Posted by gblog On June - 4 - 2013

Cornwall is such a unique and beautiful part of the country (the world even) but most of us will only see it whizzing by as we drive from town to town and beach to beach. It is a quiescent county of great diversity; from dramatic, rugged coastlines to gorgeous white beaches and pastoral countryside. So put the car away and get your walking boots on. This isn’t a thorough and comprehensive guide to the entire SW coast (all 630 miles of it) but it will hopefully give you some great ideas on what to do and where to go.

Fowey

Fowey (pronounced FOY) is a stunning town located just east of St Austell. Padstow and St Ives might grab all the headlines, but Fowey must be seen. You will make your way through a series of steep, winding streets before being rewarded with a bustling town of markets and fantastic shops. There are plenty of lovely eateries and pubs, and there are some truly world-class views of the Fowey river and the English Channel beyond. Literary fans can also visit the Daphne Du Maurier literary centre or take a take a nice stroll through the beautiful streets of Fowey and visit the house of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch; the poet, novelist and Bard of Cornwall. The SW coastal path breaks when it hits Fowey, so take this opportunity to visit this very pretty town, treat yourself to a cream-tea and reconvene the other side.

Gorran Haven

Haven by name and haven by nature. Often overshadowed by Mevagissey, Gorran Haven is a stunning coastal and fishing village well off the beaten track – but not off the coastal path. In fact, the SW coast path takes you right through it! This is a very quiet and sleepy Hamlet and will provide the perfect respite from your long and arduous trek, and there are some lovely hotels and pubs to stop and have a bite (or sleep) in. Alternatively just find a bench, sit back and enjoy the glorious views across the Channel before you continue on your journey.

St Mawes

St Mawes is another one of those locations that elicits looks of bewilderment from people, and I must admit that whenever I have been I have found it to be surprisingly low on the tourist count. It is a hidden gem; a beautiful village cherished by the Royal family no less. Water sports, boat rides, fishing and even a castle can all be found in this remarkable little village. Owing to its sheltered position at the end of the Roseland Peninsula and the climate it enjoys, St. Mawes plays host to some incredible plant life and animal life, so there is plenty for you lovers of flora and fauna. If you time your visit right and go on a hot day you will think you have reached a subtropical paradise.

Minack Open Air Theatre and Porthcurnow Beach

As you reach the tip of Cornwall near St Levan you will find that you are really out in no man’s land. There are few roads – just fields, cliffs, beaches and glorious views. But none are as glorious as the Porthcurnow beach. There are two ways to get to it, one is a long stretch of pathway from the car park, the other is a cliff walk for those as sure-footed as a mountain goat. The reward is a beautiful and secluded bay of fine white sand, cerulean blue sea and, if you are lucky (I was once), a visit from a pod of dolphins. While in the area you should also visit the Minack Open Air Theatre for a truly unique experience. What could be more dramatic than watching a performance of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as the waves crash all around you?

Establish your aims or goals, book your hotels and B&Bs and do as much or as little as you want. It is such a great way to see Cornwall; a county that you might think you know much about, but which can continually surprise you. But beware, it may seem small-fry compared to the walks you have previously done, but it is deceptively long and deceptively demanding. One final thing, always check before you go for any diversions that have been created; it could throw your plans into disarray.

Featured images:

Adam works alongside World Walks, who provide walking holidays in England. He is a keen walking enthusiast, often travelling to places like the beautiful Cotswolds and Peak District at the weekends to stretch his legs!

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Categories: Europe

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