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For this month’s photo gallery, we’re delighted to have teamed up with photographer Andy Cox, whose website
cornwallwithacamera.com features some of the most stunning shots we’ve ever seen of this truly beautiful part of the UK. Andy has lived there for nearly all of his life – few people know the magic and charm of Cornwall’s breath-taking landscapes better than him. All of the photos you can see in this gallery, plus many more, can be purchased as prints and photo gifts from his website, and you can also find him on Facebook and Instagram. Andy has also taken many photos of other parts of the UK, most notably the Isles of Scilly, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands.
Most importantly, every location featured in this gallery is visited on one or more of our Cornwall walking or cycling holidays – so you can enjoy the magnificence of these places in the flesh. Booking for 2019 is now open, so what are you waiting for?
Cheesering at sunset
Godrevy Lighthouse at sunset
Godrevy Lighthouse in a storm
Bodmin Moor in golden light
High tide sunset at St Michael's Mount
Poly Joke, Pentire
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes
As proud supporters of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall, we are excited to announce that this year the English long-distance trail is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The path spans 630 miles between Minehead and Poole and is one of the UK’s National Trails. We have divided it up in several sections for both walkers and cyclists and these trips cross landscapes with special status. There are, for example, the UNESCO listed areas of Jurassic Coast in Devon and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.
Originally, the path had served as a route for coastguards to trace smugglers and their activities on the sea. The coastguards walked between lighthouses, often at the end of the cliffs to be able to look down into the coves and bays. The creation of the trail that we can hike today was done in sections, with the last section completed in 1978. It still follows much of the original route and thanks to England’s right-of-way laws it even allows visitors to pass through private property. Walkers along the South West Coast Path follow undulating trails, walk through moorlands & charming fisherman towns, and can take in panoramic views of the Bristol Channel, English Channel and Celtic Sea from the high viewpoints.
To mark the occasion, the team at South West Coast Path Association who maintain the path, have created a challenge of raising £40,000 by the end of October 2018. If you are planning to walk the path this year, you will find along the trail many other activities to celebrate the path. And if you are feeling generous, you can find information of how to donate to the path here.
Walk the Highlights of the South West Coastal Path with Sherpa Expeditions
Cycle the South West Coast Path with Sherpa Expeditions
For more information on each section, please download the trip notes from this website or feel free to discuss your queries directly with our team in London.
In the southwest of England, you can find the longest and, perhaps, the finest trail of the country: the 630-mile long South West Coastal Path. Almost half of which covers the stunning county of Cornwall. Made famous through the Doc Martin TV series and the Poldark books & TV series, there is a plethora of interesting places to visit in Cornwall.
White sandy beaches, turquoise waters, rugged cliffs and even palm trees dot the long coastline that also has kept enough space for cute fishing villages to try a famous Cornish pasty. With a mild climate (that is classed as oceanic according to the Köppen classification), Cornwall is a holiday region that comes with many things to do for the active visitor.
If you are searching for holiday inspiration, we believe that the below ten places to visit in Cornwall will certainly trigger your interest.
Bustling with people aspiring for St Michael's Mount, Marazion has some claim to be the oldest town in Britain. At least it was mentioned by Siculus in the 1st Century BC as the port from which tin was shipped to Brittany in France. The monastery sits on the civil parish of St Michael’s Mount and can only be reached via man-made causeway during low tide. It was probably built sometime between the 8th-11th Centuries under the rule of Edward the Confessor. Not surprisingly, it was a dependence of Mont St Michel in France that you can visit on one of UTracks’ cycling trips in Brittany.
Porthleven is a pleasant harbour town that mainly developed during the last century. Today it is still a working port and one of the great places to visit in Cornwall. It houses a fascinating three-section harbour that gets closed off with wooden baubles in stormy weather, usually out of season. Loe Bar, Loe Pool and Penrose Estate are all worth to explore on foot if you arrive early.
If you are looking for some charming places to go on your visit to Cornwall, may we suggest to consider Gunwalloe to the west of Lizard peninsula? It is here that the first transatlantic radio signals were transmitted by Marconi, the inventor of the radio. Visit Poldhu Point Monument and the Marconi Centre for more information on this achievement.
The Church Cove right between Gunwalloe and Poldhu is where the Church of St Winwalloe squats beside the beach. The church has a separate bell tower, which is dug into the cliff wall and also well worth a visit.
Portloe: Step Back in Time
A very popular place is Portloe, which, thankfully, due to the lack of horizontal space has changed little over the years. It is said that only one new house has been built since the Second World War, leaving the layout and feel of the town virtually as it was over 200 years ago. This harbour of an inlet sits in a 'cramped and dramatic situation' where smuggling, fishing and drinking used to go hand in hand. You can almost still smell the rum when you navigate its picturesque old streets.
