St Ives to Padstow

T ake a drive on the wild side. This 60-mile stretch showcases Cornwall’s rugged coastline – a stark contrast to the region’s gentler south, making it the perfect route for surfers, walkers, and keen explorers.

But that’s not to say those in search of boutiques and foodie spots won’t also be satisfied, with this stretch promising some of the trendiest beach bars, restaurants, and independent shops in the county.  


St Ives 

Often described as the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown, St Ives is renowned for its surf beaches, art scene, and harbourside cafes. Explore the maze of cobbled lanes before fuelling up at the Lifeboat Inn, found at the very heart of the town and overlooking the gorgeous harbour. Spend a slow morning people-watching before heading onto the next segment of your journey.  

Prefer to stay outside the hustle and bustle of St Ives? Just around the corner is the Pedn Olva. Wake up to the sound of the crashing waves below and enjoy a slower-paced start to your day, walking across the endless stretch of golden sands that surround the base of the clifftops.  


The Towans

Towans literally means ‘sand dune’, of which you’ll find many across the South West. In Cornwall, however, ‘the Towans’ typically refers to a three-mile stretch which extends from Hayle to Gwithian. This gorgeous sandy patch of coastal dunes is ideal for a short pitstop – stretch your legs, and if you’re feeling up for the challenge, brave a dip in the sea.  



Whilst some may be tempted to press the accelerator, Newquay has a lot more to offer than just surfboards! Considered the surf capital of the UK, it is certainly a must-visit for those keen to take to the waves, however, that isn’t to say others should skip this segment of the coast. You could easily spend a few days here, so why not extend your trip with a stay at the Great Western?  

Wander along the coastal path, watching the waves crash endlessly against the cliffs before grabbing a bite to eat. Newquay has a lot of options to satisfy even the fussiest! From chic coffee shops to Michelin-star dining, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Looking for a hearty pub meal with a modern twist? The newly refurbished Fort Inn offers a first-class experience for enjoying reinvented pub classics while looking out over the sea.   



You might recognise Padstow from Rick Stein’s popular television show - you’ll find four of his restaurants around the charming fishing port, leading to the area being dubbed ‘Padstein’. It’s seen the area’s popularity rise considerably, with foodies flocking to try some of the glorious seafood on offer. If you’re looking for somewhere a little more laid back, head to the ever-popular Shipwrights on the opposite end of the harbour.  

Walk off your meal around the harbour - you can easily while away the hours people-watching around the bustling port, or why not have a browse in some of the independent boutiques to support the local community? Finally, head over to the Old Custom House to unwind with one of our award-winning beers before sinking into plush pillows.  

The roadtrip of a lifetime

South West 660 is an iconic road trip from Poole in Dorset to Watchet in Somerset, following the beautiful coastline of south west England. With 12 unique sections, each around 50 miles long, you will experience the diversity and splendour of the four counties that make up this corner of the UK.