Pub Walks In Cornwall

Looking for the best pub lunches near the Cornwall Coast Path? Walk this way!

While the cat is well and truly out of the bag that West Cornwall provides the UK’s most supernatural seascapes, only a teeny percentage of visitors have cottoned on to the fact that it’s at its absolute most swoony (and tranquil) when you’re walking on its coast path. Gifting walkers not just an eyeful of Cornish shoreline, history and nature, but also glorious isolation, headspace and (marginally) improved calf muscle, adding a good long walk into your cottage break in St Ives is guaranteed to provide your holiday highs, particularly when you’re factoring in a cracking pub lunch too. That first post-walk swig of Cornish ale? Off the scale!

With 330 miles of coast path in Cornwall – and gorgeous inland landscapes too – how do you know which walks in Cornwall are the best? Well, we’ve taken all the (ahem) legwork out of your research and whittled all of West Cornwall’s coast path routes down to four of our favourites, each with a great Cornish pub either en route or on the finish line. So, from shortest to longest (and with some recommendations for dog-friendly pubs thrown in too) enjoy our tried-and-tested pick of West Cornwall’s very best pub walks to enjoy during your holiday cottage in St Ives break.

Walk 1: Porthcurno, Logans Rock and Treen

Length of walk: 3 miles

Allow: Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Type of walk: Circular

Distance from your holiday cottage in St Ives to start point by car: 17 miles

Where to park (start point): Porthcurno Car Park

The walk

Porthcurno might be better known for the incredible Minack Theatre literally carved into the cliff, but walkers exploring the other side of Porthcurno beach are in for no less drama. A wee climb and a short walk deliver you to one of Cornwall’s most arresting sites: Logan’s Rock and the sight of Pedn Vounder beach, where ‘turquoise’ and ‘glittering’ are hopelessly inadequate adjectives for the extent of the Caribbean vibes. Clambering down to Pedn Vounder beach is only for those whose agility matches that of a mountain goat so stick to the coast path until you’re parallel with Logan’s Rock, take the wooden gate inland, and cross four farming fields to the lovely little village of Treen where you’ll find the pub. If you can’t resist seeing the scenery all over again (and who could blame you), go back the way you came, or you can take the inland footpath back to Porthcurno.

The pub lunch: The Logan Rock Inn in Treen

Personally, we like the kind of boozer that feels like it hasn’t changed all that much over the years, and with its low beams, fireplace and slate underfoot, this 16th century dog-friendly pub delivers just that. The big boon is that Sunday roast is served all year round (though specials such as Newlyn spider crab may pose quite the dilemma). The pub’s Cornish cream teas provide excellent walking sustenance too (though it pays to remember that a cream-first approach is tantamount to breaking the law around here).

Credit: Visit Cornwall

Credit: Visit Cornwall


Walk 2: Hell’s Mouth and Godrevy

Length of walk: 5 miles

Allow: Approximately 2 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Type of walk: Circular

Distance from your holiday cottage in St Ives to start point by car: 11 miles

Where to park (start point): Layby on the B3301 just along the road from Hell’s Mouth Kitchen and Bar

The walk

First timers on a holiday cottage break in St Ives might be unlikely to venture further afield, such is the scope of the town with five beaches. Second time though, we’ll bet the curiosity’s well and truly piqued as to what’s on the other side of the bay. The answers are all on this walk, taking in the rocky inlet Hell’s Mouth (every bit as dramatic as it sounds); a vertical peer down at Mutton Cove’s seal colony; and the handsome figure of Godrevy Lighthouse. You’ll also find yourself facing the visual sweep of St Ives Bay (an opportunity to impress your fellow walkers pointing and naming each sandy stretch east to west) and you can grab a midpoint cappuccino and heavy-duty cookie at Godrevy café on the National Trust car park. Thereafter the walk loops inland along tranquil country lanes, fields, and a woodland stream.

The pub lunch: The Red River Inn in Gwithian

A few minutes’ walk off-piste and you arrive at this Gwithian pub (so named because of the local tin mines’ iron ore turning the local river red in days gone by). Good food and a down-to-earth atmosphere are the perfect walkers’ reward and you can rest the limbs inside or out in the courtyard. Enjoy a Red River Burger, a mound of moules, or a hearty Sunday roast out of season – all washed down with a glass of crisp white or a pint of St Ives Slipway IPA (brewed a stone’s throw away). A dog-friendly pub, family-friendly pub, vegan-friendly pub. Just all-round friendly really.

