The main line from Plymouth to Penzance has several stations close to the South Cornwall coast. There are main line stations at Saltash, Par, St Austell and Penzance. A branch line runs from Liskeard (on the main line) to Looe, known as the Looe Valley Line. There is also a branch line from Truro to Falmouth. Main line services run roughly every hour, and trains to Looe and Falmouth connect with most of these services during the daytime.
In addition, many of the rail stations between Plymouth and Penzance have good bus connections (often with through ticketing), to parts of the Cornwall coast. From Plymouth there is a bus connection to Kingsand, Cawsand, Portwrinkle, Looe and Polperro. From Liskeard and Looe there are bus connections to Polperro. From Par there is a bus connection to Fowey. At St Austell there are bus connections to Pentewan, Mevagissey and Gorran Haven. From Truro there are bus services to St Mawes, Portloe and the Lizard. From Penzance there are buses to Praa Sands, Porthleven, Porthcurno and Lands End.
The following places lists the rail stations and routes that are useful for accessing the South Cornwall coast. Places on or near the coast path are listed in bold. For the rail timetables, see the links below.
|Plymouth||Devonport, Dockyard, Keyham, St Budeaux Ferry Road, Saltash, St Germans, Menheniot, Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Par, St Austell, Truro, Redruth, Camborne, Hayle, St Erth, Penzance||Plymouth to Freathy, Fowey to Par, Par to Charlestown, Charlestown to Mevagissey, Penzance to Marazion, Penzance to Lamora||The Cornish Main Line||First Great Western, Virgin Trains, Wessex Trains and Arria Trains Wales|
|Liskeard||Combe, St Keyne, Causland, Sandplace, Looe||Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro||The Looe Valley Line||Wessex Trains|
|Truro||Perranwell, Penryn, Penmere, The Dell (Falmouth Town), Falmouth Docks||Portscatho to Place House (for St Mawes and Falmouth), Falmouth to Helford Passage||The Maritime Line||Wessex Trains|
|St Ives||Carbis Bay, Lelant, Lelant Saltings, St Erth, Penzance||Penzance to Marazion, Penzance to Lamora||The St Ives Line||Wessex Trains|
Most rail tickets (such as day returns) are valid on any of the train operators below. Some advance purchase tickets are limited to certain rail operators only (such as Virgin Value tickets).
Pre-Printed timetable booklets are available from all staffed stations around South Cornwall. Most larger stations are staffed (including St Austell, Par, Penzance and St Erth). In addition some of the rail operators have provided timetables for downloading on their web sites. See the links below
There are several web sites which allow you to search for rail information, some also provide information on fares.
The National Rail site has lots of information on the rail network, including a journey planner that gives the train times and fares, real time travel information and real time departure information for many stations. For the timetable, follow the link Planning Your Journey near the top left.
The TrainLine.com provides timetable, train fare information and it allows you to book a ticket in advance (which can be picked up at some stations or delivered to your house). It does require you to register first though and has a habit of offering trains for which it lists no valid fare!.
Duetsche Bahn (the German rail operator) provides (in English) an on-line timetable for all UK rail services. It also offers a list of calling points for all the trains (rather than just where you need to change), a map of the route and will produce a personalised PDF (Adobe Acrobat file) of the timetable between any two stations.
Rail Services in the UK sometimes suffer from delays and disruption, so it is useful to check for potential problems before setting out. National Rail Inquiries is a telephone line (open 24-hours a day) which can provide timetable and current train running information. The number is 08457 48 49 50. Calls are charged at the local rate.
There is also on-line train running information available updated frequently. The main site lists problems and disruption (current and cleared), for the whole UK. In addition current live arrival and departure information is available for main stations in the UK - those relevant to the South Cornwall Coast are listed below.
