The festive season is a great time to step out on the South West Coast Path, blow away the cobwebs and walk off a few mince pies in the process. Here’s some inspiration to get you out for Christmas walks in a winter wonderland.

Sir John Betjeman walk – Padstow

This walk is on the opposite side of the estuary from Padstow, so you can enjoy the Christmas lights twinkling on the harbour from across the water. Afterwards, hop over on the ferry that runs all year round for the Padstow Christmas festival and festive market (5th – 8th December), followed by a pint of  Doom Bar to warm your cockles, while looking out at the very location where the ale got its name.

Penzance to Mousehole

This walk is one for remembering the Penlee Lifeboat disaster that occurred in December 1981. Every year, the stunning Mousehole lights in the harbour and surrounding streets are dimmed on 19th December to mark the anniversary of this event. Mousehole is also home to the interestingly named Star Gazy pie, a mixed fish, egg and potato pie with protruding fish heads, eaten on 23 December in memory of Tom Bawcock, a fisherman who lifted a famine from the village on that very night several hundred years ago.

St Ives: Lelant to Clodgy Point

There are plenty of goings on around St Ives this Christmas including the Santa party train from St Erth to St Ives, which offers a great way to combine a Coast Path walk with seasonal merriment and one of the most scenic train rides in the country. Walk to St Ives and enjoy carols on the beach, an exhibition at the Tate and some Christmas shopping, before catching the train back after a great day out.

Fowey: Gribben Head and the Saint’s Way

There’s so much to experience on this walk, with historic and literary associations as well as spectacular views and part of the Saint’s Way. The Fowey Christmas lights  provide a festive backdrop to a stunning Coast Path walk, and the small independent shops in Fowey offer the perfect place to pick up present or two at the same time.

Looe to Polperro

There’s a range of events taking place in Looe to see in the festive season in style and if that’s not enough you can always follow the South West Coast Path Treasure Trail to Polperro for a fun filled family adventure on the coast this Christmas.