While winter days are shorter and the weather can be changeable, crisp, clear days are ideal for walking. Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll with a cosy café or pub at the end of it or a longer, more challenging walk along the coast path with the dog, there’s so much to see and do at this time of year.
On frosty days the landscape is transformed and takes on a magical, ethereal quality – it almost feels like you’re stepping into another world.
- Enjoying a moment of stillness as the dawn breaks and the sky turns pink, orange and gold (without having to get up super early)
- Watching the waves pound against the cliffs when it’s stormy
- Heaps of opportunities for keen photographers
- Having the place to yourself
- Treating yourself to hot chocolate with whipped cream after a blustery walk by the sea – mmm!
The South West Coast Path website has a section devoted to winter walks in Cornwall, so take a look to get some ideas about the best places to go at this time of year and choose from a selection of easy, moderate and challenging walks around Cornwall. You can also print out or save maps and directions for all the walks. The National Trust also has some good suggestions for winter walks in Cornwall and beyond.
Winter is also an ideal time to visit places that get very busy in the summer months, like St Ives. While you might not want to lie on the beach during the winter, you can take advantage of everything else St Ives has to offer – without the crowds.
You can combine a great walk along the coast and take in the magnificent views of St Ives Bay with a visit to the Tate or the Barbara Hepworth Museum or enjoy browsing in the many galleries and shops. There’s a lovely 20 minute walk along the coast path between St Ives to Carbis Bay (if you don’t want to walk both ways, you can always take the train from St Ives to Carbis Bay then walk back). There are several different walks around the area, and you can download an illustrated guide from Trails from the Track.
From Bosinver, you can either get the train from St Austell to St Ives (change at St Erth) or if you prefer to go by car, park in the Park & Ride at Lelant Saltings and get the train the rest of the way. This is one of the most picturesque branch lines in the UK, and it also makes a fun day out with kids – take a look at Nanny Pat’s blog about her day out in St Ives with grandchildren Wilf and Megs.
You might also like to try a walking tour of St Ives with a free app from Tate St Ives. Following in the footsteps of Ben Nicholson, you’ll explore the town from an artist’s perspective and begin to discover some of its secrets.
What’s your favourite place to go walking in Cornwall in the winter? We’d love to see any photos you’d like to share and hear your suggestions about how to make the most of the season.