Bus services operate between many points on the South West coast path and also connect with major towns and cities and the National Rail network. The South Cornwall section has some good bus services operating to coastal towns, with many running frequently. The worst section is probably the area around Falmouth and the Lizard though even here there are daily services to the coast path. Some bus services run only during the summer or during the week only and may run different timetables at weekends. There are also some bus services which connect with the National Rail network, many with through rail - bus tickets available from stations.
The following table shows bus services in South Cornwall that can be used for accessing the coast path.
For more information on bus services, nationwide, call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 or visit the Traveline South West site.
|From||To||Walk||Service No||Operator||Through rail tickets available? (via Station)|
|Bude||Hillhead, Stratton, Newport, Launceston, Treburley, Callington, St Mellion, Saltash, St Budeaux, Milehouse, Plymouth||Plymouth to Freathy||X8||First Western National||No|
|Plymouth||St Budeaux, Saltash, Higher Burraton, Landrake, Tideford, Hessenford, Looe, Polperro||Plymouth to Freathy, Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro||72||First Western National||No|
|Plymouth||Stoke, Stonehouse, Devonport, Torpoint, Antony, Whitsand Bay, Cawsand, Millbrook, Insworke, Cremyll, Looe, Polpero||Plymouth to Freathy, Freathy to Portwrinkle, Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro, Polperro to Polruan||80(A,B), 81(A,B)||First Western National||No|
|Callington||St Ive, Pensilva Victoria, Dartie, St Cleer, Liskeard, St Keyne, Duloe, Looe, Hannafore, Polperro||Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro, Polperro to Polruan||267||D A C Coaches NOTE - This service ends in early September. It will be replaced by Western Greyhound service 573||Yes (Liskeard)|
|Pelynt||Trelawne, Polperro, Looe, Hessenford, Plymouth||Plymouth to Freathy, Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro, Polperro to Polruan||273||Hambleys Coaches||No|
|Pelynt||Polperro, Seaview, Pelynt, Looe, Pelynt, Polperro||Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro, Polperro to Polruan||279||Hambleys Coaches||No|
|Polruan||Lansallos, Polperro, Looe||Portwrinkle to Looe, Looe to Polperro, Polperro to Polruan||Polruan Bus||Polruan Bus||No|
|Lost Gardens of Heligan||Mevagissey, Pentewen, London Apprentice, St Austell, Charlestown, Par, Fowey||Polperro to Polruan (via Ferry), Fowey to Par, Par to Charlestown, Charlestown to Mevagissey, Mevagissey to Gorran Haven||25, 25B||First Western National||Yes (Par)|
|Newquay||Trenance, Quintrell Downs, Summercourt, St Austell, London Aprentice, Pentewan, Mevagissey, Heligan Gardens, Gorran Haven||Charlestown to Mevagissey, Mevagissey to Gorran Haven, Gorran Haven to Portloe||526||Western Greyhound||No|
|Truro||Tresillian, Probus, Tregony, Treviskey, Portloe, Veryan, Ruan High Lanes, Portscatho, St Just in Roseland, St Mawes||Gorran Haven to Portloe, Portloe to Portscatho, Portscatho to Place House||50 & 51||First Western National||Yes (Truro)|
