Rugged Cliffs, intimate coves, & sweeping ocean views. It’s just a typical day hiking The SW Coast Path on Cornwall’s north coast.
The scenery in the southwest corner of England is about as breathtaking as it comes. Experiencing it doesn’t get any better than a walk along the South West Coast Path.
The SW Path covers every mile of the Cornish coastline, making it an ideal way to explore the beauty and landscape of the region.
The path is broken up into 52 sections, with the section on Cornwall’s north coast being amongst the most challenging.
If an invigorating day hike appeals to your need to get away from it all, dive into this first-hand photo essay of hiking Port Isaac to Padstow.
The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Padstow is the last on this scenic stretch of the north coast.
An 11.7 mile stretch of spectacular views.
Hiking Port Isaac To Padstow
I’m all about wellness travel, and a hike along the coast certainly checks that box.
While there are lots of simple tips for healthy travels I practice regularly, a long hike is an opportunity to push myself a bit further.
Both mentally & physically, I was up for the challenge of hiking Port Isaac to Padstow!
The day starts with the sound of lapping waves. After a few relaxing minutes spent listening to the ocean, it’s up and out of bed to take in the fairytale view from the guesthouse.
Located above an art studio on the main road, The Gallery is a charming and well-appointed place to stay with gorgeous views.
I excitedly get ready and head out the door. But first…coffee!
It’s cappuccino and a walk down to the harbor to enjoy the last view of Port Isaac. It starts to rain.
Oh well, rain or no rain, Padstow awaits!
The first 20 minutes is a trudge up the hill in the pouring rain.
It’s not the most glorious of starts until I turn to take in the view. And wow, what a view.
I wave goodbye to Port Isaac and its charms.
It was a blessing to have returned this again and really hope there will yet be another year.
As we often do with places that charm us.
Being on the coast is invigorating and the views are commanding.
Even though it is really raining, it’s beautiful all the same. Atmospheric, foggy, & beautiful.
There are lots of stairs and elevations on this section, but the leg burn equates to some pretty fantastic views.
An hour in, it’s still raining and hazy, but the landscape unfolds with beauty.
This section of the winding path puts the depth of the landscape in perspective.
It’s not long before the rain lets up and blue-green patches of water start to appear.
The water is mesmerizing, it’s a mindful experience.
Every time I set foot on this coast, I’m blown away by its beauty.
Rounding the corner, Doyden castle appears perched on the headland.
Yet another Doc Martin filming location, I almost pinch myself that I am really here.
Down the path and arrive in the now abandoned fishing village of Port Quin.
It’s eerily quiet and the only signs of life are two kayaks and a lonely fisherman.
I just about have the path to myself today. I’ve only passed a few people, yet appreciate the solitary contemplation of walking.
Everything in the world feels right at the moment.
The landscape is diverse. Each up and down gives a new perspective to the path, the ocean, and life itself.
It’s inevitable that you think out here. Sometimes it’s pensive, sometimes it’s lost in thought.
Sometimes I think “can I bottle this happiness and take it with me? And remember it the next time I feel frazzled?”
I hope I will remember this beauty. Maybe I can bottle this for my daily self-care routine!
The light begins to change as the rain clouds have moved up the coast.
Things start to look softer and more ethereal. A change from the dark wet overcast morning.
The Rumps appear on the horizon.
This twin headland promontory was once home to an iron age hilltop fort. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that Britons inhabited this land so many years ago.
I wonder if they appreciated it’s beauty as much as I do?
Seals are known to habitat in this area, but maybe the rain has kept them away today.
Approaching the last headland corner, I climb a big boulder to take in the view at Pentire Point. The rain has passed and the sky is lighter.
This spot is one of awe, the landscape stretches out for miles. And thankfully there is civilization ahead because it’s lunch time!
The 45 minutes it takes to got to Polzeath seem like forever, probably because I’m hungry.
But coming around this last cove, I am reminded that every step is worth it.
To commune with this kind of beauty is a gift.
After Polzeath, the ocean begins merging with The Camel River.
The landscape is now flat. The rugged coast from earlier in the day now seems like another place and time.
Arriving at Greenaway Beach, the purple rocks catch my eye. These rocks are are striking with their green stripes.
The stones are a harmonious blend of complimentary colors.
This particular spot of the hike resonates with me. I feel it in my bones.
It’s a special moment of connection. You know, one of those travel moments that we love to cherish and wish would go on forever.
The feel of the walk changes traveling down the estuary. The invigorating rugged coast is gone and the soft rolling walk is now calming.
It’s easy to relax on this stretch.
I feel peaceful & content. And realize how good this day has been for my well-being.
Wandering through the dunes is a leisurely way to end the long hike. The colors are soft and ethereal.
Even though I’m tired from the long walk, it’s good and satisfied tired.
Oh, and how my stomach is very much looking forward to fish & chips on the other side of the river in Padstow!
As I reach The Rock fishing village and wait for the ferry to Padstow, I can’t help but think of all of the beauty. So many stops to take in the view today, so many moments of inspiration.
If Cornwall reveals her secrets at each and every turn, then there’s so much more in store!
Hopefully, hiking Port Isaac to Padstow has inspired you to visit Cornwall. Or even get out in nature and walk anywhere you find inspiring.
…until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
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