Camel Estuary, Padstow, North Cornwall

My top walking spots on the North Cornish coast

Travel writer and destination expert Natalie Millar-Partridge takes us on some of her favourite coastal walks around Cornwall with her gorgeous dog Partridge by her side. Here she takes us to the north coast and tells us why it’s a must for anyone visiting the area.

The North Coast...

As beautiful as North Cornwall is during the summer, it’s the winter months that I find the most exhilarating, offering the dreamiest out-of-season coastal escape; a walker’s paradise – the North Cornish coast boasts sweeping bays and dramatic cliff walks, with uninterrupted sea views for miles.

Daymer Bay

Daymer Bay boasts enviable views across the Camel Estuary and Atlantic Ocean; perfectly positioned for exploring the South West Coastal Path with its wild, rugged landscape, peppered with sandy beaches and coves. The dramatic rock-face is fused with spectacular beaches, with its huge expanse of low-tidal sands, dramatic sculptural rocks and slated skimming stones, it offers the ideal walk for you and your four-legged friend, with plenty of soft sand to run and play.

Head east from Daymer, and you will find yourself wandering across Greenaway, a pebble beach with many inlets and rockpools at low tide – Partridge loved swimming in the clear, calm pools, before getting stuck into some tasty seaweed! From here, take the coastal path towards Polzeath, one of the most popular surfing meccas of Cornwall. 

Daymer Bay, North Cornwall

Watergate Bay – Bedruthen Steps

I have loved walking at Watergate Bay for as long as I can remember, the exclusivity of the location, with 180-degrees of spectacular uninterrupted sea views, perfect for dog walkers, as well as those who enjoy a range of water sports.

Watergate is a part of the north Cornish coast that Partridge and I never tire of exploring; it is a walkers delight as well as a bucket and spade holiday retreat, but it’s the expansive sands with their low tides that really captivate, the sense of pure joy, running out into the sand, playing in the shallows, and exploring the caves.

The five-mile walk from Watergate Bay to Bedruthen Steps is a must, picking up the South West Coastal Path, heading to Mawgan Porth, take a break at the divine glass-fronted Scarlet Hotel, and gaze across Mawgan Porth Beach with a tipple-of-choice – in warmer months, lounge on the terrace with something cold – before heading onto Bedruthen Steps, where you can discover the most incredible rock formations.

Watergate Bay, North Cornwall

Padstow – Camel Estuary

I absolutely adore Padstow! It has to be my favourite Cornish town, with so many incredible foodie destinations, as well as bars, galleries, artist-studios and stunning walks. The ancient fishing port is home to beautiful sweeping sands, the Camel Estuary and the Cornish Coastal Path.

The town sits on the west bank of the River Camel – five-miles north of Wadebridge and ten-miles north of Bodmin – providing miles of coastal walks for you and your canine pal to enjoy.

For exhilarating views across to Rock and Daymer Bay, trek up to the war memorial or cycle the six-mile trail along the Camel Estuary, with your four-legged friend, along for the ride in a trailer.

There are also plenty of circular walks from Padstow, either via Crugmeer, Trevone and Stepper Point (seven miles) or for a shorter option, via Hawker’s Cove (four miles). Another popular route, that Partridge and I particularly enjoy – taking in some wonderful coastal scenery along the way – is Padstow to Polzeath, via Rock and St Enodoc Church (around three-and-a-half miles).

For the days you don’t fancy venturing far, a ten-minute walk will take you to the beach where you and your furry-friend can pick up the passenger ferry across to Rock, running at regular intervals throughout the day.

Camel Estuary, Padstow, North Cornwall

Porthkidney Sands, Lelant – St Ives

A more recent discovery, and dreamy walking spot to enjoy with your pooch is Porthkidney Beach, Lelant, with its expansive white sands and steep dunes with maze-like paths, it makes a great spot to play chase, welcoming dogs all year round.

From St Uny’s Church at Lelant, take the winding Coastal Path down through the dunes, with views across to St Ives and Hayle. If you’re feeling up for a good stomp, pick up the Coastal Path and walk four-miles into St Ives, where you can continue further along the six-mile stretch to Zennor or take in the scenes from Porthminster Beach across to St Ives Harbour – stop at the Porthminster Café, the perfect space to take in the vistas, over some locally-caught sea fare.

Just around the headland is Porthmeor Beach, where you will find Porthmeor Café, providing a welcoming spot to kick back with a beverage, whilst watching the surfers riding the waves – Porthmeor is home to the St Ives Surf School, if you fancy taking a lesson.

Porthkidney, North Cornwall

Guest author

Natalie Millar-Partridge
Natalie Millar-Partridge

Natalie Millar-Partridge is a Freelance Writer, Destination Expert and Hotel Reviewer for Telegraph Travel, as well as Co-founder of the online platform for dog friendly escapes – Canine Cornwall.

She also runs her own travel and lifestyle blog, showcasing her diverse talents as a writer in editorial, digital media, photography and creative content.

With fifteen-years in the industry, Natalie has written for some of the most influential regional, national and global publications; yet having travelled extensively, she still ranks Cornwall and the South West as ‘one of her top-ten dreamiest escapes’.

Read more about Natalie’s travels on her blog >>

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