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Best walks in Cornwall | Cornish Cottage Holidays

With over 400 miles of coast, and beautiful scenery in abundance, Cornwall is an absolute haven for walkers and nature lovers. Dust off your walking boots and explore the great Cornish outdoors with our hand-picked selection of the best walks in Cornwall…. 

Use the quick links below to find out about a particular route or trail type, or continue reading for our complete guide to the best walks in Cornwall:

Top coastal walks in Cornwall

  1. Tintagel to Boscastle Coastal Walk
  2. Perranporth to St Agnes Walk 
  3. The Lizard Coastal Walk

Best Woodland walks in Cornwall

  1. Trelissick Woodland Walk
  2. Golitha Falls Walk
  3. Kennall Vale to Stithians Walk

Our favourite circular walks in Cornwall

  1. Fowey Hall Walk
  2. The Camelford Way
  3. Bodmin Moor and Stannon Stone Walk

Dog-friendly walks in Cornwall to guarantee waggly tails

  1. Harlyn Bay to Padstow
  2. Tehidy Country Park
  3. St Agnes Beacon to Wheal Coates

Top Coastal Walks in Cornwall

1 – Tintagel to Boscastle Coastal Walk

Distance: 5.5 miles.

Best walks in Cornwall - Tintagel Castle
This walk will see you up close to the famous Tintagel, with its history intertwined with the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This dramatic fortress on the rugged North Cornwall coast is a must-see on a trip to the Duchy.

Park up in King Arthur’s Car Park (Postcode: PL34 0DA) or The Castle Car Park (Postcode: PL34 0DD). Once on foot, take Castle Road towards Tintagel Castle. You will pass The Cornishman InnTintagel Toy Museum and the iconic Camelot Castle on this walk. Exploring the remains of the castle is a wonderful experience so take a wander around and marvel at this spectacle for yourself, before continuing your walk to Boscastle, passing Merlin’s Cave as you go.

From Tintagel Castle, look for signs for the South West Coast Path and follow the route  north. As you venture along this path, you will take in the breathtaking North Cornwall scenery, as you pass Barras Nose, Bossiney Cove and Rocky Valley before you reach Boscastle Harbour. Boscastle is home to The Museum of Witchcraft and magic, a very popular attraction since 1961, with over 3000 objects of intrigue and mystery on display.

If your legs are tired, you can catch the 95 bus back to Tintagel.

2 – Perranporth to St Agnes Walk

Distance: 4.5 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Perranporth to St Agnes
This route takes you through a scenic stretch of coastline that has been declared a World Heritage site, known for its links with the tin and copper mining industry.

Start your walk from the centre of Perranporth, home to many glorious eateries and ice cream parlours with choices galore, to start off as you mean to go on.

Walk up Cliff Road past Seiners restaurant and marvel at the view towards Ligger Point, then take the footpath. Soon you’ll spot the incredible mining remains at Cligga Head before continuing the path past Hanover Cove with Perranporth Airfield to your left.

When the path reaches dog-friendly Trevellas Cove (an ideal refreshment stop!), venture inland to see Blue Hills Tin, and the engine houses and chimneys from the tin mines. The South West Coast Path continues west past Trevaunance Cove and Driftwood Spars, a 17th Century public house before leading down Quay Road to the centre of St Agnes. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat in St Agnes, there are plentiful foodie stops – highlights include The Taphouse and the Peterville Inn.

If you are up for the walk back, you will be sure to spot things you may have missed before. If you’d rather get some rest, take the 87 bus back to St Agnes.

3 – The Lizard Coastal Walk

Distance: Approximately 7 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - The Lizard
One of the finest walks in Cornwall is from Lizard Point to Mullion Cove. This walk seems relatively straightforward on the map but be prepared for steep climbs and some uneven pathways. This jaunt also takes you across some sand, so walking boots would be ideal.

