Walks in Mid Cornwall

3.2 miles/5.2 km - Easy

King's Wood and Pentewan

A circular walk through the King's Wood Woodland Trust reserve to the lost port of Pentewan, along the trackbed of horse-drawn tramway that once carried china clay to the busy port and via the system of reservoirs and sluices that were used to flush sand out of the harbour.

3.3 miles/5.3 km - Easy-moderate

Lanhydrock Gardens

A fairly short and easy circular walk through Lanhydrock gardens (note that you will need to pay an entry fee unless you are NT member) with plenty of picnic spots along the River Fowey that you can combine with a visit to the house.

3.5 miles/5.7 km - Easy-moderate

Watergate Bay to Newquay

A (bus-assisted) one-way walk from Watergate Bay along the coast path to Newquay, passing the sea caves at Whipsiddery beach, the Iron Age hillfort on Trevelgue head and beaches of Porth, Lusty Glaze and Tolcarne.

3.6 miles/5.8 km - Easy-moderate

St Newlyn East and Lappa Valley

A circular walk from St Newlyn East through the woods of the Lappa Valley where the Steam Railway now encompasses what was one of the most famous mines in Cornwall during Victorian times and the riverbeds are still stained red.

3.6 miles/5.8 km - Easy-moderate

Watergate Bay to Porth

A circular walk along the beach from Watergate Bay to the sea caves of Whipsiddery and Iron Age hillfort at Trevelgue head, returning past the clifftop tombs of Bronze-Age chieftans, with panoramic views of the Newquay coastline.

3.8 miles/6.1 km - Easy-moderate

Lanhydrock to Respryn

A circular walk through the mature broadleaf woodland in the less well-known areas of the Lanhydrock estate, through bluebell woods and along the River Fowey, past the mediaeval bridge at Respryn, built after numerous prayers for safe passage in the ford-side chapel, had not resulted in the desired outcome.

4 miles/6.4 km - Easy-moderate

Mawgan Porth to St Mawgan

A circular walk from Mawgan Porth along the Vale of Lanherne, following the river Menalhyl to St Mawgan and returning past the 800-year-old cloistered Convent where the sanctuary light has been burning for hundreds of years.

4.4 miles/7.1 km - Easy-moderate

Porthcothan, Bedruthan Steps and Mawgan Porth

A (bus-assisted) one-way walk along the coast with spectacular wildflowers and one of Cornwall's most photographed views over the volcanic rock stacks of Bedruthan Steps, which Victorians liked to think of as a giant's stepping stones.

4.5 miles/7.2 km - Easy-moderate

Crantock and The Gannel

A circular walk along the River Gannel from Crantock, originally settled by Celtic monks whose chapel is thought may be buried beneath the dunes

5.0 miles/8.1 km - Easy-moderate

Grampound to Trewithen

A circular walk through the horticulturally-famous Trewithen Gardens from Grampound via the hamlet of Golden where the sundial and ornate windows of a farmyard barn give away that it was once a mediaeval manor prior to the Tudor monarchy confiscating the estate for harbouring a Catholic priest.

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Easy-moderate

Porth Reservoir

A circular walk through the wildlife reserve around the reservoir lake, past crumbling relics of the abandoned Nanswhyden estate and via farmland, a mill and wooded vales that were also once part of the great estate.

7.3 miles/11.7 km - Easy-moderate

St Columb Major to St Mawgan

A circular walk along the Vale of Lanherne from the mediaeval market town of St Columb Major, where Cornish Hurling is still played, to the riverside pub, church and convent at St Mawgan, returning through the broadleaf woodland of the Carnanton Estate along the River Menalhyl.

3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

Luxulyan Valley circular

A circular walk following the leats and horse-drawn tramways through the World Heritage site of the Luxulyan Valley to the massive viaduct which carried the tramways towards Newquay and water to winch the trams up the valley with a huge waterwheel.

3.4 miles/5.4 km - Moderate

Mevagissey to Portmellon

A circular walk from the busy fishing port of Mevagissey into the Portmellon Valley and through the West Bodrugan Woods nature reserve to the beachside village of Portmellon where boats have been built for hundreds of years, and still are.

