The best pub walks in Cornwall

Penned on the 18th January 2024

The best pub walks in Cornwall

With a coastline longer than any other county in Britain, Cornwall has an abundance of stunning walks. Luckily, the UK’s southernmost county is also home to some of the UK’s best pubs. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a getaway in nature, combining fresh air with great food and quality brews.

Whether you’re looking to combine a coastal walk with locally-crafted ales, enjoy a countryside stomp with freshly-sourced food, or a woodland walk followed by a cream tea – you will fill your boots and more with these soul-stirring pub walks in Cornwall. Many of the routes will take you past some of Cornwall’s best beaches, so you can tie it in with a refreshing ocean dip or take a moment to relax on the sand while soaking up the views.


Helford Passage

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 3.8 miles / 2.4 miles

A boat moored in the estuary, with trees surrounding the water along the Helford

The wooded banks of the Helford River are known to be a swimmer’s paradise. Opt for a circular route from Bosveal Car Park along the coast and inland past Port Navas Creek. Or, for a shorter route, follow back the way you came once you reach the pub. The Ferryboat Inn offers lovely food and beer in one of Cornwall’s most idyllic locations. The (dog-friendly) beer garden is a great place to enjoy the views, especially in the autumn when copper colours alight. Don’t forget to check the specials board for delicious locally-sourced dishes.

Start at the car park, before heading through small woodland paths past Grebe Beach. Here, follow the road towards Durgan, a pretty fishing hamlet. Stop for a dip or continue onwards via Glendurgan Gardens before rejoining the coastal path towards Helford Passage. There are plenty of places to swim along this stretch, before a stop-off at the pub. If you want to complete the longer route, continue inland past the entrance to Trebah Gardens and the top of Port Navas Creek. Follow the roads and wooded pathways until you return to the starting point.


Rock to St Minver

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 6.7 miles

Looking across the waves at the ancient St Enodoc Church on the north coast of Cornwall

For those just as interested in the refreshments as the walk itself, this circular route takes you past Sharp’s Brewery, home of the famous Doom Bar ale. On the return, you pass by another three pubs, The Pityme Inn, The Fourways Inn, and Rock Inn. There is also the option to stop at the brewery for a tasting session, which you can book in advance.

Start by following the dunes from Rock to Daymer Bay. This stretch takes you past a long sandy beach towards the Doom Bar, notorious for causing countless shipwrecks. From here, pass St Enodoc Church, once buried in sand and accessed via the roof. Continue onwards through St Minver, home to a church with a wonky spire, and back along the Camel Estuary to your starting point. Expect panoramic views of the estuary, which is part of Cornwall’s many incredible National Landscapes.


Zennor to Gurnard’s Head

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.2 miles

Looking over the gorse-covered cliffs towards the sea at Zennor in Cornwall

This rugged cliff-top walk starts and ends in Zennor, famous for its medieval carving of a mermaid in the parish church. Stop off at The Gurnard’s Head pub, which marks the middle of the route and is unmissable with its bright yellow exterior. Well-known for its seasonal menu, which changes daily, expect vibrant dishes crafted with local produce and a fantastic setting. 

Start at Zennor Church and join the South West Coast Path. Make your way past Pendour Cove, where rumour has it you can hear the mermaid of Zennor’s lover singing. Continue along the coastal path past multiple white-sand coves, which look tropical in the summer, and past the remains of an old engine house and chapel at Treen. From here, make your way around the headland for views of the Atlantic, or head inland straight away towards the pub via the footpath. On the way back, follow the ancient paths of the Zennor Churchway through Boswednack and Poniou.


Sennen, Land’s End, and Nanjizal

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 6 miles

Beautiful heather-topped cliffs along the coast from Sennen in Cornwall

Experience the best of west Cornwall in this circular route, where you can expect to see seals and flocks of seabirds, including the Cornish chough. Stop off at the Old Success Inn for pub classics with a contemporary twist. This 17th-century fisherman’s inn has all the charm of a cosy pub with striking coastal views.

