The Saints Way
Unlike the bustling coastal towns, The Saints Way offers a peaceful solitude. After a few days of indulging in delicious local cuisine, you will be keen to hit the trail. 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.
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.
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.
Get Ready For
- Be charmed by the delightful seaside fishing villages of Padstow and Fowey
- Experience the warm open hospitality of Cornish B & B accommodation
- Indulge in award winning Cornish pasties and hand-made fudge
- Discover centuries old chapels, Holy wells and Celtic crosses along the route
- Meander through fields of contented cows and pretty black-faced sheep
- Enjoy the beauty of flower-filled country lanes and romantic English cottages
a keen eye
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.
An ancient pathway
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.
The Saints Way
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Savour your last cooked English breakfast before making your way to Par Train Station by bus or taxi for your onward journey.
Elevation: Total ascent over the 2 hiking days is 1075m.
What you get
- 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
- Single supplement $660
- Travel insurance
- Train tickets
- Lunch and dinners
Cornwall – a romantic county on England’s rugged southwestern tip – has much to offer the adventurous hiker. This place is home to the iconic South West Coast Path, England’s longest waymarked trail (1015km), and the lesser-known but no less compelling routes of The Saints Way and Saint Michael’s Way.
A Cornish Camino – Cornwall
- Travel the path of Saints and pilgrims along the Cornish coastline
- Wander along cobbled streets past pretty whitewashed cottages
- Follow the path through tranquil woods and country lanes
- Walk the ancient cobbled causeway to St Michael’s Mount
South West Coast Path: Padstow to Falmouth – Cornwall
- Be charmed by Padstow’s village and delightful fishing harbour
- Discover the history of the local tin mining industry
- Indulge in home-made ice-cream and Cornish cream teas
- Relish spectacular coastal views, towering cliffs and wild seas
South West Coast Path: Padstow to St Ives – Cornwall
- Enjoy warm Cornish hospitality and quality B&B accommodation
- Savour an area of rich and diverse history and natural beauty
- Relish impressive coastal views towering cliffs and wild seas
- Explore St Ives’ laneway-filled artsy galleries and museums
South West Coast Path: St Ives to Falmouth – Cornwall
- Discover aquamarine smugglers coves and wind-blown beaches
- Embrace the solitude and beauty of the wild remote landscape
- Be charmed by delightful fishing villages and colourful harbours
- Experience warm hospitality and quality B&B accommodation
South West Coast Path: St Ives to Marazion – Cornwall
- Walk the ancient narrow causeway to mystical St Michael’s Mount
- Experience the dramatic and isolated Cornish coastline
- Savour craggy landscapes, hidden coves and stunning views
- Explore ‘Poldark’ country and the heart of Cornish tin mining
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed