Take a walk on the wild side as a brilliant tapestry of wild flowers bursts into bloom along the South West Coast Path in Cornwall.
From late spring, the South West Coast Path is home to a wide variety of wild flowers, from violets, primroses and bluebells to pink thrift and white campion, sea holly, evening primrose and wild orchids. Here's a selection of route recommendations from our friends at Visit Cornwall and the South West Coast Path team.
This circular walk has spectacular views of Rosemullion Head, secluded coves and the beautiful Helford Estuary. Lovely in springtime when wild garlic carpets the woodland path, later in the season you'll also discover a sea of bluebells. Make time to visit the gardens at Caerwinion too, when primroses and blue anemones grow beneath the rhododendrons and camellias.
A demanding but delightful walk through china clay country. The route starts from the picturesque fishing village of Mevagissey and travels inland through the medieval settlement associated with the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan. Take a slight detour from the route to visit the gardens, which have been restored to their former glory after being neglected for 75 years after the First World War.
Discover stunning coastline combined with hidden creeks on this walk to the east of Fowey. Keep an eye out for orchids in the spring and visit the church where famed writer Daphne du Maurier got married. If you’re feeling energetic, take the walk down to Lantic Beach, a picturesque bay set against a backdrop of high, fertile cliffs.
A varied walk crossing sand dunes and cliff tops with an Iron Age cliff castle and maritime heathland. In spring and summer Polly Joke is full of wildflowers, and in autumn the birds of prey attracted by the gathering flocks of migrant birds sometimes include a hen harrier or maybe a merlin. Children will love the dunes and the beach – designated a Site of Specific Scientific Interest – and will delight in exploring the rocks and the caves at low tide.
A short walk that climbs from Boscastle Harbour towards Pentargon Waterfall. The Coast Path runs between a stone hedge, covered in the lichen sea ivory, and the open maritime grassland topping the cliffs, which is home to colourful wild flowers such as Dyer’s Greenweed and Saw-wort.
Take a fairly easy walk from the tiny fishing cove of Porthgwarra to Porthcurno, one of the most spectacular beaches in Cornwall. Along the way, you'll pass the Holy Well of St Levan and the open air Minack Theatre and visitor centre, an atmospheric amphitheatre where you could catch a production of Shakespeare or a more modern play. The valley at Porthgwarra is renowned for birdwatching, and in late spring the clifftops are covered in wildflowers.
The South West Coast Path includes around 630 miles of beautiful countryside tracks, meaning there are hundreds of circular walks and linear routes just waiting to be explored.