Walk - Pentirely Superb

4.5 miles (7.3 km)

Polzeath - PL27 6SP Polzeath

Moderate - Good paths throughout with one slightly rocky section.

From Polzeath, at the head of a sandy bay at the outer reaches of the Camel Estuary, the walk follows a valley inland and then cuts across on lanes and good paths to the north-facing coast east of the estuary. It then follows the coast round the two magnificent headlands of the Rumps and Pentire Point to return to Polzeath. A brilliant walk for children, who will love the prehistoric promontory fort ramparts and the volcanic rocks. A good route in spring, when corn buntings take up residence in the hedgerows and kittiwakes and fulmars nest on the cliffs; and again in autumn, as these birds gather ready to fly south and west for the winter. 

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.

Mariners Lettings Ltd

Mariners Lettings - seven self-catering properties in Rock ranging in size from two to five bedrooms, 500 metres from the SW Coast Path

Tresco Farm

Wild camping farm site, pub within walking distance. 2 mile from coast.

Lowen Lodge

Perfect dog friendly cottage for 2 between Rock and Polzeath. gweengtweevgage ggtfectCornish Traditional Cottages offer self-catering holiday homes throughout Cornwall. Find your perfect base for exploring the Cornish Coast.

South Quay B&B

A house on the harbourside in Padstow. 2 double rooms, the en suite top bedroom has a tiny terrace under the gable of the house.

Parkdean Resorts St Minvers Holiday Park

Set in the grounds of an old manor house, St Minver Holiday Park, near Rock, offers plenty of opportunities to explore Cornwall and its lovely fishing ports and nearby villages. Woodland setting in close proximity to 3 glorious beaches.

Dennis Cove Campsite

Closest campsite to the harbour,10min walk from the Path via the Camel Trail. Serene site bordering the Camel Estuary. A perfect base to explore the Cornish coastline & beaches.

Sunny Corner

Close to the sandy beach. Double/twin bedrooms both ensuite includes full breakfast, wifi, parking. Minimum stay 2 nights

Seascape Hideaways at Port Isaac

Perched above Port Isaac harbour, The Fo’C’sle is an enchanting Grade II listed fisherman’s cottage hugging the headland to the SWCP and this beautiful stretch of coast.

Tregella Place Camping

Basic rural site with some facilities. 10 min drive from Padstow

The Slipway

The Slipway, overlooking the sea front is a Terraced Bar & Restaurant with a B&B above, in the centre of Port Isaac.

Home By The Sea

No frills accommodation - but comfortable warm welcome, allowing people to walk the path and explore port Isaac on a budget. Call 07814 370650/07837 849009 or email [email protected] for walkers rates

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.

Beach Box Polzeath

Polzeath Beach Box, located right on Polzeath Beach, offers delicious food and drinks prepared in their St Minver kitchen. They have a diverse menu with vegan and gluten-free options for drinks, cakes, food, and gelato. Open year-round, i

Rest A While Tea Garden

A delightful Tea Garden where you can relax enroute with outstanding views just 50m off the Coast Path. Serving hot & cold drinks & Cream Teas (traditional, savoury, vegan, gluten-free). Outside seating only. 11 am -3.00 pmsavou

The Pityme Inn

Just 1 mile from Padstow beach and incorporating a village shop and takeaway, the Pityme Inn serves up the best of local produce from 9 am each day. Garden with heating pods and 4 rooms available.

The London Inn

A traditional Cornish pub full of charm and character with a large selection of cask ales and four comfortable rooms. Situated minutes from the Harbour.

The Golden Lion

In in the heart of Port Issac we are a traditional pub with beautiful sea views. With open fires and terraces, we have the perfect spot to sit, eat and drink anytime of the year

Beach box Harlyn Bay

Parallel views of the bay paired with delicious fresh food & drink all year. We serve an array of amazing alcoholic drinks, vegan & GF options available for our drinks, cakes, food, and homemade gelato.
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.

Stepper Point NCI, Padstow

Situated above the Coast Path with commanding views out to sea and over the Camel river. Visitors most welcome.

The National Lobster Hatchery

Experience pioneering marine conservation in action on the beautiful estuary in Padstow and be inspired to make a difference.

Padstow Tourist Information

All the information you need to enjoy your visit to Padstow.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

The estuary of the River Camel forms a superbly picturesque feature on the north coast of Cornwall. At its outermost extremity on the eastern side is a large scenic sandy bay, Hayle Bay, and at the head of this bay is the surfing and beach centre of Polzeath. This circular walk starts and finishes here, outside the bus stops and toilets at the entrance to the beach car park.

