Cornwall Coast: Lands End & St Ives - tour description
Most visitors to West Cornwall see little except Lands End itself which
is regrettable as the whole of the granite coastline on either side of
Lands End, between Mousehole and St Ives, offers magnificent landscapes
and seascapes, including perhaps the finest coastal scenery in England.
In spring the cliff-top path is bordered with masses of wild flowers,
notably the cushions of pink sea-thrift.
Almost every mile provides some new contrast or point of interest: the
remains of former tin mines perched on the sea cliffs around Botallack;
the open-air theatre overlooking the beach at Porthcurno; ancient dolmens
(stone-age burial chambers), stone circles, standing stones, iron age
hill forts and other prehistoric remains; and and of course the unceasing
swell of Atlantic waves breaking on offshore reefs or crashing at the
foot of the cliffs.
Tucked away near the western extremity of England at Cape Cornwall is
the little town of St Just-in-Penwith, formerly a centre of the tin-mining
industry, now a picturesque backwater with a real old- fashioned Cornish
pub, dark wood panelling and all.
The narrow, winding streets and picturesque fishing harbour of St Ives
have long attracted painters and sculptors such as Augustus John and Barbara
Hepworth; and the town now has its own permanent branch of Londons
world famous Tate Gallery.
The famous open-air theatre on the cliffs at Porthcurno has performances
from Monday to Friday evenings from late May until September.
A second night at Zennor allows time for a rest, or to walk to the fascinating
iron age village of Chysauster. The celebrated monastic island of St Michaels
Mount, reached by a tidal causeway from Marazion, is accessible in a day
from either Mousehole or St Ives; accommodation can also be booked in
NEW! Bodmin Moor extension (2 nights). Stop off on your way back from St Ives for 2 nights in comfortable farm-house accommodation with private bathroom at Darite on the edge of the beautiful granite upland of Bodmin Moor! Pick-up and drop-off at Liskeard main line rail station, or discounted price if you arrive in your own car. An amazing landscape contrast after the Lands End coastline! Maps and route notes included, also transfer on Day 2 to the remote village of Altarnun (setting of part of Daphne du Maurier’s novel Jamaica Inn) from where you can walk back across the moor to Darite. Click here for Bodmin Moor page.
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What previous customers have told us about our Lands End Tour
We had a wonderful time. We loved Cornwall, the coastal path and the walking.
We were not really ready to end when we reached St.Ives... The map and
directions made us feel quite comfortable about being on our own...we
saw kestrels and a couple of seals... the flowers were glorious... [The
accommodations]...were great. Each was different from the other and all
the proprietors were interesting and very hospitable. While the rooms
were often small, each location had its own charm...The Discerning Traveller
met our needs perfectly.
Ms D.Maccario & Ms E.Fein.
'...map and route descriptions were very exactly worked out! (the best
that we have ever known).' Mr and Mrs Honifogl. 'We like the ancient things:
stone-circles, menhirs, quoits...'
Mrs Roermund and Mrs Driemen.
'All accommodations were very nice; each had a speciality: the lovely
house in [Mousehole], the comfort [at Porthcurno]...the calmness in the
guest house at St Ives. We liked to be everywhere.'
Mr and Mrs Bergmann.
'Don't change a thing!'
Ms A. Jongedijk and black labrador Ari.
'We had a great walk, the weather co-operated, your directions, notes
suggestions etc. were great.' Mr R West.
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Cornwall Coast: Land's End & St Ives - tour
A Discerning Traveller self-led hiking holiday
Duration. 5 nights or 7 nights. Tour code: W5 or W7. Dates. April
to mid-October. In winter the accommodation is still available, but weather
conditions on the coastal path can be stormy!
Grade. 5 night tour: moderate to demanding; 7 night tour: moderate.
The 5 night tour is intended for those who wish to concentrate on completing
the coastal path walk between Mousehole and St Ives, and is MORE strenuous
and demanding than the 7-night tour, which allows more time to explore
the numerous fine prehistoric sites away from the coast, or to take the
coastal walk at a more leisurely pace. The coastal walk (5-day tour) involves
distances of up to 18km/11 miles/7 hours per day over rough terrain on
narrow paths with many short steep ascents and descents. However days
can readily be shortened by using buses or taxis so don't worry if you
have less than a week to spare!
