Walk - Lundy Bay & Pennywilgie Point

1.0 miles (1.7 km)

National Trust Lundy Bay car park - PL27 6QZ Lundy Bay car park

Easy - The narrow path slopes gently to the beach. The route includes a single stretch of steep ascent and descent as an optional detour.

A short but delightful walk to a tiny secluded cove - one of Cornwall's hidden gems. The ideal spot for a picnic, with its sand and surf, waterfall and wildlife, and a spectacular collapsed sea cave. Tucked away beneath a rugged coastline exposed to Atlantic storms, Lundy Bay is a sheltered valley and its dense thickets of blackthorn, willow and hawthorn are swathed in thick braids of lichen, a sign of clean air.

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.

The Slipway

The Slipway, overlooking the sea front is a licensed terraced cafe and a Bed & Breakfast with 7 en-suite double bedrooms in the centre of Port Isaac.

Trewetha Cottage B&B

Stunning location, Cornish cottage B&B furnished to a high standard. Single night stays.Pick up/drop to the Path.

Mariners Lettings Ltd, Rock

Mariners Cottages are seven self-catering properties in Rock ranging in size from two to five bedrooms, 500 metres from the South West Coast Path.

 

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.

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, Padstow

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

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. 

Dennis Cove Campsite, Padstow

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, Trevone

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

Cornish Traditional Cottages

Cornish Traditional Cottages offer self-catering holiday lets throughout Cornwall. Find your perfect base for exploring the Cornish coast.

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.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the National Trust Lundy Bay car park cross the road to take the footpath opposite, winding downhill to the coast.
  2. Reaching the South West Coast Path, turn right, forking left shortly afterwards to the sea cave at Lundy Hole. From here carry on down the path to Lundy Beach.

Also known as 'Pigeon Hole', Lundy Hole was formed when the roof of a sea cave collapsed, leaving a round crater with a rock arch on its seaward edge. From the high vantage point on the Coast Path you can watch the waves crashing around the cave and see the huge forces which carved the cavern from a fault in the rock. This causes enormous pressure to build up inside, which weakens the roof until eventually it falls in. There is a wall across the top of the cave, beside the path, but keep an eye on children and animals.

According to local legend, the hole was made by the Devil, who visited St Minver while she was combing her hair on a local rock. Startled, she threw her comb at him with such force that, terrified, he fled to 'Topalundy, where on a round high hill there is a strange deep hole there made by the Devil in avoiding St Menfre'.

St Minver (also known as Menfre, or Mynfreda) was - like St Enodoc at Rock - one of a great many children sired by the Welsh King Brychan of Brycheiniog, and she arrived here from Wales in the fifth or sixth century. There is much dispute over the number of Brychan's children, but most, if not all (as well as many grandchildren) are said to have gone on to found churches in Celtic lands. Other missionary children of the Welsh king sent to champion the Christian cause in pagan Cornwall included St Issey, St Endellion and St Nectan, all of whom are said to have founded early churches in this part of North Cornwall. (The search function on this website will list the walks where you can see these sites).

  1. From the beach continue along the Coast Path to follow it around Pennywilgie Point and on above Epphaven Cove.
  2. Ignoring the paths heading inland from Epphaven, carry on along the Coast Path as it climbs the hill above Trevan Point. Ignore the smaller paths to left and then right to continue to the fork at the top of the hill.

From here there are tremendous views along the ragged rocky coastline, back to The Rumps, a volcanic twin headland topped with a prehistoric cliff castle, (see the Pentire Point & the Rumps Walk), and The Mouls, an offshore islet also known as 'Puffin Rock'.

Across Epphaven Cove, the side of Pennywilgie Point is pitted with an extensive series of interconnected caves. (Don't be tempted to explore them, even at the lowest tide, because the tide rises quickly and will almost certainly trap you inside).

  1. When the path forks at its highest point on Trevan, take the right-hand path running back along the ridge. Fork right again after it starts to descend and follow it to the bottom of the valley at 4. Turn left here to retrace your steps along the Coast Path to Lundy Beach at 3. Ignore the path climbing steeply uphill to your left above the beach, but take the left-hand path beyond. When this brings you back to the path at the start of the walk, turn left and walk back uphill to the car park.

Lundy Bay belongs to the National Trust. The Trust manages the land using traditional methods to encourage a biodiversity of flora and fauna. Over the winter the butterfly glades and wet meadows are cut and the cuttings removed to help the next summer's growth. This encourages an abundance of wildflowers, which attract butterflies and other insects, a handy living larder for an large variety of birds.

Elswhere, scrub is cut back, maintaining the maritime grass and heathland, and creating feeding areas for scrub-loving birds. Listen out for stonechats and whitethroats calling from the bushes, and look out for butterflies such as the small copper, the wall brown and the tortoiseshell.

This is also one of the special places in the south west where the Trust has planted wild thyme as part of a major programme being carried out by a number of conservation bodies to reintroduce the Large Blue butterfly to the British Isles. Even when this species was first recorded in 1795 it was described as rare, and since then modern farming methods have destroyed the insect's vital habitats. The UK's last specimen was spotted on Dartmoor in 1979. Following the introduction of stock from Sweden in a number of carefully managed locations, by 2006 the estimated number of adult Large Blues on the 11 sites was 10,000 - the largest number seen in the British Isles for over 60 years. For more information see the Butterfly Conservation website.

Public transport

The Western Greyhound 584 bus runs regularly to Polzeath from Wadebridge and Camelford, stopping at Port Quin Cross in Porteath. (To join the walk from here take the path down to Lundy Bay and join the walk at 3). For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

National Trust Lundy Bay car park at the start of the walk.

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