Whether you’re looking for sea views, birdwatching, a way to escape the crowds, or an opportunity to get your steps in, we have something for everyone! We’ve put together our favourite coast paths around Cornwall so you can enjoy the most scenic walks, and a memorable day out in nature.
Bedruthan Steps (Around 1 mile)
This is a perfect short walk for those wanting to take in the sea views without walking too far! Just a few yards from the car park is a flat, grassy space on the edge of the cliffs with breath-taking views over the iconic rocks of Bedruthan steps. Admire the beautiful scenery, and the seasonal flowers sprouting from the ruins of Cornish buildings lost to time. The walk from the car park to this area is relatively flat, with the option of a steep, cobbled pathway descending to a lower viewing platform where there are benches to sit and take in the stunning sights. You can continue on from here along the cliffs to see the iconic rocks close up. There’s plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife, and to capture that perfect selfie, so take your camera and binoculars!
You can park on the Bedruthan National Trust Car park which has toilets, a café and a gift shop.
Holywell Bay to Polly Joke beach (Around 3 miles)
This beautiful walk takes you over sand dunes and through fields of roaming sheep with panoramic sea views everywhere you look! Explore this natural sanctuary, home to nestling birds and local wildlife, while admiring the infinite views of the ocean and the picturesque rocks of Holywell Bay. You’ll eventually arrive at the beautiful cove of Polly Joke beach (also known as Porth Joke) for a swim or a relax on the beach with a picnic.
You can park on the National Trust car park and walk through the sand dunes up to the cliff path. We would recommend sensible footwear as there are some steep hills, and dogs are not recommended, unless well behaved and on a lead, as there are sheep and wildlife loose on the walk. There are public toilets in Holywell village as well as a pub and a takeaway with drinks and tasty ice cream. This is only a 15 minute from Hendra so you haven’t got far to come back for a rest afterwards!
St Agnes Coast Path (Around 4 miles)
This stunning walk takes you back in time as you wander the unspoilt coastline dotted with tin mines and wheal houses. Used as the filming location for Poldark, the cliff path and beaches have remained unchanged since a time of mining and smuggling. You can truly escape reality with this walk! There’s plenty of wildlife too, with local birds and marine life, so take binoculars and a camera and watch that horizon for fins emerging from the water. Take your swimwear too for a refreshing dip at the end of your walk!
You can park at Porthtowan and walk back to St. Agnes, or park on Wheal Coates National Trust car park and walk the cliff path to Porthtowan. There are lots of steep hills, uneven ground and inclines with loose shingle and stones, so wear sensible footwear and take care.
Padstow (Around 4 miles)
This scenic route is perfect for anyone longing for a day out in nature. Starting in Padstow town, you can grab a drink or an ice cream beside the harbour, before walking through the countryside to the estuary beach. Surrounded by fields and panoramic sea views, this is the perfect way to escape the crowds and admire a stretch of Cornwall that has attracted the likes of Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey.
You can park in one of Padstow’s council car parks. The walk begins at the Northern end of the harbour. Keep left up the well-trodden, wide footpath, and follow the acorn symbols that will lead you along the coastal footpath, past the estuary beaches to Hawker’s Cove.
The Camel Trail (Up to 18 miles)
If you’re a keen cyclist (or a seasoned walker!) you can also take advantage of Cornwall’s famous Camel Trail, beginning in Padstow and winding all the way to Bodmin. Travel as far as you feel while taking in the beautiful coastal and woodland scenery, before heading back for a refreshing, well-earned drink and a bite to eat in one of the many pubs at Padstow. This is the perfect trail for the whole family. Read more here.