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Accessible walks in Cornwall

One of the absolute joys of any visit to Cornwall is being able to get out and about and really make the most of the peaceful countryside and beautiful coastline as you breathe in the fresh sea air and admire the wonderful views. The best part? There are walks for all!

A long, flat, and accessible path alongside the Hayle estuary and lined with trees

An assortment of great trails that are accessible for wheelchair users, those pushing prams, and younger cyclists are dotted around the county, from woodland wanders to sweeping coastal paths that promise dramatic views at every turn, so everyone can get outside and soak up the scenic charms of this great county.

Many also have an excellent assortment of eateries nearby, from beach cafés to pubs with sun-soaked beer gardens, so you can kick back with a refreshing bevvy as you watch the world go by - there’s no sweeter feeling! 

Excited to explore Cornwall? Browse our guide to the best accessible walks in Cornwall and discover a range of cliff-top circulars, lakeside jaunts, and cross-country romps.

Marazion to Penzance

The wide, flat and accessible promenade by the sea in Penzance

Best for: Sweeping coastal views

Distance: 2 miles
Surface: Tarmac and some compacted gravel
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: National Trust car park
Facilities: Toilets and cafés in Marazion and Penzance

This beautiful path follows the curve of Mount’s Bay and runs just above the beaches all the way from the historic village of Marazion to the seaside town of Penzance and its lovely promenade. With amazing views across the water to St Michael’s Mount and all along the coast, there is always plenty to look at as you go, from kite surfers on the water to fishing boats and sailing ships further out at sea.

There are plenty of picnic spots with benches where you can pause and take in the views, as well as some ‘rough and ready’ sculptures and artworks by local artists to enjoy along the way. 

The path is fairly flat for the entire distance, but it is part cycle trail and part footpath, so it’s important to be aware of other users. 

Basset’s Cove and North Cliffs

Looking down from a cliff at a beach covered in seals in Cornwall

Best for: Wild and wonderful views

Distance: 1 mile+
Surface: Compacted gravel
Suitable for: All terrain wheels
Parking: Basset’s Cove National Trust car park or Tehidy North Cliffs car park
Facilities: Toilets and a café can be found in Tehidy Country Park

This section of the coast path has been adapted for wheelchair users who are able to navigate slightly rougher surfaces, and makes a great stretch for younger cyclists too. 

It provides an excellent opportunity to access some of the most impressive views the north coast of Cornwall has to offer, with gorse-lined cliffs towering above the sea and the vista stretching all the way to Godrevy Lighthouse and St Ives Bay. There is the possibility of seeing seals in the water below or fulmars nesting along this stunning stretch of coast so binoculars are a must!

This walk is very close to Tehidy Country Park, which also has some great accessible routes as well as a chance to get up close to the super friendly squirrels and the wild fowl on the lake - not to mention the incredible displays of bluebells that takeover the woods in spring.

Helston Boating Lake to Penrose Estate (or Porthleven)

Two people walking along a flat and accessible path through the wooded scenes of Penrose Estate in Cornwall

Best for: Bluebells in spring

Distance: 4 miles+
Surface: Tarmac 
Suitable for: All wheels (extension: all-terrain wheels)
Parking: Fairground car park, Penrose National Trust car park
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments available in Coronation Park in Helston and The Stables in Penrose

This route has so many possibilities, so you can really tailor it to your needs. Starting at the boating lake, also known as Coronation Park, there is a short, gentle path around the water with plenty of birds to spot. There is also a lakeside café and playground to enjoy before crossing the road into the dappled delights of Penrose. 

Here, a traffic-free tarmac path runs through the estate, with beautiful native woodland skirting around the edges of Loe Pool, Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake. The lane takes you along the old driveways of this once grand estate. Now cared for by the National Trust, there are plenty of benches and picnic spots and a café and toilets at the Old Stables, which is open seasonally.

From here, it’s possible to extend the walk to the lovely fishing village of Porthleven if you have all-terrain wheels, where a picturesque harbour, cosy pubs, and gift shops await. You’ll also get to enjoy views along the coast and across Loe Bar, an enormous shingle bar notorious for shipwrecks.

