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.

Old Macdonalds Farm

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.

Penhalonga B&B

Family run B&B, full English breakfast. Single nights. Dogs welcome. Call Liz

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.


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