Walking Watergate Bay to Porth Mear
Distance 5 miles (8.0 km).
Duration: 3hr 40min.
Grid reference SW840649 to SW849714.
This walk was done in 3 stages: Firstly we started at Mawgan Porth walked to Watergate Bay and returned. Secondly, we drove over to Carnewas/Bedruthan Steps and walked to Porth Mear from the car park. Finally, we returned to the car and walked over to Mawgan Porth to join up the sections. A suitable guidebook is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam
Walk 1: Mawgan Porth to Watergate Bay 2 miles Walk Duration 1 hour 20 mins.
Park in the car park behind the shops at Mawgan Porth, £1.50 at the time of our visit. There are shops, a cafe, a petrol station and a pub for those wishing to stock up. Cross the road and pass behind the beach following the route marked left. On the hairpin bend, bear right onto the grassy path signed 'The Coastpath'. The path steepens as you pass a marker post on Grange Point. Continue climbing passing the NT marker of Bre Pen. Take care where the path runs close to the cliff edge. Round Berryl's Point as the path levels off. Walk with care around the awesome horseshoe shaped Beacon Cove, remaining at high level and quite near the cliff edge. There is a steep path down to the beach here for sure footed walkers. The path can be narrow in places and lack of other walkers can make you feel a little isolated here. I certainly would not advise beginners to start with this section! Once around Beacon Cove, drop to a footbridge crossing a small stream before turning inland to climb the steps up and around Griffin's Point. Continue in a due south direction above Stem Cove, rounding Stem Point to see the wide expanse of sand at Watergate Bay for the first time. The path now runs at high level for almost a mile along Strase Cliff dropping down very gradually to the cleft in the cliff housing the Watergate Bay Hotel and the car park. Note the re-routed footpath sign here as you pass the hour mark of your walk. Proceed down steps and behind the hotel to pick up the road. Walk down to the car park to complete this first section. Return to Mawgan Porth by coast path or inland routes.
Walk 2: Bedruthan to Porth Mear 2 miles Walk Duration 1 hour 50 mins.
Park in the large NT car park at Bedruthan Steps (Carnewas) - cost £1.20. Walk between the shop and cafe to pick up the wide clearly marked path seaward. At the path junction, turn right and head down the steps to get your first sight of the spectacular rock stacks and golden beach of Bedruthan Steps. NOTE IT IS UNSAFE TO BATHE AT ANY TIME ! The grassy headland opposite is Park Head. Proceed due north passing Pendarves Point and car park after about 10 minutes. Incidentally there are two thoughtfully placed picnic tables here for those wishing to use them. Climb slightly as the path runs closer to the cliff edge passing the Iron Age cliff fort of Redcliff Castle. Walk above an area where the cliff seems to be slowly sliding down, passing one of the larger stacks known as Diggory's Island. Proceed around Pentire Steps to meet Park Head
The headland is very flat and progress is easy, there are also a variety of paths passing several small mounds which are actually Bronze Age tumuli or burial mounds. PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE WARNING SIGNS ABOUT THE CLIFF COLLAPSE HERE AND STAY INLAND OF THE SHORT WHITE MARKER POSTS AS INSTRUCTED. Continue northwards on the grassy path passing High Cove, Higher Butter Cove and Lower Butter Cove. Walk between two further tumuli and above Totty Cove. The route now swings NE as you leave Park Head. The lighthouse opposite lies on Trevose Head, the low rocks ahead are the Trescore Islands just off Porthcothan and the steep sided inlet below right is Porth Mear. Return to the car by a variety of paths.
Walk 3: Bedruthan (Carnewas) to Mawgan Porth 1 mile Walk Duration 30 mins.
Leave your car at Carnewas car park and walk seaward to the path junction. Turn left and head due south towards Mawgan Porth. Initially the path is wide and people plentiful but as you proceed they grow more scarce as the path narrows. As you near Trerathick Point take care as you near the cliff edge in places. Round Trerathick Cove and the disused shaft at High Cove before gradually dropping down to pass Trenance Point and Trenance Rock. The path drops steeply for a few metres as you meet civilisation once again on the way down to the beach at Mawgan Porth. Return to your vehicle once again by coast path or inland route.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby:
St Columb Major