Walk - Treyarnon YHA - Trevose Head

5.6 miles (9.0 km)

Treyarnon YHA Padstow

Moderate - A fairly long but reasonably level walk on good footpaths with a bus journey back.

A fairly long but reasonably level walk on good footpaths with a bus journey back. This is a route through a land of legend, including prehistoric burial grounds and cliff castles, sixth-century Celtic saints and a sixteenth-century witch's curse! There are dramatic rock features and tiny coves as well as the long sandy beach at Constantine Bay with rolling breakers and a backdrop of dunes and marram grass.

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.

Penhalonga B&B

Family run B&B, full English breakfast. Single nights. Dogs welcome. [email protected] T:01841 521122/ 07815833158

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.

Sunny Corner

Close to the sandy beach. Double/twin bedrooms both ensuite £85 per room (£60 single occupancy) includes full breakfast, wifi, parking

Penlan B&B

Situated 250 m from Porthcothan Bay beach close to the coast path. We have 2 double ensuite rooms and­ a room with 2 single beds and a private bathroom. Free wifi. Dog friendly and can help with kit transfer.

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.

Cornish Horizons

One of Cornwall’s leading agencies with nearly 700 cottages in popular locations including Padstow, St Ives, Looe and Fowey. Book online today!

Coswarth House

A beautifully furnished boutique hotel in a listed building with breakfast served at Rick Stein's Cafe. Each room has a luxury bathroom.

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.

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.

Ere-Tis B&B, Padstow

A warm welcome is guarenteed at our family run bungalow offering ensuite accommodation. Telephone 01841 532320 for details. Convenient for the Camel Trail and the South West Coast Path. 

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the Treyarnon Youth Hostel entrance turn right on the South West Coast Path and follow it to Treyarnon Point, carrying on ahead along the road to drop down onto the beach at Constantine Bay. Cross the beach to the rocks at the far end and then climb the wooden steps to pick up the path around the coastline again.

St Constantine was one of many Celtic saints working around Cornwall in the sixth century to counteract the tide of paganism. The remains of his hermit cell and the associated well (labelled as St Constantine's Church on the map) have been preserved in the middle of the golf course to the right of the path ahead.
In his younger days Saint Constantine was King of Dumnonia. He was allegedly a far from holy man in his early life, and fellow Celtic saint Gilda called him an 'unclean whelp'. He was accused of murdering his two young nephews in the sanctity of a church, disguising himself as a bishop in order to do so. Although, according to twelfth-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, they were the traitorous sons of Mordred, who killed King Arthur. Therefore, their killing was justified.
While Constantine was chasing a deer in later years, he followed the animal as it blundered into the cell of Padstow-based St Petroc. The king was so impressed with Petroc's holiness that he had himself and his bodyguard converted on the spot to Christianity. Abdicating his throne in favour of his son, he took up the life of an evangelist, founding churches at Falmouth and Illogan as well as the one here.
Booby's Bay is named after a small white seabird, similar to a gannet, with a yellow head and black wing tips. The name is thought to come from the way the bird dives offshore in stormy weather.

  1. A path heads inland to the right, with another linking to it a moment later, ignore them both. Continue ahead along the path above the rocks to the Round Hole at Dinas Head.

The cliffs on this part of the Cornish coast have been spectacularly sculpted by the sea's erosion. In places you can hear the hollow boom of the sea washing through caves in the ground below your feet, where the pounding of the waves has exploited a weakness in the rock. The air pressure caused by this action weakens the roof of the cave. Where it is close to the surface, the roof eventually falls in. The one here is particularly impressive, with another sizeable crater just beyond Trevone.
Dinas Head gets its name from the Cornish word 'dinas', meaning 'fort'. It is likely that there was a promontory fort here in the Iron Age, sometime between the eighth century BC and AD 43. The fort used the cliffs to defend the seaward side of the site and one or more earth banks across the neck of the promontory to protect the landward aspect. There is evidence of extensive activity all around the district during prehistoric times. There is also a Bronze Age tumulus, or burial mound, on Dinas Head pre-dating the promontory fort.

  1. After the headland turn left onto the road to the lighthouse and then turn right onto the path around Trevose Head, passing Cat's Cove and Barras Bay, with Chairs Rock lying between them, and then the remarkable chain of islets at Merope Rocks, to the road running to the Lifeboat Station.

The rocky coastline is hazardous for shipping, and in 1827 a lifeboat was built by the Padstow Harbour Association, stationed at Hawker's Cove on the River Camel. A new boathouse was built there in 1931 for a second boat, but both had closed by 1967, and a new boathouse with a 240-foot slipway was built here, to be replaced by the current building in 2006.

  1. Crossing the road, carry on along the Coast Path, going through the gate by Mother Ivey's Cottage to walk around Cataclews Point and Big Guns Cove. The path continues along a series of small cliffs above tiny sandy coves before dropping onto the beach via steps.

Mother Ivey was a sixteenth-century white witch who laid a curse on the family living in the cottage still bearing her name. According to local legend, at a time when the fishing stocks ran low and the people of Padstow were starving, the Hellyer family's pilchard business was doing so well that one day they had a crate of fish left over after the day's sales. Mother Ivey approached them to ask if they would donate it to feed some hungry families; but rather than do that the family ploughed the fish into the soil as a fertiliser.
Mother Ivey was furious, and swore that every time the field was ploughed, someone would die. Sure enough, when the field was next turned over, the Hellyers' eldest son was thrown from his horse and killed. During the 1970s a man using a metal detector in the field died of a heart attack, reviving the superstition, and shortly afterwards, the foreman of a water company laying pipes there also keeled over. The field has been left fallow ever since.
In 1900, archaeologists were investigating another field, said to be haunted, beside the path approaching Mother Ivey's Cottage. They found that it was the site of an ancient cemetery. Antiquarian Sabine Baring-Gould wrote that more than a hundred graves were uncovered, dating from the Bronze Age onwards. Slate boxes contained crouched skeletons, as well as bronze armlets and necklaces of blue and amber glass beads.

  1. Crossing the beach, pick up the path once more by the car park, turning left to carry on around St Cadoc's Point and going on to pass a number of rocky headlands, a small round hole and a sandy cove.
  2. At the small point beyond this cove, leave the Coast Path to turn onto the footpath on your right and follow it ahead beside two fields, turning left to walk alongside two more, coming out onto Dobbin Road. Turn left here and right on Trevone Road, to walk to the bus stop at the T-junction. Take the Western Greyhound 556 Bus from Windmill to the Constantine Bay Surf Stores. From there head for the beach and the Youth Hostel.

Public transport

The Newquay to Padstow Western Greyhound 556 bus stops at Windmill, by Trevone, and goes to Constantine Bay Surf Stores. From there walk back to the Youth Hostel.

For details visit www.travelinesw.com or phone 0871 200 22 33

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