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Porthcothan to Watergate Bay

Cornwall Walk

County/Area - Cornwall

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.8 miles / 11.1 km    Ascent - 1200 feet / 364 metres

Time - 4 hours 40 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Porthcothan to Watergate Bay
Click image to see photo description.

This linear walk from Porthcothan follows the South West Coast Path along the north Cornwall coast to Watergate Bay. The route passes sandy beaches, rocky headlands and includes the Bedruthan Steps. The route follows a good path and depending on season you are likely to encounter varied wildlife. Unlike some sections of coastal walking there are many choices of refreshments along the way.

The walk starts from Watergate Bay from where a bus, route 56 to Padstow, is used to reach Porthcothan. There are two car parks close to the bus stop (grid ref. SW843649). After parking catch the bus from near the public toilets. The journey time to Porthcothan is about 30 minutes and you should alight at the bus top near the entrance to the main car park (grid ref. SW858720). The path is waymarked with an Acorn symbol.

After arrival take the South West Coast Path along a track signed by the telephone box opposite the car park entrance. Initially the path runs along the beach (on your right) before turning south passing Trescore Islands on your right. The path descends into a valley, crosses a footbridge, and then climbs up to Park Head. The path veers left along the cliffs passing several rock formations including Pentire Steps, Queen Bess Rock, Samaritan Island and Bedruthan Steps.

Beyond Bedruthan Steps a short diversion to the left leads to a National Trust tearoom at Carnewas (grid ref. SW850690). The next landmark is Trenance Point where the path reaches its maximum height above the sea. Continue downhill towards the sands of Mawgan Porth. Just before the beach cross a footbridge before continuing along the clifftop path before descending steps onto the beach. Continue along the beach to exit onto a road in Mawgan Porth.

Turn right across the bridge, and then take the first footpath on the right (signed Watergate) still following the South West Coast Path. The route rounds two headlands before the sands of Watergate Bay come into view. Continue to reach Trevarrian Hill in Watergate Bay. Turn right downhill back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1547 Trevose Head & Constantine Bay from Porthcothaneasy/mod8.5 miles
Walk 3589 Padstow from Little Petherickeasy5.0 miles
Walk 3738 Polzeath & Pentire Point from Rockmoderate11.4 miles
Walk 1104 Newquay to Porthcothan coast pathmoderate10.5 miles
Walk 2462 The Rumps & Pentire Pointeasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 3264 Port Quin & Port Isaac Circulareasy/mod5.7 miles
Walk 1029 Tintagel to Boscastlemoderate9.0 miles
Walk 1883 Advent Churcheasy5.2 miles
Walk 2294 St. Agnes to Porthtowaneasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 1808 Brown Willy, exploring Cornwall's highest Torseasy/mod4.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in Cornwall

Walking in CornwallThis guidebook includes routes to 40 day walks in Cornwall. From short, easy strolls to longer, wilder routes, there is plenty to appeal to both families and experienced walkers. The walks explore the interior and coasts, including walks through picturesque villages, old tin-mining areas and the Lizard and Land's End Peninsulas.
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The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast PathGuidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route runs for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this long-distance coastal trek could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
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