winter walks cornwall

15 Winter Walks in Cornwall – Magical Trails and Coastal Walks

Have you ever tried winter walks in Cornwall before? 

Winter in Cornwall, UK, can be a magical experience, especially if you know the perfect place to go.

There are several walking paths that you should consider, especially if you live nearby Cornwall or are planning to visit your dear family members or friends living in Cornwall during winter.

It’s hard to choose from over 400 beautiful Cornwall walks ranging from highland, forestry, and even coastal walks. 

So, here are my top 15 best winter walks in Cornwall that you have to try & explore!

1. Tintagel, Church & Castle

2. Port Isaac To Polzeath

3. National Trust – Carnewas At Bedruthan

4. Minions To Cheesewring Walk

5. The Trails Of Cardinham Woods 

6. Goos Moor National Reserve – Forest Trail

7. Polperro Harbor And Headlands

8. Cotelele To Calstock

9. North Hill And Hawks Tor

10. Falmouth And Pendennis Head

11. Perranporth To Sg. Agnes

12. St. Ives To Zennor

13. Church Cove And Lizard Point

14. Porthcurno To Penberth Cove

15. Sennen Cove And Land’s End

That being said, I do personally find these 5 walking trails to be on top of my must-try winter walks in Cornwall if I’m planning to make a southwest coastal journey!

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Related Posts:

15 Best Winter Walks in Cornwall

These wandering coastal, forest and highland walks will undoubtedly reward you with breathtaking views that are even more spectacular (and more enjoyable) during winter in Cornwall than in the summer. 

winter walks cornwall map

15 Best Winter Walks in North Cornwall 

Oi..Oi…Winter is Coming! 

Are you ready to explore the best 3 winter walks in Cornwall? I am! Not as icy as the rest of northern county, but Cornwall’s winter walk can still be a pleasant experience (if you’re willing to try!)

1. Tintagel, Church & Castle

Have you heard of the tales of King Arthur? I suppose you may have grown up with such classic English folklore. 

winter walks cornwall tintagel castle

In that case, this walking trail might be one of the most memorable winter walks for you as this moderate trail is located nearby the infamous Tintagel Castle, which is supposed to be the birthplace of King Arthur.

If you have extra stamina, you can even try to walk to Merlin’s Cave. (Locally, this cave was named after King Arthur’s wizard – Merlin.) You can even see Tintagel Castle on the way back to the clifftop of St. Materiana church.

Though, do note that there have been reports of specific areas within this walk that lack proper fencing, especially near the clifftop area. So walk with caution!

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 2.4 miles/3.9 km

Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes!

What We Like: 

2. Port Isaac To Polzeath

Here’s a beautiful hike that isn’t too taxing if you walk during winter in Cornwall. 

It begins at Port Isaac and winds its way through Port Quin, the Rumps headland, and Pentire Point before dropping to Polzeath, the surfing mecca. 

These figure-of-eight walks cover the historic fishing village and Polperro’s headlands, covering landmark sites, including the net loft perched on Peak Rock, the Victorian sea pool, the lighthouse, and the medieval chapel site.

Moreover, if you are near the Epphaven Cove, look for Lundy Hole, a naturally-carved tunnel facing towards the northern cornish sea.

Though, based on local folklore, some claimed that the hole was formed by St. Menefrida, a patron of St. Minver, who threw a comb towards The Devil out of disgust (Now, that’s a powerful throw!)

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 9.4 miles/15.1 km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: It’s ok but not stroller-friendly

What We Like: 

winter walks cornwall port izaac to polzeath

3. National Trust – Carnewas At Bedruthan

Take your winter walk with this coastal path within the infamous National Trust Cornwall, Carnewas at Bedruthan, as it is one of the ideal spots for winter dog walks in Cornwall.

This short walk is one of the most famous Cornish walks to try as you will get stunning views of Cornwall’s famed sea rock stacks, nearby Bedruthan Steps Beach.

