Walking Holywell Bay to Newquay Harbour
Distance 6.3 miles (10.1 km).
Duration: 3hr 45min.
Grid reference SW765595 to SW807620.
<< Previous walk: Ligger Point, Perranporth to Holywell Bay
Next walk: Newquay Harbour to Trevelgue Head, Newquay >>
For ease of parking we did this walk in reverse, that is from Newquay harbour to Holywell Bay.
Park your car at any of the car parks on the western edge of Newquay. We chose the car park above Fistral Beach. Make your way southeast to the harbour to find the start point of this section. From the harbour head northwest towards Towan Head passing the Huer's Hut, Beacon Cove and Hedge Cove en route. Head for the white lookout on Towan Head.
Rest for a while, then look left to Pentire and right up the North Cornish Coast. The bays ahead of you are: Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth, Bedruthan Steps and Constantine Bay. The lighthouse on the point is Trevose Head and is some 10 miles distant. Pass the rather imposing Headland Hotel on your way down to Fistral Beach. This half mile long beach is a surfers haven and can become quite crowded in summer.
We found it to be relatively quiet but filling rapidly due to a surf event being held later that morning. Leave the beach at its western end by climbing the steps by the lifeguard hut. Cut across the headland following the coast path or take time out to explore the headland. We followed the road west to the car park and toilets at The Warren. As the road ends, proceed up the wide track then turn right beside the public conveniences to follow the path down to Pentire Point. Pass the Lewinnick Lodge. As you crest Pentire look ahead to Crantock. The rock to your right is The Goose, the rock across the bay just off Kelsey Head is The Chick. Walk the half a mile or so back towards the coast path in an easterly direction and head down to the footbridge over The River Gannel to Penpol. Once across the river bear right to follow the river side path a further half mile or so to the National Trust car park at The Rushy Green, Crantock.
Continue up over the sandy rise onto Crantock Beach. Walk along the flat beach as far as the tide will allow. Since we arrived at low tide exactly, we walked to the water's edge for photographs before heading left towards West Pentire headland. Next head away from the sea towards the large gully known as 'Piper's Hole'. Look to your right to see steps leading up to the coastpath from the beach. Proceed up the steps, known as Pusey's Steps taking care on the seaweed covered rocks.
Now on the coast path, sit for a while on the wooden seats to get your bearings. Continue on the path passing the mini golf course at the Crantock Bay Hotel. Pass the coast path route marker on your right above Vugga Cove. Carry on up the steps, turning your back to Crantock. Continue climbing to pass through a gate. The path begins to level off. You shortly arrive at a wide grassy headland - this is West Pentire.
Take time out to look to your right up the coast to Trevose Head and the North Cornwall Coast, to your left lies Porth Joke (known to the locals as Polly Joke) and Kelsey Head. Keep travelling along the relatively flat path until you reach a wooden kissing gate, then drop down to Polly Joke. Walk through another kissing gate and cross the stream by the footbridge. Head up the cliffs on the southern side as they climb steadily up to Kelsey Head. The cliffs of West Cornwall should now come into view, St. Agnes Beacon and Bawden Rocks are visible on a clear day. From this high-point it is now simply a matter of walking down off The Kelseys, into Holywell Bay - about half a mile to the beach and just under a mile to the shops and pub.
Take care where the coast path runs close to the cliff, pass through a gate and continue along the high dunes down onto Holywell Beach. A five minute detour along the beach to your right allows you to explore caves and the famous Holy Well cave at low water. Rest for refreshments or a quick swim before retracing your steps back to Newquay. A good guidebook for the whole area is the The National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam
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: