Set on the far western edge of Great Britain, Cornwall is an ancient Celtic haven filled with legends of pirates and smugglers and surrounded by the sea. We’ve chosen the most spectacular sections of the Cornish Coastal Path for our adventure, with overnights in some of Cornwall’s loveliest coastal villages, including Fowey and St. Ives. Many of our hikes start right from our hotel’s front door! We’ll hike along towering cliffs and golden beaches, explore fascinating sites including Tintagel, legendary home of King Arthur, pass trailside Neolithic stone circles, and enjoy talks with local historians. We’ll take full advantage of the flourishing local dining scene, including a feast at Jamie Oliver’s innovative “Fifteen” restaurant—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 little fishing port of Padstow, our hikes lead to the ruins of Tintagel Castle, forever linked with King Arthur, and to tiny St. Enodoc, a 15th century church nestled in the sand dunes. We’ll walk the sands of Constantine Bay past the isolated lighthouse at Trevose Head, and explore the whitewashed “higgledy piggledy” cottages of Port Isaac, a fishing village since the 14th century. One of our dinners will be at St. Petroc’s Bistro, the acclaimed seafood restaurant of chef Rick Stein.
Porthcothan / Land’s End / Lamorna Cove / St. Ives
At the horseshoe-shaped bay of Porthcothan, we walk on high sea cliffs to the spectacular volcanic rock stacks called the Bedruthan Steps, and past rugged coves to famed Land’s End, the westernmost point in England. In the sheltered south Cornish coast, our trails lead from the “Merry Maidens,” a Neolithic stone circle more than 4,000 years old, to Lamorna Cove. Our base is in St. Ives, haunt of artists for generations.
Fowey / Polperro / Saints’ Way
From the coastal village of Gorran Haven, our paths lead along the headlands to Chapel Point and we explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a vast estate with extensive botanical collections from the Victorian plant hunters. We’ll hike from Polperro, with its ancient cottages and fishermen’s lofts, to Polruan, with our paths never far from the sea, and pass Menabilly, Daphne Du Maurier’s estate, which she reimagined as Manderlay in her haunting novel Rebecca. We bid farewell to Cornwall with a beautiful hike along The Saints’ Way, a long-distance footpath marked with Celtic crosses, a legacy of early Christian travelers. Depart on Day 10.