  1. From the toilets and bus stops at Polzeath walk along the road into the centre of the village. Turn left opposite the Spar shop into the car park and bear right to leave the car park along a track. Keep going ahead on the tarmac path into the holiday park and continue into the park.
  2. After a couple of hundred metres look out for the park’s fire point on the left; bear left here, just after the fire point, onto a public footpath and follow this as it leaves the holiday park and climbs up the side of the valley.
  3. The path continues along the edge of fields above the holiday park. At the end of the fields follow the path which descends to the right to arrive at a lane. Turn left here and continue to a crossroads. At the crossroads go ahead onto the lane opposite.
  4. Keep ahead past the barns and then, reaching the handsome farm buildings at the top of the hill at Pentireglaze, turn right. When this lane swings to the right at the prominent house, follow the path which continues straight ahead. At the end of the first field turn left, keeping the hedge on your right. Go through the gate at the bottom to meet the Coast Path. Turn left along the Coast Path.

The walk meets the Coast Path at Downhedge Cove, an impressive cleft in the cliffs. As the path gains height it soon gives an impressive coastal vista. In the distance to the right is the square-topped shape of Tintagel Island, while closer the prominent headland is Kellan Head. To the left the coast sweeps round to the headland of the Rumps, with the island of the Moules offshore.

  1. Keep ahead on the clear Coast Path.

A little way along there is evidence of old quarrying activity by the path. Stone was quarried here for local buildings and for roadstone.

  1. Continue on the Coast Path, crossing a stone stile.

Immediately after crossing the stile a gate on the left leads to a hummocky area. The hummocks mark the remains of an old silver and lead mine here. The mine was in use from the 16th until the 19th century.

  1. Follow the Coast Path as it continues, climbing behind the gorse-covered slopes of Com Head. It then approaches what is now seen to be the double headland of the Rumps.

The Rumps is a prehistoric site of considerable interest. It was an important Iron Age site, defended from attack by a series of ramparts across the neck of the headland. The ramparts are still clearly visible as a series of long low banks, probably best seen when approaching from this direction.

  1. When the path forks above the Rumps bear right, away from the wall and heading towards the ramparts. Walk to the entrance through the ramparts.

There would have originally been a complex defensive entrance here. Although it is probable that the earth walls would have originally been faced with stone, the stone walling now seen on the inside of the outer rampart is a relatively recent addition. Archaeologists have found evidence of wooden circular huts inside the defences as well as pottery from the period between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, which seems to be when the site was at its most important. There is some evidence of trade with the Mediterranean.

The Coast Path does not go onto the Rumps, but many will wish to go through the ramparts for a look around. As well as walking over the site itself, keep an eye on the offshore island, known as the Moules, and the sea around, as the island has been known to be the breeding site of puffins.

  1. At the entrance to the Rumps turn left (or, if coming off the headland, turn right) along a path that rises through a little rocky gorge before coming to the cliff top and then continuing on to Pentire Point.

This is one of a number of headlands in Cornwall with the name Pentire, perhaps not surprisingly since it is the Cornish word for headland.

  1. Continue past the first part of the headland and then, at the rocky promontory marking the main headland, the Coast Path turns sharp left.

This is a superb spot, and it is alarming to realise that in the 1930s a speculator obtained Pentire Point and divided it into building plots which were offered for sale. However, money was collected for the National Trust to purchase the whole headland.

From here a completely new and superb coastal vista opens up, from the whale-backed shape of Trevose Head with its lighthouse on the right, past Stepper Point with its daymark, the mouth of the Camel Estuary and on to Polzeath at the head of Hayle Bay.

  1. The Coast Path now begins to descend towards Polzeath.

As the path continues, the prominence of the daymark on Stepper Point on the far side of the Camel Estuary is appreciated. The column was erected in 1832 to help guide mariners into the Camel Estuary and the port of Padstow a little upriver.

  1. After crossing a side valley the Coast Path returns to the cliffs and then almost immediately drops into the charming little cove of Pentireglaze Haven. On the far side of the cove cross the track and climb the path opposite to arrive at a road.

Diverting a little way up the road straight ahead will bring you to toilets and a car park.

  1. To continue to return to Polzeath, turn right along the road. After a few metres bear right onto the grassy area overlooking the bay. If the tide is out it is possible to descend to the beach and cross the sand to Polzeath. Otherwise, after a short way climb the steps to the left back to the road then follow the tarmac path along the top of the bay. Descend to a track and turn right past some chalets to a car park. Bear left to the centre of Polzeath, turning right to return to the start point at the bus stop and toilets.

Public transport

Buses go to Polzeath from Wadebridge and Camelford approximately every two hours Monday-Saturday and every three hours Sundays. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Polzeath has a number of car parks, although none have disabled bays. There is one in the village centre (grid ref: SW 937 789); there is an area of seasonal parking on the beach (grid ref: SW 936 789); and there is a large car park on the low cliffs south of the village (grid ref: SW 933 789); also, close to the route of the walk, there is a car park at New Polzeath, which does have disabled bays (grid ref: SW 936 796) (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL27 6SP).

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