Walks around Padstow

Padstow is a key port on the North Coast of Cornwall. Now primarily a fishing port and well loved by tourists, it has in the past, been a major emigration port.  It was from here that many Cornish families departed to the Americas and Antipodes.

Walks around Padstow are varied and take in stunning headland, countryside and river views. The walk to Harlyn Bay is sublime with the dramatic coastline around Stepper Point including an enormous collapsed sea cave at Roundhole Point, it also passes several sandy beaches as well as smugglers' caves. On the opposide side of the Camel Estuary, the Sir John Betjeman Walk, is a gentle walk through dunes. Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman moved here towards the end of his life, and he is buried in the churchyard of the tiny St Enodoc Church. You will want to return to Padstow and its surrounding area  again and again. These walks will give you a taste of what you can expect.

  • Padstow and Prideaux Place - 3.0 miles (4.8 km)

    St Enodoc Church. Photographer Jennifer Rowlandson, Tiverton.
    Easy

    With views over the River Camel, this short but enjoyable walk heads inland from Harbour Cove and passes the Tudor Mansion of Prideaux Place on the way back into Padstow. A good walk in autumn, when the stubble of the fields above Harbour Cove provides rich pickings for migrant birds such as bunting, wheatear and pipit. Look out for merlins hunting them, overhead, or the high-speed dive of a peregrine.

    Read more »

  • Padstow and Stepper Point Walk - 6.2 miles (10.0 km)

    Peaceful Harbour, Padstow, Cornwall. Photographer Tom Frew, Padstow.
    Moderate

    A headland walk giving far-reaching views over the mouth of the River Camel and the Doom Bar, where mermaids wait to lure sailors to disaster! Features include sandy beaches, secluded coves, holy wells, a daymark tower, some stunning rock formations, and an abbreviated route for those looking for a shorter walk. An excellent walk for children and a good route in spring, when the bushes are decked out in sharp new leaves and luxurious blossom, and whistling whimbrels fly up the estuary in flocks of...

    Read more »

  • Padstow to Harlyn Bay - 6.9 miles (11.1 km)

    Harlyn Bay. Photographer Ted Forman.
    Challenging

    A long walk, on mostly level terrain, although the route becomes more challenging and rugged after Gun Point. The dramatic coastline around Stepper Point includes an enormous collapsed sea cave at Roundhole Point, and it is a good walk for older children who can do the distance, passing several sandy beaches as well as smugglers' caves. A good walk on a windy day in autumn, when flocks of kittiwakes and terns fly past on their way south and gannets can be spotted offshore.

    It is...

    Read more »

  • Pentire Point & The Rumps - 2.6 miles (4.2 km)

    St Enodoc Church. Photographer Jennifer Rowlandson, Tiverton.
    Moderate

    This walk visits an Iron Age promontory fort and some Bronze Age burial mounds, also featuring a famous wartime poem and a breathtaking sandy cove surrounded by gorse and woodland, with a rocky archway to a collapsed seacave. There are spectacular views out over Padstow Bay and beyond, as well as a puffin island and volcanic pillow lavas.

    Start the walk at Polzeath or at Pentire Farm.

    Read more »

  • Port Quin & Pine Haven - 4.2 miles (6.8 km)

    West of Port Issac. Looking west with Kellan Head in the foreground and The Mouls in the background. Photographer Paul Moulton, Hants.
    Challenging

    A strenuous rollercoaster walk from the twice-abandoned fishing village of Port Quin, where the mineral-stained caves echo with the eerie call of nesting pigeons, to Pine Haven, on the edge of Port Isaac. Head inland up a steep-sided valley before returning across farmland where peregrines can be seen diving at high speed in pursuit of the small birds that flock around the hedges. There are breathtaking views up and down a rocky coastline dramatically sculpted by the pounding waves.

    Read more »

  • Sir John Betjeman Walk - 3.7 miles (6.0 km)

    St Enodoc Church. Photographer Jennifer Rowlandson, Tiverton.
    Easy

    A gentle walk through dunes noted for their wildlife, beside the golden beaches lining the eastern bank of the River Camel. Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman moved here towards the end of his life, and he is buried in the churchyard of the tiny St Enodoc Church. Open daily from 7.30am until dusk, the fifteenth-century church was built on the site of a fifth-century Celtic saint's shrine and throughout history it was repeatedly buried in sand following the curse of an enraged...

    Read more »