Autumn is always pretty special in Cornwall. The cliffs smoulder with the turn of the seasons, the air crisps and sunrises linger that little bit longer, easing into the day with crumbling light. It’s also the best time to hit the coast paths – no tourists, little rain, burning colours.
Here are our favourite autumn rambles in deepest, darkest, south west Cornwall.
Zennor to the Gurnard’s Head
Not the pub, but the actual landmark. This one is no easy stroll, but definitely a hike to get rid of any extra indulgence wobbles or to make sure you go home with rosy cheeks. Start in Zennor, maybe have lunch at the Tinner’s Arms, and follow signs for the coast path. You’ll wander along a narrow road for a little while before coming to a fork in the path. Take the left, and plummet down a steep path through firey bracken. Follow the path past mine shafts and over streams, bridges and crashing waves. The Gurnard’s Head sticks out to sea like a sore thumb, and if you need phone signal, right at the tip is the only spot along this spot of the path that you’ll find it. Clamber on the rocks, have a cuppa from your flask before heading back again. If you’re prepared enough to have two cars, Carn Galver is a short walk on from here and a great ending point.
Marazion to Perranuthnoe
A relatively easy stroll, this walk takes you from the front of St Michael’s Mount and all the way around the side, letting you see the castle from a completely different angle. Amble along the pebbled beach and dip and dive through the bushes before you find yourself at the Cabin at Perranuthnoe. Get a well deserved cuppa to warm your hands before heading back or jumping on a bus.
Penzance to Lamorna
An oldie but a goodie, the walk from Pz to Lamorna and back is long, but easy. You can start from anywhere really – at Jubilee Pool, Newlyn Art Gallery or even Mousehole – depending on how much walking you’re up to. Once you get into Mousehole, make your way through the village and up the hill by the Post Office. Keep your eyes peeled for signs for the South West Coast Path, it’s not an easy to spot. Once you’re on it, the walk is ambling and pretty, with the sea on one side and weathered rocks piling up beside you. Lamorna will, of course, reward you with divers bobbing in the harbour and hardly another soul in site. Turn back to go home, or navigate the many public footpaths through the woods going out of the hamlet.