Legend has it that these stacked rocks were once used as stepping stones for Cornwall’s legendary mythological giant, Bedruthan

However, do note that there have been times when the Bedruthan walking paths were temporarily closed due to nearby rockfalls. 

You should check the news ahead of your walk as it can get pretty slippery during winter.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Difficulty Level: Easy

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes, with caution! 

What We Like: 

Best Winter Walks In Mid Cornwall 

This segment is for those who hate taking winter walks and facing the icy coastal breeze. 

If you’re one of them, then you’re in luck as I have a few coastal-free winter walks in Cornwall that you can enjoy!

winter walks cornwall Minions To Cheesewring Walk

4. Minions To Cheesewring Walk

If you prefer the highland views and love wildlife, then Minions to Cheesewring walk might just be the perfect winter walk during your stay in Cornwall.

This is one of my top recommended winter walks in Cornwall because you get to enjoy a full panoramic view of Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor and, if you’re lucky, perhaps sightings of wildlife animals too!

On your way down from Stowe Hill, you have the opportunity to explore a nearby historical landmark called Hurlers Stone Circles; 3 ancient stone circles dating from the Neolithic or Bronze Age on Bodmin Moor. 

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 3.5 miles/5.6 km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes!

What We Like: 

  • Panoramic view of Bodmin Moor
  • The unique learning experience of geology rocks
  • Wildlife animal sightings

5. The Trails Of Cardinham Woods 

Take your winter walk to another experience in this 650-acre Cardinham Woods.

Located in central Cornwall, Cardinham Woods is the ideal place for your winter walks. You will be able to discover secret glades around in the woods, allowing you to walk away from the commotion of daily life into a natural forest wonderland.

In addition, Cardinham Woods is on the top list of best winter walks in Cornwall because it has numerous walking trails that can accommodate all types of visitors, from a family-friendly course to the thrill seeker.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 4.5 miles/7.2 km

Difficulty Level:  Easy/Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes!

What We Like: 

  • Woodland walking experience
  • Woodland and river wildlife animal sightings
  • Has family-friendly facilities; picnic area, mountain biking trails, cafe’

6. Goos Moor National Reserve – Forest Trail

If you are visiting Cornwall with any of your friends who are restricted in mobility, then you might love this walking trail!

This 7-miles circular trail is located within Cornwall’s Goos Moor National Reserve. It is both a local and tourist’s popular spot to walk as the paths are highly accessible even for those on wheelchair or mobility scooter users or even buggies.

Try to add this trail to your winter walks Cornwall’s checklist, as you can also enjoy the wondrous 480-acre National Nature Reserve, home to over 50+ species of wetland wildlife and plantation.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 7.3 miles/12 km

Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes!

What We Like: 

  • Wetland walking experience
  • Very accessible
  • Wheel-chair/Stroller-friendly

Best Winter Walks In Eastern Cornwall

If you’re already here in the eastern region of Cornwall, then you should try out these 3 scenic walking trails for your winter adventure!

winter walks in cornwall Polperro Harbor And Headlands

7.  Polperro Harbor and Headlands

This relatively moderate 2.9 miles path might be one of the most mesmerizing winter walks you should try as you walk your way around a historic fishing village, Polperro Harbor, and other historical landmarks like a Victorian Lighthouse.

Those who have gone on this trail have claimed that the trail’s steepness is pretty moderate, though this shouldn’t stop you from exploring this beautiful village surrounded by an aquamarine-color coastal bay.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, explore Polperro’s natural swimming pool, Chapel Pool. You need to climb several steps after the Blue Peter Inn and up to the nearby cliff before encountering this stunning panoramic-view rock pool.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 2.9 miles/ 4.7 km

Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes!

What We Like: 

8. Cotelele To Calstock

This might be one of the longest winter walks you could try if you are near one of East Cornwall’s townships, Callington.

What makes this trail unique is that you will be able to explore Victorian gardens, the Tamar River, and a Tudor-like mansion, famously known as the Cotehele House.

Fun fact: The Cotehele House once belonged to one of the most influential families in Cornwall, known as the Edgcumbe Family. They owned the Tudor estate over the last 600 years (Talk about generational wealth there!) since the 1750s.

