Trevose Head (Short Route), Near Padstow, North Cornwall
This is a walk which was undertaken in May, and the spring and early summer is an ideal time to explore this unique headland.
To get to the start of the walk take the A39 Wadebridge to Newquay road and turn off for Padstow about 3 miles from Wadebridge onto the A389. As you get near to Padstow look out for the signs for the B3276. Once you are on this road you should look out for the road to Harlyn and Harlyn Bay. From Harlyn follow the signs for Trevose Head and when you get to the north side of Trevose Golf Course, just past the Caravan Park there is a narrow lane which will take you to the headland. There is a toll to pay at this point (about £3) as Trevose Head is private property, but this entitles you to park for the whole day. After you have paid the toll proceed north on the narrow lane until you come to the Car Park just by Trevose Head lighthouse.
The lighthouse, although now unmanned may be open to the public at certain times. It is painted a brilliant white and has a comanding view of the Atlantic, perched on the top of the cliffs. From here take the coastal footpath, heading north-east. The first thing that will strike you is the abundance of wildflowers, large areas are covered in Thrift (also known as Sea Pink) and gorse bushes are ablaze with their yellow flowers. There is ample opportunity for the birdwatcher to see numerous species of gulls and other coastal birds as the cliffs are ideal nesting grounds.
As you proceed on the cliff path you will come to Cat's Cove and then the Merope Rocks. At this point the cliff path turns south and the next point of interest to look out for is the Padstow Lifeboat station, situated in Mother Ivey's Bay. It is strange that it should be sited here but I understand the reason for this is that Padstow is situated in a tidal river and would not always be suitable for launching. Consequently Trevose Head was chosen as it is always accessible, whatever the state of the tide or sea conditions. Again it may be possible to view the lifeboat station as it is open to the public at certain times.
Continuing our walk from the lifeboat station you will go through a narrow walkway, over some stiles and past a couple of coastal properties until you come to Trevose Beach. You can at this point take the footpath through Trevose Farm (I believe this is a public footpath, certainly I didn't notice any 'Private' signs) or you can carry on a little further, towards Harlyn Bay and come back via the lane at the back of the golf course where you came in. When you get back to the car park, it's time to take a rest and get out the picnic basket, relax for a while, there's still more to explore.
From the car park walk westwards towards Dinas Head, which sticks out from Trevose Head into the Atlantic. If you look northwards from the headland towards the lighthouse you will be looking across Stinking Cove. After you have explored this area you should head south towards Constantine Bay. Look out for a huge blow-hole, formed over the millenia by waves crashing onto the cliff face to form a cave, the roof of which has then collapsed so that there is a huge hole in the ground. Be very careful around this area, particularly if you have children or have a dog, as the blow-hole is surprisingly unprotected, and there is no fencing around it.
From here you can explore as far as you like, I went as far as Booby's Bay before I decided to turn back. I think I had probably walked about 5 miles, but it may have been less. It was a brilliant day, May is probably the best month in Cornwall, warm weather (usually), but not too hot, late sunsets and not too many visitors. If you try this walk I hope you enjoy it.
This walk has been personally walked by me but the directions given should be considered as a guide only and not as a definitive route plan. You are responsible for your own safety and I therefore recommend you take with you a suitable map (Ordinance Survey Map 107 from the Explorer series covers this walk) together with sufficient refreshments, water and adequate clothing.
Trevose Head Lighthouse
View from Merope Rocks towards Padstow Bay
A stormy day at Trevose Head
View from Trevose Head towards Constantine Bay
Booby's Bay from Trevose Head
Mother Iveys Bay
View of Trevose Head across Stinking Cove