Best coastal walks in North Cornwall

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a multi-day backpacking trip or a casual walker seeking an afternoon stroll along the coast, North Cornwall has numerous options for getting out and about. Featuring rugged clifftop scenery, dramatic moorlands dotted with prehistoric remains, and smugglers coves nestled among the base of the cliffs, the Cornish Coast Path is full of spectacular walking routes. Here are some of our favourites:

 

Sir John Betjeman Walk

Literary fans can visit the final resting place of Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman on this flat, 3.7-mile walk along the eastern bank of the River Camel. Featuring Bronze Age burial mounds and an optional detour to the holy well used for baptisms by Welsh hermit Enodoc, this gentle dune walk is full of historical interest and beautiful scenery. It’s suitable for children and dogs, and dogs are allowed on Daymer Bay beach (a handy stopping off point along the route) all year round. The full trail can be found here.

Stepper Point

If you’re enjoying one of the many delicious eating options around Padstow harbour and need to burn off a pasty or two, a brisk walk to Stepper Point should do the trick. This moderate 6.2-mile round trip walk from Padstow (there are shorter options for those who prefer them) offers beautiful views over the mouth of the River Camel and the ominously named Doom Bar. According to a traditional ballad, the Mermaid of Padstow cursed all sailors by placing a giant sandbar across the river after the object of her affection mistook her for a seal and shot her. With fabulous blossoms on the bushes in the spring and mostly level terrain, this walk is a great family option with plenty of fair-weather picnicking opportunities. As a bonus for Poldark fans, the headland at Stepper Point features prominently in the show’s opening scenes. You can find the full trail here.

Tregardock Cliff

A moderate 5.8-mile hike starting from Delabole high street, this rugged walk should appeal to history buffs and wildlife lovers alike. The route takes you through the site of some old silver and antimony mines dating as far back as 1580 and past the remains of the coastal pits where Delabole slate was once quarried. Keep an eye out for kestrels and peregrines along the way, and if you’re lucky you may even spot some deer. Hardier walkers have the option of taking a (steep) detour down to sandy Tregardock Beach, which allows dogs between October 1 and Easter Day, and is much quieter than the more touristy beaches around Tingatel and Port Isaac. At the northern end of the beach there’s a shallow cave with a waterfall cascading down the cliffs in front of the cave mouth. You can find the complete walking route here.

Rocky Valley

If you’re planning on visiting Tintagel Castle, Rocky Valley is a great opportunity to stop off for a magical woodland walk full of Cornish legends and unspoilt natural beauty. The easy 3.7-mile trail passes through St. Nectans Glen, which features a spectacular 60-foot waterfall (there’s an entry fee to the falls, but wellington boots are provided if you want to paddle). The valley is considered by some to be a sacred place, and you can see offerings such as ribbons, crystals, photographs, and inscriptions on the foliage and rock walls by the waterfall. Later along the trail you will pass rock carvings believed to be almost 4000 years old and St Piran’s Well, where the patron saint of Cornish miners is said to have fallen to his death at the impressive age of 200. Download the full route here.

 

All of these walks are within easy driving distance of The Point at Polzeath, with an excellent variety of self-catering accommodation, as well as top-quality leisure and golfing facilities. To book your next holiday, contact us today. We look forward to your visit.

The Camel Estuary at Rock in Cornwall with Padstow in the far distance