Eventually, the said estate was donated to the National Trust in 1947 as part of national historical preservation. 

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 5.9 miles/ 9.5 km

Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes on some parts*!

*Note: Do note that some areas in Calstock Churchyard are not dog-friendly

What We Like: 

  • Nearby historic Tudor mansion with victorian garden
  • Enjoy wildflowers views
  • Access to Tamar Discovery Trail

9. North Hill And Hawks Tor

This 3.7 miles walk will lead you to a hiking trail that consists of prehistoric trade routes near the Lynher valley from the village of North Hill to a 329-meter high hill named Hawk’s Tor.

Additionally, this walk is near several historical landmarks such as Trippet Stone Circle and Stripple Stones, which are more than 2,000 years old!.

However, if you plan to take this trail as a winter stroll, it is highly recommended that you wear waterproof footwear as the terrain may get extremely muddy (as advised by most locals).

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 3.7 miles/ 5.9 km

Difficulty Level:  Hard

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes

What We Like: 

Falmouth And Pendennis Head

Best Winter Walk In Western Cornwall

As the most southwestern county in the British Isles, I think it’s essential that you truly experience some of the best winter walks in Cornwall’s western region. 

10. Falmouth And Pendennis Head

If you’re looking for a winter walk not too far from the city center, you probably should try this walking path.

Take on this 5.3 miles walk from Falmouth City Center and pass through the National Maritime Museum and down Pendennis Castle.

Once you’ve passed the Pendennis Castle, head on towards the coastline to Gyllyngvase and Swanpool beaches, with your final attraction point at Swanpool nature reserve (a rare wetland habitat) before returning to the city center.

This winter walk is not too strenuous as you get to enjoy several resting spots cafes along this walking trail casually.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 5.3 miles/ 8.6 km

Difficulty Level:  Easy / Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes

What We Like: 

11. Perranporth To Sg. Agnes

If you don’t mind the Cornish sea breeze in winter, then this one-way 4.7 miles coastal walk might just be one of the best coastal walks in Southwest England.

Begin your journey through the bustling city of Perranporth, and cross through the mining structural heritage across St. Agnes Heritage Coast.

Most who have taken this walk have agreed that this is pretty easy despite occasional cliff-top trails, though please be careful of your surroundings.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 4.7 miles/ 7.5 km

Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes

What We Like: 

St. Ives To Zennor

12. St. Ives To Zennor

Here’s another excellent choice for a more strenuous winter walk in Southwest Coast Walk in England. 

Start your winter walk from Zennor Churchway and follow along the coastal path towards St. Ives. Enjoy the scenic coastal view and look out for Godrevy Lighthouse!

If you do manage to wander for a bit, you may even discover several hidden gems along this walking trail, such as the historical world war 2 radar station and others.

However, most locals strongly advise you to wear waterproof boots if you plan to take this trail for your winter walk, as it may get very muddy and wet.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 6.8 miles/ 11 km

Difficulty Level: Hard

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Limited dog-access near St. Ives Harbor

What We Like: 

Best Winter Walks In Southern Cornwall

13. Church Cove And Lizard Point

In this beautiful village and along the coast, you’ll see Lizard Point, Britain’s southernmost point on the land if you plan to take this as your winter walks.

The infamous 6th century-old Church Cove is often a crowd’s favorite, thanks to its natural structure that withstand the test of time and the jaw-dropping view of the Lizard’s Point. 

Plus, you’ll also be able to pass through several beautiful English Cottages along this path. So, If you plan to stop by Church Cove, you should go on foot as parking is quite limited there.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 3.8 miles/ 6.1  km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes! 

What We Like: 

  • Stunning coastal view of Famous Cornwall’s landmark; Lizard Point
  • Nearby attraction Lizard Lighthouse 
  • Marine wildlife and domestic farm animals on sighting
  • Lizard point – The most southern point of Britain
Porthcurno To Penberth Cove

14. Porthcurno To Penberth Cove

Make your winter breaks in Cornwall memorable by checking one of the most southwest England walking trails here at Porthcurno.