This is such a scenic route on the most southerly part of Cornwall and mainland Britain, that you can forgive the uneven paths for the wondrous vistas and the faunas that encapsulate the beauty of this rugged coastline. Start your walk at the car park, just south of Lizard village, and onto the path which leads you towards Lizard Point where there are lots of rocks.

Wavecrest and Polpeor Café are two popular haunts for a great lunch or a Cornish cream tea by The Old Lifeboat Station.

To the left you’ll see the Lizard Lighthouse, known for its two towers on either side. Turn right at the end of the road to join up with the coast path. Turn back west and continue the path and take in the views across Caerthillian Cove next.

Further around the rugged coast comes the iconic and tranquil Kynance Cove, famous for its striking rock formation known as Asparagus Island. As you venture north, you’ll know you’re close to Mullion Cove, when you see Mullion Island to your left before reaching the harbour which has been steeped in tradition since it was built in the 1890s as a haven for local fishermen.

The Chocolate Factory and Craft Centre is a popular attraction in Mullion and is home to the decadent Trenance Chocolate. There is a viewing area to see the chocolate being made (due to Covid restrictions this is currently closed to the public). There’s also a nice café for light bites, and tempting hot chocolates made from Trenance Chocolate. They also have llamas and a glass studio on site, as well as a selection of great gifts and crafts from the shop.

From Mullion you can catch the 34 bus or the L1 back to Lizard Point.

Woodland Walks in Cornwall

4 – Trelissick Woodland Walk

Distance: Approximately 5 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Trelissick
With several miles of green space and paths meandering alongside the River Fal, Trelissick Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy a long walk any time of the year. There are some steep paths on the walk so it is best to ensure you bring your hiking boots, and if it has been raining, wellies are a must!

Perfect for the four-legged family members, enjoy woodland walks that span panoramic views of the Fal Estuary to one side and plenty of open space to explore on the other. From the car park, take the track with signs leading to ‘Woodland walks’, continue by going through the gate with a cattle grid and then turn left. Carry on this path to uncover miles of Cornish woodland next to the River Fal.

Local tip: On route you will pass the King Harry Ferry, which takes people and their cars across the Fal River to the Roseland Peninsula. This is a much quicker way of being able to reach coastal harbour towns, such as St Mawes, Portloe and Portscatho, as the road route can be a long detour.

The route then crosses the minor road, taking you back to discover more wildlife and foliage, before you eventually come almost full circle to where your journey began. This is a delightful woodland walk in one of the most picturesque spots in all of Cornwall.

Trelissick house is home to a wide range of events and exhibitions, featuring stories about the history of Trelissick. As well as this, there is a great boutique gift shop which sells a wide variety of plants, and Crofters Café, where they serve up a delicious cream tea and other refreshments.

Parking: the car park is owned and run by National Trust and you may need to pre-book a space on busy days, so check Trelissick Gardens for up-to-date information about booking.

5 – Golitha Falls Walk

Distance: 6 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Golitha Falls
This fantastic walk, with its gentle stream running through Golitha Falls, provides a tranquil stroll at any time of the year. Springtime is great for the early peeking daffodils, while the summer and the autumn are perfect for when the leaves begin to turn and create a gorgeous amber glow beneath the sunshine.

Start the walk from Draynes Bridge, looping back through Golitha Falls, an abundance of foliage and dappled light will reflect upon the water flowing through this beautiful nature reserve. This path goes across Bulland Downs to a small village called South Trekieve. Continue past the remains of an ancient trackway before circling the perimeter of the peaceful Siblyback Lake, before returning.

Please note, dogs need to be on a lead near Siblyback Lake.

Parking: Available at Golitha Falls car park.

6 – Kennall Vale to Stithians Walk

Distance: 6 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Kennal Vale to Stithians

Near the village of Ponsanooth lies Kennall Vale, which up until the early part of the 20th Century, was home to a gunpowder factory with links to the tin mining industry. It’s a real hidden gem with a fantastic woodland wildlife reserve with an abundance of birds, bats and other wildlife roaming alongside the waters of the River Kennall.

