Best walks in south Cornwall


Calstock to Cotehele

For a walk full of history, a stroll along the River Tamar from Calstock to Cotehele is perfect. From the architectural wonder that is Calstock’s Victorian viaduct, an enduring memorial to industrial progress and later decline. To Cotehele, a beautifully preserved Tudor manor house, there is plenty of Cornish history to be seen.

This easy to moderate walk takes you through wooded valleys, along river banks and past old engine houses to provide a truly varied and interesting route. For superb views, head just beyond the Tamar Valley office for a stunning vantage point of the surrounding area.

Polruan to Lantic Bay 

For those looking for a more challenging walk to really get the blood plumping, then the hilly walk along the South West Coast Path to Lantic Bay is just what you need.

Lantic Bay is one of south Cornwall’s most beautiful, unspoilt beaches. Owned by the National Trust, this beach is utterly secluded due to the remote location and strenuous access down from the coastal path. As a result, most visitors arrive by boat. However, if you’re up to the demanding walk back up then a couple quiet hours by the sea could be a good detour. 

If you still have some energy left at the end of this walk, take a right before heading back to the car park to Peak Point to see the remains of a gun battery that once defended Fowey harbour. 

Rame Head to Cawsand 

For those seeking spectacular coastal views and an abundance of history, this is the walk for you. With two 19th century forts, the remains of a gun battery used in both world wars, a WW2 pillbox, and two chapels, one of which dates back to the 14th century; this walk is rich with the history of a wars gone by. Stunning views over Whitsand Bay with its huge beaches and rugged cliffs, and panoramas out over the Plymouth Sound, make this walk standout as one of the most impressive on the south Coast. 

If you wish to take a dog on this walk, be aware that there are cattle and wild Dartmoor ponies grazing on some sections of this walk, so taking a lead would be advised. 

Kit Hill 

Steeped in rich mining history, Kit Hill stands at 1000 feet looking out over the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and beyond to both Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor.

Plenty of remnants of its industrial history make up the landscape here, including a granite quarry, engine houses and Summit Shack. As Kit Hill has only ever been lightly grazed, the wildlife here is in plentiful. Buzzards and kestrels can often be seen soaring overhead, and butterflies and dragonflies flutter between the heather. Much of fauna and flora here is protected. 

A way marked walking route of around 2 hours through the 400 acre country park makes the most of all the scenery and endless views.

St Just to Messack Point 

This varied walk makes a feature of St Just creek as well as farmland and woodland scenery. 

Starting in St Just church before walking around the creek and up to Messack Point, this moderate walk is great for seeing all kinds of wildlife. Look out for the common blue butterfly, barrel jellyfish and squirrels, as well as many types of flora such as sloe berries, three-cornered leeks and foxgloves. In the spring, bluebells carpet the woodland paths making for a really pretty stroll. 

This walk involves a very short duration of road walking, so those walking with dogs may want to bare this in mind.