Walk - Constantine Bay to Mawgan Porth

7.0 miles (11.3 km)

Constantine Bay - PL28 8JJ Mawgan Porth - TR8 4BA

Moderate - This walk is fairly level, with only a couple of hills to ascend. As the 556 bus service runs along this section of coast it is easy to extend or shorten the walk.

Catch the bus and walk back past the iconic rock formations at Bedruthan Steps. There are dramatic cliffs and headlands, and the remains of a prehistoric cliff fort. There are also sandy beaches that children will enjoy. This is a good walk in autumn, when the stubble in the clifftop fields provides rich pickings for the migrant pipits and buntings. If you are lucky you might spot a merlin hunting them overhead; and at low tide you may even see seals around Trethias.

This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes a number of beaches and a pub where dogs are welcome. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog friendly beaches and pubs. 

 

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

From the bus stop in Constantine Bay, follow the road northwards for about 100yds. At the road junction, opposite the golf club entrance, take the footpath on your left, which runs along the edge of the golf course to Constantine Bay, where you join the Coast Path.

Constantine Bay and Treyarnon Bay are popular with surfers but the rip currents can make swimming hazardous. After crossing the beach at Treyarnon Bay, the Coast Path climbs onto the cliff tops.

Separated from the shore by a narrow channel is Trethias Island, and here or further along this section of the coast you may see seals hunting for fish. This section of coast is unusually indented with narrow coves formed as the sea has eroded the weaker bands of rock, leaving the harder rocks as headlands.

Cutting across the neck of the headlands south of Trethias Island are low banks which formed the defensive ramparts of what was a single Iron Age cliff castle. Due to the active erosion of the cliffs on this walk, it is advisable to stay away from their edges, as they may be undercut. At Fox Cove, the remains of a tanker, ‘Helmsley I’ wrecked in 1969, on its way to a breakers yard, are visible.

Passing more small islands and coves, the Coast Path descends into Porthcothan, goes along the road for a short distance to cross the stream, and then returns back onto the cliff tops. 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 1200BC and 2500BC. Across the neck of Park Head is another cliff castle, with its two defensive banks separated by a ditch.

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).

From Bedruthan Steps the Coast Path steadily descends down to Mawgan Porth.

Constantine Bay, Treyamon Bay, Porthcothan Bay and Mawgan Porth are dog-friendly beaches throughout the year.

Nearby refreshments

Treyarnon Bay(seasonal), Porthcothan (seasonal), Carnewas (National Trust Café) and Mawgan Porth.
At the end of the walk in Mawgan Porth the Merrymoor Inn is recommended by users of www.doggiepubs.org.uk as serving good food and being dog-friendly.

Public transport

The start and finish of this walk can be reached using the relatively frequent Western Greyhound bus service number 556 that links the coastal villages between Newquay & Padstow. For details visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.

Parking

Mawgan Porth (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR8 4BA), Constantine Bay (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL28 8JJ).

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