Encounter Walking


Padstow to St Ives - South West Coast Path Holidays

Your Walking Holiday Route along the North Coast

 

Section 2. Porthcothan to Newquay - Cornish Coast Path Route

Distance -    11 miles    Grade - Moderate then easy through Newquay - what these grades mean

bedruthan steps in Cornwall walking on the South West Coast Path National Trail UKSuperb coastal scenery with easy walking today as your trail hugs the edge of the cliffs high above a seemingly endless procession of rocky coves, craggy stacks and sea carved caves.

Before reaching the Iron Age Fort at Trescore Island you pass man made caves in the cliffs still displaying huge iron spikes and hoops a legacy of the “free trade” gangs that cleaned up the wrecks in the area.

A short steep drop brings the lovely Porth Meor Valley, a little rock pooled cove with reed beds and small ponds before a steady climb back up the cliffs to the National Trust protected heath land at Park View, stay observant, this wonderfully open space is Peregrine Falcon and oystercatcher country.

North Cornwall Coast Walking Bedruthan Steps on the SW Coast Path HolidayBeyond it you reach the wild and tortured rocky stacks of Bedruthan Steps the iconic Victorian Cornish Postcard image popular with the arrival of the first travellers via the new railway at nearby Newquay. The rocks retain their stunning panorama the name referring to the exhilarating flight of steps that lead you down through the cliffs to the beach below.  Local legends tell of The Giant Bedruthan who was said to have used the stark offshore islands as stepping stones. Whilst the Queen Bess stone no longer resembles Queen Victoria after a vicious winter storm took off part of her head she remains a prized climb for the countries best rock climbers. Another gigantic stack, the Samaritan rock refers to The Good Samaritan a ship wrecked here in 1846 at the time of the potato famine,  its plundered goods seen as a godsend by scores of hungry locals though many of them paid for their scavenging with a spell in the fearsome Bodmin Jail. When the tide is out descend the steps as this a great beach for exploring the caves, stacks and rock pools below the cliffs.

The Southwest Coastal path then passes over the remains of an ambitious but doomed attempt to build a sea canal before it drops to the dunes and beach at Mawgan Porth a popular spot with its acres of sands and welcome facilities.

Overnight stops at Mawgan Porth on the South West Coast Path

newquay beach bridge walking in Cornwall on UK Trekking Holiday TrailsIt’s nothing however compared to the next jewel at Watergate Bay a fantastic sweeping section of beach with over 2 miles of golden sands, caves and rocky cliffs. Surfing and other extreme sports including sand kites and sand buggies are the modern additions to the striking scenery here. For those wanting some luxury consider an overnight stop at the fabulously positioned Watergate Bay Hotel next door to Jamie Oliver’s new Fifteen restaurant, currently the most sought after food and views in the County. If you can’t afford the evening meal the clever walker stops off for lunch at the restaurant or failing that the excellent Beach Hut Cafe below the cliffs - try the hot chocolate - best in Cornwall.

Overnight stops at Watergate Bay for those who want to "Splash Out" ...in more ways than one!

High cliffs end the day as you follow the tops to Trevelgue Head where a short detour allows you to cross the footbridge onto the exposed island headland which boasts the most fortified iron age castle on this coast with a series of seven ramparts protecting it. Search here as well for the huge cave known as the Banqueting Hall and a dramatic blow hole well worth seeing when the waves pick up. From the headland Newquay beckons and it’s easy walking, the path taking you alongside the first of the 9 beaches that cushion the town.

Overnight stops at Newquay on the South West Coast Path see the next days information page for stays at Crantock

 

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