Cardinham Woods

People and a dog walking along a flat and accessible path through Cardinham Woods in Cornwall

Best for: Family-friendly woodland wanders

Distance: 1.5 miles
Surface: Compacted gravel
Suitable for: All-terrain wheels and there is an off-road Tramper for hire
Parking: Cardinham Woods Café car park
Facilities: Toilets and a café at the Visitor Centre

Maintained by the Forestry Commission, Cardinham Woods is one of the largest wooded areas in Cornwall and has an extensive network of paths for visitors to enjoy. When it comes to accessible routes, the Lady Vale Trail is ideal - you can even hire an off-road Tramper buggy during your visit!

The Lady Vale Trail is the wood’s most popular route. The peaceful track through the trees follows the river upstream to Lady Vale Bridge, which takes its name from The Chapel of Our Lady that stood beside the river during the 12th century. Here you can enjoy the dappled shade and the sound of rippling water. 

There are plenty of dog dip spots along the stream and you can also pick up a children’s activity pack from the Ranger’s Hut to keep little ones entertained!

After your woodland adventure you can then make your way back to the Woods Café for a well-earned treat.

Bude Canal

People walking past the peaceful Bude Canal where ducks sit in the water

Best for: Scenic historic strolls

Distance: 1.5 miles
Surface: Tarmac
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: Efford Down car park
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments in Bude

The Bude canal is a great example of Cornwall’s industrial past being very successfully reclaimed by nature, making this waterside wander a particularly tranquil walk. Follow the banks of this calm stretch of quiet water from the sea lock on the Bude foreshore as it carves its way some 35 miles into the countryside.

The canal was originally opened in 1823 to carry sand and fertiliser to agricultural land but these days it’s used for boating and fishing. It is possible to follow the old towpath for several miles but the first section from the centre of Bude to the Bude Marshes Nature Reserve is the easiest to access and makes a pleasant saunter for all.

It’s a great place to watch swans glide by, look out for herons and egrets, or see how many types of wildflowers you can spot!

Close to the sea end of the canal you can find the floating restaurant, The Barge, which serves hot drinks and a good selection of cakes and pastries. There is much to see and do in Bude, including a sand-topped selection of beaches. You can hire a sand chair from Big Blue Surf School for use on the famous Summerleaze Beach, where surfers make for the best seaside entertainment.

Perranporth to Goonhavern

A person pushing a pram through the pretty Clock Gardens in Perranporth

Best for: Peaceful walks and Pooh sticks

Distance: 2.4 miles
Surface: Compacted gravel
Suitable for: All-terrain wheels
Parking: Perranporth
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments available in Perranporth

The Saints Trail is a fantastic new addition to Cornwall’s accessible walks, with a long stretch of multi-use pathways between St Agnes and Truro.

Linking the popular seaside town of Perranporth to the historic village of Goonhavern, this section makes for a great short walk. 

Following an old branch-line railway that originally opened in 1905 and ran between Perranporth and St Agnes, it winds its way through some lovely Cornish countryside and peaceful woodland. The path is mostly flat, and runs alongside a slow-flowing river for much of the way, with several historic bridges providing the perfect spot to play a game of Pooh sticks.

Arriving in Goonhavern, pop into the welcoming New Inn for a feast of fabulous pub grub before making the return journey.

Newham Trail

People walking along the cobbled streets in Truro

Best for: Waterside walks

Distance: 1.6 miles
Surface: Compacted gravel
Suitable for: All-terrain wheels
Parking: Garras Wharf car park
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments in Truro

This little-known route close to the bustle of Cornwall’s only city, Truro, is a real hidden treasure. It provides a chance to escape into the countryside while barely leaving the city!

Following the route of an old railway line, once used to move goods arriving by boat on the river to the trains on the Falmouth line, it runs between Newham and the Old County Hall. 

