Penzance to Falmouth

The southernmost tip of England

Penzance to Falmouth: 61 miles in 6 days at average pace.

Summary

This route includes two major Cornish ports at each end with a number of beautiful beaches and rocky cliffs in between. Much of this walk is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it takes you to the southernmost tip of England at Lizard Point. There is some extraordinary geology to look out for including serpentine, granite and schist rocks, which provide great environments for a variety of plants and wildlife. The last leg of the journey takes you past two beautiful estuaries, the Helford and the Fal leading to Falmouth, which was once the second busiest port of the British Empire.  

Highlights

As you leave Penzance and head out along the promenade towards the ancient town of Marazion, the view of St Michael’s Mount in the bay dominates with its majestic presence. A fairly easy start is followed by a narrow path that rollercoasters over the cliffs to Praa Sands.

The coastline becomesincreasingly wild and rugged around Mullion as you enter the Lizard National Nature Reserve where heather and wildflowers add colour to the dramatic scenery. Kynance Cove is particularly stunning with its white sand and turquoise sea alongside rocky stacks and wave cut arches.

It continues around the LizardPeninsula, known for its serpentine granite, which is a dark green rock veined with red and white. Keep a lookout for the distinct symbol of the county’s identity, the black crow-like Cornish Chough with its red beak and red legs.

After crossing the Helford, you pass openings to lush valleys with subtropical gardens before reaching the opening of the Fal estuary overlooked by the imposing structure of Pendennis Castle. Falmouth is reputed to have the third largest natural harbour in the world and is a great place to end a Coast Path walk with plenty of restaurants and accommodation.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Lamorna to Marazion 9.2 miles (14.8 km)
Day 2: Marazion to Porthleven 10.8 miles (17.4 km)
Day 3: Porthleven to The Lizard 14.0 miles (22.6 km)
Day 4: The Lizard to Coverack 10.4 miles (16.7 km)
Day 5: Coverack to Helford 12.9 miles (20.7 km)
Day 6: Helford to Falmouth 9.9 miles (16.0 km)

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. Lamorna to Marazion 9.2 miles (14.8 km)
  2. Marazion to Porthleven 10.8 miles (17.4 km)
  3. Porthleven to The Lizard 14.0 miles (22.6 km)
  4. The Lizard to Coverack 10.4 miles (16.7 km)
  5. Coverack to Helford 12.9 miles (20.7 km)
  6. Helford to Falmouth 9.9 miles (16.0 km)

Travel

Penzance has a mainline train station and also offers many bus routes along the south coast. From here, you can take one of the regular First Cornwall number 2 and 2A bus services to Porthleven. You can reach the Lizard from Redruth, which has a mainline train station, via Helston. The T2 bus service runs four times a day between Helston and Coverack. The Truronian T4 bus service runs regularly between Helford and Falmouth where you can catch a train back to Penzance. The Helford River Ferry is seasonal.  Tel 01326 250770 for info. For further details visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.