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South West Cornwall

Penzance to Falmouth around the Lizard Peninsula of South West Cornwall.

5 to 7 nights
61 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £475 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The wildest and most isolated section of the South West Coast Path winds from Penzance along the rugged red-green cliffs of the Lizard and through the tranquil woods that line the creeks of Helford River.

With idyllic coves and smugglers’ hideaways in the mix, it’s already a beautiful route – but South West Cornwall visits St Michael’s Mount, too. Accessed by a tidal causeway, the rocky island is crowned by its vast fortress and priory.


© Contours Walking Holidays South West Cornwall map
Penzance to Falmouth
61 miles (98 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Looking out to the rising silhouette of St Michael’s Mount from the shore at Marazion.

Visiting the fishing villages of Porthleven, Mullion and Cadgwith, where whitewashed thatched cottages cluster around tiny harbours.

Experiencing the subtropical temperatures of this wild and isolated section of the South West Coast Path.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
SWCO1 From Penzance to Falmouth 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate / Demanding£475
SWCO2 From Penzance to Falmouth 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate / Demanding£570
SWCO3 From Penzance to Falmouth 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate£665

South West Cornwall 5 nights, 4 days walking

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

Important information

Please note that the Helford Passage Ferry Service operates from Good Friday or 1st April to October 31st.   If the ferry is not running the alternatives are a 13 mile detour or to take a taxi; therefore if you wish to walk this route outside of these dates, please contact us to discuss your requirements.


Travel to Penzance where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Penzance to Porthleven. 14 miles (22.5km)

Day 2

Porthleven to The Lizard. 13.5 miles (21.5km)

Day 3

The Lizard to Porthallow. 15.5 miles (25km)

Day 4

Porthallow to Falmouth. 18 miles (29km)


Depart from Falmouth 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; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

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
£40.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£33.00 per person / per night

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

Extra night (Standard)
£55.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 5 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 path or to simply relax on one of the sandy beaches for which Cornwall is famous.

Porthleven, with its picturesque harbour, is a lovely place to linger while Porthallow is a charming, unspoilt Cornish fishing village. Both locations are superb for a relaxing day.

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

Extra night (Standard)
£55.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 61 miles (98 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 18 miles (29 km)
Code: SWCO1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Penzance
End of holiday: Falmouth

Route Profile

South West Cornwall 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, Newquay and Bristol.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Penzance). There is a choice of stations at Falmouth. Falmouth Town or Falmouth Docks depending on the location of your accommodation.

By Bus - Various bus services run to Penzance and from Falmouth.

From London - Trains runs from London Paddington station to Penzance.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to catch a train from Falmouth to Penzance.

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.

Routes on this trail

7 to 12 nights
87 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £645 per person
Minehead to Westward Ho! along the North Devon section of the South West Coast Path.Find Out More
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Westward Ho! to Padstow along the rugged coast of North Cornwall.Find Out More
6 to 11 nights
66 miles
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From £560 per person
Padstow to St Ives along the Atlantic Coast section of the South West Coast Path.Find Out More
4 to 7 nights
40 miles
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A walking holiday from St Ives to Penzance around the most western point of England.Find Out More
7 to 11 nights
76 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £675 per person
Falmouth to Plymouth along the peaceful coastline of South Cornwall.Find Out More
7 nights
67 miles
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A walking holiday from Plymouth to Brixham around the coastline of South Devon.Find Out More
3 to 4 nights
28 miles
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Brixham to Exmouth along the beautiful coastline of the English Riviera.Find Out More
4 to 5 nights
30 miles
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Dog friendly
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Exmouth to Lyme Regis along the Jurassic Coastline of the South West Coast Path.Find Out More
7 to 8 nights
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Dog friendly
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Lyme Regis to Poole along the dramatic coastline of Dorset and the Jurassic coastline.Find Out More

Customer reviews from the South West Cornwall

“All the accommodation was good.”
Mr Bond, UK
“Many thanks for the organisation, choices of venues and planning involved in making our recent holiday with Contours Walking Holidays really relaxing and enjoyable. this was our second time using you and will not be the last!”
Dr Conkey, UK
“Accommodation excellent- -BB owners could not have been more helpful. Luggage waiting for us when we arrived at each overnight stop. The overnight stays were clean - good size bedrooms with a large choice for breakfast each day.”
Mr Rawdin, UK
“Overall we had a very good walking holiday, with very good accommodation, very good breakfasts and very friendly treatment at all stops.”
Mr Masters, France
“This has to be one of the best walks in UK. Wild, wet and demanding. But spectacular.”
Mr Oberwetter, USA
“Everything was perfect from accommodation to luggage transfer, really impressed.”
Mr Buzer, UK
“The scenery was amazing and the weather gods where with us! I would highly recommend this walk to anyone who loves nature and likes walking. The walk was very scenic, but the area around the Lizard was the most scenic. The little harbours and small villages were so beautiful! Loved Hereford River.”
Mr Willems, UK
“Beautiful weather, friendly, helpful people!”
Mr Fischer, USA
“All in all a wonderful way to holiday and so liberating being without the car and able to enjoy such a beautiful part of the English/Cornish coastline. Easy access to beaches etc. Made lots of friends/contact along the way.”
Mr Herbert, UK
"Poltesco Footbridge" by David Hackett (2019) "Poltesco Footbridge" by David Hackett (2019)
"Common Lizard" by David Hackett (2019) "Common Lizard" by David Hackett (2019)
"Chimney near Trewavas Head" by Blais Brancheau (2018) "Chimney near Trewavas Head" by Blais Brancheau (2018)
"Coastal Scene near Loe Bar" by Blais Brancheau (2018) "Coastal Scene near Loe Bar" by Blais Brancheau (2018)
"Porthleven" by David Conway (2018) "Porthleven" by David Conway (2018)
"Prussia Cove" by David Conway (2018) "Prussia Cove" by David Conway (2018)
"St Michaels Mount" by David Conway (2018) "St Michaels Mount" by David Conway (2018)
"Wheal Prosper" by Harriet Ells (2017) "Wheal Prosper" by Harriet Ells (2017)

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