Solo Hiking in Cornwall – 4 Days SWCP

Cornwall hiking solo

Having a bank holiday weekend approaching really fast without realising it, I found myself planning this solo hiking in Cornwall trip from London just two days in advance.

I had heard great things of Cornwall in the past and googling options for a short trip I found the South West Coast Path.

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England’s longest hike was not really an option to do in 4 days – you need about 8 weeks to hike it all.

Luckily, the SWCP’s site had enough information for me to look into an itinerary that fit the tight schedule, now it was just a matter of finding buses/trains that were convenient to maximise my time hiking in Cornwall as much as possible.


As usual, I squeezed all my time off to the very limit, so I took a night bus right after work from Victoria station in central London to Newquay, didn’t sleep at all in the bus so it was not really the best start for an intense weekend but when arriving around 7am the sea breeze and the landscape took any possible sign of tiredness away.

hiking in cornwall

It was hiking time!

I didn’t spend any time in Newquay at all, as soon as I found the trail I was off, my plan was taking me south. In less than half an hour I couldn’t believe the beauty of the place, how can I have been living in the UK for so long without coming here sooner!

The route that I planned to hike to SWCP in 4 Days

Day 1 Newquay – Perranporth (11 miles)
Day 2 Perranporth – Portreath (12 miles)
Day 3 Portreath – St. Ives (18 miles)
Day 4 St. Ives – Hayle (6 miles)

All days were easy hikes, not incredibly long and some easy climbs here and there. So I can recommend this to anyone with a minimum level of fitness.

I was hiking in Cornwall in late April and, of course, you need to prepare for all possible weather scenarios for the glorious British spring time.

cornwall hiking landscapes

I actually cannot complain as most of the time was very nice with a little bit of sun, I did however got a bit of rain in a couple of days so make sure to pack some waterproof layers.

Accommodations while hiking in Cornwall

I stayed in YHA Hostel in Perranporth, located in an incredibly scenic cliff. I wish I had stayed for longer! This was the only place I booked in advance (the night before!).

When arriving to Portreath I found a cheap airbnb place, the town was nice but not compared to the previous night!

Day 3 was the longest day on my weekend break so I didn’t want to be doing any extra walking looking for a place to sleep, I quickly found Cohort Hostel, which was nice and clean, the girl at reception was super helpful with local information and recommended a few good, but not expensive, seafood restaurants. I had an amazing dinner that day!

view from hostel

In terms of food, I had seafood everyday, but also had, of course!, quite a few Cornish Pasties, DELICIOUS!

I was always moving around so didn’t spend much time with the same people but everyone I met was very friendly and had very nice conversations with the locals.

On day 3 there was a very nice spot to view seals! that can give you an idea of the temperature of the water in case you were thinking of swimming….

Day 4 was a very short day in terms of hiking, but I spend the day walking around St. Ives which is a beautiful little town, full of art galleries and if you’re lucky with the waves (I wasn’t) you can also rent a surf board and spend the day at the beach.

hiking in cornwall

I had already travelled within the UK before, but this trip was more of an eye opener as we’re all the time looking to fly to exotic locations, but sometimes we have gorgeous places almost next door!

My return from Hayle was another night bus to Victoria, arriving early in the morning and straight to the office!

Looking for a short break from London? go hiking in Cornwall and explore this incredible place!

Feel free to drop your comments below if you have any questions about hiking in Cornwall!

Check out my other posts backpacking in the UK for more inspiration.

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