Steps to beach closed

Walking at Carnewas

During winter 2019/20 a significant rock fall took place at Carnewas damaging the lower section of steps to the beach as well as the cliff face safety netting. In January 2021 there was a further cliff fall on neighbouring land above Bedruthan beach (not National Trust). Access to the beach remains closed whilst we await expert technical advice on whether the steps can be made safe for future use and if so how. There are dangerous sea currents and a risk of getting cut off by the tide so please do not attempt to access the beach.

Carnewas at Bedruthan is still a fantastic place to visit offering cliff top views across the giant rock stacks on the beach and far along the coast towards Trevose Head.

There are walks, wildflowers and coastal birds to enjoy and significant footpath improvements are being made in 2021. The South West Coast Path, car park, picnic area, toilets and tea-room remain available (check website for opening times) and the Trust looks forward to welcoming visitors to this breath-taking coastal location.

Spring 2021

From initial geological surveys we know that any work to stabilise the cliff face and reinstate access will be a major project. The unprecedented situation we have found ourselves in over the past year has, inevitably, delayed works on this scale. The Trust lost well in excess of £200 million income over the past year and had to make significant cost savings. With limited resources our current priority is to enable our visitors to safely access our places (in terms of the pandemic) and we have had to delay the start of many large projects

When will the steps be open?

Both cliff falls were significant and from the initial geological reports we know further expert technical advice is needed both on the extent of the damage and to identify whether there are viable options to reopen the stairs. We are, therefore, expecting the steps to be closed for the foreseeable future. We appreciate that this will be disappointing news for some of our visitors and we’re grateful for your patience and understanding whilst we work our way through the complex process.

Further background

A rock fall took place from the cliffs above Bedruthan beach in December 2019. Fortunately, the cliff stairs were closed to visitors when this happened. Following the rock fall there is damage to the lower section of the steps as well as the protective netting and pinning on the cliff faces, which are an integral part of the safety infrastructure.

Shortly after the collapse the National Trust commissioned an exploratory survey by expert geologists. The report identified the need for further geotechnical assessment, including ground investigations, geotechnical data collection and stability analyses. This needs to be done to determine how it might be possible to adequately stabilise the cliff face and allow access to be reinstated. We are now consulting with expert partners (as well as the owner of the beach who also owns the clifftop affected by the January 2021 fall) to establish the feasibility and cost of repairs to the steps.

For now, the steps will remain closed and no alternative route is available. The safety of visitors, along with our team, is of upmost importance. The RNLI and the National Trust are strongly advising visitors not to try to find alternative routes to get down the cliff onto the beach due to the unstable condition of the cliffs and  strong sea currents which give rise to a very real danger of being cut off by the tide.