There is, quite simply, no better way to experience Cornwall. Below, we’ve detailed the best easy circular walks in Cornwall, which allow you to experience the Cornish countryside in all its glory.
If you’ve spent the past few years swooning over Poldark (trust us, you’re in good company here), what if we told you that you could experience it in real life?
Although Poldark himself may not be available, the lush greenery and dramatic cliffs of the Cornish countryside are all ready and waiting for you to explore.
With everything from historic, crumbling tin mines, to the thrilling modernity of the Eden Project, there’s a reason why walking around Cornwall is so popular.
So, to help tourists make the most out of their trip, we’ve shared our 6 favourite easy walks around Cornwall. These include unparalleled views of land, sea and sky – there’s a reason why these walks include some of Poldark’s most iconic filming spots.
Alongside each entry, we’ve also shared a link to either the iWalk Cornwall or National Trust website entry for the route. These websites are a fantastic resource, for both hard-core and amateur walkers alike. Follow these links to find full details about the route, plus a handy map.
The best easy circular walks in Cornwall
The best forest walks in Cornwall
The Eden Project
With over a million visitors annually, the Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s most popular tourist attractions.
Devised by the businessman and sustainability pioneer Tim Smit, the Eden Project houses some of the globe’s most stunning tropical plants.
The domes replicate the temperature and humidity of a rainforest, which allows these rare tropical plants to thrive.
Although this walk doesn’t take you through the inside of the Eden Project, it still gives walkers a stunning view of its iconic structure. Plus, it’s completely free!
The biodomes are a remarkable feat of design and engineering, and are truly unique to the UK. So, even if you’re not big on plants, this is a must-add to your Cornwall to-do list.
The walk starts at Cherry car park (one of the upper car parks of the Eden Project). Then, you follow the signs to Bugle and Trethurgy, along the bridleway.
The route is very well sign posted, and will take you to Carvear Moor, before reaching the entrance of the Eden Project. These paths take you across the site’s outdoor gardens, and give ample viewing spots for the biodomes.
Top tip: conclude the walk with a cake and a cuppa at the Eden Coffee House (you don’t need a ticket to get in).
The Camelford Way
Camelford is the quintessential, little Cornish town. It’s a charming spot, which gives tourists a glimpse into Cornwall’s rural history.
Starting at Camelford, walk towards the market square, then take the footpath that heads towards the River Camel.
The route is very well signposted, and you’ll be led through the wildflower meadows that border the river, and the picturesque Fenteroon bridge. You’ll conclude the circular route by walking through the lush greenery of the Camel Valley, before returning to Camelford.
This walk is a fantastic opportunity to see a different side to Cornwall’s countryside. Rather than the classic sea views (as beautiful as they may be), The Camelford Way gives you a chance to see Cornwall’s abundant fields and meadows at their finest.
The King’s Wood Woodland Trust is a mesmerising stretch of forest and untamed wilderness, providing the perfect spot to lose yourself in.
For people who aren’t big walkers, the King’s Wood is an ideal choice, as it gives you all the beauty of the forest, accessible through an even and steady path.
The route follows lush green valleys, with a path shaped by the Pentewan Valley and the St Austell River. With beauty around every corner, naming after royalty almost seems an under-sell.
From the King’s Wood car park, this circular walk takes you along the path of the St Austell river, before joining the Pentewan Valley Trail to complete the circular.
To find out exactly where to make your turnings, the Cornwall guide for this route will prove to be invaluable.
Cornwall link: King’s Wood
The best coastal circular walks in Cornwall
For anyone interested in history, Botallack Walk is not a walk to be missed.
Botallack Mine is famous for being one of the most famous remains of a Cornish mine. Situated right on the cliffs, this view is about as powerful as they come.
The mine is one of the most famous locations in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites. As a result, this spot was certainly utilised by Poldark, as an iconic location that appears throughout the series. For fans of the show, it may be better known as Wheal Leisure.
The mine is located on ‘the wild Tin Coast’, and this popular walking route takes you along this thrilling example of Cornwall’s dramatic coastline.
You can even stop off at Levant Mine to see a restored, fully-working beam engine.
Starting at the National Trust’s Botallack car park, follow the signs towards the Coastal path, going right when you reach the junction at the engine house. Then, at the end of the path, take the signpost that leads you to the right, back to the car park.
Top tip: keep an eye out for wildlife – peregrine falcons have been spotted here!
National Trust link: Botallack Head
If you’ve come to Cornwall for the beaches, this walk is (in my humble opinion) the best way to see the Cornwall coastline.
And, sticking with the theme, this spot is another immensely popular shot in the Poldark series, particularly the views that can be seen from the Bedruthan Steps.
Soak up the famous Cornish sea air, with this spectacular snapshot of Cornwall’s coastal cliffs and beaches.
For this circular route, you start at the Park Head National Trust car park. From there, head down to the Porth Mear coastline, before following the coastal path. This will take you towards Park Head, by route of the area’s magnificent coastal cliffs. From there, you can see the famous Pentire Steps. And (if you’re feeling energetic) you can take a slight detour, and follow signs to the Bedruthan Steps.
The route concludes with a trek across the fields, which will take you back to the car park.
National Trust link: Park Head
If you’re only planning a brief weekend visit to Cornwall, this route is a fantastic way to see several Cornish beaches in one go.
Along the way, the Northcott Mouth circular route takes you through Crooklets beach, Summerleaze beach, Maer beach and Northcott Mouth – talk about ticking all the boxes!
The walk also gives you glimpses of some beautiful hidden gems, such as Bude Castle and Bude Sea Pool.
Starting at the Bude car park, follow the signs to take you along the Ergue-Gaberic Way. From there, the route is quite complicated, so we highly recommend making the most out of the iWalk Cornwall online route guide.
And, when you’ve finished, you can reward yourself with a well-deserved ice cream from one of Bude’s shops.
Top tip: on your route, be sure to stop off at Bude Tunnel – TripAdvisor has named it the 9th wonder of the world, which is a pretty big claim to fame!
And there you have it – our pick of the 6 best circular walks in Cornwall.
These walks are all no more than four miles long (and many of them are less than three), making them the ideal choice for an easy, laid-back stroll.
On a sunny day, when the sky is blue and the flowers are out, there’s really no better way to experience Cornwall!
Do you have any favourite circular walks in Cornwall to add to our list? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Share your favourite route with us in the comments, or on the She Gets Around Instagram page.