West Cornwall

A rugged and artsy section of the Coast Path; teeming with wildlife, steeped in legend, and peppered with dramatic granite cliffs and crumbling engine houses.

From the cliffs west of Newquay, this section will lead you to scenic sandy beaches like Holywell Bay, Perranporth and Carbis Bay before arriving in artsy St Ives, an old fishing port of medieval origin. Beyond St Ives the coast encircles two great peninsulas: Penwith, the westernmost part of England, and the Lizard, the southernmost. Both have a unique character with lots to explore along the way. One not to be missed is the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) that celebrates Cornish mining heritage. Here you can spot the sea-lashed engine house at Botallack mine, go underground at Geevor Tin Mine and see a working beam engine in action at Levant mine. This area is of course popular amongst Poldark fans too, where you can visit some of the most popular filming locations from the show. You can also take a pew at the famous Minack Theatre for an alfresco performance, or just to admire the sublime views, subtropical gardens and exhibition centre.

The Minnack Theatre and Porthcurno Beach by Benjamin Elliot

Between these two magnificent peninsulas is the iconic Mount’s Bay, site of the fairy-tale-like setting of St Michael’s Mount. The bay is also home to a number of coastal towns; Penzance, the main centre for this far western part of Cornwall; Marazion, with its ancient origins; the fishing port of Newlyn and picturesque Mousehole. East of the Lizard, the quiet wooded estuary of the Helford River is followed by the extensive estuary of the River Fal, which marks the end of this section.

Dolphins at St Michaels Mount. Photographer Mark Marlow

Our work in the area

It costs £1,400 to look after a mile of the Coast Path for a year, so here in West Cornwall it costs over £200,000 every year to keep this 144 mile section open and accessible. Over the years, we have carried out various projects from Newquay all the way round to Falmouth. These projects came about for a variety of reasons such as; storm damage, poor drainage, erosion (both natural and from Path use) along with much needed repairs to and replacement of everything from signs to timber steps and kissing gates. Find out more about past projects here.

Key project

Find local Way Maker Businesses

All our Way Makers help us look after the Path, so supporting them means you'll be helping too.

Tourist Information Centres 

To find even more free information about visiting this area, check out the local Tourist Information Centres.