The one where it's ... an amazing sandy beach

Holywell beach, near Holywell village, Cornwall, TR8 5PP

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
This beautiful beach is perfect for a sand castle competition © National Trust

This beautiful beach is perfect for a sand castle competition

Explore the South West coast with our collection of one mile walks © National Trust

Explore the South West coast with our collection of one mile walks

Spend a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun on these golden sands © National Trust

Spend a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun on these golden sands

Route overview

This walk takes you across the stunning sandy beach of Holywell, returning through the towering dune system behind. Great views of the Penhale and Kelseys headlands, as well as the twin offshore islands of Carter’s Rocks. Start and park at  the National Trust car park at Holywell.

  • Grade of walk: Flip Flop (easy and lots of fun)
  • Type of walk: 'Waterside Walks', 'Beautiful Views'

Route details

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

Route map of the Holybay Beach walk in Cornwall
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Holywell National Trust car park, grid ref: SW766587

  1. From the car park, cross the road and follow the path to the beach.

    Show/HideA holy well at Holywell

    Holywell gets its name from St Cubert's (or St. Cuthbert's) Well which is in a cave a little above high water mark. Man-made steps lead you 6m up to a series of whitish, calcareous basins into which clear water runs. This area has a reputation for healing.

    This beautiful beach is perfect for a sand castle competition © National Trust
  2. Wade through the shallow stream if youre feeling adventurous. If not, cross a nearby footbridge to access the dunes.

    Show/HideHolywell dunes

    The dunes at Holywell rise to over 65ft (20m) to form part of a massive sand dune system that extends 5 miles (8km) from Perranporth to Crantock. These mobile dunes are constantly being reshaped by the wind, and large areas of bare sand feature. Where there is growth, stiff leaves of marram grass dominate. Other plants include wildflowers, prickly-leaved sea holly and the large yellow flowers of evening primrose - a non-native plant that has widely naturalized in such sparsely vegetated places.

    Explore the South West coast with our collection of one mile walks © National Trust
  3. Keeping left of the dunes, stay on the level part of the beach and follow round to the main beach. You will pass the Surf Life Saving Club building, which was once dressed up for the Bond movie Die Another Day.

    Show/HideJames Bond connection

    In more recent history, Holywell became a foreign country when the beach hut was dressed up to look like a military bunker on the coast of Korea, for the opening sequence of the James Bond film Die Another Day.

    Spend a relaxing afternoon soaking up the sun on these golden sands © National Trust
  4. Continue along the beach for a few hundred metres before cutting inland up into the dunes where you see some wooden steps.

  5. This will take you to the line of the coast path. Follow this wider path, marked with wooden posts, back to the start.

  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: Holywell National Trust car park, grid ref: SW766587

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

    The terrain is mostly sandy paths on beach and dunes. This walk isnt suitable for standard pushchairs or wheelchairs. There are many slopes on the dunes.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Route 587 from Newquay

    By train: Newquay branch line station, 5.7 miles (9.2km) away

    By car: The National Trust car park is £3.50 in season for non members. Follow road all the way into Holywell, car park signed on left just before Penhale MOD camp

     

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