Walking around Cornwall

We may be biased, but we consider Cornwall to be one of the finest parts of the UK for walking. It has great variety, from wooded creeks to rock strewn moorland, from country parks to long sandy beaches. Whatever level of walk you are looking for, from gentle stroll to a week on the coast path, you’ll find a walk for you in Cornwall.

Often considered the best long distance walk in the UK, the South West Coast Path winds its way 300 miles around the Cornish coastline from Morwenstow in the north to Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in the south-east. It can be very challenging in places, but there are other parts that offer an enjoyable and easy way to explore one of Cornwall’s greatest natural assets.

Some decide to walk it in one go, others take years to complete it, whilst many are just happy to walk the same stretch over and over again. That’s the great thing about walking, everybody can take part, and there are even stretches of the SWCP that are accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

But it is not just the coast where you will find great walks in Cornwall. There are the moors of Bodmin and West Penwith, wild and rugged and full of history. There are wooded river valleys, rich in flora and fauna, the grounds of former large estates, a mixture of formal and open parkland, and there are miles and miles of public footpaths often leading to undiscovered vistas or picturesque villages. Cornwall also has a wealth of National Landscapes, formerley known as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you are guaranteed stunning scenery.

There are several long distance paths that criss-cross Cornwall, offering varied landscapes, often unseen by the majority of visitors. From St Michaels Way in the west to the Saints Way between Padstow and Fowey, these routes usually have books or leaflets available to guide you along the way.

If you are unsure of where to go, buy an OS map or a book of walks in a local shop. Many accommodation providers will be only too happy to suggest suitable walks, often leading to a good pub for lunch. It’s also worth checking our ‘What’s On’ pages to see if there is a guided walk or walking festival taking place near you.

A walk should be enjoyable, don’t try and do too much. Cornwall, especially the coastal path, can be very hilly. What is written as five miles in a book or on a map, can feel much further when you have spent half the day trudging up and down steps. Expect on average to walk at about 2 mph, and of course allow time for just stopping and taking in the fantastic scenery, take some photos and show your friends. Spread the word, Cornwall is great for walking!

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