Lundy Bay walk

Lundy Bay, near New Polzeath, Cornwall PL27 6QZ

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Take in beautiful views out to sea © Sarah Stevens

Take in beautiful views out to sea

Native nature, the beauty of British birds © Phil Chantler

Native nature, the beauty of British birds

Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks © John Millar

Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks

Route overview

Just a mile or so before you reach Polzeath, there is a sheltered valley where light woodland and scrub lead to a gem of a rocky bay, with sandy coves at low tide. The walk has flower rich meadows and wet grassland on the way, and many birds and butterflies in season. Add to this the drama of the clifftop views, the chance to peer down into a collapsed sea-cave and to enjoy some rockpooling and beach exploring at low tide – and this is a great little walk.

  • Grade of walk: Trainer  (all rounder)
  • Type of walk: 'Waterside Walks', 'Hidden Places'

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map of the Lundy Bay walk in Cornwall
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Lundy Bay National Trust car park, grid ref: SX953795

  1. Cross the road with care, and enter through the gate opposite. Walk alongside the open meadows and through the light woodland.

    Show/HideAn island and a saint

    Lundy Bay takes its name from the fact that it looks towards Lundy or that it was once the haunt of puffins, whose name in ancient Norse is lundy. Lundy Island, owned by The National Trust since 1969, and managed by the Landmark Trust, lies 80 miles (129km) away.

    Take in beautiful views out to sea © Sarah Stevens
  2. At the first cove, Markhams Quay, there is a view down to the cove and the path splits take the lower route.

    Show/HideNature

    Wildflowers such as yellow iris, meadowsweet and common fleabane can be found in the wet grasslands, sheltered in the valley behind Lundy Bay, whilst knapweed, pale flax and common dog-violet flourish on drier ground. These areas are kept free of encroaching scrub by late summer cutting and light stock grazing. The surrounding willow, gorse and blackthorn provide habitat for a rich diversity of breeding birds. Blackcap, willow warbler and whitecap can be heard marking territories in spring. Later in the summer purple heathers can be seen flowering amongst yellow gorse to the east of the bay.

    Native nature, the beauty of British birds © Phil Chantler
  3. Continue down to find the back of the cove there are wooden stairs to the beach if the tide is low enough to explore.

    Show/HideLundy Hole

    The massive chasm you can see from the upper path at the western end of the bay is called Lundy Hole. This was once a sea cave scoured out by wave action which widened and deepened a line of natural weakness in the bed rock. Eventually the cave roof collapsed leaving a deep pit and natural arch. This is one of a series of sea caves and other natural erosion features that can be seen along this stretch of coast.

    Explore the South West with our collection of one mile walks © John Millar
  4. Turn around and return by the higher path to your right. A stone wall protects the drop into a stunning collapsed sea cave.

  5. Rejoin the previous path and walk the valley back up to the car par.

  6. We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk

End: Lundy Bay National Trust car park, grid ref: SX953795

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
  • Time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 200
  • Terrain:

    The terrain here is a mix of gently sloping paths through scrub woodland, meadows and along cliff tops.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Route 584 Wadebridge to Camelford

    By train: Bodmin Parkway mainline station, 18 miles (29km)

    By car: National Trust car park for Lundy Bay. High season £2 charge for non members

  • Contact us