St Ives- Penzance
Walking through our industrial past
Distance : 40.6 miles over 5 days. Difficulty: Challenging - the first day's walk is especially hard with rocky and sometimes wet terrain; the remainder is less diffiult but often uses rugged paths.
The start and finish points on this route have great links with the trains services. In between the two main towns, the Coast Path leads you along a wild and rugged landscape that gives you a real feeling of remoteness. The remains of tin mines are dotted all along this stretch of coast as a reminder of its industrial past and form part of the UNESCO designated Cornish Mining World Heritage site.
After a fairly gentle walk out of St Ives the route becomes more strenuous with lots of ascents and descents. There are some fantastic views from Zennor Head to Pendour Cove below and beyond to Gurnard’s Head. A detour inland to the picturesque village of Zennor is likely to be very welcome.
Further on the path passes the lighthouse at Pendeen Watch and follows the coast on rugged paths through the old mining area. It passes the mining museum at Geevor (another worthwhile inland diversion) then the Levant Mine and Beam Engine and the ruined engine houses of Botallack – including the much-photographed cliff-side Crowns Mines – before taking a tour of Cape Cornwall with views out to the rocky outcrops of The Brisons and as far out as the Isles of Scilly on a clear day.
There are many birds that inhabit the cliffs and offshore rocks on this stretch of coastline, including peregrine falcons, shags, herring gulls and rock pipits. On the approach to Land’s End, the most westerly point of England, look out for the rare Cornish Chough, that has recently returned to these shores.
As you make your way around the peninsula, there are many more highlights including the Minack Theatre, Logan Rock and the fishing ports of Mousehole and Newlyn. Upon reaching the final destination at Penzance, St. Michael’s Mount appears like a mirage on the horizon and is well worth a visit as an additional short walk at low tide from nearby Marazion.
- Day 1: St Ives to Zennor (7.5 miles - includes 1mile inland to Zennor)
- Day 2: Zennor Head to Cape Cornwall (12.2 miles - includes 1mile inland to St. Just)
- Day 3: Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove (6.1 miles - includes 1mile to Coast Path from St. Just)
- Day 4: Sennen Cove to Lamorna (11.7 miles)
- Day 5: Lamorna to Penzance (6.1 miles)