Walking is one of the most popular activities in Cornwall and given there are over 200 miles of beautiful coastal path to explore, it is no surprise. Not only are walkers drawn by the South West coast path, but also by the lure of ancient moorland, mineral tramways, clay trails and lakes.
You don’t have to be a seasoned walker to enjoy exploring Cornwall, just a pair of comfortable shoes. We've teamed up with our friends at Watergate Bay Hotel to bring you their top ten walks nearby and further afield. Why not shop our summer holiday essentials to take with you on your Cornish trip?
1. Watergate Bay to Porth circular
Timing for this walk is critical, depending on the direction you head first you need to ensure the beach part is completed on an ebbing (falling) tide. About an hour before low tide to begin the beach section is a good basis to go on.
Distance: 3.6 miles
2. Mawgan Porth
Watergate Bay to Mawgan Porth coastal
Walking north along the coast path to Mawgan Porth from Watergate Bay offers panoramic Atlantic views. Peaceful walking with undulating terrain, it'll take about an hour to reach Mawgan Porth where there are restaurants and pubs to prepare you for the return leg, or catch the bus back.
Distance: 2.2 miles
Mawgan Porth to St Mawgan
Catch the bus to Mawgan Porth for a riverside and woodland walk to St Mawgan. A route rich with wildflowers and wildlife.
Distance: 4 miles
3. Watergate Bay to Newquay
Walk the 3.5 miles into Newquay along the coastal path, or choose to take the bus there and walk back. The route takes you past Whipsiderry, Porth Island, Porth beach, Lusty Glaze and Tolcarne. At low tide, you can choose to walk stretches of this walk along the beaches below the town.
Distance: 3.5 miles
4. Bedruthan Steps
Towering sea stacks fabled as stepping stones for giants, Bedruthan Steps sits a couple of bays along from Watergate. To walk there would take a few hours, or take a ten-minute drive from the hotel. Start in the National Trust car park for a 4.5 mile circular route, or simply explore the area and admire the views. There's a conveniently located tea shop serving tasty cakes and ice cream.
Distance: 4.5 miles
5. Constantine to Porthcothan circular
The coastline from Constantine Bay to Treyarnon beach passes tidal pools, coves, inlets and a long sandy beach at Porthcothan. The coast path stretch is worth lingering over as the return loop comes inland along lanes and is much faster. Time it well so that you have the option to explore the beaches and coves at low tide. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the start of Constantine car park from Watergate Bay hotel.
Distance: 4.9 miles
6. Crantock and the Gannel estuary
Huge expanses of Crantock beach and wading birds in the Gannel estuary are revealed at low tide. Take note of the tide times for this walk as the footpath along the estuary is underwater at high tide. The two pubs in Crantock village are well placed as the walk reaches its end. A National Trust beach car park at Crantock is about a 20-minute drive from the hotel and the walk will take a couple of hours.
Distance: 4.5 miles
7. Newquay to Holywell Bay
This stretch of coastline is almost 7 miles long, it's easy to cut it up and do shorter sections, or circular routes by starting at Crantock beach. Holywell Bay is famously the setting of many Poldark scenes and this route passes Porth Joke beach where seals can often be spotted sunbathing below.
Distance: 6.9 miles
8. Woodland walks
St Columb Major to St Mawgan
Ideal for windier or wet days, a riverside walk through the Carnanton Estate and past the St Columb Major church which was rebuilt in 1676. A circular route back to St Mawgan car park.
9. Bodmin Moor, central Cornwall
Bodmin Moor’s landscape of granite tors and rugged landscape lends itself beautifully to walking and rambling. Follow one of the marked routes or amble your way from tor to tor at your own pace.
If you’re not set up to travel to some of these beautiful locations, step from the hotel's doorstep for a walk along the beach. At low tide, Watergate Bay beach stretches out for two miles and has plenty of nooks and caves to explore.
Want to stay at Watergate Bay Hotel?
We are so pleased to team up with our friends at Watergate Bay to offer the chance to win a two-night stay for two people at their beautiful hotel. The prize includes bed and breakfast, as well as surf lessons with Wavehunters. The lucky winner will also receive a £200 Sophie Allport voucher!