Adrenaline seekers, cliff jumpers, and adventure addicts, listen up.
You’re going to be in for a real treat with this one.
Zip up your wetsuit, clip on your helmet, and make sure the buoyancy aid is snug.
Because we’re about to go coasteering in Cornwall
Sure, there are plenty of activities to get involved in within this gorgeous part of the country— especially in the summer. But hand’s down, coasteering is one of the absolute BEST most AMAZING experiences to see Cornwall in all its glory. We’re talking sea caves, cliffs, sea life, splashes, and a whole lot of laughs.
In this post we’ll discuss all things coasteering including where to go and the the top companies ready to take you out onto the rocks.
What is Coasteering?
Maybe you’ve landed on this post because you’re wondering exactly what “coasteering” is!
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of it before as it’s a bit of a niche activity! Simply put, coasteering is the art of adventuring around a coast where the land meets the sea.
A combination of the words “coast” and “mountaineering”, this adrenaline-filled sport involves a wide range of activities and skills. It certainly looks thrilling, judging by the video this Redditor shared!
Described as “genuinely thrilling”, it’s probably most well known for cliff jumping (and cliff jumping in Cornwall is certainly a feat!) and also entails swimming, wading, diving, scrambling and bouldering.
There are certainly easier ways to travel around a coast, but coasteering in Cornwall offers one of the most intense and exciting means.
With Cornish coasteering you can really get up close and personal with the terrain, as well as that unbeatable sense of achievement and success as you overcome a particularly challenging obstacle. Kayaking or boating simply doesn’t compare!
Originating from Pembrokeshire in Wales during the 1980s, coasteering quickly caught on in other areas and countries. Today, it’s even practiced as far as Norway and Australia.
Sessions are usually tailored to the fitness levels and ages of the participants, and there are packages aimed specifically at different demographics.
Perhaps you’d be happier creating an enjoyable family bonding experience? Or, would you like an intense and challenging clash with nature?
It’s even becoming a popular activity for stag and hen-dos. After all, what better way to celebrate a new chapter in your life than by jumping headlong into the Celtic Sea?
Coasteering is a great way to gain some confidence with nature and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
It can be especially rewarding for children and young people, as well as for older folk who may want to reconnect with nature or experience something new.
Most providers will guide you through the experience from start to finish, and provide all the equipment you’ll need. Rest assured they are all very capable and well trained, so you and your family will always be safe while out adventuring!
Bear in mind that most coasteering experiences and providers only operate during the summer season, but check out their individual websites for full information.
Why Is Cornwall So Great for Coasteering?
Cornwall is the perfect location in the UK to practice coasteering as it has over 400 miles of coastline and no inland point more than 20 miles from the coast.
With an abundance of rocky cliff faces, deep dark caves, sandy beaches, and hidden coves, the area is awash with sea life. While out coasteering, you could see dolphins, seals, and large sea-faring birds!
There are even a few shipwrecks to see, hinting at the rich history of the Cornish coast.
Many of the guides are local to the area and will be able to regale you with the history of Cornwall while you clamber around, making for an unforgettable experience.
Coasteering is a tradition well-practiced in the Cornwall area, with plenty of companies and adventures to choose from.
Whether you’re a group or individual, couple, family, young or old, there’s bound to be a coasteering company around who’ll be able to cater to your needs. If you’re really brave, you could even go coasteering at night — blimey!
Kernow Coasteering, Penzance
Kernow Coasteering, based in stunning Penzance way over in the west, offers some amazing locations for coasteering.
This particular part of Cornwall has some of the most exciting terrain for coasteering, including across the granite on the cliffs of Land’s End — formed roughly 270 million years ago!
Kernow Coasteering offers coasteering sessions all year round and provides everything you need for your adventure, except for footwear. Be sure to pack your own sneakers, wetsuit boots, or canyoning shoes.
Sessions last about two to three hours, and no previous experience is required. Your qualified guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Bear in mind that in order to go coasteering with Kernow Coasteering you must be over the age of 10, and able to swim 50 metres unguided. Additionally, if under the age of 18, you must have a parent or guardian present.
Kernow Coasteering can cater for individuals, groups, families, birthdays, work social outings, and more.
How Much Does It Cost?
For adults, it’ll set you back by £35 per person, while children (under 18) cost £25 per person. Pretty decent for a few hours of having the time of your life!
You can get in touch and make bookings with Kernow Coasteering through their website, phone, or by email.
