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Conquer Britain’s longest trail — South West Coast Path — Part 2

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Conquer Britain’s longest trail — South West Coast Path — Part 2

Hiking Collection by komoot

9-20

days

3-6 h

/ day

143 mi

10,625 ft

10,775 ft

On this section of the South West Coast Path, you explore dramatic headlands, picturesque cliffs, hidden coves, sleepy fishing villages, and some of the finest beaches in Britain.

In this Collection, part two, you hike from the charming harbor town of Padstow, all the way to Lizard Point, the southerly most tip of Britain. On this first six routes, you head west into a landscape of rugged coastline, surf beaches, and river estuaries filled with birdlife.

The latter six routes take you around the tip of Cornwall through the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. From the picturesque fishing harbor of St Ives, the coastline becomes wild once again and affords a real sense of solitude, even in peak season.

After passing Land’s End, the landscape has a sub-tropical feel as white beaches, turquoise seas and palm trees flourish. As you continue onto the Lizard peninsula, you will notice the landscape has a character all of its own.

The trail started life as a patrol route to stop smugglers in the 19th century. These days, the old patrol path comprises all 630 miles (1,014 kilometers) of the South West Coast Path, making it the longest waymarked trail in the UK. Visiting every hidden cove, cave, cranny, and picturesque harbor in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, it is an epic long distance route to complete.

There is no set itinerary to complete the trail. However, in this series of Collections we will conquer the trail in 52 days, split over eight weeks, starting from Minehead and finishing at South Haven Point. As always, of course you can split up each stage to as many days as you are comfortable with.

If you are using public transport to undertake the routes in this Collection, you will need to catch a train to Bodmin Parkway railway station, which has direct trains from London and has connections around the country. From there, you need to catch the hourly 11A bus service to Padstow.

To get home, you will need to catch the L1 bus service from Lizard to Redruth railway station, then catch a train to Plymouth railway station, which has direct connections to London and has connecting services to the entire UK.

If you are planning to arrive by car, your best bet is to negotiate with a hotel or B&B a rate to stay for a night either side of your hike in Padstow and to park your car for the duration. From Lizard, you would need to catch the L1 bus service to Redruth railway station, then the National Express 503 coach service to Newquay, then the A5 bus service to Padstow.

In order to see the whole South West Coast Path, click the links below to see more Collections.

Part 1: komoot.com/collection/887617.
Part 3: komoot.com/collection/887746.
Part 4: komoot.com/collection/887875.

On The Map

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South West Coast Path

634 mi

57,475 ft

57,500 ft

Last updated: November 24, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 01: Padstow to Porthcothan – South West Coast Path

    Difficult
    05:49
    13.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely stage of the South West Coast Path explores a landscape of glorious golden beaches, crystal-clear seas, hidden coves, and rugged headlands.

    

    From the picturesque harbor town of Padstow, the trail winds around the headland of Stepper Point, where you are afforded breathtaking views over the

    by komoot

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  • Intermediate
    04:49
    11.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    975 ft
    900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage of the Coast Path veers into holiday heaven. In high summer, it is easy to forget you are in England.

    

    Whilst it can feel crowded in places, especially around Newquay, you will still find plenty of serenity and solitude as, like always, the trail takes you where many tourists do not tread.

    

    From

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  • Difficult
    05:10
    12.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    700 ft
    825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage gives you the opportunity to explore hidden caves and see some spectacular wildlife.

    

    From Newquay, the trail clings to the cliffs of Towan Head and then crosses the famous surfing spot, Fistral Beach.

    

    Holywell Bay is a real treat along this stage. With a dramatic and beautiful beach landscape

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    05:33
    12.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a few leisurely stages, you will find this hike more challenging as the route tackles rugged cliff tops and craggy coves.

    

    The trail explores a landscape of ancient mining works along this stage; the evidence of which is evident today, especially as you explore the iconic Wheal Coates.

    

    The Coast Path

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    05:04
    11.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage explores a dramatic coastal landscape where nature flourishes in hidden coves and on sheer cliffs.

    

    From Portreath, you follow cliff-tops past the hidden-gem that is Porthcadjack Cove and onto the more sinister cove that is Hell’s Mouth, a foreboding beach backed by cliffs.

    

    The trail winds around

    by komoot

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  • Intermediate
    02:34
    6.02 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Along this leisurely stage, you have the opportunity to take your time and look-out for the wildlife.

    

    At Hayle Estuary Nature Reserve, which is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), you can see birds such as curlew, little egret, oystercatcher, teal, and wigeon.

    

    The birdlife

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    06:40
    14.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With plenty of ups-and-downs, and a rocky, often boggy terrain, this stage of the Coast Path is challenging.

    

    As ever, when the walking is tough, the scenery is magical, the crowds are distant, and the highlights come thick-and-fast.

    

    Whilst the landscape offers up plenty of scrambles, ascents, and descents

    by komoot

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  • Intermediate
    04:47
    10.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage explores an area of the Cornish coast that is rich in mining heritage and is packed with wildlife.

    

    As the trail follows the rugged granite coast, you pass the enchanting St Helen's Oratory, a tiny chapel that is thought to date back to the earliest days of Romano-British Christianity.

    

    The Coast

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    05:13
    11.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Coast Path on this stage is especially beautiful and takes you to very the western tip of England, Land’s End.

    

    As you follow the cliff-top trail to Land’s End and beyond Minack Theatre, the summer crowds disperse into the breeze. Soon, you are left with nothing but the serenity of the South Cornwall

    by komoot

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  • Intermediate
    04:13
    10.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After some challenging recent stages, you will find this hike to be very leisurely, giving you ample opportunity to admire the spectacular scenery.

    

    From Lamorna, the path winds around the coastline through Kemyel Crease Nature Reserve; a small woodland of Monterey pines and Monterey cypress trees, as

    by komoot

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  • Intermediate
    04:58
    11.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This leisurely stage explores an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the most part and affords wonderful views over Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount.

    

    From the historic town of Marazion, which dates from 308BC and is said to be the oldest settlement in Britain, the trail gently undulates to the infamous

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    07:29
    17.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage of the Coast Path is wild and beautiful with a wonderful character of its own.

    

    After a leisurely stroll out of Porthleven, you soon arrive at The Loe, the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, which is separated by the shingle bank of Loe Bar from the sea.

    

    The trail continues onto Gunwalloe

    by komoot

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    12
  • Distance
    143 mi
  • Duration
    62:19 h
  • Elevation
    10,625 ft10,775 ft

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Conquer Britain’s longest trail — South West Coast Path — Part 2

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