Visitor taking in the view at Pentire Head, Cornwall

Pentire is a stretch of coast in North Cornwall that boasts dramatic headlands jutting out into the Atlantic sea.

It's excellent walking country, with the South West Coast Path running the length of the coastline and also the nearby Camel trail, which is a great, all-ability route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. There's also magnificent geology to discover and secluded, sandy beaches.

Views from Pentire headland

It's worth visiting Pentire just for the extensive views. If you look to the south and west you'll see the expanse of Padstow Bay, where the mouth of the River Camel and its tributaries were 'drowned' by melting ice after the last glaciation and now form wide creeks. The headland furthest away is Trevose Head with its lighthouse on the right, while the daymark at Stepper Point marks the entrance to the mouth of the estuary. Between Pentire Point and The Rumps several outcrops of pillow lava are visible beside the coast path.

The Rumps - a prehistoric site

The Rumps, excavated between 1963 and 1967, can be reached across a narrow strip of land, or isthmus. Its obvious defensive potential was recognised in the Iron Age when the local population exploited the existing gullies and built a series of ditches and ramparts to protect the landward access. The people that lived on the fort wove cloth and cultivated grain and were self-sufficient in all but some luxury goods. It's thought that The Rumps was deserted after the Roman invasion.

Pentireglaze to Carnweather Point

The Pentireglaze lead mine operated, off and on, from 1580 to 1883 and provided employment for generations. Old waste tips in the form of low mounds are still visible. A path leads from the car park out to the coast where, to the right, there's a disused quarry which exploited the tough igneous rocks for building and road stone. Continuing to the east, the path climbs Carnweather Point (carn-rock pile or tor). Here you can see across to The Rumps and out to The Mouls.
The Mouls, an offshore island, was visited during the First World War by the poet Lawrence Binyon, inspiring him to write the familiar memorial line: 'They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.