Phone: 07734 343 954
Address: 2 Orchard Court, Penzance TR18 4SX
OA Surf Club, Bude
OA Surf Club offers an unforgettable coasteering experience in Bude.
Bude is a stunning part of Cornwall located on the north-west coast, well known for its amazing surf beaches, sea caves and natural arches. There’s also an abundance of sea life in the area from dolphins to seals.
While coasteering in the area is obviously what you’re looking for, don’t overlook what else Bude has to offer! Why not check out The Castle, a grade two listed building, or the 1930s sea pool at Summerleaze Beach?
As for OA Surf Club’s coasteering experience, this will take you around the coast, starting from Bossiney— giving you a chance to explore the amazing natural wonders Bude has to offer.
The sessions are approximately two to two and a half hours long, and no experience is required. Again, however, you must be aged at least 12 and able to swim 50 metres.
All equipment is provided except for footwear, so make sure you bring footwear suitable for the sea— as well as a towel, swimwear, and an adventuring spirit!
Packages can be enjoyed as an individual or in a group. Who knows, OA Surf Club could be just the company you’re looking for!
How Much Does It Cost?
All coasteering costs $45 per person, regardless of age.
You can get in touch and make bookings with OA Surf Club` through their website, phone, or by email.
Phone: 01288 362 900
Address: OA Surf Club Ltd., Atlantic Court, Widemouth Bay, Bude EX23 0DF
Gylly Adventures, Falmouth
Located at the picturesque Gylly Beach and Greenbank Gardens in Falmouth, Gylly Adventures offers coasteering in the south-west of Cornwall.
With exciting cliffs, beaches, and coves to explore, this spot will be sure to meet your coasteering dreams. As with much of the rest of Cornwall, the abundant wildlife in the area includes dolphins, seals, oystercatchers, and cormorants.
Falmouth is also home to Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle, which is well worth a visit if you have time. The town has a rich history, and has even been the backdrop for a few films such as ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘World War Z’!
Gylly Adventures’ coasteering sessions start at Gylly Beach and run for about two to two and a half hours across the local Cornish coast.
It’s a fun activity for the whole family or a group, and depending on which coasteering experience you choose — Coasteering at Gylly Beach, or ‘Pick Your Own’ Cornwall Coasteering Adventure — the minimum age is 9 or 12. Any under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
No experience is required, though you do need to be able to run around, scramble up the rocks, jump off cliffs, and swim for two straight hours!
Equipment will be provided, but make sure you bring your own towel, swimsuit, sun cream, water bottle, wetsuit boots and/or closed-toe shoes (lace-ups) which you’re okay with getting wet. You can bring your own wetsuit if you’d like, but just make sure it’s full-length.
Don’t forget your warm clothes for when you’re done, either!
How Much Does It Cost?
All coasteering costs $60 per person, regardless of age.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Gylly Adventures through their website.
Phone: 07341 890 495
Address: Gylly Adventures, Gyllyngvase Beach, CLiff Road, Falmouth TR11 4PA
Newquay Activity Centre, Newquay
Two-time gold winner at the Cornwall Tourism Awards, and gold winner at the South West Tourism awards, Newquay Activity Centre offers an unparalleled coasteering experience on the spectacular cliffs of Newquay in the north of Cornwall.
Thanks to Newquay Harbour, the area was home to a small fishing village during the Middle Ages, then grew from there into the gorgeous coastal town we see today. It has a rich and varied history, and you can still see evidence of this in the relics and buildings around Newquay.
Spend a little time wandering the Newquay Discovery Trail around the town, or simply sit on the beach and enjoy the views!
With seven different coasteering experience packages on offer, Newquay Activity Centre has a package sure to please anyone— regardless of experience or confidence levels.
Whether you’re after a milder experience or want to push yourself to the limits, explore the various packages on offer — there’s even a night coasteering activity! Explore smugglers’ caves, and keep a close eye out for the local sea life.
Newquay Activity Centre has extremely enthusiastic and qualified instructors who will guide you through your experience and provide all the equipment you may need. They even have special trainers you can hire so you don’t have to worry about ruining your shoes!
Sessions can be catered towards individuals, groups, families, or social outings.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are several packages on offer, so it depends on which one you choose. Prices range from £55–£110 per person.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Newquay Activity Centre through their website.
