Walk - Bedruthan Steps Circular

2.7 miles (4.4 km)

Porthcothan Car Park Bedruthan then bus to Porthcothan Car Park

Moderate -

A circular walk (including the bus journey), passing sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs before reaching the iconic Bedruthan Steps. A good walk in spring, when colonies of seabirds nest among clumps of pink-headed thrift on the cliffs and the coastal grasslands high above the bright sea are dotted with the blue stars of spring squill.

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.

Dalswinton Guest House

Why not break up your journey with a night or two at Dalswinton Guest House. We have a selection of rooms available all year round, each has its own characteristics and charm.

Old Macdonald's Farm, Porthcothan

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 Scarlet Hotel

The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel and Ayurvedic inspired spa just for grown ups, set on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bedruthan Hotel & Spa

Bedruthan is set on the doorstep of the stunning Cornish coast. Serving locally grown food and hosting annual events throughout the year.

Penlan B&B, Portcothan Bay

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.

Carnevas Holiday Park, Porthcothan

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, Constantine Bay

Family run B&B with full English breakfast. Single night stay. Dogs welcome. Contact: [email protected]  T:01841 521122/ 07815833158

Sunny Corner, Trevone

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

The Three Tees, Newquay

Family run licensed hotel, off street parking. Situated in quiet Lusty Glaze area of Newquay. Short walk from Coast Path and town centre.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the car park in Porthcothan, cross the B3276 road and join the South West Coast Path up on to the cliff tops.
  2. After about a mile you reach Porth Mear, owned by the National Trust.

Close to the path between here and Park Head are six Bronze Age burial mounds that probably date from 1200 BC and 2500 BC. Across the neck of Park Head is a cliff castle, with its two defensive banks separated by a ditch.

Note the traditional 'curzyway', or 'Jack and Jane', stone walls along the way, where the slates have been stacked in a herringbone pattern before being populated by delicate lichens and stoneworts. Clumps of the pink-headed thrift grow from their tops like thatch, and in places the hedge consists of tamarisk, a feathery-leaved Mediterranean plant which loves dry sandy soil.

Most perennial, slow-growing maritime species occur on sea cliffs. This is not because they need any specific characteristic in this habitat, such as salt, but because further inland they are easily smothered by more vigorous, faster-growing species. The high salt content of the air this close to the sea discourages or kills the terrestrial plants, giving the competitively inferior maritime species a better chance of flourishing.

Unusual plant species occurring along this section of the coast path include the tree mallow, with its massive pink flowers, and the golden samphire, an edible plant looking a little like a handful of dwarf beans dotted with tiny yellow flowers. Rock sea lavender also thrives here, resembling heather with its lilac flowers, as does betony, whose purple heads are often humming with insects.

  1. As you head south from Park Head you get your first view of the rock stacks known as Bedruthan Steps.

These take their name from a giant called Bedruthan who used the stacks as stepping stones forming a short-cut across the bay. However it is claimed by some, that this is just a story made up in the late 19th century when it first became a tourist attraction, and 'the steps' actually take their name from the cliff staircase used to access the beach (swimming here is also hazardous).

  1. Just before Carnewas Island take the path inland to the National Trust car park. Stop for refreshments or walk along the lane leading to the main road ( the B3276) 
  2. At the end of the lane is the bus stop (by the Bedruthan House Hotel). From here catch the Western Greyhound 556 Padstow bus back to Porthcothan. Get off the bus at Porthcothan Bay Stores.

Public transport

This walk includes the use of the relatively frequent Western Greyhound bus service number 556 that links the coastal villages between Newquay & Padstow. The bus stops at Porthcothan Bay Stores and Bedruthan House Hotel.

Please check timetable details by visiting Traveline or phoning 0870 6082608.

close
close

Walk Finder

Find...

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

Difficulty

Length (miles)

Themes

close

Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do

Find...

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
close

Interactive Map

close

Latest news