Walks from St Ives to Hayle, Lelant, Zennor and Carbis Bay
Scenic walks around the beautiful St Ives coastline and beyond.
Circular walk West from St Ives
3 miles Difficulty: Easy
This is a pretty circular walk along the coast path towards Zennor, turning inland at Hellesveor Cliffs before returning to St Ives, with an optional extension around the Island to turn it into a figure of eight. Starting at Porthmeor Beach Car Park, join the Coastal Footpath past the Bowling Green with the sea on your right. Continue along the footpath through the kissing gate at Clodgy Point, past Mans Head following the yellow way marks up the hill swinging slightly left by the stone walling. Follow the coastal footpath (ignoring the right hand lower paths) until you reach Hor Point and Hellesveor Cliffs which are marked with a National Trust sign, approximately one mile after setting off. Turn left here up the track heading away from the sea. After approximately 300 yards turn left over the style marked with a black and white post and follow the path heading back towards St Ives. This path will then become Burthallan Lane, continue along this lane past the Garrack Hotel to the T junction at Alexandra Road, around half a mile since the style. Turn left and follow this road as it zig zags back towards Porthmeor, eventually heading down Porthmeor Hill to the car park where you started. If you like you can then extend the walk by just over another mile or so to walk around the Island and back. To do this continue on towards the beach and then on past The Tate Gallery. Follow the road as it turns away from the beach and follow it left at Bumbles Tea room, past the Porthmeor Studios and St Ives School of Painting. When you reach the Fish Pi Pottery turn left into Porthmeor road follow the road as it turns right and then turn left down the vehicular access to the beach. Before reaching the sand take the path back up again to The Island, and follow the path around the Island keeping St Nicholas Chapel on your right and the sea on your left. Passing the National Coastwatch Institute lookout on your left take the path left which leads down to a red doggy bin marking a set of steps which will take you on to Porthgwidden beach. At the beach stay on the walkway around the entire beach past the huts & cafe, then head back up another set of steps to head around the car park (with the car park on your right) in the direction of St Ives harbour. Follow the path bearing right following the ornate lamp posts to head up the steps leading up to the St Ives Museum on your right hand side. From the top of the steps follow the road briefly to the left before taking the second turning on the right to head down Back Road East, and follow this road all the way back to Porthmeor Car Park again.
Circular walk East from St Ives
4 miles Difficulty: Easy
This is a relatively easy walk from St Ives harbour, taking you along Hain walk towards Carbis Bay, and then heading up The Belyars, around the top of St Ives, before heading back to Porthmeor before returning to the harbour. Starting at St Ives harbour, head to the Lifeboat house and follow the path beside the lifeboat house keeping the sea to your left towards Porthminster beach. After passing Porthminster continue to climb up the path crossing the railway line coming out at Hain Walk after the steep section at the top. Continue straight ahead following Hain Walk, passing the Baulking House where they used to keep a look out for the pilchard shoals. After approximately half a mile, while heading downhill towards Carbis Bay beach, take the right hand fork in the path heading uphill & through the kissing gate. Continue on until you reach the main St Ives Road, and turn right heading into St Ives for approximately 200m to The Cornish Arms pub. Cross the road here & turn up Higher Tregenna Road beside the Cornish Arms (not the narrow Steeple Lane that is immediately left again). Head up towards St Ives School noting Knills Steeple on your left. Continue straight on past the school through a wooden & metal gate & down the lane past the golf course. At the T junction turn right then quickly left up Trenwith Lane heading towards the Belyars Bowling Green. Follow this windy country lane for approx half a mile eventually passing houses on the left. Continue straight on past St Ives Veterinary Surgery keeping the Vets on your right down to the main road. Go over the pedestrian crossing turn right down the hill then quickly left to follow the road signposted to Porthmeor Beach car parks & Tate St Ives. Follow this road as it zig zags back towards Porthmeor, eventually heading down Porthmeor Hill to the beach and then continue on past The Tate Gallery. Follow the road as it turns away from the beach and follow it left at Bumbles Tea room, past the Porthmeor Studios and St Ives School of Painting. Just past/opposite the St Ives School of Painting turn right into Norway Square, and zig zag straight on back to the harbour to complete the walk with a well earned drink at the historic Sloop Inn on your left.
Lelant to St Ives
4 miles Difficulty: Easy
From St Ives take the train to Lelant and walk back along The Saltings going left up Green Lane to the Church. Take the footpath next to the church which passes over the golf course and railway line to the Sand Dunes and Porthkidney Beach (Don't forget to duck if you hear someone shout FORE). This is a lovely place to stop for a swim in the summer but be sure to use the lifeguarded areas as there can be strong rip currents near the mouth to Hayle estuary. Where the footpath crosses the railway line, turn left and from here getting back to St Ives is simply a case of keeping the sea to your right and taking the footpath. The path will take you over the dunes, around Hawke's point crossing the railway line over another footbridge and then to Carbis Bay beach. From here take the path below the gardens of the Carbis Bay hotel and over the railway line again which will lead you onto Hain Walk and eventually Porthminster beach back in St Ives.
St Ives to Zennor
8 miles Difficulty: Moderate to Severe
This walk is only for experienced walkers and will take 3 to 4 hours to complete as although the first half of the walk is more moderate along the cliff path, some of the walk and in particular the later parts are more difficult, with the path rising steeply from the coves to the cliffs, and with a few rocks to be navigated across here and there. However it is well worth the effort as the views are spectacular and the walk is rich in wildlife and historical interest, taking you to areas of the coast that are not normally accessible by any other means. The path starts at Porthmeor beach in St Ives heading out past the Bowling Green to Clodgy, and is well marked and relatively easy to follow. Shortly after passing Clodgy point, you may notice the old ruins of a building on the seaward side, which is the old leper colony which was established there giving it's name to Clodgy point with the Cornish for 'klav' and 'ji' meaning 'sick house'. The path continues then to rise past the cliff tops and descends towards the many coves you will pass. On the way you will see the Carracks or Seal Island as it is known locally, and may well see the boat trips from St Ives stopping there for visitors to watch and feed the seals. Nearing the end when you reach Zennor Point, it is tempting after your recent steep climbs to take the short cut left over the headland to the village. However if you do you will then miss out on the last part of the coastal path, which takes you up to Trig point to enjoy the final views, before following the path up the valley to Zennor and a well earned pint at The Tinners Arms before taking the bus back to St Ives. Legend has it that if you sit above Mermaid Cove at twilight on a summers eve, you might just hear the singing of a man who fell in love with the mermaid of Zennor and followed her out to sea. We can't vouch for whether this is true, but couldn't say that it isn't either; so do let us know if you hear anything. As there are no towns or villages along the route, and with little mobile phone reception around the cliffs, please make sure that someone knows where you are and when you are expected home, and don't forget to take appropriate walking gear, bad weather clothing & drinking water.