Park at Sennen Cove Harbour and follow the coastal path south towards Land’s End. Make your way along the undulating coastline along narrow paths until you reach the Land’s End monument. From here, continue onwards until you reach the secluded cove of Nanjizal. Once you’ve taken in the views, traverse the track to Bosistow Farm. Follow the footpath through the fields to Trevilley before making your way along the small paths and across the fields back towards Sennen Cove. From here, it’s a five-minute walk to the pub.


Fowey to Polridmouth

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.7 miles

Rolling green cliffs and sparkling seas at St Catherine's Head near Fowey

Soak up the coastline that inspired the literary works of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca while enjoying the stunning scenery of the Fowey Estuary. Stop off in the port town of Fowey at the Ship Inn, one of Cornwall’s best pubs, built in 1570. Enjoy pub classics, fantastic seafood, and a great selection of wines, craft ales, and ciders next to a roaring open fire. The inn is a Grade II listed building and has plenty of original features, plus a traditional pub atmosphere.

This figure-of-eight route follows St Catherine’s Parade to Readymoney Cove, past the crumbling ruins of a Tudor fortress. From here, continue towards Polridmouth Cove. At the back of the beach is Menabilly estate and the Georgian mansion that was home to Du Maurier from 1943 to 1969. Next, follow the footpaths to join the Saint’s Way back to Readymoney Cove. Here, follow the waterfront to Fowey and then back to your starting point via the church.


West Pentire and Polly Joke

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.2 miles

Looking out the windows across the terrace at the sea and cliffs around the Bowgie Inn in Cornwall

This circular route boasts ample views of Crantock Beach, Polly Joke Beach, and the Pentire coastline, and is best enjoyed in the summer when the famous wildflowers are in full bloom. Start and finish at The Bowgie Inn, which has a great outdoor seating area with views overlooking Crantock Beach. Offering a classic English menu, a big selection of ales, and over 35 different gin varieties, this welcoming pub has a modern feel with décor reflecting the coastal location.

Start at the Bowgie and walk past the cottages towards the fields. As you make your way through the kissing gate, enjoy jaw-dropping views across Pentire Headland and Crantock Bay. Zigzag through the poppy fields, then follow the path left towards Polly Joke Beach, crossing over the bridge and down a steep section of path to reach the sand. The return is via the top of the headland and back through the poppy fields. This is a dog-friendly route and dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas of the Bowgie.


Mount Edgcumbe to Kingsand

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5.7 miles

The pretty waterside village of Kingsand on the South Cornwall coast

This pooch-friendly circular route takes you around the gardens of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, along the cliffs, and through a deer park. Stop off at The Devonport Inn in Kingsand for great pub grub, including handmade pasties and local seafood. The Devonport Inn was voted one of the top 15 country pubs in the UK by Condé Nast in 2021.

Start by walking through the gardens of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, which leads you onto the coastal path for far-reaching views of Plymouth Sound. From here, the route takes you slightly inland through beautiful woodland paths before rejoining the coast near Kingsand for more oceanic views, this time across Cawsand Bay. Next, climb towards Maker Heights before descending through the deer park towards the starting point. Remember to keep dogs on a lead when there are deer nearby.


Loe Bar

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 6.2 miles

Looking down a hedge-lined path at the sandy beach at Loe Bar in Cornwall

Perfect for those looking to combine a woodland walk with some evening entertainment, this lovely loop skirts Loe Pool before ending in the historic town of Helston. Here, visit the Blue Anchor, one of the four remaining brewhouses in the whole of the UK. The pub offers regular live music from early to late evening, a skittle alley, and a brewery producing traditional ales.

Starting at the Boating Lake, a singletrack road leads you past the engine house at Wheal Pool before turning into a sprawl of tree-lined footpaths that follow the tranquil waters of Loe Pool and finish at the golden stretch of sand at Loe Beach. Here, it’s a sandy stroll across the beach and a beautiful return amble through the dappled charms of Penrose. Lots of benches line the banks, offering plenty of opportunities to pause and soak up the idyllic setting. Back in Helston, it’s a short walk up the hill to Coinagehall street, where the thatched exterior of the Blue Anchor is easy to find.


If you’re looking to make the most of your time in Cornwall, combine your pub walk with a stay in one of our unique hideaways. With everything from remote shepherd’s huts, luxury treehouses, and coastal cabins, let the Great Outdoors revive you during your time in the South West.


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