St Ives, Cornwall
Starts at The Island, St Ives (SW521409)
3 hours 30 minutes | 7.3miles 11.8km | Moderate
ID: 0.9807 | Developed by: Paul Miles |
This exhilarating circuit heads out of the artists’ haven of St Ives, picking up a scenic stretch of the South West Coast Path and following it along the rugged Atlantic shore. The route then heads inland, returning along an old 'coffin trail'.
Main Route
Alternative Route
Point of Interest
*move mouse over graph to see points on route
Starts at

The Island, St Ives (SW521409)

Ends at

The Island, St Ives (SW521409)

Getting there

Regular trains to St Ives from St Erth, which is served by direct trains from London, including an overnight sleeper service (

Route instructions

[1] START From the car park on the Island (a promontory in St Ives that was indeed once an island), head towards the small sheltered beach of Porthgwidden. Follow path L onto headland past the National Coastwatch Institution look-out, which is open to the public. Humpback whales have been seen from here. Continue along Porthmeor beach in front of the recently reopened Tate St Ives gallery and climb steps to reach coastal path. The public toilets here, beside the bowling green, are the only ones on the route. Continue out of St Ives, following coast path. The surface is tarmacked only at the start.

[2] After four miles, at the waymarker named ‘Carn Naun Point’, there is a path inland. Ignore this and continue on coastal path to R. Soon you reach a stone footbridge over a brook. After bridge, continue on coast path for about 100m (if you reach a gate, you have gone too far) to new small stone waymarker that reads ‘River Cove and Field Path’. Follow this path to L. Ignore locked gate to R and continue on a tree-shaded path until you reach Trevail Mill. Ignore ‘private property’ sign on five-bar gate and turn L, following path in front of old mill and between private gardens. Pass through gate and continue until you reach a crossroads.

[3] This is a tricky junction, unclear from the map. Take path ahead, signposted 'Bridleway' and almost immediately turn L through a small broken gate into a field, following faded yellow waymarker. Follow wall to another yellow arrow and steps into next field. Walk through fields and across walls, keeping Tendrine Hill to your R. When you reach a much bigger field near Trevalgan Farm, bear R towards farm and take L of two five-bar gates. Approach single-storey holiday cottage. Keep to R of it and walk through farmyard. Go L following wall and farmer’s signs to St Ives.

[4] Leave farm and cross stone steps into field. Cross diagonally L to yellow waymarker and another stile. Keep walking parallel to sea to reach the hamlet of Trowan, now a cluster of restored holiday lets. Pass between houses following yellow waymarker, then cross track and go across field to another large stone stile. Keep crossing fields, passing from one to another through gaps or over stiles. Ignore a path that joins the coast path and continue on inland route along a scrubby avenue of gorse and blackthorn, through abandoned sheep grazing and another scrubby path until you reach houses and a small tarmac road at Venton Vision Farm. Follow road to R. When it joins another road, turn L back into St Ives, passing the seafront cemetery, to where coffins would have been carried along the route you’ve just walked.


This route was first published in the autumn 2017 issue of walk magazine.

Developed by: Paul Miles
Cornish coastline near St IvesCornish coastline near St Ives
Photo taken by: Paul Miles
Cornish coastline near St IvesCornish coastline near St Ives
Photo taken by: Paul Miles
Cornish coastline near St IvesCornish coastline near St Ives
Photo taken by: Paul Miles