Self Guided Walking Holidays
Almost completely surrounded by the sea, with 300 miles of coastal foot path, Cornwall is one of the most popular walking destinations in England. You will encounter mile after mile of spectacular views, whether on the rugged and wild North Coast cliffs overlooking the raging Atlantic Seas or along the secluded coves and tree-clad creeks dotted amongst the county’s southern shores, which were once the haunt of Cornish smugglers and pirates. Inland walks provide you with a chance to walk in the footprints of our forefathers, by taking pilgrimage trails or routes which avoided sea journeys around the treacherous headlands. Cornwall is an experience……not just a holiday.
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Steeped in Celtic heritage, Cornwall could and was seen to many as a ‘separate’ land from the rest of the United Kingdom.
Pilgrimages were made to and through Cornwall from all over the Christian world, with some still in existence, the most well-known being The Saints Way. In bygone times the walk would take you overland from Padstow to Fowey when making your way to Rome, or the Holy Land, many devotees rather than risk the dangerous seas around Lands’ End disembarking on the north coast of the county and travelling overland to the south coast to take them on their onward journey.
However if opting to walk the coast path, the multifaceted allure of Cornwall unravels itself before you. The surfer’s paradise of Bude with its sandy beaches draw water sports lovers from all over the world. Tintagel and Boscastle provide you with a trip into the mythical and mystical stories of King Arthur’s court complete with Merlin and his wizardry. Travelling onwards you follow in the foot-steps of the hard working miners on the dramatic cliff top setting of mining buildings where men and women toiled to extract the riches of the earth from beneath the crashing waves. Pass through beautiful quaint fishing villages and harbours like Padstow where local fishermen land their daily catch of fresh seafood which you can later enjoy at one of the many local pubs and restaurants at the end of your days walking.
If you prefer to spend your days walking, and your spare time taking in the artistic culture and some of the most iconic buildings and structures that are dotted along this dramatic coastline, with a chance to grab at photograph of yourself at the end of the land (complete with signpost to prove it), our St Ives to Penzance breaks are definitely the ones for you. For those who prefer the quieter solitude of a varying landscape with a mixture of high clifftops and sheltered woodlands along with stops at quaint fishing harbours and smaller villages, The Lizard peninsula is the place to be. This area boasts many geological anomalies, unique not only to the UK, but the world. The rare serpentine stone is found here, and in some places still worked to produce stunning ornaments and souvenirs, a perfect gift to take home as a reminder of your adventures in the South West. Due to the location of the peninsula, sub-tropical plants grow in some of the most beautifully kept gardens, which are open to the public.
Alternatively, if you prefer your history with a more nautical theme, why not walk from one historic harbour town to another along the south Cornish coast, taking ferries across the rivers and estuaries between Falmouth and Plymouth. Spend your days stopping to marvel at the landscape that has inspired many great writers such as Daphne du Maurier to tell tales of smuggling and piracy, or a more sedate description of the surroundings, like Kenneth Graham the author of the famous children’s novel ‘The Wind in the Willows’, who we feel sums up time spent in Cornwall best with his quote…’After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working’.