|Penzance||Long Rock, Marazion, Porthleven,, Helston, Falmouth||Penzance to Lamora, Penzance to Marazion, Marazion to Praa Sands, Porthleven to Praa Sands, Porthleven to Mullion Cove||7||First Western National||No|
|Cambourne||Pool, Redruth, Penryn, Falmouth||Helford Passage to Falmouth, Portscatho to Place House (via Ferry)||41||First Devon and Cornwall||No|
|Falmouth||Penryn, Devoran, Truro, Trispen, Mitchell, Quintrell Downs, Trenance Gardens, Porth, Newquay||Helford Passage to Falmouth, Portscatho to Place House (via Ferry)||89, 90||First Western National||No|
|Helston||RNAS Culdrose, Mawgan, Gweek, Constantine, Trevera, Lamanva, Mawnan Smith, Helford Passage, Mawnan Smith, Budock Water, Falmouth||Porthallow to Helford, Helford Passage to Falmouth, Portscatho to Place House (via Ferry)||T4||Truronian||No|
|Truro||Carnon Downs, Flushing, Penryn, Lamanva, Mawnam Smith, Helford Passage, Mawnan Smith, Falmouth||Porthallow to Helford, Helford Passage to Falmouth, Portscatho to Place House (via Ferry)||T8||Truronian||No|
|Truro||Helston, RNAS Culdrose, Mullion, Mawgan, St Martin, Helford, Manaccan, Gillan, Porthallow, St Keverne, Tregellast Barton, Coverack, Kuggar, Ruan Minor, Cadgwith, Kynance Cove, Lizard||Helford Passage to Falmouth, Porthallow to Helford, Porthallow to Coverack, Lizard to Coverack, Lizard to Mullion Cove||T3 The Lizard Rambler||Truronian||No|
|Truro||Helston, RNAS Culdrose, Gweek, Mawgan, Goonhilly Earth Station, Coverack, St Keverne, Goonhilly Earth Station, Mawgan Village, Gweek, RNAS Culdrose, Helston, Truro||Porthallow to Coverack, Coverack to Lizard||T2||Truronian||Yes (Truro)|
|Perranporth||Trevellas, Mithian Village, Barkla, St Agnes, Goonbell, Chiverton Cross, Threemilestone, Truro, Carnon Downs, Perranwell, Carnike, Porkellis, Wendron, Helston, RNAS Culdrose, Mullion, Kuggar, Ruan Minor, Lizard, Ruan Minor, Kuggar||Lizard to Coverack, Lizard to Mullion Cove, Mullion Cove to Porthleven||T1||Truronian||Yes (Truro)|
|Penzance||Long Rock, Marazion, Perran Downs, Perranuthnoe, Rosudgeon, Praa Sands, Ashton, Breage, Porthleven, Helston||Mullion Cove to Porthleven, Porthleven to Praa Sands, Prass Sands to Marazion, Penzance to Marazion, Penzance to Lamora||2, 2A, 2B||First Western National||Yes (Penzance)|
|Penzance||Newlyn, Drift, Paul, Sheffield, Lamora, St Buryan, Crows-an-Wra, Sennen Cove, Treen, Porthcurno, Lands End||Penzance to Marazion, Penzance to Lamora, Lamora to Porthcurno, Porthcurno to Lands End||1, 1A||First Western National||Yes (Penzance)|
|Penzance||Newlyn, Sheffield, Lamora, St Buryan, Treen, Porthcurno, Lands End, Sennen Cove, Kelynack, St Just, Tregeseal, Botallack, Pendeen, Morvah, Madron, Heamoor, Penzance||Penzance to Marazion, Penzance to Lamora, Lamora to Porthcurno, Porthcurno to Lands End||345||Sunset Coaches (Tel 01736 810428)||No|
Frequent services operate to Plymouth from much of Devon and Cornwall, and between Penzance, Marazion and Newlyn.
Tickets purchased from one bus company are not normally valid on buses run by different companies.
