Walking Padstow to Polzeath
Distance 2.9 miles (4.6 km).
Duration: 2hr 20min.
Grid reference SW920754 to SW932789.
Park your car at one of Padstow car parks - either above the town or on the quay if not in season. We chose the School Hill Car Park and walked down the steps to the harbour. Follow directions to North Quay and wait on the slipway for the Black Tor ferry to Rock. Pay the ferryman and cross the estuary.
Arrive at Rock and note the state of the tide to determine your choice of route. An excellent guidebook to carry is the National Trail Guide: South West Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam. As it was just before low water we took the beach route to Daymer Bay. High water would require inland routes over or around Brea Hill. Walk along the firm sand dotted with small scallop shells passing between the widening estuary and the low dunes. Round a bend in the beach and skirt the base of Brea Hill. Enter Daymer Bay and get your first good view of Newland Island and Pentire Point in the distance. The whitewashed houses ahead lie on Trebetherick Point. The sand firms up nicely and your pace increases accordingly. Cross the shallow stream and head for the car park at Daymer Bay arriving 40 minutes after setting out. If you wish, walk to the back of the car park passing the toilet block and head up the road for a few metres before taking the footpath through the golf course to St Enodoc's Church to see the grave of John Betjeman.
Continue on the coastpath passing the NT marker of 'Fishing Cove Field'. This marks the junction between the gentle lapping waves of the estuary and the roaring of the sea breakers. Round Trebetherick Point keeping to the wide well marked path known as The Greenaway. Continue along the low cliffs passing several small coves and beaches, heading all the time for the large beach ahead that is Polzeath.
About 10-15 minutes after leaving Daymer Bay you should pass a sign indicating 'To the Beach'. Follow the sign to reach Broadagogue Cove and beach. Take 20 minutes or so out here to explore the coarse sand, pebbles and striking purple-green slate rocks. We found pebbles of pillow lava and pumice on the beach indicating the volcanic past of the region, see Rumps. On leaving the beach, pause at the foot of the steps to see the best example of the banded rocks. Rejoin the coast path towards Polzeath. Make use of the seats if you wish to stop for a rest or lunch - we did. Now about 2 hours into your walk, enter the Tristram Car Park above Polzeath. Drop down the grassy path, through the kissing gate and onto the beach.
Walk across the beach diagonally towards the headland of Pentire Point and the sea leaving the 'surfed-up' side of the beach, passing Slipper Point and entering the slightly more secluded inlet known as Pentireglaze Haven. Incidentally, the 'round' trip of Rock-Polzeath-Rock takes about 4½ hours including stopping for lunch and the diversion to visit St. Enodoc Church.
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