Train stations. Start of tour Penzance; end of tour St Ives or
Train service. Direct from London Paddington to Penzance (5.5 hrs;
to return from St Ives change trains at St Erth or Penzance). There is
also an overnight sleeper train service (not Saturday nights) between
London Paddington and Penzance with a choice between a comfortable seat
and a berth (bed) in a two-berth cabin between London Paddington and Penzance.
The sleeper berths must be pre-booked.
Overnight stops. 5-night tour: Night 1 Mousehole; 2 Porthcurno;
3 St Just; 4 Zennor; 5 St Ives; 7-night tour: Night 1 Mousehole; 2 Porthcurno;
3 and 4 St Just; 5 Zennor; 6 and 7 St Ives.
Accommodation. Specially selected small guest houses or 'B&Bs'.
One or two nights may be at a small hotel. En suite or private facilities
can be guaranteed throughout the tour on payment of a supplement.
Meals included. Breakfast each morning; other meals can be obtained
locally without pre-booking.
Dogs. It may be possible to bring a well-behaved dog on this tour.
Extra nights. These can be included at any point on the tour at
the time of booking the holiday. We charge cost price plus a commission.
On the 7-night tour we already include second nights at St Just and St
Ives. This allows time at St Just for extra walks, to explore the
fascinating little town and (for those interested in industrial archaeology)
to visit the remains of tin-mining industry on the coastal cliffs at Geevor.
An extra day at St Ives, which offers a choice of galleries, cafes
and beaches, also provides an opportunity for a visit to St Michael's
Mount as well as for more hikes. An extra day at Zennor allows
time to walk over the moors to the fascinating iron-age village of Chysauster
(in the care of English Heritage); on the way you also pass the quoits
(Neolithic tombs) of Zennor and Mulfra. Porthcurno has a fine beach,
as well as the Minack clifftop theatre. Less fit walkers find a rest day
at Porthcurno beneficial in order to regain their strength for the demanding
walk round Lands End to St Just! A night can also be booked at Marazion
in order to visit St Michael's Mount (reached by boat or via a tidal causeway,
castle closed Saturdays), which is also easily accessible in a day from
Mousehole or St Ives or other points on the tour.
Factsheet. Our factsheets are more detailed information sheets,
one for each tour, which should be obtained from The Discerning Traveller
before booking. The Factsheet code for our Land's End tour is FSW. See Enquiry
Reading. Daphne du Maurier's Cornwall is available in paperback
while her famous short story The Birds is set on the north coast at a
location somewhat resembling Zennor. Journey to the Stones by Ian Cooke
is an inspiring text on the archaeological monuments of the Lands End
peninsula, several of which we visit. A delightful book for young children
is The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber; our tour starts by Mousehole's
claw-like harbour wall.
Cornwall Coast: Lands End & St Ives - tour prices
- W5 (5 nights tour, ES or private facilities most nights): £480.
SRS*: £85. STS**: £110.
- W5E (5 nights tour, ES or private facilities every night):
£530. SRS*: £100. STS**: £125.
- W7 (7 nights tour, ES or private facilities most nights): £570.
SRS*: £105. STS**: £130.
- W7E (7 nights tour, ES or private facilities every night):
£630. SRS*: £130. STS**: £155.
- Extra nights £45 per person per night. At Zennor or St Ives
- SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book
- STS** = single traveller supplement (applicable when booking is
for one person only)
- Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded
rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with
baggage transfers, maps and route directions. ‘ES’ (en suite) facilities
means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet
within the main door of your room. ‘Private facilities’ means that the
private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the
booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement
is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a single
traveller supplement is payable. Normally there is a maximum of one
single room per booking.
- Note 1. Maximum of 1 single room per booking.
- Note 2: Extra night prices may be higher for single rooms.
- Note 3: This tour is available for single travellers paying the
single supplement rate.
We offer other coastal walking tours on the Jurassic
Coast of Devon and Dorset (a Unesco World Heritage Site) and in Pembrokeshire.
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About self-led hiking and walking tours
Our postal address is The Discerning Traveller,
38 Canal Street, OXFORD OX2 6BQ, United Kingdom.
Telephone and fax 0(044) 1865 515618. email@example.com