Walk the South West Coast Path - St Ives to Falmouth Walk
Luggage Transfers covers the entire South West Coast, but this was where it all began. Back in 2009, we began operating our Cornish luggage transfers between St Ives and Falmouth moving a few bags a day. By the end of the first year, we’d already began making plans for the rest of the South West. Fast forward to the present time, and we move thousands of bags each year for walkers and cyclists on the South West Coast Path and throughout many other routes in the South West of England.
Below, you’ll find more information about this route, as well as some example itineraries and a link to our walker friendly accommodation for this section of the SWCP. Here you’ll find everything you need to help plan your adventure between St Ives and Falmouth on the South West Coast Path.
Walk and explore the West Cornwall, St Ives to Falmouth section of the South West Coast Path
This is one of the most popular areas of the South West Coast Path for good reason. If you only get to visit the South West Coast Path once in your life, and you want to see as much variety as possible, then in our opinion this is the area you should choose. Starting in the popular town of St Ives, home to 5 beaches and finishing in the maritime town of Falmouth.
Leaving the hustle and bustle of St Ives, you’ll be surprised at how quick it becomes just you and the coast path. This area is particularly hard as there is a lot of exposed granite underfoot, so walking can be slow, but so very worth it. 90% of hikers choose to only walk as far as Zennor due to the tough terrain. Home to a couple of accommodations, a pub and a church Zennor has an isolated charm. From Zennor, the walk heads towards Pendeen and Cape Cornwall. On a clear day you can see the Isles of Scilly located 28 miles from the mainland. Keep your eyes peeled for Cornish Choughs, Dolphins, Basking Sharks, Sun fish and more recently Blue fin tuna.
Sennen Cove is a one of the best places to surf in Cornwall and on a summer’s day you could be anywhere in the world. As you reach Land’s End, you’ll start to see the change in the landscape with the rugged rocks becoming smoother as the currents change. As you pass the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno Beach can be seen below. On a sunny day, you can spot shoals of fish in the sea below.
Once you’ve passed Porthcurno the path heads towards Mount’s Bay, home of Mousehole, Newlyn and St Michael’s Mount. This is probably the easiest part of the walk, with some promenade and pavement walking. Head down the Lizard towards Kynance Cove and Lizard Village. Hundreds of ships perished on the rocks and reefs around the Lizard. Once around the point, you’ll see the landscape begin to change again, becoming softer as you approach The Helford and Falmout.
Our top tips when walking St Ives to Falmouth:
- St Ives has a branch line train station connected to the main line at St Erth.
- A lot of accommodations in St Ives have a minimum night policy. Buses connect Zennor with St Ives, so as Zennor has limited accommodation, consider staying in St Ives for 2 nights and use the bus.
- Unless you are an experienced long distance walker, don’t be tempted to walk beyond Zennor or Pendeen. This area of the coast path is considered some of the hardest on the entire path.
- Take the time to visit the Minack Theatre.
- If struggling for accommodation in Porthcurno, there is an excellent bus service right along that part of the coast. Consider staying in Sennen or Penzance.
- Take the time to visit St Michael’s Mount.
- When staying or passing through Porthleven, ensure you visit the Ship Inn, located on the outer harbour wall.
- Accommodation is limited around the Helford. Consider 2 nights in Falmouth and catching the bus. Make sure you check the timetable as it doesn’t run the regularly.
- Falmouth has a branch line train station connected to the main line at Falmouth.
- Consider using AllTrails or another app to ensure you’re on the right track.
Popular walking itinerary between St Ives and Falmouth
Approximate Elevation gain – 1,220ft
To a view a map and route profile of today’s walk, please click here.