Walk - Bedruthan Steps Easy Access
Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2018. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.
Parking in the National Trust Carnewas car-park (PL27 7UW - fee payable for non-National Trust members) this trail takes you out onto the South West Coast Path with sea views from Newquay past Park Head to Trevose Head. The path is level and well surfaced for most of the route but However, the higher viewpoint still gives stunning views of the sea stacks of Bedruthan Steps. Beware of the cliff edge which is unfenced in places.
- From the car park, facing the sea, follow the path to the left of the toilets and cafe out towards the cliffs.
- Fork right at the first junction of paths before taking the left hand fork at the red sign.
The car park has toilets, a shop and a popular tea room (open weekends only from November to March).
- Follow the path before turning left along the South West Coast Path. The path eventually passes through a Cornish Hedge. This is a good place to stop and turn around.
According to the Cornish Hedge website the typical Cornish hedge is a stone-faced earth hedgebank with bushes or trees growing along the top. It is called a "hedge", never a "hedgerow" or "wall". The hedges may be of bare stone encrusted with lichens and mosses, or disappear under luxuriant greenery. Between these extremes are many variations, depending on the type of stone used, the local climate and the style of farming. Hedges are Cornwall's largest semi-natural wildlife resource and its most prominent landscape feature.
- Retrace your steps back along the SWCP, passing the original path form the car park. Continue on the SWCP until the path leads down some steps to Bedruthan Steps.
There are a number of steps leading down to the Bedruthan Steps lower viewpoint making this section impassable for wheelchairs and even trampers. Bedrutan Steps take their name from a giant called Bedruthan who used the stacks as stepping stones forming a short-cut across the bay. However it is claimed by some, that this is just a story made up in the late 19th century when it first became a tourist attraction, and 'the steps' actually take their name from the cliff staircase used to access the beach (swimming here is also hazardous). The staircase is not accessible during the winter months.
- At this point either return to the car park by the main path.
Visitors in the spring and autumn will be treated to carpets of flowering squill as well as the stonechats and linnets often seen here. The popular café is open most of the year but check for winter opening times. The buildings are a reminder of Carnewas' industrial past when iron, copper and lead was mined from the cliffs.
Carnewas NT car park