Bude to Newquay

Rugged rocks and sandy beaches

Bude to Newquay:  66 miles in 5 days at a good level of fitness

Summary

A challenging walk to blow away the cobwebs, featuring rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. The slate of the North Cornwall coastline has been eroded in spectacular ways, and this is a journey over ground that booms with the power of the waves crashing into subterranean caverns and even chimes underfoot near King Arthur's alleged stamping grounds in Tintagel! Offshore the many islands are topped with nesting birds and clumps of sea pinks and the sea-carved blowholes in the mineral-stained caves that pockmark the cliffs produce some dramatic effects. On the golden beaches high breakers roll in from the Atlantic Ocean, producing long clean waves that draw surfers from all over the world.

Highlights

From the seaside resort at Bude the path travels over high cliffs with panoramic views, rising and falling through sessile oak woods stunted by storms and deep valleys full of flowers and butterflies. The spectacular folds and faults in the rocks at Millook and Crackington Haven are world-famous and as you approach Boscastle there are breathtaking waterfalls.

South of Boscastle the rocky coastline is rugged and remote, dotted with sandy coves and grazed by sheep and goats. Tintagel has been a hotspot for literary legend since the Victorian Romantic movement linked it with King Arthur, but its tourist bustle is soon forgotten as the plunging path takes you through deserted fishing hamlets and the much-filmed village of Port Isaac, past volcanic rocks and islands and on to the wide sandy mouth of the Camel estuary.

A ferry takes you across to the bustling town of Padstow and around the point from here you set out through an area of astonishing rock formations, from smugglers' caves and coves to enormous craters, slumping cliffs and grass-thatched stacks and arches. Seabirds nest on ledges and the lichen-clad walls of stacked slates are hedged with feathery tamarisk. Long beaches of golden sand finally lead on to the UK's surf capital at Newquay.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Bude to Boscastle – 16.6 miles (26.7 km)

Bude to Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven to Tintagel

Day 2: Boscastle to Port Isaac – 13.8 miles (22.2 km)

Crackington Haven to Tintagel

Tintagel to Port Isaac

Day 3: Port Isaac to Padstow (River crossing) – 11.8 miles (19 km)

Port Isaac to Padstow

Day 4: Padstow to Porthcothan – 13.6 miles (21.9 km)

Day 5: Porthcothan to Newquay – 10.3 miles (16.6 km)

Relevant section guides

We have split the path into 52 sections, and for each one have produced a section guide. These pages do not aim to replace the guidebooks, but aim to give a flavour of what each section is like, and show you about the highlights and places of interest along the route, along with links to accommodation information and much more. The relevant section guides for this walk are:-

Day 1: Bude to Boscastle – 16.6 miles (26.7 km)

Bude to Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven to Tintagel

Day 2: Boscastle to Port Isaac – 13.8 miles (22.2 km)

Crackington Haven to Tintagel

Tintagel to Port Isaac

Day 3: Port Isaac to Padstow (River crossing) – 11.8 miles (19 km)

Port Isaac to Padstow

Day 4: Padstow to Porthcothan – 13.6 miles (21.9 km)

Day 5: Porthcothan to Newquay – 10.3 miles (16.6 km)

Travel

Newquay has a railway station, as does Bodmin, which is linked by bus to Padstow and Wadebridge. There are a couple of good bus services between Exeter mainline station and Bude. The Western Greyhound 595 bus service runs between Bude and Crackington Haven and on to Boscastle, where you can take the hourly 594 to Tintagel. Port Isaac and Tintagel can be reached by bus from Wadebridge, and there is a bus between Padstow and Porthcothan. For further details visit www.travelinesw.com or phone 0871 200 22 33.

The ferry from Rock to Padstow runs on demand daily throughout the year, except Sundays in the winter. See our estuaries and ferries page for details.