Carnewas at Bedruthan from the bus stop
This spectacular stretch of the north Cornwall coast offers views of the dramatic cliffs overlooking Bedruthan Steps (not National Trust), contrasted with the sheltered Porth Mear cove and leading you to the sandy beach of Porthcothan.
Carnewas at Bedruthan
The bus stops directly at the end of the road that leads to the National Trust car park. Follow the road towards the car park - about 1/4 mile. You'll find toilets, a shop and tea-room (concession) in the car park.
From Carnewas car park, follow the path which runs from the information board, turning right towards the coast path, and continue down the stone steps. Alternatively, start with a short detour along the path straight ahead and through the gorse, for dramatic views along the coastline in both directions before heading to the right and joining the path down the steps.
At the bottom of the steps you'll find a viewing area overlooking the beach. Please note the beach stairs are closed due to a cliff fall and there is currently no access to Bedruthan beach. Continue up the stone steps to re-join the coast path, with views of the beach and stacks to the left.
Some believe that the origin of the name stems from the legend of a giant named Bedruthan who used the stacks as stepping stones across the beach. Others think that the name came about because of the staircase, which currently provides access to the beach. A somewhat challenging descent down the steep steps is rewarded by your arrival at a beautiful beach. NB: It is unsafe to bathe at any time and be aware of the risk of being cut off by the tide.
Continue along the coast path, past the earthworks of Redcliff Castle towards Park Head, eventually walking through a tamarisk hedge. Go through a kissing gate and then continue straight on, with the hedge on the right.
Cliff castles and barrows
The view south from Bedruthan to Carnewas Island. This stretch of coastline is dotted with cliff castles and Bronze Age barrows thought to date from between 1200BC and 2500BC. An example of a cliff castle can be seen at Park Head and shows two defensive banks separated by a ditch.
Keep following the path until it forks after a bench. Choose either a slightly lengthier and sturdier scenic walk to the left by the cliff edge taking in the headland, Bronze Age barrows and another cliff castle. Alternatively, for a shorter route cut across fields on the grassy path to the right.
On arrival at Porth Mear, with a view of Trevose Head and the lighthouse, descend the path and go through a kissing gate and across the bridge. To access the beach, take the short path heading left.
From the beach re-join the coast path on the left, climbing up the steps and over the stile; follow this over a second stile. The path follows the line of the coast, where you will see a strip of rocks called Trescore Islands running parallel. At some low tides these form a natural sea pool.
Continue onwards, keeping the fence to your right, over another stile towards Porthcothan
When you reach the edge of Porthcothan bay you will notice a large oval sink hole
The path descends a little and you pass through a kissing gate where there’s a lifebuoy marked Golden Burn, a short scramble down the rocks takes you to the beach, where at very low tides it’s possible to reach Pothcothan via the sand.The path through the dunes behind the lifebuoy brings you out at the stores
. Alternatively continue on the coast path, with the houses on your right, which will bring you to Porthcothan Bay stores nestled at the back of the dunes, walk down the side of the stores to the main road.
The bus stop is on the opposite side of the road. Catch a bus here to return to Carnewas at Bedruthan (Kernow Coastal route A5) or re-trace your steps.
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