Park up in Ponsanooth and start your walk at the old pottery and head west. Make sure not to park on the narrow lanes leading to the reserve as these are in constant use.

Cross the bridge and continue alongside the river until you reach Stithians. Go through the centre of the village and turn left onto New Road before crossing South Road and then over a wooden foot bridge to continue the walk east.

Circular Walks in Cornwall

7 – Fowey Hall Walk

Distance: 4 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Fowey
An incredible coastal walk in Cornwall with stunning views of Fowey Harbour, which also includes two ferry rides (Fowey to Polruan, and Fowey to Bodinnick). This route is a little rocky in places so walking boots are preferable.

Start at Bodinnick Slipway and you’ll see the Old Ferry Inn on the steep hill. About half the way up this path there is a sign for ‘Hall Walk’ on the right-hand side. Continue the path towards the Q Memorial and down the steep path to Penleath Point.

From the Q Memorial, take the path along the northern side of Pont Pill and then take the footbridge before taking a sharp right turn on the path marked Polruan.

When you reach Polruan, there is a pedestrian ferry which runs to Fowey. From the Fowey side, walk through Fore Street to Caffa Mill (a car park where vehicle ferry runs back to Bodinnick.)

8 – The Camelford Way

Distance: Approximately 2 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - The Camelford Way - image courtesy of iWalkCornwall
A shorter walk than many of the others in our list, The Camelford Way is still a pleasurable stroll in North Cornwall alongside the River Camel.

Park up at Church Field car park. Once on foot, take the first right onto Market Place through the main village. Continue until you reach a sign called ‘Riverside Walk’. Follow this footpath alongside the river via the footbridges. After you go under the road at Fenteroon Bridge, turn right and follow this path until you reach some steps.

Take the steps and follow the path towards a kissing gate and then through the field. There are a series of three iron kissing gates before you join the path, which emerges on to the road. From here, turn right and continue this route back into Camelford.

This is a really nice walk and not as challenging as some of the others in our list.

Photo courtesy of iWalkCornwall

9 – Bodmin Moor and Stannon Stone Walk

Distance: Approximately 4 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - Stannon Stone
This walk starts to the south west of Stannon Quarry on Bodmin Moor, on the tarmacked road which leads into farm tracks. You will be able to take in the prehistoric remains of Stannon Stone Circle, a series of stone settlements, before you head up Louden Hill to Logan Rock – the views from this point on the walk are stunning!

Head towards Rough Tor, then south towards Fernacre, another stone circle, before returning west past Candra Hill and Dinnever Hill.

Rough Tor is the second highest point in Cornwall at 400 metres, only surpassed by Brown Willy Hill at 420 metres, also on Bodmin Moor.

Dog-Friendly Walks in Cornwall

10 – Harlyn Bay to Padstow

Best walks in Cornwall - Harlyn
Padstow can be a difficult place to park in the summer months, so arriving early should give you a better chance at getting a spot, or alternatively take the number 56 bus from Station Road to Harlyn. This dog friendly walk on the North Cornwall coast is simply beautiful.

From Haryln, this walk will take you along the South West Coast Path, as you meander past the beautiful sandy beaches of Trevone and Harlyn. Be careful as there is a collapsed cave known as Pepper Hole. You will go past The Pepper Pot on Stepper Point, which was built in 1830 as a navigational tool for seafarers, standing at 240 feet above sea level.

After you have enjoyed the views from Stepper Point, continue the walk (south) past the Doom Bar. And yes, the famous Doom Bar ale is named after this legendary sandbank, situated on the mouth of the estuary of the River Camel.

Hawker’s Cove is very popular and is also home to Rest a While Tea Garden, a fabulous little place to have a bite to eat, they even have gluten free options!

Further around the coast you’ll find Harbour Cove and then St George’s Cove before you make the jaunt into Padstow. There are some fabulous boutique shops and eateries in the town of Padstow. There are also some scenic boat tours which give you a different vista of the Camel Estuary.