Phone: 01637 877 722
Address: 60 Fore Street, Newquay TR7 1LW
Cornish Coasteering, Port Gaverne
Based at the top of the hill in Port Gaverne, Cornish Coasteering offers the chance to explore the incredible Cornish coast around Port Gaverne.
Port Gaverne is a small hamlet located on the north coast of Cornwall. It’s closest to Port Isaac, just around the headland. Due to Port Gaverne’s size, it relies heavily on the services in Port Isaac.
Fun fact: Port Gaverne’s seaside setting was famously used as a filming location for ‘Doc Martin’!
Boasting a vast array of cliffs, caves and waves, Cornish Coasteering runs a three hour experience sure to satisfy the most adventurous. With sessions at different times of the day, this offers you the chance to experience the Cornish coast at low, mid, or high tide.
Sessions start at the top of Port Gaverne’s hill, and there’s no experience necessary. All equipment is provided, groups are catered for, and anyone from the age of eight and up can book.
However, be warned: Port Gaverne can be quite exposed, so this location is best suited to strong swimmers!
How Much Does It Cost?
Coasteering here will cost you around £45–£50 per person.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Cornish Coasteering through their website.
Phone: 01208 622 012
Address: Dinham Farm, St Minver, Wadebridge PL27 6RH
Coastal Rush, St Agnes
Explore the beautiful coastline of St Agnes with Coastal Rush.
St Agnes is a village in the north of Cornwall, and was a mining town from prehistoric times until the 1920s. You can even find stone-age remains!
The cliff tops around St Agnes are particularly spectacular. They’re even a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as of national importance, thanks to the makeup of the granite!
With Coastal Rush guiding you, you’ll jump off the Cornish cliffs, swim to the stunning mermaid cove, and scramble up to Trevellas Coombe.
All equipment is provided, so all you need to bring is a pair of trainers or old shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.
They can cater for families, couples, or small groups, and their only requirement is that you can swim at least 25 metres.
How Much Does It Cost?
You’ll need to contact Coastal Rush for up-to-date pricing, but you’ll be generally looking at around £60 per person.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Coastal Rush through their website.
Phone: 01872 859 544
Address: Coastal Rush, Peterville Square, St Agnes TR5 0QU
Cornish Coast Adventures, Port Quin
Located in Scarrabine Farm above Port Quin— a stones throw from Polzeath and Port Isaac— Cornish Coast Adventures owners Sam and Mark William’s family have lived in the area for over 120 years.
This company actually specialises in kayaking and stand up paddleboarding, rather than coasteering. If you’re after a bit more of a water-based experience, Cornish Coastal Adventures will show you the sights and wonders of Port Quin, Polzeath, and Port Isaac’s coastlines, all while educating you on the local history of the area.
And, oh boy, is there plenty to see! Think huge caves and hidden bays, with even a few shipwrecks to explore!
There are a few different packages on offer:
- Sea Kayaking Sessions
With this session you’ll stay around Port Quin harbour, as well as its caves and harbour mouth. On calmer days, you may head a little further afield.
Suitable for those aged 12 and above, and all under 16s must have an adult supervisor.
- Family Fun Sessions
This session lasts for two hours and focuses on what it says: family fun! You’ll stay around Port Quin learning basic skills and exploring, then the instructors will hit you with some challenges and games.
On calmer days, they may take you out a little further.
Suitable for those aged 8 and above, all under 14s must have an adult supervisor.
- Stand Up Paddleboarding Lessons
Stand up paddleboarding is a great way to get fit, as well as see the Cornish coast. Sessions are two hours and will explore all of Port Quin harbour.
There’s a maximum of six people to one instructor for these lessons, but no minimum age requirement.
- Advanced Kayak Tours
These tours only run between April–October and are specifically for the confident paddler. They’re incredibly dependent on the weather and sea conditions, which can change fast.
They’ll start you off in the harbour and then, as long as the weather’s playing ball, will take you out around the coastline. Expect for the whole tour to take around 3 hours.
You’ll need a basic level of fitness for this tour, be at least 14 and be supervised by an adult (on a double kayak) if under 18.
For all of the above packages they’ll provide the equipment, but you’ll be in charge of your swimwear, suitable shoes, towel, water, sun cream, and warm clothes for after activities! If you have your own wetsuit you can bring your own, or they can provide them for you.
You should note, too, that they recommend a maximum weight of 17 stone on the kayaks— though there is a little wiggle room around this. If you’re concerned, be sure to get in touch with them before your visit!
How Much Does It Cost?
