South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path

An epic walk along the coastline of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

3 to 12 nights
630 miles
Easy to Demanding / Strenuous

From £355 per person

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About the trail

At 630 miles (1,008 km) in length, the South West Coast Path is Britain’s longest waymarked footpath and the ultimate challenge for any long distance walker. The route curls around the entire peninsula of Devon and Cornwall, rounds the south-western tip of England at Land’s End, and follows the southern shore through the dramatic scenery of Dorset, constituting a major portion of the England Coast Path.

Although we provide some gentler itineraries, on most holidays, expect stiff climbs on jaw-dropping coastal trails; mile after mile of sea views; and plenty of cream teas and Cornish pasties enjoyed in seaside towns. Walking the South West Coast Path is a challenge, but an immensely (and often tastily) rewarding one.

We’ve broken the full SWCP into ten stages so you can pick and choose your favourite stretches of coast. We also offer a choice of short breaks along the path, which you can find on the South West Coast Path Short Breaks page. If you’re looking for a circular tour, take a look at our walking holiday around the far point of Land’s End Peninsula and inland along St Michael’s Way.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options North Devon
  • Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - North
  • Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South
  • Far West of Cornwall
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South West Cornwall
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options South Cornwall
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Tor Bay and Babbacombe Bay
  • East Devon
  • Dorset
  • South Devon

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

6 to 11 nights
68 miles
Easy / Moderate to Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £775 per person

Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South

Fishing harbours, clusters of thatched cottages, and plenty of Iron Age cliff castles and Bronze Age barrows make this one of the most varied legs of the South West Coast Path.

The coastal landscape here is all-inclusive, populated by broad, sandy bays; rocky promontories; and the dramatic rock stacks of Giants Stepping Stones.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
CACS1 From Padstow to St Ives 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate / Demanding £775
CACS2 From Padstow to St Ives 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate / Demanding £895
CACS3 From Padstow to St Ives 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate £1145
CACS4 From Padstow to St Ives 11 nights, 10 days walking Easy / Moderate £1390

Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights
Start

Travel to Padstow where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Padstow to Porthcothan(L). 14 miles (22km) / 1378 ft (420 m) ascent

Day 2

Porthcothan(L) to Newquay. 11.5 miles (18.5km) / 1421 ft (433 m) ascent

Day 3

Newquay to Perranporth. 11.5 miles (18.5km) / 1296 ft (395 m) ascent

Day 4

Perranporth to Portreath. 12.5 miles (20km) / 2234 ft (681 m) ascent

Day 5

Portreath to St Ives. 18 miles (29km) / 1906 ft (581 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from St Ives after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£65.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£55.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Perranporth)
£80.00 per person / per night
Extra night (St Ives)
£70.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South map
Padstow to St Ives
68 miles (108 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Spying seals, bottlenose dolphins, and even basking sharks down beneath the foam-capped waves.

Enjoying lesser-known beauty spots, including the hidden beach of Porth Joke and the old swing bridge on the approach to Hayle.

Clambering over rocky shorelines to reach broad, sandy beaches.

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

An extra night gives you the chance to explore some of the villages on the South West Coast Path, catch up with writing postcards, or simply relax those weary legs.

The lively harbour of Padstow is an ideal base for enjoying the unique Cornish atmosphere. There are a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as boat trips from the harbour and circular walks around the town.

The delightful town of St Ives, with its narrow streets and alleyways that invite exploration, is a good choice for an extra night. It has many fascinating museums, galleries and beautiful beaches where you can spend hours simply strolling and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Perranporth)
£80.00 per person / per night
Extra night (St Ives)
£70.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 67.5 miles (108 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 11.5 miles (18.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 18 miles (29 km)
Code: CACS1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Padstow
End of holiday: St Ives

Route Profile

Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Exeter, Bristol and Newquay.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Padstow) is at Bodmin Parkway (about 19.5 miles away). There is a railway station at the end of the trail (St Ives).

By Bus - A bus runs from Bodmin Parkway station to Padstow. Various bus services run from St Ives.

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to Bodmin Parkway. From there you a bus/taxi will be required to Padstow.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a taxi, as public transport options are somewhat lengthy.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Newquay" by Steve Woodward (2022) "Newquay" by Steve Woodward (2022)
"Pentire Point" by Steve Woodward (2022) "Pentire Point" by Steve Woodward (2022)
"Bedruthan Steps" by Steve Woodward (2022) "Bedruthan Steps" by Steve Woodward (2022)
"Trevaunance Cove" by David Hacket (2019) "Trevaunance Cove" by David Hacket (2019)
"Porth Mear" by David Hackett (2019) "Porth Mear" by David Hackett (2019)
"Trevone Bay" by David Hackett (2019) "Trevone Bay" by David Hackett (2019)
"Between Porth and Porthcothan" by Sandra Steel (2017) "Between Porth and Porthcothan" by Sandra Steel (2017)
"Porth to Porthcothan" by Sandra Steel (2017) "Porth to Porthcothan" by Sandra Steel (2017)

Customer reviews from the Cornwall's Atlantic Coast - South

“Excellent organisation as usual.”
Dr Begley, UK
“In general it was all very good, you did a great job and we really enjoyed our holiday.”
Mrs Basso, Italy
“We are now safe back in Norway after 2 wonderful walking weeks in Cornwall. Everything worked out very well - B&B were expecting us, transportation very accommodating and flexible when arranging pickups. A very professional arrangement - Thank you very much. Scenery was beautiful, interesting and different from what we are used to in Norway. People we met where very friendly. We ate a lot of good seafood and tasted several local beers, nice ones.”
Mr Haver, Norway
“Great accommodation, great detail provided by Contours.”
Miss Edwards, UK
“Excellent walk, lucky with the weather, great B&Bs and no issues with luggage transfers. Holiday was well put together by Contours, the holiday pack was excellent.”
Mr Fish, UK
“The tour went without hitch & we were blessed with excellent weather. It is our intention to book next years tour with you soon.”
Mrs Wood, UK
“We really enjoyed it all.”
Mrs Locke, USA
“Great Britain is always worth the journey! Everything, really everything worked great! I did recommend to others already, I'm totally thrilled! We will book another holiday with Contours one day for sure!”
Mrs Henke, Germany
“Spectacular scenery. Would recommend you to others because of responsible and quick responses to emails, certainty over baggage transfers and reasonable accommodation places. My rooms were always clean, comfortable and the owners very helpful. I still have two sections of the SW coast path to complete!”
Mrs Hunter, Australia
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