The path offers lovely views across the Truro estuary and peaceful woodland. While there are no facilities along the short route, there are plenty in Truro, including some excellent dog-friendly pubs and vegan restaurants where you can refuel.

Mount Edgcumbe and Cremyll Trail

Looking down a path lined with trees towards the water at Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall

Best for: Pretty gardens and tearooms

Distance: 4 miles
Surface: Tarmac/hard surface roads
Suitable for: All-terrain wheels/Tramper for hire
Parking: Cremyll car park
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments in Mount Edgcumbe Estate

This multi-use route around Cremyll and Mount Edgcumbe House and its gardens on the Rame Peninsula is open to cyclists and walkers but can also be accessed using wheelchairs and pushchairs. For a small fee you can also hire a rugged Tramper mobility scooter, provided by Countryside Mobility SW.

The path follows the waterside perimeter of the Mount Edgcumbe Estate and boasts tremendous views across Plymouth Sound.

This stunning, historic area is littered with 18th century follies, fountains, seats and shelters and the path passes through the parks and woodland of the ancestral home of the Earls of Edgcumbe.

The house (entrance fee applies), its gardens, tearoom, restaurant and shop are open to the public during the summer, making it a lovely spot to explore, and the path, which passes through the estate, is open all-year round.

Devoran and Bissoe Valley Trail

Best for: A glimpse into an industrial past

Distance: 3 miles
Surface: Flat, compacted gravel
Suitable for: All-terrain wheels
Parking: On road parking in Devoran and a car park at Saint Piran Café
Facilities: Toilets and snacks available at the Saint Piran Café 

This route is part of the coast to coast Devoran to Portreath cycle trail, also known as the Bissoe Trail, and it follows what was once a highly industrialised valley, tracing the old mineral tramline introduced during the mining era. 

You can walk as little or as much of this path as you like but highlights include the water lapping at Devoran Quay, passing beneath the enormous granite arches of the Carnon Viaduct, exploring the old mine buildings, and Bissoe Nature Reserve. The reserve has a series of ponds full of native plants and insects, especially dragonflies in the summer.

Because this track is part of the Cornwall Mining World Heritage region you will also find plenty of information boards along the way highlighting the fascinating history of the area.

Beside the route at Bissoe, you will also find a cycle repair shop called Saint Piran Café (locally known as Bike Chain Bissoe) that boasts a lovely café and toilets. This is a great point to relax with a refreshment before making the return journey.

Copperhouse Pool and Hayle Waterfront

The pretty, flower-lined path by the water at the King George V Memorial Walk in Hayle

Best for: Riverside reveries and picnics

Distance: 2 miles
Surface: Tarmac pavements
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: Hayle swimming pool car park
Facilities: Toilets and refreshments in Hayle

This route circumnavigates the Copperhouse Pool in Hayle but can also be extended along Hayle waterfront and harbour for some stunning waterside views. The name of this tidal lake built in 1788 harks back to the foundry and metal-working heritage of the town. 

This path is great for anyone interested in birdwatching as the pool is alive with wildlife, especially in the spring and summer months.

You can start the walk at Hayle Outdoor Swimming Pool, which is open daily during the summer, before following the King George V Memorial Walk beside the water. This peaceful route is lined with lovely flower beds that are cared for by the local community, and there are plenty of benches and places to stop and admire the view over the water.

Newlyn to Mousehole

Two people walking along a flat and accessible path by the water between Newlyn and Mousehole in Cornwall

Best for: Historic harbours

Distance: 2 miles
Surface: Tarmac roads/pavements (steep in places)
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: Newlyn Harbour car park
Facilities: Toilets and cafés in both Newlyn and Mousehole

This path links two of Cornwall’s most interesting, historic, and picturesque fishing villages. The route from Newlyn Harbour, which still retains a fleet of fishing boats, runs along the waterfront and offers expansive views of Mount’s Bay, St Michael’s Mount and beyond. There is constant activity out on the water and plenty of viewpoints to enjoy the comings and goings - you might even spot a seal or dolphin!