Credit: Matt Jessop

Credit: Matt Jessop

Walk 3: St Ives to Zennor

Length of walk: 6.2 miles

Allow: Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes

Level of difficulty: Challenging

Type of walk: Point-to-point

Where the walk starts: The western end of St Ives’ Porthmeor Beach

The walk

Anyone who’s stayed multiple times at holiday cottages in St Ives will know that the ‘Tinners’ Way’ walk on the Cornwall coast path to the village of Zennor is the walker’s ultimate bucket lister: challenging, long, rugged and steep but ultra rewarding for its spectacular sense of clifftop remoteness. You might be looking down a fair bit of the time to concentrate on Mother Nature’s crazy paving, so you’ll want to stop frequently to rest up and gawp at the views; in other words, if ever there was a good time to invest in a pair of binoculars, it’s NOW! Lighthouses, seals and gannets may come into focus, and you might even be lucky enough to see a chough; the back-from-the-brink red-beaked birdies are back!

As this is a linear A-to-B walk, you might want to time it right to get the bus back to St Ives (check timetables for the regular bus service plus the sightseeing ‘Land’s End Coaster’ service) or – if the limbs allow – you can walk back through inland farmsteads on ‘The Coffin Path’.

The pub lunch: The Tinners’ Arms in Zennor

Tinners’ Arms? The Tinners’ Legs more like! Anyway, there’s a lovely cosy intimacy in this iconic, cosy and dog-friendly Cornish pub dating back to 1271 and pint in hand you can read about the mysterious legend of the local mermaid on the whitewashed wall while you wait for your top pub grub. You’ve never deserved a good meal more, so tuck into a home-cooked roast (out of season), signature Cornish crab sandwich fresh from Newlyn, or a trio of Cornish cheeses. Even more locally sourced is the yummy Moomaid of Zennor ice cream, made just down the way at Tremedda Farm.

Credit: Adam Gibbard

Walk 4: Helford Passage

Length of walk: 6.6 miles

Allow: Approximately 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Type of walk: Circular

Distance from your holiday cottage in St Ives to start point by car: 26 miles

Where to park (start point): Bosveal National Trust Car Park

The walk

While rugged and wild seascapes set the tone in west and north Cornwall, gentler scenes of cove and creek are what you can expect on the most easterly of our walks – on the Helford River. If you like a bit of variety to punctuate your route, this one’s got your name all over it: wafts of seaweed, the impossibly pretty waterside hamlet of Durgan (early ice cream opportunity), steep climbs, woodland, meadows, shaley beaches and mysterious creeks all on the cards. The walk cuts through a passage at the foot of Trebah Gardens (note that there’s no access to it from here, but the walk passes close to the entrance later on) and takes in Helford Passage beach, where little boats and a passenger ferry that’s been operating since the Middle Ages bob beneath Cornish palms right beside the pub.

The pub lunch: The Ferry Boat Inn in Helford Passage

Picturesque Helford Passage, just 10 paces from the water is your fix of classic surf and turf pub fare, the steak care of Cornish butcher par excellence Philip Warren. With fish and chips on every pub menu in the land, you’d think it hard to compete, yet the Ferry Boat’s does – its beer-batter crunch the perfect contrast to the delectably flaky haddock within. Sunday roasts are proper job too, as they say around here – but (alas!) you’ll have to wait until October. As if the walk hasn’t been enough of a thrill for your four-legged friend, a treat awaits at this dog-friendly pub too. If you take the ferry to Helford, you will shore up a short walk from the Shipwright’s Arms pub, which is a sun trap and offers front row seats to the ebb and flow of the tide.

Credit: Visit Cornwall

Walking tips and resources

  • With some adaptions to make to walks 1 and 3, these walking routes are available on where you can get detailed directions either to print or to upload onto the app for a small cost per walk. In addition, before you embark, have a good look at Google Maps or a good old-fashioned Ordnance Survey first, to ensure you have a sense of where you’re heading. Our first three walks are covered by the Ordnance Survey #102 and the last by #103. is also a great resource.
  • Pack light, but well! Think about well-worn-in footwear, and a comfortable backpack with charged phone, suncream, water, snacks, raincoat etc. Also have a jangle of coins available for when you’re parking – you never know what paying options you’re going to get at remote parking machines!
  • Walking times are approximate – everyone’s different – and of course you might want to factor in an awful lot of time to gawp at the views!
    Booking lunch in advance is always a good idea.
  • Always visit responsibly. Adhere to the Countryside Code, leave no trace, and stick to the pathways to protect Cornwall’s beautiful yet fragile biodiversity.

Credit: Visit Cornwall

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