Relax in Falmouth
Falmouth is a leading resort on the south west coast and allegedly the third largest natural harbour in the world. The Cornish town has many things to do and you can for example wander its bustling waterfront, relax at one of its four bathing beaches, or visit for example Pendennis Castle, constructed by Henry VIII. Other things to do in Falmouth are sailing, golfing on the golf course, visiting a former post office packet station, gardens, or the maritime museum to learn more about the strong maritime tradition of the town.
Well worth visiting in Veryan are its round houses: 19th Century circular buildings with thatched roofs and a cross. Besides that, there are an interesting church, an art gallery and a tumulus at Carne, which is the supposed burial mound of King Geraint. Nearby Caerhays Castle is designed by John Nash and has famous gardens which are open between mid-February and June.
Learn about Porthallow & Porthoustock
The secluded coves on the east of Lizard Peninsula between Porthallow and Porthoustock are notable for angling. Closeby St Keverne is a pleasant village that you may like to make a detour for. It has a pleasant village square and is known for its remarkable churchyard in which 400 shipwreck victims of the nearby Manacle Reef are buried. Check out the beaches at Porthallow, Porthoustock, Housel Bay and Kennack Sands.
Still very much a fishing port, Mevagissey is the largest city in St Austell Bay. Cob cottages spill down to the harbour walls from the steep sided valley and you can visit the beaches at Portmellon and Gorran Haven. Mevagissey also houses an interesting model railway exhibition.
Travel to St Mawes
If you are keen about sailing, one of the places to visit in Cornwall is St Mawes. It is a popular sailing centre on Roseland and overlooks Falmouth. The port is quite sheltered and is relatively remote. Spend some time at the small beach and fine cloverleaf St Mawes Castle that dates back to 1542 and is open year-round.
The picture postcard village on Helford River is not to be missed on your walking holiday in Cornwall. It is a yachtsman’s haven full of activity and you can take it all in during a lunch at the pub near Frenchman’s Creek made famous by author Daphne du Maurier.
On the Cornwall Coastal Path you can really escape the crowds, dipping in and out of coves and harbours and ascending beside dramatic cliffs, up to high viewpoints, along promontories and back down to expansive beaches.
Experience Cornwall for yourself on any of the below trips:
- Cornish Coastal Path (North): Padstow to St. Ives - 8 days
A beautiful part of the South West Coastal Path, this northern section undulates along the coast between the popular resorts of Padstow and St. Ives, visiting the surfer’s paradise of Newquay.
- Cornish Coastal Path (West): St. Ives to Penzance - 8 days
This section of the Cornwall Coast path contains generally shorter days than either our Cornwall North and South tours, allowing you more time to spend in coves, on beaches, or up on the cliff moorlands.
- Cornish Coastal Path (South): Marazion to Mevagissey - 8 days
Explore the most scenic and varied part of the Cornish coast, on either side of Lizard Head, the southern-most tip of mainland Britain.
- Cornish Coastal Path: Padstow to Penzance - 13 days
Enjoy a stunning 106 miles/170 km walk along the Cornish Coastal Path. Dip in and out of coves and harbours, ascend beside dramatic cliffs to panoramic viewpoints, idle along promontories and explore the expansive beaches, which out of the high season, can be all but deserted.
- Cornish Coastal Path: St Ives to Mevagissey - 14 days
This section of the South West Coast Path encompasses a vast array of coastal landscapes from the dramatic cliffs of Lands End, the impressive coves of Mullion and Kynance, famous resort towns such as St Ives & Penzance and smaller fishing villages.
If you're looking to settle yourself down for a few days to get that true experience of a small place that seems to have stood still in time, there's no need to look any further. Here are 10 charming coastal villages that offer exactly that.
Often a small market square where the local delicatessen shop is your go-to point for the best cheeses, the olives served are as fresh as you've ever had and shaded terraces serve wines directly from the vineyard… all this in close proximity to our friendly guest houses and family-run hotels. These types of villages along the coastlines of Europe form a great base for a few days of exploring on foot or by bike as they are a pleasant distance to rugged cliffs, quiet beaches, inland woods and pastures, groves, and mountain foothills.
Breathe in Europe through 10 of its most charming coastal villages.
Agios Georgios tis Pegeias – Cyprus
Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is situated about 400m from the coast and has a small fishing harbour and beach area. The surrounding area is mainly agricultural with bananas and citrus fruit, a few tavernas, two churches and the ruins of an early Christian basilica.
It is locally claimed that the sunset from Agios Georgios tis Pegeias is the most beautiful on the island of Cyprus. Perhaps the best place to be to view this spectacle is above the cliff next to the St. Georges Restaurant, above the fishing harbour or on the coast itself.
