Explore Newlyn

Explore Newlyn – during Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter

For dates and times of scheduled tours, please use our home page Tour Search or check individual tours.

These tours can also be booked on a Private Hire basis.

2-hour guided walk focused on the story and locations connected with the famous Newlyn School of Artists, late 19th century painters working in the ‘plein air’ style.
2-hour guided walk exploring Newlyn’s maritime history and the surviving physical evidence for its evolution from seasonal fishing settlement to premier fishing port.

Join us to Explore Newlyn on foot and discover this ancient fishing port’s fascinating maritime and artistic heritage, with knowledgeable and friendly local experts, part of the range of authentic, high-quality, guided tours, on foot or by boat, provided by Heritage Adventures.

Situated in the northwest corner of Mount’s Bay, protected from the prevailing westerly winds, Newlyn originated as a seasonal fishing settlement. After surviving a Spanish raid of 1595, its fortunes rose dramatically, as a centre for the Cornish pilchard fishery. Boosted by the 19th century arrival of the railway, Newlyn grew into the largest fishing port in Cornwall, with its economy still today heavily based on fish.

In addition to its renown as a fishing port, Newlyn is also famous for its late 19th – early 20th century Newlyn School of Artists – painters working in the ‘plein air’ style attracted to the town’s spectacular natural setting and the ‘picturesque’ quality of its people and streetscapes. Newlyn’s continuation as a premier fishing port, alongside being a base for local artists and art-loving visitors, makes it a uniquely special place.

Explore Newlyn offers small-group, guided walks around Newlyn’s historic port and town, led by professional archaeologist Jeanette Ratcliffe, who is part of the local community.

Main image: (c) Liz Kay Photography

(c) Historic Environment Record, Cornwall Council
Explore Newlyn FAQs

Where do I meet up with the guide for my Explore Newlyn walk?

You will meet up with your guide at the start point of the Explore Newlyn walk.

Where is the start point for my Explore Newlyn walk & how do I get there?

The start point for the Explore Newlyn walks is the Fisherman Statue on the sea front next to Newlyn Art Gallery. If you are cycling to the start point, there is a covered bike rack in the adjacent (Tolcarne) car park. There are other car parks in Newlyn and towards Penzance at Wherrytown, and also bus stops nearby (in front of the gallery and at Newlyn Bridge).

How difficult are the Explore Newlyn walks & how fit do I need to be?

The Explore Newlyn walks are mainly along level pavement and roadside, with some more uneven areas of cobbling and steeper uphill and downhill stretches. A general level of fitness is advisable.

Are the Explore Newlyn walks suitable for children?

The Explore Newlyn walks are suitable for older children who are interested in history. They must be accompanied by parents or guardians, who will take responsibility for their welfare and safety, particularly along the quay side and stretches of roadside busy with traffic.

What should I wear & what should I bring with me?

You will be walking for a couple of hours so comfortable shoes are essential, and waterproofs are a good idea if the weather looks unpredictable, plus sunscreen during hot, sunny weather. A camera and binoculars would also come in handy. You may also like to bring a drink and snack to consume along the way.

Can I bring my dog with me on the Explore Newlyn walk?

Probably not a good idea to bring your dog, unless they are extremely well-behaved and good with traffic. Best to ring and check beforehand.

Are there toilets available along the route?

There are publicly accessible toilets along the route of the walk.

Will we visit a cafe or pub during the walk?

We won’t be stopping during the walk, but there are several pubs and cafes in Newlyn which you can visit beforehand or afterwards.