowers and birds.

Don’t hesitate to use the enclosed photos.

Bets regards,

Sven, Marie, Lena and Sten-Olof

St Ives to Penzance

Silvia Helmreich - June 2022

Everything was organized perfectly: the the pick up from the airport and back to airport, the luggage transfer, the high quality of the accommodation.
We also highly appreciated your flexibility to organize the walk from St. Ives to Penzance in three days. Normally you can just buy fixed days and routes. That sets you apart from other providers.
Regarding walking distance we were cheating the first day, because we had 28 km on our schedule. We decided that this is too much for the first day and we took a taxi from St. Ives to Zennor.
But the other two days we followed your suggestion. And we really had luck with the weather - sunshine the whole day, not too hot, not too cold.

So in total: many thanks for organizing these wonderful holidays for us, for your flexibility and assistance.

Kind regards

St Ives to Penzance and Plymouth to Torquay

Liv Berit - Sep 2023

Dear Tim,
We had a fantastic walk. We are four very happy Norwegians. We were very lucky with the weather it was only on the two last days of our walk that we had rain. The weather walking from Brixham to Torquay was terrible we were all dripping wet, luckily that was the last day so we could pack all our soak clothe sand boots in our luggage.
The walking distance were ok, except the walk from Plymouth to Wembury, we did take the Mount Batten Ferry and that made the walk a bit short. We arrived early in Wembury, by the way the cafe in Bovisands was closed.
The walk from Wembury to Banthham proved impossible. We took the Ferry from Warren Point at 10:00 and the ferry man, Bill Gregor, told us that we would not make it to the River Erme in time to wade across and he proved right.
Tregenna Castle, Gunards Head and the Airbnb in Kingsbridge were excellent.
The others were fine except Shearwater, the rooms were not very pleasant and it was only one bathroom and the owner seemed a bit tired of having guests. Ashleigh Guest House had one of the bathrooms a step down from the bedroom, and that was not ideal.
We have walked through lovely and beautiful landscapes and meet nice people and dogs on our walk.
The transfer of luggage was excellent, our bags were waiting for us every day.

Kind regards
Liv Berit