Flam – Norway
When you walk down to Flam, you’ll experience a beautiful trail that follows the lush valley route through woods and pastures in Norway. There’s always the sounds of rushing waters and when you eventually drop down to the Aurlandsfjord, a branch off Sognefjord, you’ll enter Flam.
The small coastal village of Flam has several restaurants serving local & traditional Norwegian meals (think of berries and salmon) and one of Norway’s most popular craft beer breweries can be found here. Out of town, enjoy a panoramic view of the Aurlandsfjord, take one of the most scenic bicycle rides in Norway, and hop on the famous Flam Railway.
Collioure – Vermillion Coast, France
Flower-decked Collioure is a very pretty little town set against the foothills of the Alberes Range near France’s Vermillion Coast. It has an idyllic setting with sun, sea and sky attracting lots of travellers each year. The seaside town consists of two little fishing ports separated by the mediaeval castle on a spur.
Did you know? This former fishing port was the birthplace of the Fauve movement of painters in the early 20th century, led by Matisse, and today still is a colourful place attracting painters and photographers alike.
St Peter Port – Guernsey
St. Peter Port, Guernsey Island’s capital, is a bustling, friendly place with a row of attractive harbours and marinas set under a steeply terraced townscape, with some remarkably well-preserved buildings from the 1700s and 1800s. Visit Castle Cornet, the 800-year old fortress, the restored Victorian Gardens, the house where Victor Hugo stayed, or just relax along the promenade with its array of pubs and restaurants.
At certain high points in the coastal town you can see the other Channel Islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney - and the coast of Normandy in France.
Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, perhaps the most interesting town of the five Cinque Terre villages, is occupied by little fishing and day trip boats. The Italian seaside town has mediaeval tower blocks that are crammed together overlooking an inlet of intense aquamarine colour. The buildings are all painted in bright pastel shades, complementing the natural Mediterranean light.
Bowness-on-Solway – Scotland
The views from Bowness-on-Solway on the border between Scotland and England are special for several reasons. This is the western end of the Hadrian’s Wall tour - behind are rolling hills and country lanes while in front is the beautiful expanse of the Solway Firth.
The coastal village of Bowness-on-Solway has less than 100 houses and is the site of the Roman fort of Maia.
Ajaccio – Corsica, France
Ajaccio, the capital town of Corsica, lies on the island’s rugged west coast. Although a busy cosmopolitan Mediterranean coastal town, it is a pleasant place to spend a few days. Enjoy the impressive harbour and old winding streets where you’ll have plenty of choice of little restaurants and boutique shops.
Did you know that it was on this seaside town that Napoleon Bonaparte was born? You can visit his home, which is now a museum.
St Ives – Cornwall, England
In England, magical St Ives is a town of art, ice creams and fish ‘n’ chips. Protected from Atlantic storms, St Ives was once the most important fishing port in Cornwall, but like elsewhere on the surrounding coast, by the beginning of the 20th century, the fish stocks became depleted and the fishing fleet largely disappeared.
However as early as 1811 Turner visited to paint the seascapes and by the late 1880s there were several artists installed, and the town became famous for its vibrant artists’ colony. This perhaps reached its peak during the late 1940s and the 1950s. Today their work can be seen in the St Ives Tate Gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Bernard Leach Gallery. We offer several holidays that include a stay in St Ives.
Porto – Portugal
In Porto, famous for its port and wine, there are lots of traditional tascas (taverns) that serve marine cuisine. Explore for example vibrant Ribeira district down by the quays. The city is located right between the Green (Costa Verde) and Silver (Costa de Prata) coasts of Portugal and forms part of the Douro Valley.
To get the best idea of this Portuguese coastal city with a small-town feel, we suggest a walking itinerary taking in the famous sites such as the Cathedral and churches of 'Igreja de sto Ildefonso' and the 'Igreja Clerigos' with its monumental tower. Maybe walk along the upper and lower spans of the famous Luis I Road Bridge and admire the riverside districts of the old towns on both river banks. For those with extra time in Porto, why not take a trip across the river to the other town, 'Vila Nova de Gaia'.
Santa Caterina – Sardinia, Italy
When you descend from the Montiferru Mountains on a walking holiday in Sardinia, you’ll walk into Santa Caterina di Pittinuri, located on the coast. Santa Caterina is a quiet bay surrounded by oak forests, olive groves and quiet pastures. This is a small coastal village, with just one small shop and a couple of bars. There’s also a nice 4-star hotel located right on the coast on a cliff at the edge of the beach with an excellent restaurant overlooking the sea. What more do you need besides a good glass of local wine, fresh produce from the island and the charming village life passing by?