3.9 miles/6.3 km - Moderate

St Just to Messack Point

A circular walk along both sides of St Just creek to Messack Point where there are spectacular views over one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

4 miles/6.4 km - Moderate

Towan Beach to Portscatho

A circular walk on the Roseland coast where, during the Napoleonic Wars, smugglers would row out to the middle of The Channel in pilot gigs to trade with the enemy.

4.4 miles/7.1 km - Moderate

Castle-an-dinas

A circular walk through the ramparts to the centre of the Castle-an-dinas Iron Age hillfort with 360 degree views across Cornwall, then into the valley to the River Menalhyl, returning along wooded paths lined with primroses, bluebells and wild garlic, and lanes with vibrant wildflowers.

4.4 miles/7 km - Moderate

Portscatho to Pendower Beach

A circular walk along two miles of beaches around Gerrans Bay which were once used by Portscatho smugglers to land contraband and strewn with the wreckage of sailing ships that overshot Falmouth Harbour and ran aground on The Whelps reef.

4.5 miles/7.3 km - Moderate

Bedruthan Steps

A circular walk with spectacular views of the rock stacks at Bedruthan Steps about which the myth of a giant's stepping stones was concocted for the amusement of Victorian tourists flocking to Padstow and Newquay on the new railway.

4.7 miles/7.6 km - Moderate

Fowey to Polridmouth

A figure-of-eight walk from Readymoney Cove past the Tudor fort and along the coast where Daphne Du Maurier lived to Polridmouth where the shipwreck inspired the end of her book Rebecca, and then along the mediaeval streets of Fowey.

4.7 miles/7.5 km - Moderate

Ladock Woods

A circular walk from the woodland of The Duchy to the Holy Well of St Ladock in the river valley where in 1802 a gold nugget was found that contained enough gold to make an elegant necklace which is now in Truro museum.

4.8 miles/7.7 km - Moderate

Grampound to Trenowth

A circular walk in the Fal valley from Grampound which began as river port in Roman times which evolved into the gateway into West Cornwall in mediaeval times and went on to become the centre of Cornwall's tanning industry.

4.8 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

Luxulyan Valley to Prideaux

A circular walk through the World Heritage site of the Luxulyan Valley and surrounding countryside, over the massive viaduct supporting a horse-drawn tram route to Newquay and along the leat that fed Charlestown Harbour.

4.9 miles/7.9 km - Moderate

Gorran Haven to Dodman Point

A circular walk on the Roseland from the fishing village of Gorran Haven to the remote, sandy Hemmick Beach via The Deadman's Point of old nautical maps, still marked with a huge cross to warn sailors of the perilous lee shores, and Vault Beach where the wreckage washed ashore.

5 miles/8 km - Moderate

Holywell to Crantock

A circular walk from Holywell Bay past the remarkable sacred spring and along the coast to the sandy beaches of Porth Joke and Crantock, returning via the poppy fields of West Pentire and the Cubert Common nature conservation area.

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Moderate

Pendower Beach to Veryan

A circular walk from Pendower Beach to Veryan via Nare Head where, in Victorian times, an unhappily married fisherman lived alone the in cliff-edge cottage, lowering his boat on a rope over the cliff and returning once a week to Veryan to bring his wife fish.

5.3 miles/8.5 km - Moderate

Lanhydrock to Restormel

A circular walk from the mediaeval bridge at Respryn along the River Fowey through the bluebell woodland of the Lanhydrock Estate to the circular Norman castle at Restormel which had a pressurised piped water system 700 years ahead of its time.

5.4 miles/8.7 km - Moderate

Perranporth to Trevellas

A circular walk past the remains of Alfred Nobel's dynamite works to the red-and-yellow ore-rich cliffs above the wreck of the treasure ship Hanover, returning, via the spitfire base, along Perran Coombe where a 2 mile leat once carried water to power a massive waterwheel in a chamber within the cliffs.

5.8 miles/9.3 km - Moderate

Newquay

A circular walk around the UK's surf capital which was transformed from a tiny fishing village with a few thatched cottages when, in order to export ore from the harbour, a horse-drawn tramway was built across Cornwall which later became part of the Great Western Railway.

