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Things to do at Port Quin

A visitor enjoying the view over Port Quin Bay from the hillside, with grassy hills in the foreground and sunshine spilling through the clouds, reflecting off the water
Visitor admiring the view of Port Quin Bay | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

The peaceful, sheltered inlet of Port Quin, tucked away on the north Cornish coast, was once a bustling fishing port. While the fishermen may now be gone, there’s still plenty to see and do at Port Quin. Take a walk on the South West Coast Path, look out for the remains of Gilson’s Cove mine, admire the view of Doyden Castle, and discover flora, fauna and wildlife.

Walk the South West Coast Path at Port Quin

The South West Coast Path passes directly through this area and is a particularly unspoilt stretch of coastline even by Cornwall’s high standards. Escape the buzz of modern life with a walk along the coast to experience this rugged landscape, where the quiet of the countryside meets the crash of the waves.

Spot wildlife and wild flowers

You can see a variety of wildlife along this stretch of coast. Displays of hawthorn blossom in the spring give way to coastal wild flowers such as squill and thrift. Look out for sea birds such as fulmars and guillemots.

Explore Doyden Point

Located at the mouth of Port Quin's inlet, Doyden Point is a fine feature of North Cornwall's dramatic coastline. Here there are two buildings and a long-disused mine – look out for the slate fencing posts around the open shafts.

Known as Gilson’s Cove mine or Doyden Point mine, it produced sliver-lead and – it's believed – a little copper. Between the two shafts you can also find the remains of a whim, a horse-powered device that would once have been used to haul materials from the mine.

Please keep to the path

Open mine shafts can be very deep and therefore dangerous, so please stay safe by sticking to the paths.

The front of Doyden Castle holiday cottage, a small fortress at the edge of the cliffs on the Port Quin headland
Doyden Castle holiday cottage at Port Quin | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

See Doyden Castle

In 1827 the headland at Doyden was bought by a wealthy Wadebridge bon viveur called Samuel Symons. He built the truncated Gothic tower, boasting incredible sea views and dramatic arched windows, as a place to entertain his friends, where they spent their time drinking and gambling.

More recently, it has been used as a filming location for the TV drama Poldark and has since been turned into a Trust-owned holiday cottage.

Discover Doyden House

Further inland you'll find Doyden House, an imposing white building that started life as a retirement home. It was built by an ex-governor of Chelmsford and Parkhurst prisons, Captain Herbert Latimer Conor, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Boasting panoramic ocean views across Lundy Bay towards the Rumps, it’s not hard to see why he chose this location. It is now let it out as a holiday apartments, so you can make the most of the view for yourself.

Coasteering at Poldhu Cove, Cornwall
Coasteering at Port Gaverne | © 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.

Canoes and kayaks on the beach at Port Quin, Cornwall

Discover more at Port Quin

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

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