One of our favourite walks in England are the trails following the Dorset Coast Path. This route is part of the South West Coast Path an area of outstanding geological importance (named the Jurassic Coast of England) and our walking holiday in Dorset provides great variety.
To help you get a better picture of what our walks in Dorset are like and to help you plan your hiking trip, we asked Lisa, our Dorset expert, to answer a few questions. We hope it helps you on your way!
What is the best way to get to the start of the Dorset walking holiday?
“Sherpa Expeditions’ Dorset and Wessex Trail walk starts in Lyme Regis. The easiest way to reach the start is by train from London’s Waterloo Station to Axminster train station. From there you can take a direct bus to Lyme Regis that stops across the street from your hotel.”
What is the best time to visit Dorset for hiking?
“Although you will find many quiet areas whilst walking, in summer Dorset’s coastal villages can get rather crowded. So, if you like the idea of less crowds, you should plan your walking trip in spring or late summer, until the end of September.”
What is accommodation on Sherpa’s Dorset walking holiday like?
“When you join our walks in Dorset we will have accommodation arranged in a mixture of quaint B&Bs and rooms in traditional English pubs.”
What are the walking conditions in Dorset like?
“We grade this trip as introductory to moderate and you will see that the path is like a roller coaster. Our Dorset walking holiday includes cliff walking which is very steep at times, beach walking, optional town walks, and walking in woodlands and grassy paths.”
To what other region in England can you compare the walks in Dorset?
“The only other walk I can compare the walks in Dorset with is walking in Cornwall due to climbing up and down the rugged cliffs. However, the scenery in Cornwall is very different and I think both are equally beautiful.”
If walkers have more time available, what can they combine the walks in Dorset with?
“I just mentioned Cornwall to be offering similar walking conditions as Dorset and our choice of walking holidays in Cornwall are nice walks to tag along. Cornwall is just down the coast to the west so it is easy to combine the two regions.”
What is the food in Dorset and south west England like?
“There are great fish & chips shops and restaurants around Dorset, which serve fresh catches from the sea daily. The Hive Café on the beach at Burton Bradstock (just past West Bay) often serves fresh lobster, not to be missed!”
Doesn’t it always rain in England?
“Down south where Dorset is, the English weather is much better than, for example, Scotland. The weather is generally warmer and more settled on England’s south coast than in other parts of Britain and in Dorset it’s even warmer than in Cornwall or Devon. So the general idea of ‘it always rains in Britain’ certainly does not apply to Dorset with its temperate maritime climate!”
How well way-marked is the Dorset walk?
“The walk is very well way-marked and you follow a mixture of signs from a white acorn to coloured arrows on gates.”
If you have more questions for Lisa or would like to read more about our Dorset and Wessex Trails walking holiday, you can download the trip notes via the button on the trip page or get in touch with us by email or phone. Sherpa Expeditions walking holidays to Dorset depart daily between late March and late October.
Our team member Trina went to visit Cornwall in September and walk parts of the South West Coast Path.
We asked her about some of the best reasons to visit Cornwall for a walking or cycling holiday and she shared with us the 5 most impressive viewpoints, 5 dishes or snacks to try, 5 favourite pubs, the top 5 villages to visit, and 5 of the best beaches in Cornwall. To learn about them all and find out where to go in Cornwall, have a look at her recommendations!
5x Cornwall’s Interesting Food
1. cornish pasty
It is only fitting that a local bakery, the Chough Bakery in Padstow are the 2016 Cornish Pasty World Champions. This traditional bake was carried down the mines by the tin miners. Originally some had one side savoury with a fruit or jam end for desert. The crimpled side was held onto but then discarded uneaten as it would be tainted by toxins on the hands from the mining operation especially arsenic. Today you can eat it all!
2. treleavens ice cream
They have produced ice cream using traditional methods in Cornwall for the past 15 years: ingredients include milk from Trewithen Dairy near Lostwithiel and Tamar Fruits for berries. Flavours include After Eight, Gooseberry Fool and of course the classic Cornish Vanilla. Their ice cream is sold in shops and cafes throughout Cornwall.
3. Starey Gazey Pie (if you dare)
A pie with pilchards or sardines’ heads looking at you from the crust. It is most notably linked to the village of Mousehole, where pies are prepared on the 23rd December in memory of Tom Bawcock. The romantic story goes that one winter after storms had kept the local fishermen on dry land, the villagers were close to starving. A local widower, Tom Bawcock, decided enough was enough, and that he would take out his boat, along with his crew, and faithful cat Mowzer, to brave the rolling seas. He returns home with 7 different types of fish to feed his community; the landlady of the Ship Inn created a pie for the families, and the infamous dish was born.
