Walk - Tintagel to Port Isaac

9.1 miles (14.6 km)

Tintagel Port Isaac

Challenging - Severe

The relatively easy walk out of Tintagel allows you to enjoy some of the spectacular views from this section of the North Cornwall coast before commencing a particularly challenging walk to Port Isaac. The path between Trebarwith Strand and Port Isaac is especially long and difficult, with some steep descents into valleys and tough climbs up to the cliff tops again, especially beyond Bounds Cliff.

Historically this area was significant for fishing and fish processing as well as slate extraction and there are remnants of these trades to be seen on the Coast Path. This stretch is designated both Heritage Coast status and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so it is worth persevering along the harder stretches.

Port Isaac is a real reward at the end of this strenuous walk, with its beautiful alleyways, many listed buildings and harbourside cafes and pubs. You may well recognise Port Isaac from the TV series Doc Martin, as it is the village he lives in (renamed as Portwenn in the series).

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Highlights

  • Tintagel Church of St Materiana’s with its Norman font and windows and a Roman milestone situated in the south transept.
  • Standing on Glebe Cliff: thought to be the site of a royal cemetery which served the dynasty of Tintagel headland.
  • Stunning Trebarwith Sands.
  • Climbing from sea level to the top of Dennis Point (300ft, 90m), taking in the views and preparing to climb back down to sea level again on the other side!
  • The remains of slate quarry buildings and donkey tracks around Backway’s Cove, now a haven for butterflies and coastal flowers.
  • Birdwatching on Bounds Cliff (420ft). This is a good place to spot peregrines and nesting guillemots and kittewakes in the summer.
  • The cob walled fishing cellars of Port Gaverne, which once handled 1.5 million fish a week.
  • Exploring the beautiful fishing village of Port Isaac, with its network of alleyways, including one especially narrow one called ‘Squeeze-ee-belly’. This unspoilt village has frequently been used as a TV and film set and can be seen in Doc Martin, Poldark and Saving Grace.

Places of interest

  • Tregardock Beach: a long climb down and back up again, but well worth the effort.
  • Walking the point at Port Gaverne and taking in the views before entering Port Isaac.

Shorter option

You could stop in Port Gaverne, just before Port Isaac (8.3 miles, 13.4 km).

Longer option

Once past Port Isaac there is very little accommodation close to the Path until you reach Polzeath (8.9 miles, 14.3 km) further on.

Nearby refreshments

You can stock up on supplies at the beginning of the day in the shops and cafes of Tintagel. Refreshments are also available further on at Trebarwith Strand and there is an inn at Port Gaverne. Port Isaac has a wide selection of pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Public transport

The nearest train station is Bodmin parkway. From here you can catch a bus to Wadebridge, where you change for buses onto Port Isaac and Tintagel - the bus journey will take about 2 hours. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

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Tintagel (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL34 0DB), inland from Trebarwith Strand, Port Gaverne and Port Isaac.

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