The wild land at the end of Britain is one of my favourites in the world. Cornwall’s dazzling coastline and green valleys are places I'll never tire of exploring on foot, and with 300 miles (480 km) of coast path and a myriad of beaches and hidden coves to explore, it's the perfect destination for adventurous hikers and wild swimmers alike.
There's no one perfect season for hiking in Cornwall. In spring, the beaches are still quiet and the yellow gorse is in flower on the coast path. In balmy summer, Cornwall is busy with visitors but there are still secret spots to seek out where you can walk alone on the cliffs or explore the moors inland. Autumn, when the sea is at its warmest, is a great time for swimming in tidal pools as well as for checking out the foodie and art scenes in Cornwall's lively towns and fishing villages. And in the depths of winter I can't think of anything better than wrapping up warm for a bracing walk, or just taking a tour of cosy Cornish pubs, especially those that host brilliant folk nights.
My favourite hiking routes in Cornwall include rugged coast path rambles, wild swimming stops in mermaid pools, a hike around a subtropical island and even encounters with witches and wizards.
My top tips for a hiking and swimming trip to Cornwall:
Go camping — especially at the glorious campsites that dot the coastline, where you can pitch your tent with an uninterrupted view of the ocean.
Seek out tidal pools to swim in — I've highlighted some of my favourites in my Wild Swimming Collection.
If you want peace and quiet, visit outside of the school summer holidays — September is great for warm weather without the crowds.
Check out Cornwall's many legendary spots — King Arthur was said to live at Tintagel, and one of my walks also visits some ancient rock carvings and the home of local witches.
Make sure you have a cream tea while you're here — and remember, in Cornwall it's always jam first on your scone!
This is my go-to trail run when I'm in Cornwall, and I wanted to save it in my Cornish Collection because whether you want to walk or run it, this is a seriously beautiful stretch of coastline, and a great introduction to the South West Coast Path.
Round the corner from Godrevy Lighthouse you may spot…
Trying to plan the perfect weekend in Cornwall? I can't think of a better place to stay than Cornish Tipi Holidays (cornishtipiholidays.co.uk) in Bodmin, a secret valley with 'wild' woodland camping pitches surrounding a huge swimming lake.
From here you can walk across the fields and through shady woodland…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
Walk the rugged coast path to Perranuthnoe to watch the surfers, have a dip and grab a bite to eat in the Cabin Beach cafe, which looks out over the breaking waves.
Then head back to Prussia Cove, with breathtaking views of the ocean as you walk (keep an eye out for the inquisitive wild ponies that roam…
This is a shorter stroll, but it rewards the walker with wild and windswept Cornish coastline and never-ending views of the ocean and the cliffs.
Start and finish at Carn Galver tin mine, one of Cornwall's iconic ruined mine shafts. This stretch of the coast is also great for spotting wild birds.
It doesn't get more wild or Cornish than this loop of the remote Lizard Peninsula, Britain's most southwesterly point.
Start with the sweeping cliffs and turquoise waters at Kynance Cove and follow the South West Coast Path. The path is more challenging than it looks on a map, with lots climbs, but you…
If you like a hike steeped in myths and legends, it doesn't get better than this all-day Cornwall explorer hike.
Start in Tintagel, believed to be home to King Arthur, and search for Merlin's Cave on the beach there. Then follow the jaw-dropping coast path to reach the beautiful fishing village of Boscastle…
Welcome to the Isles of Scilly, a subtropical archipelago off the Cornish coast that makes the perfect adventure spot for walkers and wild swimmers. Each of these five islands are unique, and most have an oceanside campsite, so it's easy to go island-hopping by boat and walk, swim and camp on a different…
This has to be one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous stretches of coast path in Britain, part of the South West Coast Path.
Walk from St Levens past Porthcurno to find Pedn Vounder, a cove with jewel-blue sea and white sands. Popular with nudists if you fancy a skinny dip! Note that the path down is…
Hiking Collection by KEEN Footwear
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Bike Touring Collection by Bernd Lange: Europäisches Parlament
Bike Touring Collection by Westerwald - Die Urlaubsregion