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England: Cornwall (Land’s End Circuit) – 5 nights

  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £735
    Longer/shorter stays possible
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £650
    Longer/shorter stays possible

Ancient trails, great tales, dramatic coastal walking…and seals!

Back to Routes
Lamorna Cove

Lamorna Cove

Pretty Mousehole harbour

Pretty Mousehole harbour

The last remnants of prehistoric tombs

The last remnants of prehistoric tombs

Newlyn harbour and distant St Michael's Mount

Newlyn harbour and distant St Michael's Mount

Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove

Post-industrial landscapes at Kenidjack

Post-industrial landscapes at Kenidjack

St Ives harbour (photo: Pixabay)

St Ives harbour (photo: Pixabay)

Longhorn cattle keep watch

Longhorn cattle keep watch

The broad sands of St Ives Bay

The broad sands of St Ives Bay

St Michael's Mount (photo: Pixabay)

St Michael's Mount (photo: Pixabay)

Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall

Tin mines cling to the cliffs at Botallack

Tin mines cling to the cliffs at Botallack

Botallack mines

Botallack mines

Price: from £650
Nights: 5
Walk: 4-6 hr/day

This is a new walk, so we don't have any walker reviews yet.

England: Cornwall (Land's End Circuit) - 5 nights - On Foot Holidays

At a glance

5 nights (4 full days walking). We recommend extra nights in St Ives to explore the town more fully.

How much walking?

Full days: 11-20km, 4-6 hrs walking
Using shortening options: No shortening options.

Max. Grade:

Ancient trails, great tales, dramatic coastal walking…and seals!

The ancient Greeks knew this part of Cornwall as Belerion, which translates as ‘Shining Land’, or a little less romantically as ‘Seat of Storms’, and it’s not hard to see why, on both counts. Of course, we like Shining Land best and although those ancient visitors were probably less-impressed by the clear blue skies, glistening azure seas and special artists’ light than by the tin mining industry that has shaped the landscape over the last millenia, there’s no doubting that this has always been a very special place indeed.

Our route is, we think, perfectly formed, offering a taste of everything a walker could wish for. This version starts by three days exploring some of the best of the South West Coastal Path. Pass through Marazion, Mousehole and Porthgwarra – all names made famous in fiction and art but as beautiful in reality as in the mind’s eye – and then explore the picturesque remains of the mining industry. Wildlife lovers will be spoilt too – watch seals as they chase fish across the bay in Lamorna and spot now rare Cornish choughs with their red feet and bills, signifying King Arthur’s violent and bloody end.

For your final walk back to St Ives, we loved the Tinner’s Way across Woon Gumpus common, with its mining heritage, stone circles, castles and quoits, leading directly to St Ives. If you prefer, you can stay on the coastal path all the way to St Ives, feeling supremely satisfied and with a smile etched from ear to ear.

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Mary and Fi.

REVIEWS: This is a new walk, so no feedback has yet been received.

COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Please read our summary of current regulations.

Route Highlights

  • St Ives and its galleries
  • The Tinner’s Way
  • Dramatic coastal walking around the Land’s End peninsula
  • Plentiful wildlife, including seals and the Cornish chough
  • Abundant folklore, ancient tales and more modern ones too
  • Relics of the Cornish tin mining industry

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Coast, Archaeology, Art, Birdwatching, Drive to route, Food, History

We Recommend

Plan a long enough stay in St Ives to fully explore this pretty town and its galleries.

Eating and drinking

Cornwall produces among the richest variety of top quality fresh produce from land and sea available anywhere in the UK. Here you will find the iconic Cornish pasty and clotted cream sitting happily alongside some of the best modern British cuisine and world-class cheeses, wines and spirits. So, take some time to seek out Cornish pasties, a clotted cream tea, saffron cake, Kern cheese, crab sandwiches, Tregothnan tea, Tarquin’s gin, St Austell’s Proper Job ale, Warren beef and local Cornish wine. Plenty to power you on a full day’s walk.

How much Walking?

Full days: 11-20km, 4-6 hrs walking
Using shortening options: No shortening options.

