At this time of year it can be tempting to stay at home in front of the fire rather than embark on an adventure in the great outdoors. However, deep down you know that fresh air and exercise will make you feel so much better than the latest box-set! To help you make that leap off the sofa and into the outside world we’ve compiled a list of the best winter pub walks in Cornwall.
Best for dog-walkers – Durgan to North Helford Passage
Spend a day immersed in beautiful surroundings on the Helford River. This route is heaven for four-legged friends, with fields to frolic in, beaches to paddle at, and a cosy pub to curl up in at the end.
This section of the Cornish coast is a walkers paradise with tiny coves, pretty villages and green countryside. This walk takes you past two spectacular valley gardens (Trebah and Glendurgan) which cascade down to the waters edge.
Park at Bosveal, where you’ll find a handy National Trust Car Park just north of the tiny hamlet of Durgan. From here stroll along a tree-line footpath towards the coast. You’ll soon find yourself at the beach where Glendurgan National Trust Gardens spills out onto the pebbly shores. From here pick up the coast path again and meander through idyllic riverside fields until you come to The Ferry Boat Inn, where you’ll enjoy a warm welcome.
About the pub – The Ferry Boat Inn enjoys a very special location on the waterfront. Many guests reach the pub by boat, and a tiny ferry service shuttles people between here and Helford village on the other side of the river. The Ferry Boat serves pub classics such as burgers and fish and chips, as well as more elaborate dishes featuring the catch of the day.
Best for beer-lovers – Trevaunance Cove Circular
The north Cornish coast around St Agnes is dramatic, especially when stormy seas pound the cliffs. You’ll be glad of a fireside spot in the pub after this walk, especially if you appreciate craft ale…
This is a circular walk from The Driftwood Spars at Trevaunance Cove to Chapel Porth along the coast path, passing Wheal Coates. There are several car parks at Trevaunance (you can park in the pub car park for free as long as you spend £10 in the pub – look for instructions at the machine).
From here turn left and start the ascent up the coast path. Have a Hedgehog ice cream at Chapel Porth, then head back via the beacon (you can see as far as Falmouth on a clear day). Walk back through the village, down Stippy Stappy Lane, and back to the pub. This takes about 3 hours with a stop for refreshment at Chapel Porth.
About the pub – The Driftwood Spars is an independent pub with rooms with its very own microbrewery. It’s one of the best places to enjoy craft beer in the whole of the South West, with a great choice of in-house ales and a rotating selection from other top breweries.
To find out more, visit Driftwood Spars.
Best for young children – Penzance to Newlyn
Going for a walk with young children in-tow is often a bit of a challenge, so go for the easy option!
There’s plenty to see on this stretch of the coast between Penzance and the fishing port of Newlyn. This route follows the promenade, so it’s ideal for children or those with reduced mobility.
Starting at The Lido in Penzance – a spectacular outdoor pool set into the seawall, this walks takes you along the seafront, past Tom Leaper’s statue The Newlyn Fisherman Memorial (a memorial to the many lives lost at sea) and Newlyn Art Gallery. There are great views of St Michael’s Mount along the way and, on windy days look out for kite surfers over at Marazion. A word of warning though – in very high seas the waves can crash over onto the prom, so stay well away in stormy weather! Just past the gallery you’ll find The Tolcarne Inn, a 300-year-old maritime pub.
About the pub – The Tolcarne Inn is one of the best places in the UK to enjoy fresh seafood. It’s also simple and relaxed, and children and dogs are very welcome. Chefs Ben and Matt are happy to provide smaller portions for little people in an effort to encourage them to eat more fish.
To find out more, visit The Tolcarne Inn.
Best for foodies – St Tudy Circular
A hike always helps build an appetite, especially when you know there is an award-winning pub at the end!
This walk from the village of St Tudy in North Cornwall proves that Cornwall is just as beautiful away from the coast. The fields, woods and streams provide the perfect backdrop for a stroll in the country – starting and ending in the pretty village of St Tudy with its Norman church.
Starting from the War Memorial, walk through the nearby churchyard and bear right towards the school. From here you turn right along the road and then onto the public footpath. The path crosses several fields following the waymarkers (look out for cows!) before entering woodland. The route then loops around and back to the village, where you’ll find yourself conveniently at the door of The St Tudy Inn. For detailed directions click here.
About the pub – The St Tudy Inn is popular with foodies thanks to Chef Patron Emily Scott’s simple and instinctive approach to combining the best local ingredients in her beautifully presented dishes. The pub has held a Michelin Bib Gourmand (given for high-quality, affordable food in relaxed surroundings) since 2017.
To find out more or to book a table, visit The St Tudy Inn.
Best for adventurers – Zennor to Treen
This walk goes one better, and features a pub at the beginning as well as the end! To the west of St Ives lies the wild and rugged Penwith Moors – a spectacularly beautiful and undeveloped part of Cornwall. This walks takes in a challenging section of the coast path before finishing at one of Cornwall’s best lunch spots – The Gurnard’s Head.
The walk starts at the lovely village of Zennor, where you’ll find the Tinners Arms – the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea or a hot chocolate before you set off. From here take the track down towards the coast and turn left onto the South West Coast Path. It’s only a few miles from here to the lane which takes you away from the coast once again and up to the tiny hamlet of Treen, but they are hard-fought miles! Expect steep inclines and descents over rugged terrain; you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views and plentiful sightings of bird and sea-life.
About the pub – The Gurnard’s Head is an award-winning pub with an excellent reputation amongst Cornwall’s food-loving locals. It’s rustic and relaxed, with a seasonally-evolving menu featuring local produce. You can also expect a great drinks offering, including an extravagantly good wine list.
To find out more, visit The Gurnard’s Head.
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