Life in Falmouth: Pendennis' favourite coast path walks
Here in Cornwall, we are blessed with around 400 miles of stunning coastline – and you can visit most of it via the South West Coast Path. Whether you’re into hiking, running, or just want to get to know Cornwall, the coast path is a great way to explore.
Throughout the routes you’ll encounter beautiful beaches, traditional fishing coves and unique scenery. You’ll also encounter many excellent pubs which, as Cornish locals will testify, are a highly recommended way to end to any walk!
There are many places to look online to help you choose which sections to walk; the official website southwestcoastpath.org.uk is a good place to start. Instagram accounts such as iWalk Cornwall and Walking Cornwall will give you an idea of some of the beautiful sights you’ll come across, and if you prefer circular walks, iWalk Cornwall have an app which guides you through routes using your GPS – each walk costs £1.99 to download.
Here are some of our favourite walks…with optional pub pairings.
Falmouth to Maenporth, 3.4 miles one way
What better place to start than right on your doorstep? The stretch of coast path leading from Falmouth Town to Maenporth takes in Pendennis Point (history buffs can take the opportunity to visit Pendennis Castle, a might fortress built by Henry VIII), incredible cliff top views, and three fantastic beaches – four if you count the rocky Castle Beach which is great for rock pooling at low tide.
Stop for lunch at Swanpool Beach Café and try one of their famous ice creams, or for something more decadent treat yourself to lunch at Maenporth restaurant The Cove, home to award-winning chef Michael Caines.
Mylor Bridge to Pandora Inn, 3.5 mile circular
Lush Creekside paths, woodland walks, and a cosy waterside Inn which dates back to the 13th century. Soak up the sun on the Pandora Inn’s pontoon in the summer, or in winter, cosy up by their fire instead.
Rosemullion head, 3.9 mile circular
A wild, shipwreck-strewn headland bookmarked by rock pooling coves and the green banks of the Helford Estuary. Porth Saxon beach is a Pendennis favourite for its secluded charm, as is its neighbour Grebe. Stop for lunch at the Red Lion in Mawnan Smith, and if that has renewed your energy, consider adding a trip to Glendurgan gardens for its blend of exotic and native plants and a trip through the famous maze.
Flushing to Mylor, 5 miles there and back
Catch a ferry to Flushing or a bus/drive to Mylor and walk the coast path around Trefusis Headland, with ample options for a refreshment stop in either location before journeying back the way you came.
Try out the Royal Standard or Seven Stars pubs in Flushing, or Castaways or Mylor Café in Mylor. (The breakfasts at Mylor Café are excellent!)
St Mawes to St Just in Roseland, 5 mile circular
Catch a ferry to St Mawes and walk to St Just in Roseland church, set above the tidal creek of St Just Pool. The church and sub-tropical gardens have been described as ‘the most beautiful churchyard on earth’. Stop for a cream tea at St Just Church, a Sunday roast at The Rising Sun in St Mawes, or treat yourself to a luxurious lunch at Hotel Tresanton. Just make sure you don’t miss the last ferry back!
Porthgwarra to Porthcurno including The Minack Theatre 2.8 miles circular
Stunning turquoise sea and a unique open-air theatre carved into the cliff top. Those looking for an adventure could journey an extra 15 minutes from Porthcurno to Pedn Vounder Beach, which is accessed by a rocky climb down the cliff face. The golden sands and clear waters are breathtaking, but challenging to access – please check the tides and wear appropriate footwear.
Reward yourself with lunch at Porthcurno Beach Café.
Sennen to Land’s End, 3.3 miles one way (take a bus back or return the way you came)
See the shipwreck of the RMS Mulheim and visit Land’s End, one end of the UK’s longest journey and most famous cycling challenge, Land’s End to John O’ Groats. You might see some hardy cyclists starting or finishing the 1189 mile trip there. If you have energy to spare, keep going to Nanjizal Beach, a secluded beach with natural stone sculptures, caves and waterfalls, and the ‘Song of the Sea’ rock arch.
From Land’s End you can catch a bus back to your start point at Sennen and have a well earned rest at the Old Success Inn.
St Agnes to Perranporth, 3.6 miles one way (take a bus back or return the way you came)
Beautiful cliff top views and golden sandy beaches mix with relics from Cornwall’s mining history. Engine house chimneys dot the colourful, mineral rich soil and cliffs. Highly recommended are The Driftwood Spars pub in St Agnes or The Watering Hole, situated right on Perranporth Beach. The Watering Hole hosts year round live music and DJ events so it’s worth keeping an eye on what they have coming up.
Mullion to Lizard point, 6.9 miles one way (take a bus back, or walk if you’re feeling brave!)
Kynance Cove has become arguably one of Cornwall’s most famous beaches in recent years, for good reason – the water in summer is frequently bright turquoise and there are stunning caves, islands and sea stacks to explore. It’s reputation as one of the prettiest coves in Cornwall has caused issues with access though, and in the height of summer you’ll be lucky to find a parking space anywhere nearby. Visit on foot instead, and you’ll see that the beauty of this area is by no means limited to Kynance. Start at Mullion Cove for it’s pretty working fishing village and lava-formed island, and end at Lizard Point, the most Southerly spot of the UK.
Kynance Cove Café is a great place for refreshments, or there are various options in Lizard Village, including Ann’s Pasties – which we happen to think are some of the best in Cornwall.