4. Fish & Chips
Again a staple in Cornwall! One of the best places is ‘Roland’s Happy Plaice’ in Porthleven, named one of the ‘best places to eat Fish & Chips in Britain’. The ’Plaice’ has an eccentric range of Cuckoo clocks, which instead of Cuckoos coming out, have elephants and cows and other animals. If you're on the stunning Roseland Peninsular and you're looking for fish and chips track down the Atlantic Fryer van. He's in Portscatho every Tuesday and Friday. The fish and chips are simply mouthwatering, amazing cod loin fried in an amazing light batter cooked in beef dripping accompanied by great chips.
5. Cornish Cream Tea
It is different to the Devon one as the cream is on the top of the jam! In Cornwall, cream tea was traditionally served with a "Cornish split", a type of slightly sweet white bread roll, rather than a scone. But nowadays the scones and clotted cream used throughout tearooms in both counties are very similar and therefore the main difference is how you choose to have it. However, for Cornish Cream Teas it’s easier to spread and you can taste the cream better on top! You wouldn’t put cream on the bottom of a fruit salad, would you?
5x Impressive Viewpoints on Your Walks in Cornwall
1. Above Zennor Cove
A beautiful rugged cove described by D.H Lawrence as: "At Zennor one sees infinite Atlantic, all peacock-mingled colours, and the gorse is sunshine itself. Zennor is a most beautiful place: a tiny granite village nestling under high shaggy moor-hills and a big sweep of lovely sea beyond, such a lovely sea, lovelier even than the Mediterranean..... It is the best place I have been in, I think".
2. The View Above St Ives Harbour
Looking down across the crystal waters to beach and bay and the archetypical whitewashed terraced seaside town is a beautiful outlook.
3. Kynance Cove
A stunningly beautiful spot. Formed from the distinctive geology of the Lizard peninsula. Clear greeny-blue waters, white sand and a collection of stacks and islands projecting out of the bay make it easy to see why it was so popular with Victorian artists.
A sandy beach set in an amphitheatre of weathered granite, Porthcurno is also known for its turquoise waters. As if that wasn’t enough, overlooking the cove is the open air Minnack theatre built by Rowena Cade and friends in the 1930s, hewn into the cliff top.
5. Coverack Cove
The view over the beach and sea to the notorious Manacle rock, and over the village's little houses and quaint harbour, will be in your memory forever.
5x Cornwall’s Best Pubs
1. The Golden Lion
in Padstow is the most famous inn in the town and essential for the 'Obby 'Oss' ceremony. The inn dates back to the 14th century and is the oldest in Padstow. It is a friendly oldie-worldly pub, with an open fire and parquet flooring in the public bar.
2. The Old Albion Inn
in Crantock, is a 400-year-old English pub. An entrance to a smugglers hole which passes under the village and is now blocked in for safety’s sake, may be found under the blue stone fireplace in the lounge, originally the kitchen. Both main fireplaces have an original pasty oven, and until a few years ago the house drew its water from a deep well under the old bar.
3. Seaford Cafe
in St Ives, not exactly a pub but is a popular place as you can enjoy fresh seafood caught that day. On the harbour of St Ives you can also find the 'Sloop Inn', a 14th century pub - a bit of a squeeze but it has a great ambiance!
4. The Tinners Arms
in Zennor near St Ives. The pub was built in 1271 to accommodate the masons who constructed St Senara's Church, which is famous for its mermaid. With its open log fires, stone floors and low ceilings it has changed little over the years and now offers a traditional pub experience with real Cornish ales and carefully prepared food using the best of local ingredients.
5. Ben’s Cornish Kitchen..
restaurant in Marazion was the Good Food Guide 2016’s Restaurant of the Year in the South West region and was Voted Best Restaurant in the South West at the 2013 Food Magazine Readers Awards! Ben’s Cornish Kitchen restaurant is a chilled out place to eat. Dress up – or down – it doesn’t matter. The food will always be fabulous.
5x Towns to Visit in Cornwall
1. St Ives
This famous little town began life as a tiny fishing community in prehistoric times. Its name is believed to derive from St Ia, an Irish Christian missionary of the 5th or 6th century who is said to have sailed across the Irish sea on a 'leaf'. This is possibly a fanciful reference to the vessels of the time, which were often made of interleaved animal hides. During the Medieval period St. Ives prospered, mainly from pilchard fishing, an industry that has done much to shape the context of Old St. Ives and the enchanting area of 'Downlong', that clusters around the harbour. When the railway reached the town in 1877, it became a magnet for early tourists, and for distinguished artists. As fishing declined during the early 20th century, tourism along with the town's growing international reputation as an art 'colony', transformed the old fishing port into one of Europe's most distinctive holiday resorts, within which the enduring character of a much older St Ives still survives.
