Part 2 of our coastal walks in Cornwall series saw us out at Pentire Point, a wonderful headland that offers amazing views down into Padstow Bay.
This time, we take the South West coastal path from Pentire Point to Trevose Head Lighthouse built in 1947. This stretch of the coastal path, arguably offers some of the best views in Cornwall.
Pentire Point to Padstow
(6.3 miles walking, plus ferry ride)
Taking the path south from Pentire Point, this stretch of the Cornwall coast includes the highly popular Polzeath Beach. This oasis is around a mile of soft golden sand at low tide and a firm favourite with families and the surfing community. Consistent slow breaking waves attract beginners and pro surfers as well as the occasional dolphin to ride the surf.
Shopping and eating in Polzeath are plentiful, so at high tide when the entire beach is covered, there is always something else to entertain you.
Your walk takes you via Greenaway Beach which is a sheltered cove between Polzeath and Daymer Bay. As there is no parking or facilities, this beach is quiet even in summer and, being dog-friendly all year round, as great place to let your pooch take a paddle.
Great crabbing here at low tide in the many rockpools dotted around this pretty little location.
Just before you reach the ferry crossing point to Padstow, you’ll encounter Rock Beach and Brea Beach – a long stretch of beautiful sand with relatively sheltered waters. It is popular with the yachting community. Backed by sand dunes and the St Enodoc Golf Club, this part of the walk is picturesque but can be busier in summer.
Take the Rock Ferry across to Padstow harbour which takes between 5-10 minutes and runs every 20 minutes. It’s the quickest way to get across the River Camel into Padstow from Rock. The ferry timings vary depending on the season, with less crossings in the winter.
Ferry across the Camel Estuary between Rock and Padstow
Padstow offers a huge selection of restaurants, cafes and shops to tempt you with Cornish Cream Teas or the famous Cornish Pasty as well as mouth-watering fresh fish, of course. For those who aren’t hungry but instead want to feed their minds and curiosity, there are plenty of things to do in Padstow, including the Padstow Museum, the National Lobster Hatchery (aquarium) or you can grab an exhilarating boat ride on a Padstow Sealife Safari to do some seal, dolphin or porpoise spotting – sometimes in the summer months you may even see basking shark. Whatever you decide to do, you can be certain of a friendly welcome in Padstow which is popular all year-round.
Padstow to Trevone Bay (5.4 miles)
The South West Coastal Path heads out of Padstow opposite the launching point for Padstow Sealife Safari and goes 3 miles north to Stepper Point where there is a National Coastwatch Institution lookout which is recognised as part of the official UK Search and Rescue system.
Along the route to Stepper Point, you come to St George’s cove, a small sandy beach which frequently gets busy in summer. As the Camel estuary is tidal, there may be currents, so take care when swimming. If you are looking for a quitter spot, you could check out Harbour Cove and Hawkers Cove which are slightly further along. From Easter to October, you can stop off at the Rest A While Tea Garden which serves classic Cornish Cream Teas, light bites and hot drinks, all delivered with a stunning backdrop of the tidal estuary – delightful!
Heading south again from Stepper Point on the last part of this coastal walk, you’ll enjoy several expanses of sandy beach at Pepper Hole, Butter Hole, Fox Hole and Round hole Point, which are collapsed sea caves that create picture postcard photo opportunities.
Trevone Beach, which received a Blue Flag award in 2019, is a gorgeous, gently sloping sandy cove that is popular with intermediate and advanced surfers. You can also grab a bite to eat here at the Trevone Beach Café & Store which offers breakfast, lunch and sometimes evening meals as well as a surf hire shop. There’s even a range of live music in the evenings too.
Trevone Beach to Trevose Head Lighthouse (4.6 miles)
The stretch of Cornwall coast that runs between Trevone Beach and Trevose Head Lighthouse is home to several bays including Newtrain, Harlyn Bay and Long Cove. Newtrain is a rocky beach with small sandy patches and great rockpools that will amuse children for hours.
Harlyn Bay and Long Cove are considered among the best family-friendly sandy beaches in the Padstow area and are busy during summer months. You can enjoy watersports lessons here at Harlyn Surf School – try your hand at surfing, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and coasteering.
The Food For Thought van at Harlyn Bay will give you a chance to refresh and relax as you listen to the waves roll in. Trevose Head is a working lighthouse which is managed by Trinity House charity and controlled remotely from Harwich in Essex. It is one of many lighthouses which provides safe passage for vessels in the Bristol Channel and the Atlantic off the coast of Cornwall and Devon.