Things to do at Carnewas at Bedruthan
There's plenty to explore while visiting Carnewas at Bedruthan and the surrounding areas. From exploring some local history and long coastal pathways to enjoying picnics with dramatic views and quality stargazing, there's something for everyone. The area is also home to lots of wildlife so keep an eye out for lizards on the ground and sea birds up above.
Picnics and coastal walks
Carnewas has been a firm favourite for people looking for a perfect picnic spot since the Victorian era. With dramatic clifftop views and adjacent to the visitor facilities, the picnic area is a ideal lunch spot.
Plus, walkers will be happy to hear that significant improvements to the paths that criss-cross the clifftops have made the views even more accessible.
Did you know that Carnewas at Bedruthan has been awarded Dark Skies status? The accreditation is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Dark Sky Discovery Programme.
It's awarded to sites that are accessible and free enough from light pollution that they offer visitors fantastic panoramic views of the night sky. Essentially, this means Carnewas at Bedruthan is the ideal place to stargaze.
It's recommended that stargazers view the sky well away from the cliff edges. In fact, the grassy area next to the shop is the perfect spot. Also any young gazers will be ticking off an activity from their list of '50 things to do before you're 11¾’.
Visit Park Head
A couple of miles north of Carnewas is Park Head. Here the secluded, wildlife-rich Porth Mear valley joins the sea and the coastline is littered with Bronze Age barrows, (burial mounds). The headland at Park Head is backed by fertile farmland that slopes gently down to Porth Mear valley to the north.
With its well-preserved cliff castle and wonderful feeling of exposure, the headland is worth exploring. However, please stay on the footpaths as the land is farmed and there's often livestock in the fields.
The Porth Mear valley
The rocky valley running up from Porth Mear offers a contrast to the exposed sea-facing cliffs. Thickets of thorn scrub grow here and those plants needing a waterside habitat thrive beside the small stream.
Animals can be very particular about where they live. The National Trust team tries to encourage a wide variety of habitats within the reedbed to support as many plants and animals as possible.
Every autumn the team cuts the reeds back to stop scrubby bushes taking over. This encourages the reeds to regrow stronger than before. This, in turn, maintains pockets of habitat for wildlife to make their home. Look out for toads, lizards and kestrels overhead.
Bronze Age archaeology
Six Bronze Age barrows are visible from the coast path. These probably date from between 1200-2500 BC and are joined by an Iron Age cliff castle.
The Iron Age cliff castle
Sat across the neck of Park Head with two defensive banks separated by a ditch, this cliff castle is a good example of its kind. These castles are a common feature on the Cornish coast and archaeologists now think they weren't temporary, but instead permanently occupied. This demonstrates the inter-tribal rivalries of the times.
Normally, one or two round houses would have stood inside the defences, sometimes against the back of the inner rampart. This site was probably used back as far as the 1st century BC.
There are miles of natural beautiful coastline and beaches in Cornwall to explore with all the family. There's plenty of space to blow away the cobwebs along the coast.
Carnewas at Bedruthan is a two pawprint rated place. Dogs are welcome at Carnewas and Bedruthan. Here are some top tips if you are planning a visit with your dog.
Carnewas at Bedruthan, Cornwall has a history of mining dating to the 19th century, but was also a popular Victorian holiday resort and has a legend about a local giant.
A rock fall in 2019 means access to the beach at Carnewas at Bedruthan has been closed, while the National Trust works on how a route could be safely reinstated while also protecting the cliff face.
Discover the 780 miles of beautiful coastline in our care. Plan your next coastal adventure, whether you want to explore soft, sandy beaches or rugged, windswept cliffs.
Try out the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities children can enjoy by the sea, from paddling or swimming, to catching crabs and skimming stones.