Zennor to St Ives coastal walk

Zennor to St Ives (via bus)

A fairly demanding but rewarding one-way coastal walk, made circular via an initial bus journey, along the rugged coast between St Ives and Zennor, passing Seal Island which may have given rise to the legend of the mermaid of Zennor and - thanks to some imaginative naming - ice cream (Moomaid of Zennor). The walk is in the optimal direction to remove time pressure and for panoramic views across St Ives bay.

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Download the (free) app then use it to purchase this walk.
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The app will direct you to the start of the walk via satnav.
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The app guides you around the walk using GPS, removing any worries about getting lost.
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The walk route is described with detailed, regularly-updated, hand-written directions.
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Each time there is a new direction to follow, the app will beep to remind you, and will warn you if you go off-route.
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A map shows the route, where you are at all times and even which way you are facing.
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Each walk is packed with information about the history and nature along the route, from over a decade of research than spans more than 3,000 topics.
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Once a walk is downloaded, the app doesn't need wifi or a phone signal during the walk.
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The app counts down distance to the next direction and estimates time remaining based on your personal walking speed.
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We keep the directions continually updated for changes to the paths/landmarks - the price for a walk includes ongoing free updates.

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

The bus journey to Zennor is done first to eliminate any time pressure for the walk. The walk begins through Zennor and then meets the coast at Zennor Head. The route follows the coast path towards St Ives across the geological boundary from 400 million-year-old rocks to granite weathered over 275 million years into towering cliffs. As the route approaches St Ives, there are panoramic views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy lighthouse. The route then enters St Ives via Porthmeor Beach, the Island and two more beaches to reach the harbour before returning to the car park through the town.


  • Rugged coastline between Zennor and St Ives
  • Panoramic coastal views from Zennor Head
  • Marine wildlife including seals, seabirds including gannets and coastal birds including choughs
  • Heather flowers in July and August
  • Sandy beaches of Porthgwidden, Porthmeor and around Carrick Du
  • St Ives historic harbour and buildings
  • Tate Art Gallery and a myriad of small galleries


  • The coastal section includes some scrambles over boulders of varying sizes. Springs drain into a couple of sections of the coast path so the path and rocks are wet here.
  • Route includes paths close to unfenced cliff edges.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 102
  • Distance: 7.7 miles/12.4 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate-strenuous
  • Recommended footwear: Waterproof walking boots
  • Pub: ✓
  • Café: ✓

OS maps for this walk

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Hain Line
  • The Lifeboat Inn
  • The Sloop Inn
  • The Tinner's Arms

Adjoining walks

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

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