Dylan Thomas (1930) described Mousehole as 'the loveliest village in England'. Mousehole developed around its harbour (and of course the fishing fleet that sustained it), appearing in the record books as an important fishing port from as early as 1266. There are very few places that can be found in the United Kingdom that have retained their original character and charm in the way that Mousehole has. Pronounced "Mowzel", it has a stunning collection of yellow-lichened houses. A few hundred yards along the coast from the village lies a huge cave, which, some people say, gives rise to the name of the village (Mouse Hole!).
This is one of those places where you can still sense the 17th and 18th centuries: you can almost smell the wood smoke at this most attractive former smugglers’ haunt. There are some resplendent cottages nestling together around a creek, surrounded by woodlands and steep slopes.
Although the town is nothing out of the ordinary by Cornish standards, the real star is the view and visit to the iconic St Michael’s Mount, with its low tide causeway. Marazion also has two fabulous beaches and magical sea views and has some claim to be the oldest settlement in England.
Something completely different are the harbour and buildings of Charlestown developed in the Georgian era as a new town. It was built to facilitate the transport of copper from nearby mines but its main function became the export of china clay from the region's quarries. By the early 1990s the china clay trade declined and the harbour was hardly used. In 1994, it was bought by Square Sail as a base for their ships. Much of Square Sail's business now involves using the harbour and their ships as film sets. The place can look so interesting with the square riggers, and the twisting harbour wall is unique.
5x Cornwall’s Best Beaches
1. Whitsand Bay
A short walk over the cliffs from Land's End, Whitsand is a long, sandy beach that offers excellent swimming and surfing opportunities. At low tide the beach joins up with its neighbour to provide over a mile of golden sand, so that even on hot summer days it is usually possible to find plenty of space to spread out.
2. Porthmeor Beach
In St Ives, Porthmeor Beach is a long stretch of beautiful beach with white sands and turquoise seas. Even on a wet rainy day it still looks stunning. Porthmeor is also St Ives’ most dramatic beach facing the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and is flanked by rugged headlands.
3. Godrevy Beach
The northernmost and most dramatic section of the three-mile long sandy beach that stretches from Hayle to Godrevy Head should definitely be mentioned here. The beach terminates with a low rocky headland that offers great views of Godrevy lighthouse, which was the real-life inspiration for Virginia Woolfe's novel To the Lighthouse.
4. Praa Sands Beach
The mile-long sandy beach of Praa Sands is backed with sheltering sand dunes and its easily accessible position is enjoyed by families having fun in the shallows, while further out the surf brigade take on some surprisingly big waves. There are some pretty good stop off points to sit back and soak up the fun seaside vibe.
At low tide, the beach at Watergate Bay becomes a vast expanse of unbroken golden sand backed by high cliffs. Watergate can be considered the first of a succession of fabulous beaches leading to Newquay. The bonus is with its size and distance from the town (2 miles) you can still find a quiet piece of sand to yourself.
For more information on Cornwall you can download the trip notes on the page of the holiday you are interested in or if you like to speak to Trina and our team, you can contact us by phone or email.
Walkers like you and us have the pleasure of walking the South West Coast Path partly because of the efforts of charity organisations like the South West Coast Path Association. We spoke to Director of The South West Coast Path Association, Esther Pearson, on the work that they do and October’s charity event The Challenge, during which they aim to set a world record while fundraising to preserve the Path.
When was the South West Coast Path Association established?
The Association was formed at a public meeting in 1973 and registered as a charity in 1974 and we were mainly engaged in campaigning for a complete Coast Path in the early years. Our mantra was to ‘have one foot in the sea at all times’ but was really about getting the South West Coast Path all connected and as close to those great sea views as possible. Today we still campaign for further funding for essential repair and improvement projects and continue with our main aim of protecting and promoting the South West Coast Path.
The Path stretches 630 miles and is the longest in England, what else makes it special?
The South West Coast Path is unique as a trail in so many ways, it passes through such varied scenery, taking in four beautiful and very different counties. It was originally created by coastguards, patrolling the peninsula looking out for smugglers, and there is so much history to discover along the route. 70% of the Path travels through protected landscapes which helps to ensure the beautiful landscape is kept safe from excessive development.
If people have just 3 days to walk, which part of the path should they choose?
I am biased because I love where I live at South Milton and often walk the stunning sections of the Path around there in South Devon. But a great three-day walk can be found starting from Falmouth to Par, taking in the lush Roseland Peninsula and a series of picturesque fishing ports. You start your walk by taking a seasonal ferry from the lovely St Mawes to Place, then continue with a mix of strenuous climbs and easy strolls to the popular and historic harbour town of Mevagissey, finishing at the beautiful beach at Par. I am really looking to revisiting this section during the Challenge month when we will be walking with Alex Polizzi.
