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Location

Cornwall, England

Difficulty

5

Challenging

Length

6

Trip Cost

from $1050pp
twin share

Overview

  • Be charmed by the seaside fishing villages of Padstow and Fowey
  • Experience the warm hospitality of Cornish locals and quality B&B accommodation
  • Discover ancient Celtic crosses and churches, significant of a region rich in religious heritage
  • Indulge in award winning Cornish pasties, fresh seafood, and home-made ice-cream and cream teas (scones, jam & clotted cream) 
  • Tread a path once walked by drovers, pilgrims and missionaries

You begin in Padstow, a delightful town with a reputation as a foodie destination, heavily influenced by celebrity chef Rick Stein who owns a plethora of restaurants and cafes in town. After a few days of indulging in delicious local cuisine, you will be keen to hit the trail to burn some calories. Over the next two days you will embark on The Saints Way, re-establishing your connection to nature – a belief embraced and celebrated for centuries by Celtic Saints and Cornish locals. Celtic Saints had a large influence on this area and they left behind chapels, holy wells and crosses that still mark the route today. 

Christian missionaries and pilgrims used this ancient pathway during The Dark and Middle Ages en route to Rome, Santiago de Compostela and the Holy Land. Also known as the ‘Drovers’ Way’, this cross-country route originates from a time when Welsh and Irish drovers and traders sought a safer route to sailing the treacherous Land’s End waters. 

Away from the coast, you will experience the beauty and calmness of flower-filled country lanes and romantic English cottage gardens, rustic barns, peaceful woodlands and the greenest and lushest of rolling hills dotted with grazing sheep and cows.

Unlike the bustling coastal towns, The Saints Way offers a peaceful solitude. Generally the route is well signed but there will be times when finding your way will require patience, care and good map reading skills. Sometimes the path or signage can be hidden by rambling and overgrown bushes so a keen eye is required to make sure you don’t miss your turn-off. 

Your hike ends in the lively town of Fowey. Like Padstow, it is an active fishing village and working port. Explore the network of laneways that host a variety of cafes, boutiques, galleries and craft shops – a relaxing way to end your trip.

WHAT MAKES OUR TRIPS DIFFERENT?

  • Specialist advice from our dedicated UK team
  • Hassle-free walking with exclusive use of RAW Travel’s specifically designed navigational hiking App
  • 24/7 support from Cornwall based RAW Travel team
  • Flexible custom-made arrangements available
  • We book all of our accommodation direct and operate our own trips
  • Comprehensive travel pack

 

Extend Your Holiday – City Breaks

Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour.

Read more about our city breaks.

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Padstow

You will need to make your way to Padstow today. Long established as a thriving fishing village, Padstow is still a working port today with fisherman providing fresh seafood to the local restaurants which have become a major drawcard of the town. The arrival of celebrity chef-owned restaurants elevated the town and region to a popular foodie destination.

Padstow is also home to the infamous ‘Doom Bar’, a sandbar at the mouth of the Camel Estuary that has caused over 600 shipwrecks, supposedly the result of a mermaid’s curse. Padstow was introduced to tourism with the development of the ‘Atlantic Express’ railway in 1899 from London to Padstow and hasn’t looked back since. Once you have settled into your accommodation, enjoy a relaxing amble down to the harbour and around the quaint streets before selecting one of many quality restaurants to sample some fresh seafood.

Day 2: Free day in Padstow

Today is free to explore and there are a number of activities you can choose from; Cycle along the Camel Trail, a beautiful route that meanders through the Cornish countryside alongside a disused railway line, or perhaps take a ferry over to ‘Rock’ (a.k.a Little Chelsea) a hip place to be seen by the young and posh from London. Alternatively, pop into the Padstow Museum for insight into the history of Padstow over the past 200 years, before relaxing with a pint at a beachside bar overlooking the hustle and bustle of harbour life. 