|First Western National||First Western National are probably the biggest operator of bus services in Cornwall, running over most of the county. They have bus stations within the South Cornwall area at Plymouth, St Austell, Camborne and Penzance. Timetables are available from most bus stations in Cornwall, and tourist information centres. They publish complete Public Transport guides for Cornwall.|
|Truronian>||Truronian run local services around Truro and the Lizard. These include the popular coast to coast service from Perranporth and St Agnes to The Lizard via Truro and The Lizard Rambler. Fares are reasonable and are normally displayed at the bus stop for most destinations. Timetables can be obtained from bus stations and Tourist Information centres in Cornwall.|
|Plymouth Citybus||Plymouth CityBus run a network of bus services around Plymouth, for access to the coast path. For more information on Plymouth CityBus services, call 01752 222221|
|DAC Coaches||DAC Coaches operate bus services in South East Cornwall, including services around Looe and Polperro. For more information, call 01822 834571|
|Western Greyhound||Western Greyhound operates a large area network in and around North Cornwall, but also now operates a service to Mevagissey and Gorran Haven and soon to Looe. For more details on Western Greyhound services, call 01637 871871|
|Hambleys Coaches||Hambleys Coaches run services around South East Cornwall, including the services between Looe and Polperro. For more information on their services, call 01503 220660|
|Sunset Coaches||Sunset Coaches operate a bus service around the far west of Cornwall, around Porthcurno, Penzance, Sennen Cove and Lands End. For more information on their services, call 01736 810428.|
|Polruan Bus||Polruan Bus run local services around Polruan. The service is however infrequent, so check before travelling. For more information call 01726 870719.|
|Traveline||Bus timetable information is available from the Traveline South West site, operators concerned, or from Traveline telephone information on 0870 608 2 608. Note that this number uses caller line identfication to identify the telephone number you are calling from and put you through to the local office covering your current area. To avoid this, withold your number by dialling 141 before the number, or call from a mobile. In this case you will get a menu option to chose your area. The website also includes a journey planner, and includes rail information.|
Since there are several river crossings on the South Cornwall coast, Ferries are required to cross them. The Ferry services which operate along the South Cornwall part of the path are listed below.
The Cremyll Ferry links Plymouth with Cremyll in Cornwall, crossing the river Plym. The ferry operates all year round during the day, at frequent intervals (except for Christmas and New Year). For more information, call 01752 822105.
This ferry services runs from the Barbican in Plymouth to Cawsand, running daily in the summer. For more information, call 01752 822514.
This very runs in high season, and is dependant on the tide and the weather. It is well signed if it is running. If not, the river can easily be crossed by the bridge a little further into the town.
There is a pedestrian ferry from Polruan to Fowey and a car and passenger ferry from Bodinnick to Fowey. They run from early in the morning to late evening in the summer (less hours in the winter). Both services run all year round. For more information call 01726 870232.
This is a summer only ferry linking Mevagissey to Polperro, useful for longer walks on the coast path. For more information on this ferry, see the website at http://www.mevagissey-ferries.co.uk.
This ferry links St Mawes and Falmouth and runs all year round, weather permitting. It runs around every 30 minutes in the summer and every hour in the winter. For more information, call 01326 313201 or visit their website at www.stmawes-ferry.co.uk.
Although not strictly on the South West Coast Path, a ferry operates frequently between Flushing and Falmouth. For details see the website.
A pleasant way to travel to Falmouth for the South West Coast Path is to take the Enterprise Boats ferry service from Truro to Falmouth.
This ferry service links Tolverne, in the Fal estuary to Falmouth. For more details see the Website.
This ferry runs between St Mawes and Place (St Antony in Roseland) in the summer only, and normally runs around every 30 minutes. For more details, see the website.
This is a summer only ferry linking Helford and Helford Passage. For more details, see the website.
Rover Tickets provide a way to travel on bus and train services for several days at a time, without having to purchase seperate tickets. If your in the area for a few days it is worth looking into.
Are available for one, three and seven day tickets, and provide unlimited use of most First services in the south west.
This ticket is available in the Penwith area of West Cornwall. It allows the use of local bus services operated by First Western National and rail services between St Ives and St Erth and Penzance, operated by Wessex Trains.
Two tickets relevant to the South Cornwall coast are available.
The Cornish Rail Rover provides unlimited off-peak use of all national rail lines in Cornwall for and 3 in 7 days or any 8 in 15 days. It is also valid on the line from Plymouth to Gunnislake.
The Freedom of the South West rail rover provides unlimited use of all National Rail services in Cornwall and Devon, and onto many parts of Avon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset. It is available for 8 in 15 days versions (ie you can choose any 8 days out of 15 consecutive days to travel).
There are several public transport maps available for the South Cornwall area. Click one of the links below.