Cornwall is blessed with some great walks, both on the coast and inland. Here's our selection of some of the official long distance routes.
The South West Coast Path
Many of you will have walked short sections of the coast path, but how many of you have tackled all the 260 miles of it in Cornwall? It’s not easy to do it in one go, not without help or by travelling very light, but with a bit of planning it's possible to spend a week doing a section, maybe using public transport to return to your starting point everyday or booking accommodation along the route in advance. The best bits? There are so many… including the achievement that you have done it!
The Cornish Celtic Way
Mainly using sections of both the South West Coast Path and the Camel Trail, this route, created in 2017 is a modern pilgrimage route covering 125 miles across Cornwall from the Priory Church at St Germans to St Michael’s Mount. Along the way it is claimed you will come into contact with 90 Celtic Saints, be it through place names, churches, holy wells and crosses, and get to visit some places you probably didn’t know existed!
The Saint's Way
All over Europe you will come across pilgrimage routes that snake there way to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain. Pilgrims from Ireland and Wales had to cross water to reach the European mainland, and it is said they would sail to Padstow before walking across Cornwall to Fowey, this was in order to avoid the treacherous journey around Land’s End by water.
The route it's thought they followed has now been turned into a 27 mile long waymarked path that can be walked in a couple of days. It links two of Cornwall’s best known harbours via some of its finest inland churches and inland landscapes including Helman Tor.
The Smuggler's Way
A slightly longer walk, 36 miles, runs from Boscastle to Looe, crossing the wild Bodmin Moor and its two highest peaks, Brown Willy and Roughtor. Unlike the Saint’s Way, it’s not waymarked or mentioned on maps, but Visit Cornwall are able to provide walkers with information if needed.
Was it a route used by smugglers? We are sure the people at Jamaica Inn, that you pass after about 15 miles, will assure you it was. What we do know is that it’s a beautiful walk, especially in the spring when the wooded valleys at the start and end are full of wild flowers.
The Tinner's Way
The wild rugged moorland and coastline of West Penwith is enjoyed on this walk from Cape Cornwall to the artists haven of St Ives. It’s only 16 miles in length, but those keen on walking could turn around at St Ives and return via Zennor and the South West Coast Path. Along the route you will pass Neolithic burial sites, stone circles and Iron age villages. The tinners, who gave the walk its name, have been mining this part of Cornwall for 1000’s of years, but the engine houses familiar to many through TV programs are better seen down on the coast than up on the high moors.
St Michael's Way
The St. Michael's Way is signposted using a stylistic shell icon based on the Council of Europe's sign for pilgrimage routes. The scallop shell is often worn around the neck by those walking towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This short 12 mile route starts in Lelant and follows the South West Coast Path through Carbis Bay before turning inland and climbing up towards Trencom Hill which offers fantastic views of both coasts.
At Ludgvan look out for the church, where William Borlase preached for 52 years, at the same time becoming one of Cornwall’s foremost historians of the 18th century. From Ludgvan it’s an easy walk through one of the most fertile strips of farmland in the UK, down to the coast where the walk finishes with a stroll along Mount’s Bay to the iconic St Michael’s Mount.
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