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Things to do at Pentire

A visitor sat by the footpath, taking in the views across The Rumps at Pentire, Cornwall
The Rumos at Pentire, Cornwall | © ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

There's plenty to discover along the stretch of coastline north of Polzeath, including Pentire Point and the prehistoric Rumps. The headland boasts walks with views across Padstow Bay and the coast. Plus, there's history dating back to the Iron Age to uncover and a variety of sea birds to look out for. You can even take to the water in sea kayaks just along the coast at Port Gaverne.

Walking routes

Pentire offers excellent walking country with footpaths criss-crossing the headland and the South West Coast Path running the length of the coastline. There’s also magnificent geology to discover and secluded, sandy beaches.

Pentireglaze to Carnweather Point

The Pentireglaze lead mine was operated on and off from 1580 to 1883 and provided employment for generations. You can still see old waste tips in the form of low mounds today.

A path leads out to the coast where there’s a disused quarry to the right. This is where the tough igneous rocks were exploited 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.

Cattle grazing

Cattle can graze at Pentire headland throughout the year. When you’re walking, please look out for signs with up-to-date information about grazing animals that might be on the footpath ahead.

Views from Pentire headland

It’s worth visiting Pentire simply for its extensive views. If you look to the south and west you’ll see the expanse of Padstow Bay. This is where the mouth of the River Camel and its tributaries were ‘drowned’ by melting ice after the last glaciation and now form wide creeks.

Beyond the bay the headland furthest away is Trevose Head, recognisable by its lighthouse on the tip. Meanwhile the daymark at Stepper Point marks the entrance to the mouth of the Camel estuary.

Between Pentire Point and The Rumps several outcrops of pillow lava are visible beside the coast path.

To the north you can see the quirky Doyden Castle perched on the cliffs above Port Quin. On a clear day, in the distance, you can see Tintagel Island.

The prehistoric Rumps

Cross a narrow strip of land, or isthmus, to reach The Rumps, which were excavated between 1963 and 1967. Its clear defensive potential was recognised in the Iron Age when the locals 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.

The Orchard at Pentire, Cornwall, in autumn
The orchard at Pentire | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris


Within just a few steps of the main car park and visitor facilities you’ll find a restored orchard. Accessible to wheelchairs and buggies, this is the ideal place to enjoy a picnic or just relax and soak up nature in this beautiful, sensory space.

A male kestrel perched on a rock on a steep hillside at Pentire Point, Cornwall
A male kestrel perched at Pentire Point | © National Trust Images / Nick Upton


From the vantage point of the coast you can look out for a variety of sea birds, including fulmars and guillemots all year round.

Farmland birds can be seen at Pentire headlands, which are home to goldfinch, linnets and skylarks. If you’re lucky you might catch a flock of starlings in a murmuration or flying together in sweeping motions from field to field.

Coasteering at Poldhu Cove, Cornwall
Coasteering at Port Gaverne near Pentire, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Outdoor activities

There are a variety of outdoor activities for visitors at Pentire. From escaping on a clifftop walk, enjoying rock-pooling at Pentireglaze Haven or getting the adrenaline flowing with coasteering, there's something for everyone.

Try coasteering or sea kayaking with Cornish Rock Tors, based at nearby Port Gaverne. Visit the Cornish Rock Tors website for more information.

View across the coastline from Port Quin near The Rumps at Pentire, Cornwall

Discover more at Pentire

Find out how to get to Pentire, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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