Cornish Coastal Challenge – Walk Britain’s most southerly point I 4 days I 3 days walking I 3 nights accommodation MARCH I APRIL I MAY I JUNE I NOVEMBER
St Ives and around the Lizard peninsular
Enjoy a weekend walk to Britain’s most southerly Lizard point (40km), with the option to continue on turning the peninsula’s to finish in Coverack and sample some of the amazing swimming options in the bays along the way.
The wildlife is magnificent, and we may even see seals or dolphins en-route as well as an incredible variety of birds and smaller sea life. A chance to encapsulate ourselves in local history and feel the ever changing presence of the sea. A long weekend with 3 days walking, guided, usually starting on Friday evening. If you would like to arrive on saturday morning, joining locally, this is also possible and we can offer it as a 2 rather than 3 night option.
Cornwall’s huge stretch of coastline and numerous beaches was found suitable for amphibious landings by enemy tanks and troops, became a fortress with lines of pillboxes, ‘dragon’s teeth’, minefields and miles of barbed wire. Exits from the beaches were blocked by anti-tank obstacles and defended roadblocks, with defences from the most at-risk beaches extending five miles inland to create highly defended areas.
When is this available?
May, June and November 2021
If you choose a camping option it isn’t available year round. Contact us here to propose dates. We will promte 1 date annually:
June 25-28th 2021 Please enquire and we will send you a booking form.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderately Challenging, not technical - Trip grade 1
Our challenge starts in the picturesque seaside town of St Ives. We trek alongside the spectacular sea cliffs of Cornwall’s South coast through areas of outstanding national beauty, spending nights in quaint finishing villages. We immerse ourselves in the unique history of the area, from the mines to the great war, we also visit the medieval castle on St Michaels Mount reached only by a causeway. Swim in stunning bays, enjoying nature and the local wildlife along with Cornwall’s extraordinary geology. You may see grey seals, dolphins, puffins, porpoises, minke whale and more if they wish to be with us. If you would like to make a sealife safari after the coastal walking we can help you acheive this. Porthleven, Sennan and Kennack sands also revieal the Cornish coasts rich war time history.We can also organise for you to visit Bodmin Keep Museum on the way, an hour North.
Currently we are offering this for families and groups of up to 10 people. If you are from 2 different families or groups then we will be following latest covid guidelines.
- Finishers Certificate
- Shuttle buses and transfers to the start of the trek and from the finish
- Glass of fizz on completion
- Meals as stated in the programme
- Camping option available with discount
- 3 nights hotel or guesthouse accommodation (St Ives, Porthleven, Lizard town) – camping option possible
- Option to join us in the morning at Marazion at 9.30am for those travelling locally
- Just weekend option 2 nights accommodation St Ives and Porthleven
- Extra stage option more of a challenge, do it in 2.
- A chance to examine rock pools, learn more about the sea life, culture and history of this part of the Cornish coast
- Plant and sea mammal identifier
- Meals as started in the Itinerary
- Sleeping bag/roll mat
We arrive to spend the night in St Ives. As an artist’s town, St Ives is seen as the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown. A picturesque fishing harbour and seaside town. Voted best family holiday destination by Coast magazine and one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 European beaches. Wander through the maze of narrow cobbled streets, independent shops and fisherman’s cottages in the heart of St Ives.
Marazion to Porthleven 10.8 miles (17.4 km)
After travelling from St Ives, much of today’s walk through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers fantastic views of Mounts Bay and the magical island and castle of St Michael’s Mount.
We will start our walk by a tour of the castles gardens taking approximately 45 minutes before retracing our steps along the causeway to begin our coastal challenge. Unravel the history of the St Aubyn family, who have lived here since the 17th century. Discover treasures from the Mount’s past, from religious roots to times of siege and conflict. The village grew up around the isle of Ictis, St Michaels Mount being the legendary Isle named by the Romans. It was the safest landing point for many miles before the construction of nearby Penzance harbour, and is probably why it became the destination point of St Michael and his followers when they landed on the north coast and walked across the peninsula en route for Europe.
Fairly easy, level walking allows time to enjoy the views, until the Path begins to narrow and rollercoaster over the cliffs up to and beyond Praa Sands to Portleven.
We see evidence of a mining history, especially around Perranuthnoe, with the granite turning to slate resulting in dramatic vertical sea cliffs. The stretch on the approach to the pretty fishing village of Porthleven is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. From 1865 as a fishing station, Porthleven would take its position – second to none in the country. It was opened in 1825 with a feast of roast beef and plum pudding for the whole village.
Porthleven to Lizard Point 13.4 miles (21.6 km)
This stretch of the South West Coast Path is, without a doubt, unique and exceptionally beautiful. The path is fairly level and easy beyond Porthleven, but then becomes narrow in places with some steep ascents and descents.
There is a special sense of wildness and isolation on the Peninsula, notably along Mullion and Predannack Cliffs which are part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Here rare heathers and wildflowers grow, adding to the colour and drama of the spectacular views. It is no surprise that the white sand and turquoise sea of Kynance Cove has been recognised as being part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the seas are particularly dramatic at high tide, and even more so on a windy day.
The Lizard Peninsula is also known for its banks of pink and yellow flowered Hottentot Fig and its serpentine granite, which is a dark green rock veined with red and white, and, of course, the symbol of Cornwall: the chough.
Lizard to Coverack 10.4 miles (16.7 km)
A walk through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty awaits as you set off from the most southerly point of Great Britain after having spent a night on the town. There are a few relatively short steep ascents and descents as you leave Lizard Point, followed by some more strenuous climbs, until you pass the stunning fishing village of Cadgwith and begin the approach to Coverack, which is a lot easier. You will see some extraordinary geology along this stretch as the Path crosses serpentine, granite and schist. Serpentine is a dark green rock veined with red and white which is easily carved and can be polished to a really beautiful sheen. We pass Poltesco and a serpentine factory was established at Carleon Cove in the 1850’s. Its fish were once the order of the day. Pilchards by the thousand, which were caught as they shoaled close to shore in the late summer. Some of the stiles along this stretch have been built of serpentine: beautiful but slippery when wet. We then move on to Kennack Sands, once famous for shipwrecks, it is a National Nature Reserve with beautiful cliffs of layered rock, with veins of talc, and lovely displays of wildflowers. The history of Kennack Sands goes back a long way. Kennack is itself a mediaeval Cornish placename. The hill behind the Towans was recorded in 1510 as Carn Cunek, and the beach is recorded in 1538 as Porthkunyk. Pill boxes and an anti-tank wall were built on the back of the beach in case of invasion during the Second World War. A steep climb up to join the seabirds around Beagles Point marks the beginning of a stretch with particularly far-reaching views of the Coast Path ahead. Coverack is a picturesque fishing village with an active small port and has excellent café’s on the sea front.
Mid-afternoon departures. We will transport you back to St Ives, Falmouth or Truro depending on the group and how you arrived in St Ives.
You will just walk with your day sack and packed lunch. Your evening bag will be transported to the next destination.
Yes we do and you should be an experienced trail runner to attempt it, the up hills and downhills are steeper than you might imagine.
Please ask and we will confirm in the accommmodation
This depends on the group but yes we can provide a self-guided package on request.