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5 Scenic Hiking Trails in Cornwall

If you are looking for a place to hike, why not choose the longest coastline in England, known for its gorgeous scenery and amazing walking trails? Whether you are a novice or a seasoned hiker, you will find something to suit you along the 483 km of coastal path in Cornwall.  As varied as they are plentiful, Cornwall’s scenic hikes can take you everywhere from clifftop vistas to abandoned villages, rural heathland, and hidden coves. Here, we try to narrow it down to the five best Cornwall hikes, to help you find your favourite.

Cornwall Scenic Hikes

Porthcurno to Land’s End

Undeniably one of the most popular walks in Cornwall, Porthcurno to Land’s End covers 8.2 kilometres of ground around the westernmost point of the mainland British Isles. It is a moderately difficult walk, suitable for most walkers, that features some of the most jaw-dropping sea views in the area. It should be noted, though, that during rough weather, heavy winds can make this trek difficult for children and novice walkers. The walk takes you out and back, but if you get tired of walking, there is transport available to take you back to Porthcurno. There, of course, you can enjoy the gorgeous Porthcurno beach, with golden sands, a rocky shoreline, and water that is nearly turquoise.

The Lizard Peninsula

A visit to Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula allows you to experience one of the most scenic parts of Cornwall. Rugged cliffs tower over the North Atlantic’s blue waters, and the rare geology of the area provides the perfect place for rare plants and flowers to thrive. Walking the Lizard Peninsula, beginning and finishing your hike at Kynance Cove, offers you spectacular views in a hike that is not too strenuous and includes walking along some beautiful beaches as well as on rocky clifftop paths. You will want to bring your swimming gear in the summer so that you can enjoy some of the beaches, and you should probably plan to stop for lunch in the town of Lizard, where there are some great options like the Top House Inn.

Lydford Gorge

This walk differs from the others because it is not in Cornwall itself, but an hour outside of North Cornwall, in Dartmouth National Park. When you are travelling through Cornwall, this is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs while enjoying some stunning scenery. Lydford Gorge is the deepest river gorge in the South West, and it is a beautiful place well worth visiting. On this 5.6-kilometre route, you will also have the chance to take in the White Lady Waterfall, a 30-metre waterfall that elegantly cascades down the gorge, as well as the River Lyd, which plunges, tumbles, swirls, and meanders through ancient oak woodland.  What is particularly special about the gorge is that it is considered a globally rare habitat and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Filled with temperate rainforest, it is a delightful place to take an easy walk, enjoying the local geology, flora, and fauna.

Padstow and Trevone Circular Walk

This circular walk is moderately strenuous, but it is also some of the best hiking you will find in Cornwall. Starting and finishing in Padstow, this route offers fantastic views, plentiful opportunities for wildlife spotting, and plenty of places to relax in Padstow after your walk. The hike is worth taking for the incredible views alone, and it covers coastal and inland areas, with towering cliffs, rolling farmland, secluded bays, and Padstow, a lovely fishing town. It is a great family walk if your dogs and children are accustomed to hiking, but it does require a fair amount of fitness, since the trail includes rocky coastal paths and cliffs. We recommend taking this walk between spring and fall, to get the most out of the experience.

The Saints Way

This long-distance trail goes from Padstow to Fowey, linking many of the sites associated with Celtic Saints from the 5th to 7th centuries. These holy places mark the path of these saints, as they travelled from Ireland to Rome, traversing Cornwall along the way. Nearly 48 kilometres long, this trail takes you through some of the most varied and beautiful scenery Cornwall has to offer, with rolling pastures of farmland, pre-historic ruins, ancient bridges, old tracks, churches, and picturesque villages along the way. From the northern harbour town of Padstow to the scenic Fowey nature walks, this is a walk worth taking, even if you need to stretch it over two or three days.

Start Your Hiking Adventure at The Old Quay House Hotel

Start Your Day with Hiking Adventure in Cornwall at Lizards Peninsula
Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula Hiking Trail in Cornwall, England, UK.

When you are ready to get out and explore some coastal walking trails, Fowey is a wonderful place to start your adventure. When you are ready to call it a day, The Old Quay House Hotel is the perfect place to relax and get ready for the next part of your holiday. Nestled in the heart of Fowey, this riverside boutique hotel offers a modern-day bolthole away from life’s stresses and chores. 

Check with us for special offers, and let us help make your stay even more special. Stay in one of our 13 luxurious bedrooms and you will enjoy not only big comfy beds and every amenity you need for a decadent stay, but also exquisite meals and gorgeous estuary views. 

Our location is perfect for exploring the quaint, bustling, seaside town of Fowey, enjoying its cafes, boutiques, and galleries, and our restaurant is one of most popular in the area. There, you will enjoy fine dining, with delectable menus for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, in a gorgeous setting, where you can watch life on the estuary unfold from your vantage point on the terrace. 

In a town set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we strive to provide each of our guests with a unique experience. Once a refuge for sailors, The Old Quay House is deeply connected to the area’s history, and the character of each bedroom is meticulously crafted to tell its own story, in keeping with that rich tradition. In our Victorian building, you will find friendly staff ready to make your stay comfortable and memorable, and while we cannot accommodate children under the age of 8, in most cases we welcome well-behaved, friendly dogs. Call ahead to make sure that your canine companion is allowed with your particular package.  For more information about our accommodation, special offers, or our restaurant, call +44 0172 683 3302, email [email protected], or contact us through our website.

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