The hike between St Ives and Penzance is a great way to experience Cornwall’s industrial past, and if you cover a section a day it can be a unique way to spend a 5 day break. Both St Ives and Penzance are well connected, so you’ll have no trouble getting back to your starting point or heading home once you complete the journey, and the route has a grading of easy. In fact, this is one of the most scenic areas of the South West Coast Path, and the route has a lovely feeling of remoteness.
The path winds its way along a wild landscape, passing some of the sites that helped shape Cornwall. The route also picks up the Granite Coast, taking walkers past the Levant Mine and Beam Engine, as well as the ruined engine houses of Botallack. Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site, visitors can see this restored engine in action, so steam enthusiasts should leave time to explore this iconic location. You’ll pass the jutting Cape Cornwall as you go, and until 200 years ago it was thought to have been Cornwall’s most westerly point.
Take your time in this spot as there are clear views out to the Brisons, and on a very lucky day you can see all the way to Scilly Isles. This area of the coastline is a haven for birdwatchers, as Peregrine falcons, Cornish Chough and many more bird species are common sights. Other highlights of this walk include the Minack Theatre, the fishing port of Mousehole and St Michael’s Mount.