South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is currently England's longest National Trail and stretches for 630 miles (1,014kms) from Minehead on the Somerset Coast to Poole on the Dorset coast. It involves 115,000ft (35,000m) of ascent and passes through one National Park, two UNESCO World Heritage Site, six AONB's (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), seven National Nature Reserves, and sixteen stretches of coastline designated and protected as Heritage Coast. Eventually the South West Coast Path will be integrated into the planned England Coast Path, and become part of the longest managed and way-marked coastal path in the world.
In 2023 Footpath Holidays will be offering two stretches of the South West Coast Path; Porthcurno to Falmouth from a base in Penzance, and St Mawes to Plymouth from a base in Looe.
Taken together the two holidays will provide 149 miles (238kms) of fantastic coastal walking, but either section is a great walk in its own right.
The dates in mid-May should see the coastal flora at its very best, with the cliffs and the Cornish slate ‘hedges’ draped in carpets of thrift, sea-squill and campion.
South West Coast Path (Porthcurno to Falmouth)
Total distance covered; 72 miles (114kms)
6 days walking, based in Penzance
This 114kms (72 miles) section of the South West Coast Path runs from Porthcurno in West Penwith, in the Far West of Cornwall, to Falmouth in South Cornwall. It takes in the sweep of Mount’s Bay, the Lizard Peninsula – mainland England’s most southerly bunion of land – and the tranquil Helford Estuary.
Rugged cliff scenery between Porthcurno and Mousehole give way to gentle waterfront walking around Mount’s Bay. Beyond Gunwalloe a roller-coaster walk along the rugged Serpentine cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula before a meander through the timeless landscape of creeks, inlets and hamlets around the Helford Estuary lead into Falmouth and one of the deepest natural harbours in the world.
Highlights include The Minack, the open-air theatre carved into the side of the cliff in the 1920's in the style of an ancient Greek amphitheatre, the charming fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced “mowzel”) with its sheltered moorings enclosed by stone harbour arms; the view across Mount’s Bay to St Michael’s Mount; rocky Cudden Point and picturesque Prussia Cove; the medieval church pressed into the hillside at Gunwalloe Church Cove; the picturesque fishing villages of Mullion, Cadgwith and Coverack; the views down into rocky Kynance Cove; Lizard Point, the most southerly point on mainland Britain; the idyllic scenery around St Anthony-in-Meneage on the banks of the Helford River; the deep valleys filled with ancient oak woodlands which cut down to the coast between Helford Passage and Rosemullion Head; and the view across Falmouth Harbour from Pendennis Castle.
South West Coast Path (St Mawes to Plymouth)
Total distance covered; 77 miles (124kms)
7 days walking, based at Looe
This 124kms (77 miles) section of the South West Coast Path runs from St Mawes on the eastern side of the Fal Estuary to Plymouth and the Cornwall/Devon border.
Beyond St Mawes the Coast Path sees a transition to a greener landscape with isolated beaches, sheltered fishing villages and beautiful scenery around the coast of the Roseland Peninsula, a rugged walk along the Cornish Riviera from Portloe to Looe, then easy walking along scenic clifftops, through coastal woodland and country parks on the approach to the River Tamar and the historic city and naval port of Plymouth.
Highlights include numerous charming villages - Portscatho, Portloe and Mavagissey to name but three - the picture postcard village of Polperro, where the harbour-side cottages hang over the sea and cobbled streets wind up through the jumble of houses, the ferry crossings from St Mawes to the Roseland, from Fowey to Polruan, and from Cremyll to Plymouth, the succession of massive headlands at St Anthony Head, Nare Head, Dodman Point, Gribbin Head and Rame Head, and the walk along Plymouth’s historic waterfront.
What's included in the price of this holiday?
Holiday Options 2023
Day 1: Porthcurno to Penzance 12 miles (19kms)
Day 2: Penzance to Porthleven 14 miles (22kms)
Day 3: Porthleven to Lizard 14 miles (22kms)
Day 4: Lizard to Coverack 10 miles (16kms)
Day 5: Coverack to Helford 12 miles (19kms)
Day 6: Helford to Falmouth 10 miles (16kms)
Holiday Options 2023
Day 1: St Mawes to Portloe 13 miles (21kms)
Day 2: Portloe to Mevagissey 12 miles (19kms)
Day 3: Mevagissey to Charlestown 8 miles (13kms)
Day 4: Charlestown to Fowey 10 miles (16kms)
Day 5: Fowey to Looe 12 miles (19kms)
Day 6: Looe to Freathy 11 miles (18kms)
Day 7: Freathy to Plymouth 11 miles (18kms)
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