Discover North Cornwall's coastline
Newquay may be famed for its wonderful sandy beaches, beloved by surfers, but we have to admit it can be a bit busy at times. But head up the coast a short distance and everything changes, there are still the stunning beaches and rugged cliffs, but you have to make an effort to get to them.
The South West Coast Path provides the best way of exploring this area, and regular bus services mean you can walk from A to B and get the bus back. From Trevalgue Head (site of an Iron Age fort) up past Watergate Bay, the path hugs the cliff above nearly two miles of pristine beach. Refreshments are available at Watergate Bay itself including the eponymous hotel and several restaurants overlooking the beach. From here the path continues onto Mawgan Porth where the east side of the beach if fringed by sand dunes, above which are some of Cornwall’s finest hotels offering fantastic sunsets down the coast.
North of Mawgan Porth the rock formations known as Bedruthan Steps dominate the coastline. The National Trust have a car park and visitor centre here with an adjoining café. There are several safe viewpoints from which to take in the vista or you can climb down the steps to the beach (tide permitting).
Beyond Park Head the thin narrow beach at Porthcothan is popular, but get there early as the car park is not large. Between here and Treyarnon the coastline gets gentler eventually reaching Constantine Bay where the golf course provides a backdrop to another long stretch of beach.
At the northern end of the bay the dunes give way to cliffs again as they climb out to Trevose Head with its iconic lighthouse. On the way you pass a large hole in the headland where a sea cave collapsed many years ago, take a look but don’t get too close! Beyond Trevose you will discover Harlyn Bay and then onto Padstow… but that’s’ for another day.