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Cornwall AONB Walk
St Ives and Coastal Path from Zennor

Region - Cornwall AONB

County/Area - Cornwall

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 11.0 miles / 17.9 km    Ascent - 1900 feet / 576 metres

Time - 7 hours 20 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 102Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 102Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 203Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 203Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - St Ives and Coastal Path from Zennor
Click image to see photo description.

Walking the South West Coast Path should never be seen as an easy undertaking unless you have prior knowledge of the route. This walk in particular includes as much length and ascent as many a high level fell walk with much of the climbing left to the end of the route. Combining an inland walk along the "Tinners Way" the route takes you to St Ives where you have the option of exploring the town before returning along the coastal path.

To start this Cornwall walk, park in the small car park at Zennor (grid ref. SW 454384) and pick up the path that begins at the western end of the churchyard and make for Tremedda, the first of a number of farms that are passed on the outward leg of the route. Many of the small fields with their stone walls date from prehistoric times and they certainly add character to the landscape.

Reaching Tremedda continue to Tregerthen where the path maintains its almost straight line as it continues to Wicca where a farm track leads to nearby Boscubben. Stay with the track past the farm for about 50 metres and take the path over a stile on the right. At Trendrine you have to pass through the farmyard keeping the house on your right. Navigation is easy with Trevessa the next target across some more fields.

At Trevessa turn left on to the lane and then immediately right by Little Trevega to take a path that cuts across some fields to reach the lane again. Climb the stile into the lane, turn right, and after 200 metres turn left on the Tinners' Way to Trevalgan farm.

The path goes to the left of the farm with the Trowan, the next farmstead, in a straight line ahead. Continue in the same direction to reach a crossroads of paths (grid ref. 502405). You can shorten the walk here by turning left to reach the costal path at Hellesveor Cliff. However we continue ahead staying with the footpath for a further half kilometre to reach the outskirts of St Ives. You reach a road and this leads you down to Porthmeor Beach.

After exploring St Ives perhaps including a visit to the Tate Gallery you need to locate the coastal path at the western end of Porthmeor Beach and follow this back to Zennor. As mentioned in the introduction this section of path is not easy with many switchbacks from the shoreline to cliff top. You soon learn as the first climb starts shortly after leaving St Ives where a steep ascent helps you regain the route taken by those using the "shortcut".

On the initial section there are some wonderful retrospective views across St Ives Bay to Godrevy lighthouse and beyond. The path becomes more rugged and reaching Pen Enys headland the view back is superb. Trevega Cliff is occupied by a trig point (91 metres) and after this the view west to Pendeen lighthouse begins to improve.

Forward progress can be slower than the map suggests and from Mussel Point the view to Zennor and Gurnard's headlands helps boost your spirits. At least the end of the route is in sight although the toughest section is yet to be covered! From Tregerthen the path can only be described as spectacular dropping down to the shore before soaring upward again to the cliff tops.

Reaching Zennor point the temptation is to take the short cut over the headland but you are recommended to stay true to the coastal path before clambering up to the trig point to enjoy the view. With a kilometre remaining the path to Zennor village follows a valley, which leads to the church and the Tinners Arms.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1223 Morvah to Zennor using the Coastal Pathmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1224 Men-an-tol & Ding Dong Mine from Bosulloweasy3.0 miles
Walk 2206 St. Ives - a town strolleasy1.5 miles
Walk 3325 Chun Quoit & Carn Kenidjack easy4.0 miles
Walk 2207 Penzance - a town strolleasy1.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to Plymouth

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to PlymouthMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from St Ives to Plymouth along the west Cornwall and Devon coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

Walking in Cornwall

Walking in CornwallThis guidebook includes routes to 40 day walks in Cornwall. From short, easy strolls to longer, wilder routes, there is plenty to appeal to both families and experienced walkers. The walks explore the interior and coasts, including walks through picturesque villages, old tin-mining areas and the Lizard and Land's End Peninsulas.
More information

The End to End Trail

The End to End Trail
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Cornwall AONB Walking

This AONB is split into many small fragments. It contains some of Britain's finest coastal scenery, including Land's End and the Lizard peninsula. In addition Cornwall's highest moorland around Bodmin is also included in this very varied and historically interesting area. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Cohort Hostel
St Ives
4.1 miles / 6.6 km away
Grenfells Cottage
St Just
5.8 miles / 9.2 km away
* Featured Supplier
River Valley
7.9 miles / 12.7 km away
19, SeaSpray
16.0 miles / 25.7 km away
Sycamores Caravan Hire
20.1 miles / 32.1 km away

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