Route Section Number 8:
Penzance to St Ives
The far corner of the southwest peninsula is perfect for a meandering coastal roadtrip. West of Penzance and St Ives there are no towns or dual carriageways – just a fascinating selection of remote villages, rocky shores and wild moorland.
It’s a perfect demonstration of why we recommend taking smaller coastal roads. Most visitors speed across the middle of Penwith on the largely anonymous A30. It leads straight to the expensive car park at Land’s End alongside crowded fast food outlets and souvenir shops. If they drive back the same way they probably won’t see anything memorable all day.
Instead we recommend SW660 drivers explore the coastal roads. You’ll discover some of Britain’s most beautiful and rugged coastal views and drive entirely within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Those A30 speedsters miss some extraordinary sights, including an open-air theatre carved into a cliff and mine workings so special they have been UNESCO World Heritage status.
Mining in Cornwall
The Devon and Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site includes old workings spread across large areas of both counties. Follow the whole SW660 to see most of the best ones.
The most spectacular mine works are here though, clinging to rugged cliffs in the far west of Cornwall. At the National Trust shoreline of Botallack and Levant you’ll spot engine houses that served as prominent locations in TV’s Poldark series and at Geevor visitors can don hard hats to explore a tin mine where tunnels extend a mile under the sea.
During your trip
Staying in the area
The Gurnard’s Head
Harbour Hotel St Ives
Old Success Inn
- Self Catering