Newquay to St Ives
From surfing to artists via the mines
Newquay to St Ives 42.8 miles/ 5 days
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.
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.
- Day 1 - Newquay to Holywell (8.1 miles)
- Day 2 - Holywell to Trevaunce Cove (for St Agnes) (8.4 miles) + distance to St Agnes
- Day 3 - Trevaunce Cove to Portreath (8.4 miles)
- Day 4 - Portreath to Gwithian (7.6 miles)
- Day 5 - Gwithian to St Ives (10.3 miles)