Cornwall, with it's stunning natural landscapes, offers a particularly alluring environment for promoting mental health and overall well-being. The rhythm of the waves, the salty sea breeze and the views that stretch along the horizon all work in harmony to offer a sense of calm and tranquillity. With endless outdoor activities including coastal walks, hiking trails and meditation retreats, Cornwall is a top destination for those seeking to shake the January blues and escape from the stresses of daily life.
If you're looking to harvest the benefits of the outdoors, a walk along Cornwall's coastline, through its sprawling countryside or amidst historical sites and lush woodlands is the perfect form of ecotherapy. Whether you prefer a beachside venture or a woodland trek, we have a walk for you.
Perranporth to St Agnes
Perranporth is a treasure trove boasting three miles of soft golden sands to explore, featuring charming rockpools and mysterious caves waiting to be discovered. For dog owners, Perranporth is the perfect destination. The beach welcomes dogs year-round, offering ample space for your furry friend to roam and play. If you want to extend your walk away from the beach, take the scenic path from Perranporth to St Agnes where you will discover traces of Cornwall's fascinating mining heritage, once a bustling hub of mining activity.
As you walk along the coast path you will come across Cligga Head where you will encounter remants of Cornwall's mining past, including remains of 20th century buildings and striking red stained cliffs. Follow the same paths miners once tread to reach mine adits, still visible in the cliffside.
Once you've reached the top of the cliffs, St Agnes will stretch before you, marked by its numerous engine house chimneys. Carry on to St Agnes Head and you will be treated to sweeping views of the valley which acted as the setting for Ross Poldark's family home in the popular Cornish TV show, 'Poldark'.
Venturing into Cornwall's inland regions reveal hidden charms. Cardinham Woods, rich with woodland and remnants of Cornwall's industrial history, is the perfect destination for those who want to explore Cornwall's rural landscape. Resting in a beautiful valley, Cardinham Woods offers unspoilt natural beauty equipped with stunning viewpoints and even a bubbling stream complemented by a stunning riverside meadow. It caters to all outdoor enthusiasts, providing bike trails, running trails and, for those with reduced mobility, off-road mobility vehicles to hire. Cardinham Woods also offer family-friendly features, including a play area outside the cafe and holiday activites hosted by Badger Forest School - a perfect way to spend a day of the upcoming February half term.
If you prefer a sandy beach, Sennen Cove will capture your interest. It's a picturesque spot boasting a large sandy beach and offers amazing views from the lookout point at the Pedn-men-du. Extend your time with a circular walk around Sennen Cove that leads all the way to Land's End. This invigorating 3-mile trek cuts through scenic farmland above Sennen Cove, treating you to panoramic views over the coast. You'll then loop back, tracing the rugged coastline near Land's End, where you will discover sandy beaches and hidden caves along the way.
Discover the tranquillity of one of the most picturesque estuaries in Cornwall with a leisurely walk along the Helford Passage. This walk promises stunning views with an otherworldly sense of peace. The route will take you across inviting beaches fringed by woodland and complemented by charming pubs where you can relax while soaking in the coastal views. As you meander along the Helford Passage, don't miss the opportunity to explore the nearby sub-tropical Trebah Gardens, accessed by its own beach on the Helford River. This botanical location offers over four miles of footpaths through a sub-tropical paradise.
St Ives to Zennor
The circular walk from St Ives to Zennor takes you along a rugged coastline and through beautiful countryside offering views across St Ives Bay to Godrevey Lighthouse. This walk is fairly long and demanding but proves for a rejuvenating experience only the Cornish coastline can provide. Along the walk you'll encounter cultural gems including the Tate St Ives and the historic St Ives Harbour. Both wonderful places to explore. As you traverse towards Zennor expect to see plenty of marine wildlife from your tall vantage point including seals and seabirds. Make sure to go out on a clear day and encounter the famous St Ives light known for inspiring visiting and local artists and is strong enough to clear away any lingering January blues.
Nare head is a coastal trek tucked away from the mainstream, offering far-reaching views, historical connections, and unspoilt landscape. Begin your journey at Kiberick Cove, turn right and follow the South West Coast Path. You'll be greeted by cliff-top meadows with far-reaching views of jutting headlands, rolling hills, and vast blue seas. History enthusiasts will be happy to come across a World War Two bunker used as a decoy to protect the port of Falmouth, an interesting glimpse into Cornwall's war time heritage. Continuing the journey reveals another bunker, this one from the Cold War, which has been authentically restored and is even accessible to the public on select dates throughout the year.
As you continue your route you will reach Nare Head, an iconic headland providing expansive views across Cornwall. Carry on your trek to reach Carne Beacon, Cornwall's largest surviving Bronze Age burial ground thought to be over 4000 years old. Finally, re-join civilisation at Carne Village where narrow lands, traditional cottages and timeless charm welcomes you.
For those seeking the charm of the Roseland Peninsula, St Mawes stands as the largest settlement on the Roseland, adorned with boutique shops and galleries that add a unique charm to its vibrant atmosphere. The Percuil River flows past St Mawes and has footpaths along both shores, each sharing stunning views. Add to your walk with a visit to St Mawes Castle, strategically built by Henry VIII to protect Falmouth against invasion. These days it is filled with displays and exhibits giving a deeper insight into life inside the castle and its rich history. Please note, St Mawes Castle is currently only open on weekends until mid-February. Please click here for up-to-date opening hours.
Weather permitting, take the Place Ferry across the river - the perfect way to soak in the views, and enjoy a walk around the headland to St Anthony's Head. Along this route you'll encounter St Anthony's Lighthouse, also known as Fraggle Rock Lighthouse for its appearance in Jim's Henson's 1980s show Fraggle Rock.
Your weekly dose of Cornish cheer!
When you can’t be in your favourite place all the time, catch up on the latest stories, upcoming events, holiday ideas, and offers with a newsletter straight to your inbox. Terms and Conditions / GDPR compliance: by providing personally identifiable information Visit Cornwall will use it to provide you with ongoing information about their products and services. No one from Visit Cornwall will rent, sell or lease this personally identifiable information to other companies or individuals.
Find us on socials and stay connected with the Cornwall you love.