New Year is the perfect time to visit Cornwall. The quiet beaches offer miles of walking while the clifftops provide spectacular spots to watch the sunset.
Wander cobbled streets to find harbourside villages decorated with Christmas lights and the warm glow of a crackling log fire from an ancient pub. After all, a brisk walk along the coast should be rewarded with a hot beverage (or alcoholic drink).
With 300 miles of coastline wrapped around the peninsula, Cornwall offers many idyllic paths to walk. From Porthleven to Loe Bar and Port Quin to Port Isaac, there are several locations to choose from.
Discover the rugged beauty of Cornwall with our top five coastal walks.
Enjoy exploring Cornwall’s coast with two free extra nights, when you book three or five nights with us. Walk more miles along the south west coastal path, catch a morning wave or soak-up the sea views.
0.7 miles (1.1km)
The charming village of Boscastle is sheltered in the steep sided Valency Valley. It is one of Cornwall’s most romantic places, with impressive scenery and dramatic clifftops.
The walk starts at Boscastle car park, across the bridge and over the river. Walking alongside the river, you’ll pass ancient white-washed fisherman’s cottages. The coastal path leads you towards the sea, where you can look out onto the natural harbour and beyond to the horizon. From this spot, you will be able to see the meeting point of the two deep valleys.
Make your way back through the village, past the Boscastle Fishing Company, and head towards the Cobweb Inn for a well-deserved drink.
Mousehole is a sleepy, Cornish fishing village which comes alive during December and January. The harbour is illuminated with Christmas lights and the cobbled streets are filled with the aroma of mulled wine and festive food. The floating display of lights in the port are switched on every evening between 6pm and 11pm, throughout late December and early January.
To start this walk, park at the top of the hill, as you approach Mousehole. Walk down the path, where a string of crabbing buckets and fairy lights guide you into the heart of the village.
Around the harbour, spot famous Christmas lights like the Mousehole cat and stargazy pie. Watch the light dance in the water as the waves hit the stone wall.
3.4 miles (5.5km)
Trek the rocky coastal path, which leads-up onto the cliffs, and discover spectacular views across the Atlantic.
Carpeted with heather and gorse, the path between Porthtowan and Chapel Porth offers walkers perfect spots to watch the sunset.
The walk starts at Porthtowan and follows a steep path to the remains of an engine house at Wheal Charlotte. From here, the route crosses the copper lode and descends to Chapel Porth.
On the route back, why not stop off at Blue Bar on Porthtowan beach for a drink and a bite to eat.
1 miles (1.6km)
(Image taken by Matthew Jessop, Visit Cornwall).
Walk within the tin mining landscape, against the backdrop of the Atlantic sea.
Starting at the Wheal Coates car park, walk through the gap within the hedgerow. Stroll down the rocky path towards the tin mine ruins of Wheal Coates.
From here, take the coastal path towards St Agnes Head, which is lined by blue heather. Listen to the rumble of the sea below as you zig-zag along the wild route. You’ll come across old tin mine buildings to explore as you make your way to the Beacon. A lone chimney and a large granite boulder will be on your path. Read information about tin mining and the surrounding heathland on the boards.
When you have reached St Agnes Head, take a moment to look back across the coastal path. You will see engine houses standing proud in the distance.
3.6 miles (5.8km)
Enjoy a brisk walk along the coastline from Watergate Bay to Porth beach.
From Watergate Bay car park, ascend the coastal path onto the cliff. Follow the path around and look below onto Watergate Bay beach. The path then continues along the coast, where you can hear the crashing of the waves below.
Walk past Fruitful Cove and Whipsiderry beach.
Whipsiderry is a quiet a beach, boasting rockpools and caves that are worth exploring. Sheltered by enormous cliffs, access to the beach can be negotiated by steep steps with railings down the cliff face.
Continuing along the footpath, you’ll find the remains of an ancient settlement. To explore the ruins, follow the footbridge across to Porth island. At the end of the island there is a blow hole, which is quite spectacular on windy days and best seen at mid-tide.
Join the coast path to Porth beach and head across to the Laid-back coffee shop to relax after your walk.