Cornwall is an ancient Celtic land filled with legend and a fascinating heritage inextricably linked to the sea. We’ve chosen the most spectacular sections of the Cornish Coastal Path for our adventure, staying in some of its prettiest villages, including Fowey and St. Ives, with our hikes often starting right from our hotel’s front door. You’ll discover breathtaking vistas of secluded coves and a turquoise sea, explore historical sites including King Arthur’s legendary Tintagel, and enjoy talks with historians. You’ll also delight in a flourishing dining scene, including a feast at Jamie Oliver’s innovative “Fifteen” on the beach at Watergate Bay—signature dishes with a Cornish twist!
The trip was outstanding. We had a LOT of hiking combined with cultural experiences to really give us a good appreciation of Cornwall today and its history. The parts of the South West Coast Path that we hiked were stunning. We LOVED the guided tours of Tintagel, the Levant tin mine, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, along with our evening performance at the Minack Theater. We particularly liked staying in one hotel for three nights before moving on.
— Larry S., Boise, ID
Padstow / Port Isaac
From the lively port of Padstow, our hikes lead to Tintagel, legendary birthplace of King Arthur, impossibly romantic and tiny St. Enodoc, a 15th century church nestled in the sand dunes, and from the golden beaches of Constantine Bay to the headlands of Stepper Point. We’ll explore the whitewashed “higgledy piggledy” cottages of Port Isaac, a fishing village since the 14th century, and dine at St. Petroc’s Bistro, the famed seafood restaurant of chef Rick Stein.
Watergate Bay / Lamorna Cove / St. Ives
Our hikes bring you to the Bedruthan Steps, volcanic rock stacks that rise dramatically from Bedruthan Beach, and past rugged cliffs and coves to Land’s End, the most westernly point in England. Heading to the sheltered south Cornish coast, hike from the “Merry Maidens,” a Neolithic stone circle more than 4,000 years old, to Lamorna Cove, designated a protected “Area of Outstanding Beauty.” Our base is in St. Ives, haunt of artists for generations.
From the unspoiled village of Gorran Haven, follow a trail along the headlands to Chapel Point, then explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a vast estate with extensive collections from the Victorian plant hunters. Another hike leads from Polperro, with its tiny streets of ancient cottages and fishermen’s lofts, to Polruan, and you’ll circle Menabilly, Du Maurier’s estate reimagined as “Manderlay” in her haunting novel Rebecca. Our final hike is along the Saints Way, a long-distance footpath signed with Celtic cross markers that follows the route of early Christian travelers. Depart on Day 10.