Depending on which package you choose, prices vary from £35 per person to £50 per person.
Note that if you have an odd number in your group or are booking solo, there’s a £15 supplement that applies.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Cornish Coast Adventures through their website.
Phone: 01208 880 280
Address: Cornish Coast Adventures, Port Quin, Port Isaac PL29 3ST
Vertical Descents, Newquay
Vertical Descents is a leading extreme sports company in both Scotland and Cornwall. Their coasteering in Cornwall, in particular, is one of the leading companies in the area.
Having been developing routes since 1998, their capable instructors are able to lead expeditions all over the coast, from Newquay to St Ives, Foway and Bude.
They have an Adventure Lodge in Newquay, and can provide for all manner of groups, from couples and families, to stag dos and even military training groups!
They even offer an eco coasteering experience, designed to educate you about the wildlife and sealife in the area.
It doesn’t even stop with coasteering — if you wanted to, you could spend an entire week trying your hand at every extreme sport Vertical Descents has to offer!
Coasteering sessions run for one and a half to two hours, and boast a high guide to participant ratio to ensure you will get the best experience.
All of their equipment is top of the line, and will be sure to make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Photographs are even taken throughout the session, leaving you with evidence to prove that you did, in fact, jump off a cliff in Cornwall! Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?
And, if the regular coasteering experience isn’t enough for you, how about extreme coasteering? With this three to four hour experience, you’ll hit the slightly more choppy waters of the north coast.
Be warned that you do need to book this one in advance as it’s a bespoke activity, and also that the team describe it as a bit more of a “spicy” experience — yikes!
How Much Does It Cost?
Depending on location (you can choose from Newquay, St Ives, Fowey, Padstow, or the South Coast), coasteering will cost you between £45–£55 per person.
Extreme coasteering will cost you £80 per person (minimum of four people required).
You can get in touch and make bookings with Vertical Descents Cornwall through their website.
Phone: 01397 747 111
Address: Treffry Centre, 4 S Quay Hill, Newquay TR7 1HT
Lizard Adventure, The Lizard Peninsula
Based off the stunning Lizard Peninsula, Lizard Adventure offers an exciting coasteering experience all over the Cornwall coast.
Located in south Cornwall, The Lizard Peninsula is a gorgeous stretch of land. In fact, the most southerly point of Britain is just past Lizard Point! You can’t quite see France, but you’ll definitely get a great view of the Channel.
Whether you’re an explorer who wants to take in the sights of the Cornish coast, or an adventurer who wants to test themselves against the wild challenges of Cornwall, Lizard Adventure can do it all.
Specialising in family adventures, Lizard Adventure finds the balance between adventure and fun, and provides an experience that will bring the whole family together.
There are two different categories of coasteering you can take part in:
The more “basic” experience (but by no means basic!). This adventure lasts for three hours.
- Giant Sup Coasteering
Also lasting for three hours, this experience is a step-up from the Coasteering one— taking you to those slightly harder to reach places!
All sessions either start in the morning, between 9–10am, or in the afternoon, between 1.30–2.30pm.
Children aged 8 and up can participate. If you’re a group of 5 or more, you’ll need to get in touch with Lizard Adventure directly before booking.
All equipment is provided; just bring a towel, swimsuit, and some footwear. You don’t need to be the strongest swimmer for either of these coasteering experiences— just comfortable in deep water.
How Much Does It Cost?
Coasteering with Lizard Adventure will cost £55 per person.
You can get in touch and make bookings with Lizard Adventure through their website.
Phone: 07845 204 040
Address: Lizard Head Ln, Lizard, Helston TR12 7NN
The Bottom Line on Coasteering in Cornwall
If you’re looking for coasteering in Cornwall, you won’t be disappointed! With such an eclectic and dynamic landscape— not to mention the fantastic wildlife and sea life— this will be one holiday you won’t forget.
Plus, if you’re ready for a break from the extreme sports, you can always take a tour around any of the gorgeous towns and hamlets of Cornwall, or just sit and have a 99p Flake on the beach!
There’s a heap of activities to get involved in, no matter what kind of holiday you’re after and who you’re travelling with. Be sure to check out one of the companies listed above for all of your coasteering needs.
Introducing Eliot, the Editor here and Cornwall local with a wanderlust spirit and an insatiable appetite for adventure. With a passion for the great outdoors, he can often be found catching waves on his surfboard, scaling peaks on a hiking trail, or discovering hidden gems in his exploration of Cornwall.