Walk - Porthcothan to Newquay

10.3 miles (16.6 km)

Porthcothan Newquay

Moderate - Moderate

This stretch of coast, with its vicious rocks and wild seas, was once particularly hazardous for ships and responsible for many wrecks before the lighthouse was built at Trevose Head. The Coast Path leads you in and out of little coves and headlands with generally fairly easy walking, with some steep steps to climb in places.

Some of this stretch is quite populated, especially as you approach the busy holiday resort of Newquay, however you can also feel a sense of escape when looking out to sea from one of the many headlands, such as the windswept Park Head which also offers fantastic views of the famous Bedruthan Steps. Local legend, fed to the Victorian tourists who loved this area, told of the Cornish giant Bedruthan who used the stacks as stepping-stones to cross the bay. If you feel like a picnic break and the tide is out, you may be tempted to take the long flight of steps down to explore the stacks as well as the many pools and caves on the beach.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Traeth Barn

Characterful cottage, close to local amenities just 0.5 from the beach. See wide selection of properties from Cornish Horizons

Higher Pendeen Camping

A rustic, family-run, friendly, off-grid and ecologically considerate back to basics site with five open pitches and canvas Bell Tents.

Porth Beach Cottage

Luxury 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom holiday cottage with hot tub.

Porth Sands Penthouse

Porth Sands Penthouse is a beautiful romantic beach apartment, situated right on Porth Beach in Porth, Newquay, Cornwall, with stunning views across the bay

Macdonald's Farm Touring & Camping

Small family run Farm Park, B&B plus Campsite just ½ a mile from beautiful Porthcothan Bay, along the coast between Padstow and Newquay.

The Red Buoy

Right on the beach at Porthcothan next to the Path. Special wooden building with cabin bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Sleeps 2 - 4. Double room in main house available. Breakfast on request. Owned by local film maker and environmentalist.

Penlan B&B

Situated 250m from Porthcothan Bay beach close to the Coast Path, midway between Padstow and Newquay on bus route. Twin ensuite and double ensuite

Griffin Newquay

The Griffin is a family run pub, hotel and restaurant in central Newquay next to Towan and Great Western Beach and the South West Coast Path

Carnevas Holiday Park

Located in unspoilt countryside bordering the North Cornish coastline, a short distance from Padstow and wonderful beaches. Bar serving food available at certain times and shop.

Trenance Holiday Park

Ideally situated close to Newquay town centre & beaches. Call for budget, single night stay camping.

Trewan Hall Campsite

Located between Newquay & Padstow, find a unique campsite in a historic location, ideal for exploring the best of North Cornwall.

Penhalonga B&B

Family run B&B, full English breakfast. Single nights. Dogs welcome. Call Liz
You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Sprout Health Foods

Sprout is an independent health food shop and courtyard cafe located just off the high street in central Newquay. Pop in and say hello.

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Visit Newquay Tourist Information Centre

We are dedicated to both the promotion of Newquay and to help you make the most of your visit to Newquay and Cornwall! Open 7days a week.

Interactive Elevation


  • Looking out to Trescore Islands and maybe seeing bottlenose dolphins.
  • Walking out to enjoy the fantastic views from Park Head: a prominent windswept greenstone headland which is the site of an Iron Age cliff castle. You may see oystercatchers from here.
  • The Bedruthan Steps, owned by the National Trust, are pillars of rock which rise from the sands of Bedruthan Beach. This was a popular holiday location during the Victorian period. One of the stacks is named The Samaritan after the cargo ship of the same name which was wrecked here in 1846, providing the locals with barrels of food and silks.
  • Griffin’s Point Iron Age cliff castle.
  • The 3 miles of sand at Watergate Bay, backed by huge cliffs alive with bird life.
  • The hillfort on Trevelgue Head with Iron Age earthworks still visible despite heavy erosion.
  • Barrowfields: this stretch was clearly important to our ancient ancestors as many barrows or tumuli have been identified here.
  • Enjoying refreshments at the end of your day and maybe watching the famous surfers of Fistral Beach.

Shorter option

Mawgan Porth (4.4 miles, 7.2 km).

Longer option

As Newquay is so busy in contrast to the earlier cliff walking you may be tempted to walk further and find somewhere quieter to stay around Pentire or Holywell.

Public transport

The easiest way to reach Newquay is by train, and buses runs hourly between Porthcothan and Newquay. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Porthcothan (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL28 8LW), above Bedruthan Steps, Carnewas Point, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Beach and Newquay.


Walk Finder


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location


Length (miles)



Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location

Interactive Map