Walk - St Ives to Pendeen

13.7 miles (22.0 km)

St Ives Pendeen

Challenging - Severe. This is one of the toughest sections of the entire Path, due to the rocky and sometimes boggy ground, and so progress is slower than you may anticipate - but the views make up for it.

A fairly gentle walk out of St Ives to Clodgy Point soon becomes a strenuous journey of roller coaster climbs as the Coast Path plunges down towering cliffs into beautiful coves and back up again. This is a particularly difficult section and there is a real feeling of remoteness here, unlike any other part of the Coast Path.

The landscape is beautifully wild and rugged and the area around the parish of Zennor is designated both an Environmentally Sensitive Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The path can be narrow and rough in places and all amenities require inland detours, so it is advisable to allow plenty of time and stock up on provisions at the beginning of the day.

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.

Boswednack Manor B&B

Spacious granite farmhouse Bed and Breakfast in unique and unspoilt surroundings on the beautiful north coast of the Land's End peninsula.
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The Tinner's Arms

Built in 1271, The Tinners Arms has been at the heart of Zennor for over 700 years. Pub, restaurant and small B&B.

The Gurnard's Head

With the South West Coast Path just a 5-minute walk from the back door, the 7-bedroom Gurnard’s Head hotel offers "the simple things in life done well".

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.

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.

The Old Chapel, Pendeen

B&B at £35pppn in twin or double with own access sleeping up to 6, or in double with shared facilities. Singles welcome. Ideal base for St Ives to Penzance section. WiFi.

Chy Lowena Holiday Cottage, Boscaswell

Chy Lowena is a large granite cottage in Boscaswell sleeping 6, with beautiful mature gardens and sea views and only a footstep from the Coast Path.

The North Inn, Pendeen

Traditional pub offering comfortable B&B, campsite at the rear. Ideally located for South West Coast Path.

The Western Hotel, St Ives

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

Carlill, St Ives

Highly recommended licensed accommodation with sea view, ensuite bedrooms, central heating, wifi, close to Path. 5mins walk to beach,town,bus and rail. Parking available.

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.

Wild Rambling

Guided walking adventures. Experience stunning views and fascinating history of the coast and countryside of St Ives and Penwith.

Explore In Cornwall

We provide guided day and half day walks on the South West Coast Path across Cornwall and other parts of the Trail. These are guided by Steve Crummay who has 30+ years experience of working in Cornwall's amazing coast and countryside.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • Seal spotting from Mussel Point and watching the Atlantic crashing against the offshore Carrack Rocks.
  • Crossing the stream and looking at the rugged cliffs and giant fingers of granite above Wicca Pool.
  • Fantastic views from Zennor Head to Pendour Cove below. You may be able to see dolphins from here. The field systems in this area date from the Bronze Age and are still farmed sensitively so as to enhance wildlife and protect historic features.
  • Pendour Cove, with views beyond to Gurnard’s Head. This cove is also known as Mermaid’s Cove and legend has it that if you sit above the cove at twilight on a summer’s evening you may hear the singing of a man who fell in love with a mermaid and followed her out to sea.
  • Standing on the windswept rocky headland of Gurnard’s Head. There are remains of an ancient settlement and cliff castle here.
  • Bosigran Castle: the site of an Iron Age cliff fort. This rocky area is very popular with climbers.
  • Portheras Cove: there are often seals spotted around this secluded, sandy cove. Although incredibly beautiful and fairly unpopulated, please note that it is inadvisable to swim from this beach, or to walk on it barefoot, due to the possibility that there may still be metal fragments left from the dynamited wreck the Alacrity which ran aground in 1963.
  • Pendeen Lighthouse opened in 1900 to aid ships along what is said to be one of the most dangerous stretches of coast in Britain. Part of the lighthouse can be rented as holiday accommodation through Trinity House and Rural Retreats.

Shorter option

There are a very limited number of settlements offering refreshments and accommodation close to the Coast Path and therefore if you wish to shorten the walk you would be better to walk a distance and then catch a bus to St Ives, Penzance or St Just.

Public transport

The nearest train stations are St Ives and Penzance. Buses go to Pendeen from both towns. 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

St Ives (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR26 1TG), inland from Bosigran Castle and Pendeen.

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