Surrounded by Cornish’s stunning coastline view, you can start this coastal winter walk from Porthcurno Beach and make your way to check out a nearby attraction called The Minack Theatre.

This open-air theater with sea-view, located on the top of Cornish Clifftop, was beautifully constructed by local Cornish gal Ms. Rowena Cade back in the 1930s. 

Its very first performance, back in 1932, was lit by batteries and car headlights, amazing! Since she died in 1983, she has left her remaining dreams  (in sketches)  of ideas on covering the theater when raining.

Moving on, as you finally reach Penberth Cove, this quaint traditional fishing cove greets you with its stunning nature view and friendly locals.  

It is highly advisable to check out specific signage as some areas within Penberth Cove have dog-ban restrictions. 

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 3 miles/ 4.19  km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Some! While most places  

What We Like: 

15.  Sennen Cove And Land’s End

This is indeed one of the best winter walks in Cornwall, as this chilly 6-miles walking trail offers both stunning views and sightings of marine wildlife.

Do note that there is an operating hour for Land’s end!

Opening times: 10 am – 4 pm daily (So ideally try to do your walks within the operating time)

If you ever wondered why Land’s End is such a popular tourist destination, then here’s the answer: It used to be called Pedn a Wlas, which means “end of the land” or “end of the world” in the Cornish language. It was believed that this phrase has existed since the 1500s.

Highlights About This Walk:

Distance: 6 miles/ 9.7  km

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Family-friendly/Pet-friendly: Yes! 

What We Like: 

  • Stunning coastal view of Famous Cornwall’s landmark; Land’s End
  • Marine wildlife sightings are available

Essential Winter Gear For Winter Walks Cornwall

I’ve had a friend who was so adamant about going out for a winter walk without any winter gear as she claimed that she was highly tolerant of cold weather (Mind you, this was -10C weather, and it was her first winter trip, visiting me). 

15 minutes later, she called me up stammering and asked if I could help pick her up. So lesson out of this, always wear appropriate attire. (Yes, I can’t stress this enough).

Winter walks can be grueling and horrendous if you don’t wear proper winter attire. So unless you want to go through the same experience as my friend, then jacket up!

Winter Jacket

I highly recommend getting a winter jacket with thermal & waterproof features that can fully protect you from the drizzling coastal walk in South West England.

Best Winter Jacket For Men:  Suokeni’s Men Winter Jacket

Best Winter Jacket For Women: Moedeng’s Women Winter Jacket

Winter Pants

Regular pants won’t give you complete protection from the chilly Cornish weather. So, I highly suggest that you also consider these options:

Best Winter Pants For Men: Arctix Men Winter Pants

Best Winter Pants For Women: Postropaky Women Winter Pants

cornwall frequently asked questions

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Wear For Winter Walking?

If you want to stay warm but don’t want to get wet, look for a fleece, sweater, or sweatshirt made of a synthetic material like Polartec or a wool blend that does both. Cotton doesn’t dry quickly, so don’t use it. In cold weather, you may also want to wear insulating bottoms.

What Is Too Cold To Walk Outside?

It is always good to inspect weather conditions first before winter outdoor activity. Just remember; temperatures below 18°F (Fahrenheit) or -7°C (Celcius) with wind chill factors are considered too cold for any outdoor activity. Frostbite may occur in as little as 30 minutes if the skin is exposed under such circumstances.

Where Are The Best Walks In Cornwall?

If you want to experience the best walks in Cornwall, then you certainly have to check out these 6 best coastal walks in Cornwall, which are

Conclusion

Now you know where to find the perfect place to enjoy your winter walks in Cornwall. So, what are you waiting for? 

Gear up for the weather and embrace that nature walks. Take a picture while you are doing it!

If you feel a little adventurous, why not do it all right? Try out these 15 winter walks throughout your southwest coastal trip.

If you plan to visit your family members or friends in Cornwall, check my other articles here for the best southwest coastal path accommodation. 

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