Running in Penzance
Admittedly Cornwall is more famous for its leisurely pace of life and calorific cream teas than its enthusiasm for running! In fact, a local saying goes ‘it is best to miss the train than be seen running for it.’ However, with a section of the 630-mile South West Coast Path accessible nearby, YHA Penzance is perfectly positioned to offer some sensationally scenic routes.
Run to the sea front from the hostel and, once there, turn left for a 4 mile beach run to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island that’s steeped in Cornish myth and legend and is home to a castle and a kaleidoscope of colourful sub-tropical flora and fauna.
RunYHA - Penzance to Land's End
Distance: 16.5 miles/ 27km
Start/Finish: Penzance Station TR18 2LT, Land's End
Terrain: Trail, road, coast path
Ascent: 791 metres
Navigation: Easy to moderateGood for: Coast, history, culture
Route info: wildrunning.net/02
A tough but rewarding coastal run with plenty of scenery and history that can be run in sections or, for those up for a challenge, in its entirety. Steep steps and narrow paths make for exciting, technical running. Leave Penzance by the coast road to the west, through Newlyn and Mousehole (described by Dylan Thomas as the prettiest village in England), before following the SW Coast Path sign left out onto the rugged coast path. Continue along an undulating mixture of trail and granite steps to Lamorna. The secluded cove and café here, surrounded by bluebell woods in spring, provides a welcome spot for a rest. Climb steep steps to the cliff top, passing Treen’s white sandy beaches and the Minack Theatre. In the final miles, grasslands make for easier running as Land’s End beckons.
Download your Wild Running guide here.
Rest your weary legs with a bus ride back to Penzance. And your home for the evening is a beautifully restored Georgian mansion complete with all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Other things to do nearby
Get outdoors and have fun at this exciting activity centre. As a charity, they help hundreds of disadvantaged children in Cornwall too.
If you are looking to combine water sports with climbing then Coasteering is for you. Kernow Coasteering offer coasteering adventures on the rocky coastline close to YHA Land’s End.
Nothing beats cycling down the old green lane to Nanjizal - one of the more secluded beaches in Cornwall.
From monks to a Cornish giant, the history and mythology that layer up on this rocky tidal island near Penzance is richly diverse.
Penzance has the best transport links in West Cornwall, giving great flexibility in choosing your route.
A long sweeping beach, ideal for surfing. The school has an excellent reputation offering lesson for all abilities. Visit the website
Marazion and Gwithian have regular events for both Kite and Wind Surfing.
The most south-westerly point in mainland Britain, with spectacular views, iconic signpost and a range of visitor attractions.
With footpaths heading in all directions from the hostel door, you'll soon enjoy cliff top views towards Land's End before crossing the sands of Sennen Cove, or passing Cape Cornwall and the dramatic
If you are looking to combine water sports with climbing then Coasteering is for you.
If you've never surfed before, then book a lesson at Sennen Cove - tuition, board and wetsuit hire are all available in the village. More experienced surfers will enjoy the big waves at Gwynver.
Penzance to Land's End Distance: 16.5 miles/ 27km Start/Finish: Penzance Station TR18 2LT, Land's End Terrain: Trail, road, coast path Toughness: Challenging A
The most famous and certainly the most influential studio pottery in the world!
Take a look at a real working Cornish ice cream farm! Meet the herd of cows, go for a stroll around the meadows, and of course get a sample of their delicious ice cream.
A 25 minute walk through lovely woodland ends at the coast in Portreath. Enjoy the great surfing beach or relax in one of the cafes and watch people riding the waves!
There's a great 12 mile cycle route that takes you from Portreath right across Cornwall to Devoran.