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Hidden Coves, Fishing Villages, and Hiking the Cornish Coast

Overview

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!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
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.

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Days 4-6
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.

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Days 7-10
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.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike the most spectacular stretches of Cornwall’s north and south coasts, including renowned “Land’s End”
Explore ancient sites and colorful fishing villages, including Port Isaac
Dine at the restaurants of celebrated chefs Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver
Learn about Cornwall’s Celtic heritage and spirited present

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5695  
Arrive: Bodmin, England
Depart: Bodmin, England
Lodging: 9 nights seaside hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 3 dinners
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

8 hiking days on moderate trails with some short steep sections, 4-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)

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