One of the more unusual and interesting points of interest along the way is the Old Penlee Lifeboat Station on Cliff Road, where you will also find a little memorial garden dedicated to the brave men who lost their lives in the 1981 disaster.

Arriving in Mousehole, it is possible to extend the walk around the quaint harbour or into the maze of narrow streets, perhaps taking the time to visit the home of Dolly Pentreath, a fishwife said to be the last person to speak Cornish as their first language. Mousehole is home to lots of great places to eat, from delis serving up excellent sandwiches to the waterside wiles of The Old Coastguard, where top-notch food is served with a side of sea views.

Falmouth Seafront

Looking down on the golden sands of Gylly Beach in Cornwall

Best for: Beachside strolls

Distance: 1.5 miles
Surface: Tarmac
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: Gyllyngvase car park and Swanpool car park
Facilities: Toilets at Gyllyngvase Beach and cafés at Swanpool, Gyllyngvase Beach and Castle Beach

This wonderful seafront walk has long been popular with families and wheelchair users and has recently been extended with a new accessible surface running all the way to Swanpool Beach.

Starting at Castle Drive in the shadow of Pendennis Castle, a wide pavement runs above Falmouth’s famous beaches, with stunning views across Falmouth Bay. There are benches and shelters all along the route and at Gyllyngvase (Gylly for short) Beach, where you will find the popular café and ice cream shack. You can stop here to watch the waves lap at the golden sands or you can extend the walk to include the Queen Mary Gardens. 

These beautiful gardens are bursting with exotic plants and flowers that enjoy Cornwall’s mild climate and make a perfect spot for a rest before continuing on to Swanpool.

This newly laid surface is part of the South West Coast Path and takes you to another gorgeous beach. Swanpool has its own café and the pool itself makes another shady extension to the walk - as well as offering a chance to meet the local birdlife!

A sand chair, which helps you access the beach and water, is available from Gylly Café.

Padstow to Wadebridge Camel Trail

The beautiful flat and accessible path along the Camel Trail with bushes along the side and water in the distance

Best for: Waterside views

Distance: 5 miles
Surface: Tarmac/compacted hardcore
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: The Railway car park in Padstow
Facilities: Toilets and numerous cafés in Padstow and Wadebridge

The Camel Trail runs for a total of 18 miles between Padstow and Bodmin, following an old railway line so is virtually flat the entire distance. The section between Padstow and Wadebridge is about 5 miles in length and follows the estuary, enabling you to take in the lovely waterside views.

Whether you start in the wonderful seaside town of Padstow or the inland market town of Wadebridge, there is so much to discover in both destinations. From art galleries to the Padstow Lobster Hatchery and a plethora of antique shops to explore! And on the walk itself, don’t miss the wheelchair accessible bird hide about 1 mile from Wadebridge, which offers an amazing opportunity to spot some native and visiting wildlife.

This is a popular route with horse-riders, cyclists and walkers, so there are plenty of picnic spots and pit-stops for refreshments along the way!

Siblyback Lake

Looking out across the calm waters of Sibblyback Lake in Cornwall

Best for: Wildlife Watching

Distance: 3 miles
Surface: Tarmac
Suitable for: All wheels
Parking: Lakeside car park
Facilities: Toilets and café by the lake

This reservoir on Bodmin Moor is very popular with families and dog walkers as the circular path makes a perfect, peaceful escape. It’s an easy-going, flat route around the water, passing the impressive dam built in 1969 and through shady woodland. 

There are also lots of benches, a children’s playground, and plenty of wildlife to watch. You’ll often spot people launching various watercrafts around the lake too, so there’s always something to watch as you tuck into your picnic.

For something a little different, Siblyback is part of the Bodmin Moor International Dark Skies Park, which means that it’s amazing for stargazing on a clear night! Why not try an after-dark adventure and admire the wonders of the universe!

If these suggestions have inspired you to get out and explore Cornwall’s accessible routes then why not use one of our cosy cottages as your base! We have a lovely collection of accessible holiday cottages, perfect for a relaxing stay in the Duchy.

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