Challenging walking on the South West Coastal Path, where navigation is easy but the paths are rocky and there’s considerable ascent and descent. For the walk into St Ives, there’s a choice to stay on the coastal path or you can strike off inland onto the easier Tinners’ Way.  Mainly easy navigation using our notes, maps and GPS files. Coastal walking requires good boots and walking poles and some of the walking may worry the acrophobic.

Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 723m (650m-800m) per day.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone.

Important note: Times given for each day are walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.


When to go?

The best months to walk: April, May, June, September, October

Other possible months: March (from 2022 onwards), July, early November

Please note: date ranges shown are for a ‘normal’ year. While Covid-19 restrictions remain, please contact us to discuss your plans and availability.

Start Dates


Weather Chart


Temperature and rainfall chart for St Ives


About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Penzance

Arrive in Penzance, explore the town and dine well tonight.

Day 2 - Penzance to Porthcurno

A fabulous day of walking, with something for everyone. But it’s tough and long if done in its entirety so we recommend, actually, that you miss the first section of the walk by taking the bus into Mousehole (pronounced ‘Mau zel’) and starting from there, which is where the exciting coastal walking begins.

Mousehole, so named after the small entrance to its harbour, is a pretty village and it’s easy to get distracted by its charms. But don’t linger for long as Lamorna is not without appeal – seals reside in the harbour and can be seen hunting for breakfast and lazily eating their spoils, whilst floating on their backs.

From here, the path wends its undulating way along the coast with dramatic scenes around each headland: lighthouses, smugglers’ coves and even an iron age hillfort to explore. Today’s journey ends in pretty Porthcurno.

Either stay in Porthcurno for the night, or take a transfer on to Sennen Cove. (6 hrs walking time from Mousehole (allow 7 hrs), 13kms, CUSs 650m.)

Day 3 - Porthcurno to Sennen Cove

Another lovely day of dramatic coastal walking beginning in pretty Porthcurno, probably best-known for its internationally renowned Minack Theatre, fascinating Telegraph Museum and stunning natural beauty. Plan to spend some time here (the Minack and the museum must be pre-booked) before striking out across the cliffs, with views around every corner, some as far-reaching as the Isles of Scilly.

A paddle at Porthgwarra Beach is on the cards today before enjoying the lookout from Gwennap Head and then the long, relatively uninterrupted walk around Land’s End, iconic in its own right. Having posed for the ubiquitous selfies beside the signpost, leave the madding crowds behind and enjoy an easy walk down to Sennen Cove to find your accommodation, right on the coast path. (4 hrs walking time (allow 5 hrs), 11kms, CUSs 650m.)

Day 4 - Sennen Cove to Pendeen

Today’s walk begins by heading around the enormous golden expanse of Whitesand Bay, popular with surfers as they catch the Atlantic rollers. Pass mineshafts (be sure to stick to the marked path), pretty coves, fantastic headlands and ancient burial grounds on your way to Cape Cornwall, originally thought to be England’s most westerly point and certainly more charming than its successor.

Having taken some time to climb to the Cape’s lookout station, the path now passes around the Kenidjack Valley and the remains of a mining industry long past. Chimneys and old mine buildings make their indelible mark on this industrial landscape, culminating for the day just beyond the Botallack mines. Head inland to peaceful Pendeen, for your accommodation tonight, and a much-deserved, home-cooked dinner. (6 hrs walking time (allow 7 hrs), 14 kms, CUSs 800m.)

Day 5 - Pendeen to St Ives

A day of choices. For those who want to see a little more of the interior of West Penwith, follow the ancient Tinner’s Way all the way to St Ives, passing by stone circles, quoits and menhirs along the way. Woon Gumpus Common, Men-An-Tol, Ding Dong Mine and the Nine Maidens are like sirens, luring the unwary walker along the trail. The Tinner’s Way probably dates back as far as the Bronze Age and the introduction of metal working, and offers a sense of isolation that’s missed on the busier coastal path. As you begin your descent back to the sea, you can see both north and south coasts, giving a real sense of journey’s end.

