top of page

South West Coast Path Trek - Padstow to St Ives

SW Coast Path Trek: Padstow to St Ives

  • Walk 65 miles of Cornwall’s wild Atlantic coast

  • One of the UK's best loved long distance hikes

  • Devour fish’n’chips in Rick Stein’s town, Padstow

  • White sand beaches and roaring Atlantic surf 

  • Finish in St Ives - art and surf central

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • We are multi-day trek experts

  • Stay in charming hotels, inns and B&Bs

  • Eat in authentic local pubs and restaurants

  • Full luggage delivery

South West Coast Path Trek - Padstow to St Ives: Dates and Prices



7 nights

6 days' trekking

Luggage delivery

Group size 4-10


Join: Padstow


End: St Ives


Hotels and B&Bs




South West Coast Path Trek - Padstow to St Ives: Overview

Endless waves, salt-tinged sea breezes and Cornwall’s wild and rocky Atlantic coastline on your right. What more could you want from a Great British walking holiday? England’s South West Coast Path is a treasure-filled trek. It takes months to complete the whole route so we’ve selected the picturesque Padstow to St Ives stretch as it’s one of the most ruggedly spectacular. Think mystical coves, heritage, quaint quays, top notch food (including fresh seafood in TV chef Rick Stein’s home town of Padstow), fishing villages and glorious beaches. 

What to expect

The South West Coast Path is a moderately challenging trek. The route is on all kinds of terrain including grass, sand and gravel paths. Happily, there are many lovely spots to stop for rest and refreshment breaks like narrow, gallery-packed ports and villages and beachfront cafes. Our itinerary includes 6 days’ walking. Many squish it into 5 days, which gives a rather long last day and no time for St Ives at the end! If you’re used to walking for several hours over multiple days carrying just a day pack (your main bag will be transferred for you), you’ll be fine. If you have any questions about this trip's suitability, just get in touch.

South West Coast Path Trek - Padstow to St Ives: Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrive in Padstow

Arrive at the group hotel in Padstow in time for an evening briefing with your guide at around 18:00 hrs. There will be plenty of time to ask questions about the week ahead and to explore the bars and gift shops. You'll then all go out for dinner in a local restaurant. In Padstow - home of TV chef Rick Stein - spoilt for choice on the restaurant front springs to mind.


Accommodation: Hotel 

Luggage access

Day 2 - Trek from Padstow to Porthcothan

Let’s begin! Today, we leave Padstow walking along low-slung cliff tops above the charming beaches below. We’ll get great views of the coast and coves ahead from Trevose Head, which has a lighthouse you can stay in when you're next down this way. We'll aim to picnic at Constantine Bay. Today’s highlights include Gun Point with its Spanish Armada heritage, nesting birds at Porthmissen’s Marble Cliffs (time of year permitting) and potentially seal-spotting around Harlyn Bay. Hold your nose for Stinking Bay...


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 5 hrs

Distance: 21 km / 13 miles

Altitude gain / loss: 770m


Day 3 - Trek from Porthcothan to Newquay

Things get a bit more dramatic and rugged today. This calamitous bit of coast, with its confusing coves and jutting headlands, has put paid to many vessels down the years and has the legends to match. The three-mile long expanse of Watergate Bay is something to behold, as are the surfers on Fistral beach at the day’s end in Newquay. Today, spotting oystercatchers and bottle-nosed dolphins isn’t unheard of. Today’s highlights include all the ancient tumuli at Barrowfields, Griffin Point Iron Age cliff castle and the pillars of rock which rise from the National Trust’s beautiful Bedruthan beach.


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 4 hrs

Distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles

Altitude gain / loss: 535m


Day 4 - Trek from Newquay to Perranporth

There are some phenomenal pasty shops in Newquay if you want to tuck a little treat into your knapsack for elevenses! This morning we’ll leave the colourful, narrow streets of Newquay behind, heading out of town across Fistral beach. Its perfect setting and ideal waves combine to make this a surfing mecca. Botanists can now come into their own as we cross the West Pentire headland which is rich is wildflowers. Ornithologists, we haven’t forgotten you. Alongside the colonies of waders and kittiwakes, thousands of birds find winter shelter in the region. Look out for ringed plover, dunlin, greenshank, teal and curlew. The dunes at Holywell beach are an insect-packed highlight.


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 4-5 hrs

Distance: 18 km / 11 miles

Altitude gain / loss: 482m

Day 5 - Trek from Perranporth to Portreath

Today we’re officially on Cornish Time which is 20 minutes behind GMT. Who knew! This will be corroborated at the Millennium Sundial at Droskyn mine, which overlooks Perran Bay. The walking today is tougher, with more up and down than usual as we traverse an ancient mining area. Bats have now made their home in many of the caves and the St Agnes Head region is very popular with birders. Razorbills, guillemots and potentially puffins might be seen today. Geological treats today are the mineral-striped granite rocks at Cligga Head, spotting seals off Newdowns Head, and the Poldark-esque cliff-top tin mine ruins at Wheal Coates.


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 5-6 hrs

Distance: 19 km / 12 miles

Altitude gain / loss: 748m

Day 6 - Trek from Portreath to Hayle

On today’s trek we’ll follow the cliffs over rocky coves with evocative names like Ralph’s Cupboard - named after a prolific smuggler no doubt. We’ll encounter varied terrain from estuaries to cliff tops to dunes to keep us on our toes. There are some steeper climbs initially but then we even out and hit our stride for the day. Wildflowers often dominate such as blue sheep’s bit and primroses. Seals, sunfish and sharks have been spotted on the coastlines of Godrevy and Gwithian. Eyes peeled, who’s got the binoculars today? Godrevy Island’s lighthouse, out across St Ives Bay, was perhaps Virginia Woolf’s muse for `To The Lighthouse'. The sheer drama of Hell’s Mouth is one of our favourite photo stops today.


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 4-5 hrs

Distance: 19 km / 12 miles


Day 7 - Trek from Hayle to St Ives

Where did the week go, today is our sixth and final day on the South West Coast Path. Today is a short day to allow for a wind down walk and a full and pleasant evening in St Ives. We cross Hayle’s 100-year-old swing bridge - Britain’s oldest - and continue across bird-filled mud flats. Hayle was once Cornwall’s most important industrial port and a significant centre for the copper trade. We’ll join the pilgrimage trail of St Michael’s Way for a stint, before continuing on to end our journey in delightful St Ives. Home to the Tate St Ives, the town really needs a few days to explore it properly with its plethora of high quality cafes, artisan gift shops and galleries.


Accommodation: hotel or B&B

Luggage access

Walking: approx 2-3 hrs

Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Day 8 - Departure day 

Your guided Cloud 9 Adventure trek along the South West Coast Path comes to a close after breakfast today. Why not stay on in this beautiful part of the country, using St Ives as a base to explore Cornwall’s southern coast.


  • 7 nights' accommodation on twin-share basis

  • All breakfasts

  • Luggage delivery every day

  • Fully qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

  • Transport to start/ from end of trek 

  • Lunches and evening meals

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal drinks and snacks

  • Tips

South West Coast Path Trek - Padstow to St Ives: Book Online

bottom of page