5.9 miles/9.6 km - Moderate

Gorran Haven to Portmellon

A circular walk from Gorran Haven to Portmellon via the sheer cliffs from which Henry Bodrugan leapt to escape execution and sheltered Colona Beach, returning through West Bodrugan Woods Nature Reserve and via Gorran church which now has some of the finest bells in the country.

5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate

St Anthony Head

A walk along the Roseland coast and creeks opposite St Mawes, passing the preserved fort and Fraggle Rock lighthouse on St Anthony Head and the golden sandy beaches of Molunan.

6 miles/9.7 km - Moderate

Callestick and Ventongimps

A circular countryside walk past the nature reserve at Ventongimps and the engine house of West Chyverton mine, with refreshment opportunities at both Callestick Farm, where you can see the ice cream being made, and Healey's Cyder Farm who offer tours and tasting.

6.9 miles/11.2 km - Moderate

Holywell Bay to Newquay

A (bus-assisted) one-way walk from Holywell Bay along the coast and Gannel estuary to Newquay, passing the beaches of Porth Joke and Crantock and the headland of West Pentire where there is a spectacular display of red-and-gold wildflowers in June.

7.4 miles/11.9 km - Moderate

Holywell to St Piran's Oratory

A circular walk from Holywell Bay along the rugged coastline to Perran Beach and across the dunes to the Dark Ages relics of St Piran's Oratory, Church and Cross, returning via the Penhale Sands nature reserve which is carpeted in cowslips during spring.

3.8 miles/6.1 km - Moderate-strenuous

Hall Walk from Fowey to Polruan

A circular version of famous Hall Walk from Boddinnick to Polruan, recorded as a walk with "sweete senting flowers" in Tudor times and during the Civil War where a gun shot aimed at Charles I is said to have instead killed a fisherman who stood on the same spot moments later.

3.9 miles/6.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

Portholland to Portloe

A circular walk with lovely views of Veryan Bay to the pretty fishing village of Portloe from West Portholland where one of the last of Cornwall's mediaeval coastal farmsteads has survived.

5.2 miles/8.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

Nare Head to Portloe

A circular walk around Nare Head, past the restored Cold War nuclear bunker, to the pretty fishing village Portloe, with views along the length of The Roseland coast and over The Whelps reef - a graveyard for sailing ships that misjudged the entrance to Falmouth.

5.3 miles/8.5 km - Moderate-strenuous

Pentewan, Heligan and Mevagissey

A circular walk from Pentewan to Mevagissey via The Lost Gardens of Heligan which were discovered in the 1990s after 7 decades of neglect and what followed The Times described as "The garden restoration of the century".

6.3 miles/10.1 km - Moderate-strenuous

Cubert to St Pirans Round

A circular walk from Cubert's Celtic churchyard through the cowslip meadows of the Penhale Sands nature reserve and on paths lined with wildflowers along the river valley to reach St Pirans Round - the remains of the mediaeval amphitheatre.

6.6 miles/10.6 km - Moderate-strenuous

Pentewan Valley and Black Head

A circular walk from the lost port of Pentewan along the coast to the remains of the Iron Age fort overlooking St Austell Bay on Black Head, returning via the nature reserve that was once the King's wood and the trackbed of the horse-drawn tramway used for china clay and Sunday School outings.

6.7 miles/10.8 km - Moderate-strenuous

Polkerris, Gribbin Head and Readymoney Cove

A circular walk near Fowey from the tiny harbour of Polkerris, past the daymark tower on Gribbin Head and along the coast where Daphne Du Maurier lived and based many of her books on, to the sandy beach at Readymoney Cove, returning on the Saint's Way.

7.6 miles/12.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

Mevagissey to Charlestown

A (bus-assisted) one-way coastal walk from the fishing port of Mevagissey to Charlestown - one of the best-preserved Georgian ports in the world and an engineering masterpiece which included a seven-mile-long leat.

5 miles/9 km - Strenuous

Porthpean to Black Head

A circular walk from the sandy beach at Porthpean, past the brilliant white shingle beaches at Silvermine to the Iron Age fort on Black Head, returning via the site of an Iron Age metal works with spectacular views over St Austell Bay.