Walk - Portreath to Hayle

11.7 miles (18.8 km)

Portreath Hayle

Moderate - Moderate

After leaving Portreath the Coast Path follows the cliffs with some beautiful views of rocky coves, such as the wonderfully named Ralph’s Cupboard, apparently a favoured smugglers spot for stashing loot. After just a couple of steep climbs the Path soon levels and walking becomes fairly straightforward. As you follow the sheer cliffs, surrounded by brightly coloured spring and summertime flowers, such as blue sheep’s bit, primroses and yellow rattle, look down to the contrastingly raw, jagged reefs below.

Seals are a common sight around the waters of Godrevy and Gwithian and sunfish and basking sharks have been spotted from the North Cliffs. The dunes behind the spectacular beach which stretches from Godrevy Point to the entrance of the Hayle estuary are also rich with wildlife.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Hope Farm Holidays

Eco campsite situated 1 mile from the coast. Peaceful, quiet, compost toilets, solar showers, ideal for walkers

Loggans Lodge

Loggans Lodge has 3 en-suite bedrooms equipped with Tea/Coffee facilities, fridge, TV, safe, hairdryer. Close to bars, restaurants, take-aways and a supermarket

3 Rew An Borthva

Whole luxury townhouse appartment, sea views. Discount available to Coast Path Members

Polmanter Touring Park

We offer the perfect base to explore West Cornwall offering award-winning camping facilities and 4 luxury holiday properties

The Painters Cottage Bed and Breakfast

Small friendly guest house set in historic former artist's residence with arts and crafts period features. Ideal for exploring West Cornwall and the South West Coast Path. One night stays, 4 full ensuite rooms. Evening meal available

Boskerris Hotel

Located in Carbis Bay, Boskerris hotel is a family run oasis. We have 15 individually decorated bedrooms, most of which with an outstanding panoramic ocean views.

Cohort St Ives

Educational Residential Trip Centre. Open to the public over Easter School Holidays and Summer School Holidays. Family rooms. Dorm rooms. Private rooms. Great facilities.

Ayr Holiday Park

We offer luxury holiday caravans, s/c apartments, touring & camping pitches with amazing views and facilities. Less than half a mile from beaches, town centre & harbour. Town centre 10 minute walk from the park or a short bus/taxi ride.

Tolroy Manor Holiday Park

With an Old Cornish Manor at its heart, the Park is a haven for wildlife & nature and a charming base for your walking holiday. Stay in a cottage or house and eat out in our conservatory style restaurant. Just 1 mile from Hayle Towans beach

Portreath Arms

The Portreath Arms is a family owned and run Bar, Restaurant and Hotel located in the centre of the village. The menu features good home cooked food with ever changing specials and daily locally caught fish dishes.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Flapjackery St Ives

Stop off and treat yourself or stock up for your trip along the Path with these delicious, award winning, gluten free flapjacks in a variety of flavours.

Tideline Cafe

A SMALL CAFE SERVING BREAKFAST, BRUNCH, LUNCH AND CREAM TEAS. Also daily specials and afternoon teas.

Portreath Arms Hotel

The Portreath Arms is a family owned and run Bar, Restaurant and Hotel located in the centre of the village. The menu features good home cooked food with ever changing specials and daily locally caught fish dishes

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

St Ives Information Centre

Find places to stay, eat and visit on your trip to the St Ives area

Bys Vyken Events

Bys Vyken Events are a Cornish trail race company that bring Cornwall to life through their races

Royal Buses

Local Bus Operator offering Day Trips throughout Cornwall including from 29th October 2024 a South West Coast Path walk every Sunday.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • The views from the top of Western Hill down to the harbour of Portreath and to Western Cove and the cliff paths ahead.
  • The contorted rock strata of Greenbank Cove.
  • Crane Castle: standing on the site of an Iron Age cliff castle, almost entirely lost to erosion, you look out to Crane Islands and to the Path ahead along the Reskajaege Downs, which are covered in swathes of wildflowers and heather in spring and summer.
  • The overwhelming mass of cliff and sheer drop to the sea at Hell’s Mouth.
  • Seal spotting from Navax Point, which is covered in wild flowers, pink heather and gorse in the summer months.
  • The National Trust have brought in a small herd of Shetland ponies to graze at the Knavocks and help maintain the habitat favoured by small birds and butterflies.
  • Godrevy Island and octagonal lighthouse (now solar-powered) is three and a half miles across St Ives Bay, and is thought to have been the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel `To The Lighthouse'. The island is covered in bright flowers in springtime.
  • Spotting the guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and cormorants from the North Cliffs.
  • The Red River which once carried the red iron oxide residue from the tin mines up the valley out to the sea at Gwithian.
  • Gwithian and Hayle Towans: the second largest dune system in Cornwall is home to hundreds of different species of plants, butterflies, moths and glow-worms. Apparently, St Gothian's Chapel has been buried three times under the shifting sands.
  • The 100 year-old swing bridge at the entrance to Hayle harbour.
  • The birds of Hayle Estuary.

Shorter option

Walk to Gwithian (7.6 miles, 12.2 km).

Longer option

Continue to Carbis Bay (an additional 4.5 miles, 7 km) or St Ives (an additional 6.1 miles, 9.8 km).

Public transport

The nearest train stations are Hayle and Redruth, and from both you can catch buses to Portreath. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Portreath (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR16 4LN), Crane Castle, North Cliffs, Godrevy Point, Gwithian, The Towans and Hayle.

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