Meals: B

Day 3: Hike Padstow to Lanivet (23km, 7 hours)

Padstow Parish Church marks the start of your hike today where Saints Way signage leads you out of town, over large green fields, wooded trails and alongside Little Petherick Creek to the town of the same name.   

From here you continue through valleys and rolling pastures, along quiet country lanes and grassy farm tracks. Keep your eye out for the two ‘standing stones’ at St Breock Downs, one of which dates back to the Bronze Age. An ancient settlement was once established around these stones which were used as meeting places since medieval times. In contrast, modern wind farms dominate the panorama making the most of the high winds sweeping across the countryside. This area is also a spectacular vantage point for superb 360-degree views from high on the hills.

Continuing on your way, you will travel through fields peppered with cows and black-faced sheep, sheltered woods and trails alongside several small streams. Finally open fields and quiet lanes lead you to Lanivet Church and your accommodation for the night. 

Meals: B

Day 4: Hike Lanivet to Fowey (25km, 7-8 hours)

You will see a number of Celtic crosses along the route today indicating the importance of Lanivet and surrounding areas in Celtic times.

Helman Tor Gate is a prominent landmark used by early travellers and current day hikers to help navigate their way along the route. Continuing on you will tread a path through boulder-strewn fields and peaceful forest trails to Luxulyan Church. Just after leaving Luxulyan, there is an option to take a detour to the Treffry Viaduct. Built in 1839-1842 and made up of 10 arches, it is the longest in Britain. It was an important transport infrastructure for the china clay industry up until the early 20th-century. 

The last section from St Blazey to Fowey starts to lead you towards the sea. Old slate stiles and steps propel you into vibrant green fields, past run-down, character-filled farms & barns. Finally, tranquil wooded trails emerge at the coast and the pretty Readymoney Cove before leading you along the seafront to finish at the Church of St Fimbarrus in Fowey. Enjoy a reflective moment here before celebrating with a home-made ice-cream or cream tea. 

Meals: B

Day 5: Free day in Fowey

Fowey is located in an Area of Outstanding Beauty and sailing enthusiasts and tourists alike enjoy the spectacular backdrop that surrounds the harbour. Cornwall and in particular Fowey, has been a source of inspiration for authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Kenneth Grahame. It is a wonderful place to spend a few days and a great way to unwind after your hike. 

Meals: B

Day 6: Depart Fowey

Savour your last cooked English breakfast before making your way to Par Train Station by bus or taxi for your onward journey. 

Meals: B

Elevation: Total ascent over the 2 hiking days is 1075m.

 

Dates

Self-guided trips offer flexibility, independence and choice. Set your own agenda while someone else worries about the logistics. Our self-guided walking holidays are fully flexible which means you can normally start your walk on any day during the season and customise by adding extra days for resting or sightseeing. As you’re walking independently, you’re free to follow the trail at your own pace. You set your own speed as you are not limited by the constraints of group travel.

Please note that completing this booking form does not guarantee confirmation of your trip. Confirmation is subject to availability so please refrain from booking flights and other travel arrangements until you have received confirmation from a RAW Travel staff member.

  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY

Inclusions

  • 5 nights quality accommodation including historic B&B’s and guest houses
  • Daily breakfast of fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals and/or a hearty, cooked English breakfast to support your day on the trail
  • Pack free walking with luggage transfers on each hiking day (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • Hassle-free walking with exclusive use of RAW Travel’s specifically designed navigational hiking App
  • Comprehensive information pack including detailed walk notes and OS map, luggage tag, buff and laptop case
  • 24/7 support from our Cornwall based RAW Travel staff member and Australian office
  • Pre-trip guidance and planning from experienced and dedicated RAW Travel staff

Not Included

  • Single supplement $600
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Train tickets
  • Lunch and dinners

 

 

Map & Guide

Reviews

https://rawtravel.com/destination-guides/cornwall-dg-download/download-guide.pdf

Download Destination Guide

Trip Expert

Stuart Holland – Camino, Cornwall & Great Ocean Walk

(03) 5976 3763

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Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Challenging