Pentire Steps to Porthcothan Bay
Cornwall Coast Path

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Pentire Steps to Porthcothan Bay (Approx. 2 miles including the walk from the car park but slightly longer if you follow the coast nearer to the cliff edge. Approx. 3.2 km)

Dramatic views, ancient archaeological monuments, stunning cliff scenery with deep rocky chasms, isolated beaches, rock pools and wide sandy bays.

Park at the National Trust car park signposted 'Park Head' on the B3276 Newquay to Padstow Road.
Follow the public footpath signs towards the coast. (Please stay on the footpaths and do not stray onto the barley fields which are a nesting place for Corn Buntings).

The footpath reaches the Cornwall coast path at Pentire Steps. Diggory's Island can be seen off the sandy cove.

If you look to the left, southwards down the coastline towards Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and Newquay, you will see Bedruthan Steps.

A narrow winding path leads down to the sandy beach, Pentire Steps. At low water, Pentire Steps beach is joined with the beach at Bedruthan Steps.

Follow the coast path northwards towards Park Head. In the distance you will see a lighthouse. This is Trevose Head lighthouse. Glimpses of several North coast beaches can be seen with Constantine Bay near to Trevose Head and Treyarnon Bay and Porthcothan.

If you decide to leave the main coast path to get a closer look at the coastline please take care and look out for the very crumbly cliff edges. Always exercise caution and do not go too close to the cliff edges and especially in those places where you see cliff subsidence.

The long thin point of land before Park Head is known as 'The Saddle'.

There are a couple of rocky coves on the southern side of Park Head including Mackerel Cove.

Park Head is the dominant promontory on this stretch of the North coast. It has a well preserved cliff castle dating from the Iron Age, some 3000 years ago. Sea birds ride the updraughts, reeling above the cliffs and wild flowers such as Golden Samphire flourish on the lichen covered rocks. A Memorial Plinth is located near the path.

The rocks offshore are known as the 'Cow & Calf'.

An ancient tumulus dating from the Bronze Age stands near the path above High Cove and there are further tumuli on the cliff top between here and Porth Mear Cove. These ancient burial mounds are between 3,200 and 4,500 years old.

There are several rock arches in the cliffs along this stretch of the walk, cut by the power of the sea - they can be viewed from the cliff top but please take care and keep away from the cliff edge. One is shortly before Porth Mear Cove and the other can be seen close to the coast path in a deep chasm in the ground between Porth Mear Cove and Porthcothan Bay.

On the northern side of Park Head is a small cove, High Cove, with Higher Butter Cove, Lower Butter Cove and Totty Cove just beyond.

Porth Mear Cove is a long, wide rocky beach with numerous rock pools.

Follow the coast path over the wooden bridge which crosses the stream. During the Summer you can wade across the stream as it crosses the beach.

A short uphill walk now before the path levels off above Porth Mear. Cross the wooden stile and continue along the coastal footpath. Birds of Prey including Kestrels are quite frequent here and can be seen hovering above the farmland looking for their next meal.

Just north of Port Mear are Trescore Islands. This rocky ridge of islands provide sheltered bathing at certain states of the tide with a lovely sandy beach on the landward side of the islands.

A short distance and you can now see the large sandy beach at Porthcothan Bay. At low water the beach is a huge expanse of sand dotted with a number of large interesting rocks at its seaward end. The beach is very popular for surfing and other water sports activities including sea kayaking.

This page is under construction.

Public Transport

Bus service between Newquay and Padstow
Service 556 operated by First

Visit Cornwall Public Transport for latest timetable

OS Explorer Map for this walk - 106

For a circular walk based on this section of the coastline visit Park Head Circular Walk

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