11 – Tehidy Country Park

Best walks in Cornwall - Tehidy Country Park
This walk is a combination of the North Cliffs Circular, Oakwood and Lakes Circular Walks and is approximately 3.5 miles

With over 9 miles of paths, Tehidy Woods is the largest woodland area in West Cornwall and is a fantastic place to take a stroll amongst the bluebells in the spring, or alongside the marvellous blooms later in the summer. In the autumn the amber leaves will make a fantastic backdrop for an already wonderful woodland walk in Cornwall.

There are some set walks in Tehidy, but sometimes the beauty of this walk is that you can be spontaneous if you are intrigued to take an alternative walkway, there’s more beauty hidden around each corner.

The great thing about Tehidy Country Park is that there are a number of different walks you can take. You can begin from either of the main car parks; East Lodge Car Park or the North Car Park.

From East Lodge Car Park (postcode), the route will start by taking you alongside the greens and fairways of Tehidy Park Golf Club on Pine Walk before you discover the Rose Garden.

From here you can either join the North Cliffs Circular Walk (if you are up for the walk there’s a footpath which will take you straight to Basset Cove), or carry straight on until you reach the Rangers office. You can either continue ahead or turn left to uncover Otter Bridge and Oak Wood beyond. On your way back, head east through Beech Wood Walk where there are ornamental lakes with a view of the former mansion of the Basset family. There is also a quaint café and restrooms. Dogs are not permitted in this area. From here you can walk along South Drive back to Rose Garden and then east to the car park.

North Cliffs Circular Walk:  3 miles
Cycle / horse trails: 4 miles
Oak Wood Circular Walks: 30 mins – 2 miles
Mineral Tramways Tehidy Trail:  2.5 miles
Lakes Circular Walk: ½ mile

12 – St Agnes Beacon to Wheal Coates

Distance: 4 miles

Best walks in Cornwall - St Agnes to Wheal Coates
This circular walk will enable you to see St Agnes Head and St Agnes Beacon, as well as Wheal Coates, on the rugged north Cornwall coastline. This walk will see you astounded at the beauty of the mining history of Cornwall, which has been taken over by natural fauna and flora, with heather and Sea Pink in abundance along the route.

From the starting point at the car park on the headland, the path takes you inland to St Agnes Beacon, with stunning commanding views across the country to one side, and the coast to the other. After you have visited St Agnes Beacon, you’ll soon encounter Wheal Coates tin mine, which is one of the most photographed tin mines in the area, due to the wonderful coastal backdrop. Here you aren’t far from Chapel Porth, home to Chapel Porth Beach Café, which is famous for its incredible ‘hedgehog’ ice creams, comprising a wafer filled with ice cream, smothered in clotted cream and finished with toasted hazelnuts. Pure indulgence in a cone.

From Chapel Porth, head north on the South West Coast Path where you’ll finish the walk back at St Agnes Head Car Park (Postcode: TR5 0NU).

There are so many incredible walks in Cornwall, from family-friendly to dog friendly, and also those more suitable for seasoned walkers. Whichever walk you choose, we would advise a decent pair of walking boots as many of these trails are on rough terrain. 

Self-catering holiday cottages in Cornwall’s top walking spots

Best walks in Cornwall - Places to stay in Cornwall
We have a whole host of properties available to let in Cornwall, including Cottages in St AgnesPortreathFoweyThe LizardPadstow, Perranporth, and much more. So, whether you’re looking for a property near the South West Coast Path, National Trust gardens or expansive beaches and woodlands, we have a variety of self-catering holiday cottages in Cornwall to suit your requirements.

Book your walking holiday in Cornwall

Further Reading.

For more tips for things to do on days out in Cornwall like this take a look at our Days Out Guides. Alternatively, here are a few of our favourite articles, so you can make the most of beautiful Cornwall:

– Castles in Cornwall.

– Cycling in Cornwall | The best routes and trails.

– 5 Unique Days out in Cornwall.

8 Best Surfing Beaches in Cornwall

If you’re looking for many more great walking guides in Cornwall, visit iWalkCornwall