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.

Nanterrow Farm, near Gwithian

Found in the heart of a 100 acre farm, this charming late Georgian farmhouse sits within a traditional country garden in a quiet, traffic free valley.

Creekside B&B, Hayle

Creekside B&B in Hayle welcomes you warmly with ensuite rooms, free wifi & a tasty breakfast. Transport links, cafes, restaurants & shops are nearby.

Sandbank House B&B

Nestled in the sand dunes, surrounded by conservation areas, with direct access to the coast road and A30, we are in an ideal location whatever your personal holiday passion.

Sandbank Holidays, Hayle

Nestled in the sand dunes of St Ives Bay, surrounded by National Trust conservation areas, with direct access to the coastal road and the A30, sandbank is an ideal location, whatever your personal holiday passion. 

Penhayl Cottage, Lelant, St. Ives

Very quiet 5 star house with full central heating. 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms, parking, lounge overlooking Hayle Estuary RSPB reserve & SSSI. 10 minute walk to bus & inn.

Beachpads

Three stunning holiday homes (2 x 4-Bed & 1 x 2 Bed) located on the Coast Path, at Lelant in St Ives Bay with absolute sea and beach front position, unrivalled vista.

Carlill, St Ives

Stylish modern ensuite rooms. Few minutes to coast/amenities. Long parking available

The Western Hotel, St Ives

Situated in the heart of St Ives, The Western Hotel offers you comfortable accomodation for your coastal stopover.

Cohort Hostel, St Ives

Newly renovated hostel: Centre of St Ives & minutes from the coastal path. Dorms & private rooms, free WiFi, kitchen, TV room, lounge & bar.

Ayr Holiday Park, St Ives

We offer luxury holiday caravans, self catering apartments and touring & camping pitches with some of the best views and facilities you will find.

Tamarisk, St Ives

Tamarisk is only 10 minutes' walk from Porthmeor Beach and Town Centre. Away from traffic and situated on a delightful lane leading onto the cliffs carrying the south West Coast path.

Cliff House B&B, Portreath

Situated directly on the Coast Path, Cliff House in Portreath offers cosy accommodation. Rooms are bright & airy and provide everything you'll need for a comfortable stay.

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.

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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