© Thomas Tolkien
We heard there can be heavy winds on the path?
We do advise to try to plan your walk to take place in good weather, however it is wise to check the forecast before setting out on the Coast Path and always be careful. The wild and untamed nature of the Coast is one of the reasons why around 8.7 million people visit the Coast Path every year. You can find useful tips about staying safe on the website of the South West Coast Path Association.
In October this year, you are organising The Challenge. Why should people join?
The South West Coast Path Challenge is a great way to experience the Path, it is easy to take part, simply walk or run on the Path during October and register your miles!
It costs £10 per person to register and walkers will receive a registration pack and Challenge 2016 t-shirt. You can head out on your own, on a Sherpa Expeditions holiday or join the association on an organised Challenge event. You can sign up either on the South West Coast Path website or when booking one of the Sherpa Expeditions' trips departing in October.
We hope to beat last year’s record of clocking up enough miles to go around the Path 14 times! People should take part to help to raise funds for the Coast Path just by simply enjoying a fun day out by the sea.
What achievement of the association are you proudest of?
Launching the charity’s first ever public appeal led to achieving the Coastal Communities Funding and being able to complete long awaited projects to improve and repair the Path. This has been a real highlight of the last few years. I am also proud to have been involved with opening the section of the Path at Strete in Devon. It was a culmination of over forty years of campaigning and lobbying to take the route off a busy road and to reveal never before seen views of some of Devon’s finest coastline.
And what is next on the association’s list regarding preservation?
There are projects funded by the Coastal Communities Fund planned for Summer 2017, including 40 replacement Fingerposts across Cornwall, Kissing Gates at Nare Head, a replacement footbridge at Kynance Cove and an important replacement bridge at Silvermine Bridge. You can see some of the projects we have completed. Our Area and Path Representatives report on their sections of the South West Coast Path and identify where new projects are needed to keep the Path in great condition for all walkers and cyclists to enjoy.
Finally, have you walked the complete path from Poole to Minehead yourself?
I’ve walked lots of sections over the years but not all of it yet. Although I have the intention of one day having walked every section of the South West Coast Path in order! I have managed to walk in some beautiful locations and during The Challenge last October I walked from Durlston Country Park to the finish point of the Path at South Haven Point and can thoroughly recommend that others join us for the spectacular views of Old Harry Rocks this year!
This year for the first time, Sherpa Expeditions supports the South West Coast Path in order to preserve and restore the Path for future generations to enjoy. If you book a trip that includes the South West Coast Path departing in the month of October 2016, you get a 10% discount, which you could use to donate directly to Path preservation.
Join The Challenge with Sherpa Expeditions this October >> Show Me More
Spring is well on its way with prospects of a beautiful summer in the United Kingdom this year. Perhaps this got you started flirting with the idea of a cycling holiday in the UK in the coming months. With this in mind, we choose below some of our favourite cycling holidays across the UK .
Rolling Through the Cotswolds
Also known as the ‘Heart of England’, a journey to the Cotswolds will present visitors with a mix of rolling hills, picture-perfect villages, wooded valleys, Roman roads and rustic old pubs for leisurely lunches.
When exploring this charming part of England by bicycle, it’s a good idea to start in elegant Cheltenham. The village is dotted with Regency buildings and beautifully landscaped gardens. Because there is so much to see in the Cotswolds, it’s possible to cycle the landscape and sights that interest you best. What to think of classic wool towns, roman villas and stone churches, or riding down through colourful valleys for your next UK cycling holiday?
>> Learn more about cycle tours in the UK's famous Cotswolds
Scottish Highlands at Handlebar Level
Picture yourself cycling along scenic paths and quiet forest trails - spotting native wildlife such as red deer, stag or golden eagle. It’s all possible on a cycling holiday in the Scottish Highlands.
There are some steep hills on the Cycle Way of the Great Glen that lead to magical views of Loch Ness. Via moorland and quiet country roads cyclists reach delightful Scottish towns. Bike riders can step off their bicycle at Fort William to ascend Ben Nevis or to ride in a historical steam train and of course to experience some of the distilleries along the cycle paths!
>> Want to know more? Check out this Scottish Highlands cycle holiday
Isle of Wight Cycle
Ideal for anyone looking for a short town-and-country cycling holiday. Because the Isle of Wight is so small, it’s great for a circular cycle tour in the UK. The terrain is undulating and distances are kept fairly short, giving cyclists enough time to stop and explore.