For those who find the enticing draw of the coast path too much to resist, consider doing the first part of the Tinner’s Way to the Gurnards Head Inn near Zennor and then joining the much tougher coastal path for your triumphant entry into St Ives. You could also head back to the coast path to complete the whole walk, but, unless you have planned a stop in Zennor for the night, it’s a long, tough walk… (Tinner’s Way: 6 hrs walking time (allow 7 hrs), 20 kms, CUSs 790m).

Departure day

Depart for home or, better still, stay longer to enjoy this very special part of England.

Travel Information

Penzance is well served by rail via London/Exeter, with a regular daily service.

Sample journey by rail:
Via London: Paddington to Penzance (1-2 changes), c. 5 hours.

We suggest for times, ticket booking and other information.

Please let us know if you plan to drive to Penzance so that we can help with your parking arrangements, which are not cheap.  

For those coming from further afield, the best “local” airport is Newquay (45 minutes drive away) or Exeter or Bristol.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for more detailed transfer information.


Getting to the start of the walk

Your accommodation is booked within easy walking distance of the railway station.

If you plan to drive, please ensure that you have made parking plans as it can be expensive and may not necessarily be close to your accommodation. On Foot can help with the arrangements.

For those arriving by air, transfer times and methods are suggestions from London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports, but if you arrive at Newquay, Bristol or Exeter airports, then transfer times will be shorter in most cases (contact us for advice).


Outward: Gatwick Express to Reading, train to Penzance with possible change at Plymouth (c. 7 hrs).  Other routes via London may be quicker, depending on your arrival time at Gatwick.

Return: Train from St Ives to Reading (change at St Erth and possibly Plymouth too), Gatwick Express to Gatwick Airport (c. 7 hrs).


Outward: Heathrow Express to London Paddington, train to Penzance with possible change at Plymouth (c. 6 hrs).

Return: Train from St Ives to London Paddington (change at St Erth and possibly Plymouth too), Heathrow Express to Heathrow Airport (c. 6 hrs).

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

In St Ives we can offer a choice of inns and hotels to suit your budget. In Penzance you’ll stay in a lovely old pub close to the station and seafront. In Porthcurno, it’s a comfortable B&B (but small, so your dates may be limited) and we have chosen a newly-extended inn on Sennen Cove, where many of the newer rooms have great sea views. In Pendeen, it’s a fabulous local restaurant with rooms, before heading back to St Ives once more.

Penzance – The Longboat Inn (B&B)

Night 1

Penzance – The Longboat Inn (B&B)

Traditional, family-run inn, close to the harbour.

Porthcurno – Seaview House (B&B)

Night 2

Porthcurno – Seaview House (B&B)

Small and friendly B&B, a short walk from the lovely cove.

Sennen Cove – Old Success Inn (B&B)

Night 3

Sennen Cove – Old Success Inn (B&B)

A bright and cheery inn, overlooking a wide beach popular with surfers.

Pendeen – Field House (dinner, B&B)

Night 4

Pendeen – Field House (dinner, B&B)

A cosy B&B with a big welcome, and perfectly placed for the setting sun.

St Ives – The Western Hotel (B&B)

Night 5

St Ives – The Western Hotel (B&B)

An old coaching inn, centrally positioned, with live music.

St Ives – Pedn Olva (B&B)

Night 5 (Upgrade)

St Ives – Pedn Olva (B&B)

A contemporary hotel with great views of the harbour and bay. Outdoor heated pool.

Staying in St Ives and Penzance
Both St Ives and Penzance have a big range of accommodation to choose from, so if we’ve not listed something that appeals, then do let us know and we will do our best to source something that works better for you.

If you want to bring your four-legged walking partner, or would prefer a
hotel with all mod-cons, or are looking for something a little more bijoux, then please ask and we will do our best to help.






Price: from £650 for 5 nights

Total 5 nights in double/twin room, 5 breakfasts, 1 dinner; luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £245
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £115

Maximum party size: 8



Add Ons

Extra nights: Contact On Foot
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK:  £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)




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This route has been designed by the staff team at On Foot Holidays in Salisbury.

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