Keen trail runner Helen Clare (www.helenclareyoga.com) says, “You only have to look at the scenery here to understand the appeal of running along the coast path. Coastal running is about freedom, being relaxed and not running against a clock.
“There’s nothing stopping you from changing your route and going exploring. Feeling tired? Then walk for a stretch, or turn around and head back home. No one’s judging. Cornwall’s South West Coast Path is a great place to begin coastal running because of its remarkable scenery, close proximity to the ocean and its breathtaking terrain which provides an unrivalled experience to the adventurous long distance trail runner.”
Distance: 4.0 miles (6.5km)
Summary: Run around the colourful St Agnes scenery, featuring blue seas and purple-and-yellow heathland, with wide-ranging views over green pastureland from the top of St Agnes Beacon. There are short stretches of ascent and descent, but nothing steep or prolonged.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Summary: High on the hills to the north of Newquay, giving panoramic sea views beyond a coastline carved by the waves into caves and islets. This route visits one of the south west’s major centres of prehistoric civilisation, travelling along ancient green lanes.
Distance: 3.4miles (5.5km)
Summary: The old engine house at Wheal Coates perches dramatically on the clifftops above Chapel Porth beach. The multi-coloured caves and the natural arch at Chapel Porth beach make it an excellent place to pause for a moment’s rest before continuing the run past the mining and wartime remains in Chapel Combe on your way back to Porthtowan. Catch low tide at Chapel Porth to see the beach at its best.
Distance: 6.2miles (10km)
Summary: The route follows the coastline to Loe Bar then joins the tree-lined bridleway through Penrose. Cross the bridge and follow the River Cober around back to Porthleven. Discover paths through the woods and trek past the engine house of Wheal Pool.