Highlights of cycling on the Isle of Wight include sophisticated Cowes, world famous for its regatta; the astonishing brick-built Quarr Abbey; and taking the cycle path to Freshwater Bay, which follows an old railway line.
>> Learn more about this cycling holiday on the UK's Isle of Wight
From Padstow to Land’s End through Lizard Point, this British cycling route goes to the southernmost point on mainland Great Britain. Cyclists get the chance to pedal through a patchwork of landscapes: from inland heaths and downs to tumbling coastlines and sheltered coves.
Cyclists who take eight days for this route will see that the daily bicycle rides are not that long. This is perfect to go and explore the best of Cornwall’s sheltered coves and beautiful rivers, castles and gardens by bicycle.
>> Find out about this cycling holiday in Cornwall
Want to know much more about cycle holidays in the UK and England or are interested to see our full range of self-guided cycling holidays in the UK? Contact our team of travel experts in our London office, or have a further browse at our cycling holidays in the UK.
- 10% Off Cornwall Walking Holidays
- Win A Travel Voucher
- Contribute to the Path
- Help Set a World Record
Get 10% off your October trip to Cornwall when you book a Sherpa Expeditions walking holiday on the
Cornwall Coast Path. By travelling this fine part of Britain in October this year, you help set a new
record on the iconic 630 miles long walking trail. Donate your saved 10% to the South West Coast Path Association
for conservation purposes or even raise extra funds for the charity and get a chance to win a Sherpa
Expeditions travel voucher. (*terms & conditions apply)
Every year in October the South West Coast Path Association
organises “The Challenge”. Goal is to break last
year’s 9,144 miles world record of walking and running the path in one month (that is like 56 times
Everest!), while at the same time raising funds for the maintenance and development of
England’s longest trail.
The individual walker with the highest donation to the association
during The Challenge month of October is rewarded with a £63 travel voucher offered by Sherpa
Sherpa Expeditions is a proud member of the South West Coast Path Association and likes to keep
the path accessible for many generations to come. We believe the South West Coast Path offers one of
the finest walking trails in Great Britain and Sherpa Expeditions travellers can explore the path via our walking and cycling holidays.
Because we expect a high interest in the event, we ask you to make bookings for your October
walking holiday at least one month in advance.
discount offer applies to 3 trips: Cornish Coastal Path North - Padstow to St. Ives; Cornish Coastal Path West - St. Ives to Penzance; Cornish Coastal Path South - Marazion to Mevagissey. 10%
discount offer is valid for new bookings made before 04 September 2016 and is applicable to trips
departing between 01-31 October 2016. Direct bookings only. Discount is on the trip price only and does
not apply to extensions, flights or supplements. Subject to availability; cannot be used in conjunction with
any other offer and cannot be redeemed for cash. Sherpa Expeditions encourages travellers to donate
their discount to the South West Coast Path Association.
Sherpa Expeditions travel
voucher is worth GBP 63.00 and needs to be validated on a Sherpa Expeditions holiday
departing before 31 December 2017. The travel voucher is rewarded to the individual that donated the
highest amount of funds to the South West Coast Path in the month October 2016. Your donation must
have received the South West Coast Path before 02 November 2016 to be eligible for the travel voucher.
The receiver of the travel voucher will be announced in the South West Coast Path Association and
Sherpa Expeditions newsletters. Subject to availability, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer
and cannot be redeemed for cash.
Cornish cider is famous the world over and a trip to
Cornwall isn't complete without sampling some of the county's finest ciders and
scrumpy (matured cider with a higher alcohol level). Here are a few of our
recommendations for a visit either during your walking/cycling holiday in
Cornwall or just while you are in the West Country.
Find out more about our walking and cycling holidays in Cornwall >>
One of the biggest producers in the region, Healys is most
famous for its ‘Rattler’ and offers a big visitor centre and museum where you
can find all about the history of the cider production in the region, learn
about the process of making cider and of course sample the local brew.
Find out more >>
A family run orchard and press in the beautiful Allen
Valley, near the village of St. Mabyn, approximately 4 miles from Wadebridge.
The farms cider press has been producing the Westcountry's favourite drink for
centuries. The Bray family who run the farm offer orchard tours and cider
Find out more >>
Polgoon offers a modern twist on the traditional art of
making Cornish cider. Originally starting up as a winery Polgoon turned their
focus to cider making and is renowned for its artisanal sparkling ciders.
Polgoon offer tours of their orchard and vineyard over summer and it makes for a
delightful way to spend an afternoon in Penzance.
Find out more >>
For the true cider aficionado or indeed anyone who likes
all things cider, the Cornish cider festival in Lostwithiel offers a change to
taste a huge range of ciders and juices from around the region and is well worth
a visit if you are in the region around the third week of September.
Find out more >>