Newquay to St Ives

From surfing to artists via the mines

Newquay to St Ives 42.8 miles/ 5 days

Summary 

This walk takes you from the heart of the British surfing industry in Newquay to the artist’s haven of St Ives, passing various sandy beaches and secluded coves in between. It includes part of the UNESCO designated Cornish Mining World Heritage Site around St Agnes where the remains of tin mines offer a glimpse of its industrial past. It is also part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, most of which is along the coastline where there’s a rich diversity of plant and animal life that adds further fascination for a walk on the Coast Path.                           

Highlights 

After leaving Newquay harbour the path crosses the famous Fistral beach and continues on across the river Gannel, which varies depending on the season. You will need to plan ahead and check times of tides and weather conditions.

It then takes you along rugged cliff tops with remnants of the mining industry dotted along the coastline, which forms part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The remains of the tin mines at Wheal Coates are a particularly impressive backdrop to this dramatic coast.

This next stretch of coast towards Hayle is ablaze with bright colourful flowers in spring and summertime, while the rocks below are popular with seals at Godrevy and Gwithian. Miles of golden sand are backed by dunes from Godrevy to the Hayle estuary.

The views out to Godrevy island and its lighthouse are thought to have inspired Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’. As you reach St Ives you can admire the special quality of light that has attracted artists here for many years and visit the galleries, including Tate St Ives.

Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Newquay to Holywell (8.1 miles)
  2. Day 2 - Holywell to Trevaunce Cove (for St Agnes) (8.4 miles) + distance to St Agnes
  3. Day 3 - Trevaunce Cove to Portreath (8.4 miles)
  4. Day 4 - Portreath to Gwithian (7.6 miles)
  5. Day 5 - Gwithian to St Ives (10.3 miles)

Relevant section guides

We have split the path into 52 sections, and for each one have produced a section guide. These pages do not aim to replace the guidebooks, but aim to give a flavour of what each section is like, and show you about the highlights and places of interest along the route, along with links to accommodation information and much more. The relevant section guides for this walk are:-

  1. Newquay to Perranporth 12.6 miles (20.2 km)
  2. Perranporth to Portreath 12.4 miles (19.9 km)
  3. Portreath to Hayle 11.7 miles (18.9 km)
  4. Hayle to St Ives 6.1 miles (9.8 km)

 

Travel

There are a number of train and bus services running between Plymouth and the Newquay area, including the direct National Express coach service 505 and the First Great Western trains to Par and then Newquay. Bus links from either Truro or Redruth train stations take you to Portreath. First Great Western trains run directly from the mainline station in Plymouth to Hayle. The Western Greyhound bus service 501 runs from Hayle to Portreath and stops at Gwithian. First Great Western trains runs direct from Plymouth to St Ives. For further details visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.