Padstow to St Ives Walking Blog

November 2010, Our first long distance walking holiday on the very popular Padstow to St Ives route.  We drove to Padstow from St Mawes and parked our car in the council car park for the duration.  We returned at the end of the walk by bus to Wadebridge and then got a taxi back to Padstow.

Padstow

We (Tim and Amelia) have arrived in Padstow, we had lunch at St Pedroc’s (a winter deal £17.50 for 3 courses) very good but would have been pricey without the deal.  Booked in at a 4 star B&B – Pendeen House, we have been made to feel very welcome by Tara, the lady of the house.

We didn’t need much food tonight, Tara reccommended “Jack’s” food was excellent and would advise a visit. It is also worth a visit to meet the charismatic owner and waiter Dan.

Intend to get an early night as we have a long day tomorrow (17+ miles to Morgan Porth).  Good news is the forecast is excellent (after a lot of heavy rain today)

Padstow to Morgan Porth (17 miles)

Day 2:
We set off by 09:00 and set a steady pace down the Camel Estuary towards Stepper Point.  A couple of fishing boats chugged past heading for the open sea, beautiful views towards Polzeath and Daymer Bay.  We had our first snack at the tower on Stepper Point.  Butter Hole was our first exposure to steep high cliffs, magnificent but didn’t want to stand too near the edge!  We were pleasantly surprised to find a cafe (Madrips) open and had a welcome coffee there.  We pushed on, Harlyn Bay was full of surfers and the views from Trevose Head spectacular.  We had lunch sitting on a bench looking towards “Minnows Islands” just south of Treyarnon.  The waves crashed into the cliffs, the noise was continuous and the magnificent views we shared with no one else.  After lunch on through Porthcothan and Bedruthan Steps.  We arrived at Bedruthan Steps Hotel tired at 15:00.

Morgan Porth to Newquay (8 miles)

Day 3:
An easy day, so we set of at 10:00.  A good pull out of Morgan Porth and some great walking down to Watergate Bay  The rain had arrived so we stopped at the “Beach Hut Cafe” for a hot coffee and a browse over the Sunday papers.  Then with our waterproof trousers on we strode forth in the light rain towards Newquay.  We had lunch at Fistral Blue overlooking a surf competiton on Fistral Beach.  Staying at a great B&B “The Beaches at Newquay” in Pentire, Newquay.

Newquay to St Agnes

A beautiful sunny day, my face is even feeling a little sunburned! (Nov 15th).

We started by paddling across the Gannel, we hadn’t believed it possible that this close to the centre of Newquay one could find a place so peaceful and beautiful.  Crantock Bay,Porth Joke and Holywell Bay, all magnificent and reminiscent of the South Coast, a true revelation an our favourite parts of the whole walk so far.  We headed to St Piran’s pub at Holywell Bay only to find it shut.  However the owners’ elderly (Cockney) parents were doing some gardening and were easily persuaded to open up just for us.  Two pints and some ham sandwiches latter we continued on heading for Perranporth.
The path takes you past the now closed Penhale Army camp and then down onto Perran beach.  Since the tide was low we were able to walk the full length of the beach into Perranporth.  A bit of refueling at the local Costcutter and we were off on th last 4 miles to St Agnes.
Legs were getting tired and the cliff path requires some steady nerves as there are some serious drops to your right. Anyway after a few reassuring hugs for Ami we made it at about 16:15, we had set off at 09:10 so it was a long day.
A good forecast for tomorrow so although a little weary spirits are high.

St Agnes to Gwithian (17 miles)

Day 5:

A 17 mile day, we were a bit late setting off (10:00) so knew we had a tough day ahead. Out of St Agnes a steady climb and more mine workings and steep cliffs, arrived Porthtowan (a very unremarkable town) for a quick drinks stop about 11:30. There were about 30 surfers in the bay and the bar on the beach “Blue” seemed to be their hangout. Otherwise not a lot going on. We pushed on to get to Porthtreath for a late lunch. The pub there served a reasonable toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Ami’s enthusiasm for another 8 miles before stopping wasn’t too high. I hoped for some easier going (there had been quite a lot of up and down stuff in the morning) and 8 more miles of that was going to be testing. Anyway after two initial fingers (ups and downs across valleys) the path flattened out and we were able to set a good pace. Dusk was starting to fall as we arrived at Godrevy Point, a highlight awaited as we looked down into an isolated cove there were about 50 seals with many pups lying and playing on the beach. On again to arrive just before dark in Gwithian.

Gwithian to St Ives (10 miles)

Day 6:
 A 10 mile day, on the morning news was talk of floods in Cornwall but we hadn’t noticed anything! The sun was shining and we set off. No breakfast at our overnight stop, but we were assured there was a great café on the beach. There might have been but it was shut. The tide was low so we set off along the huge expanse of beach towards Hayle, trying not to think of our empty stomachs. The beauty of the beach, the roar of the waves and the sight of St Ives kept us going. We were mighty hungry by the time we arrived at “Jonny’s” a bright vegetarian café in Hayle. My first ever vegetarian full English fry up was quickly demolished. The conversation from the next door table of how widely spoken was the Cornish language and the rights and wrongs of the welfare state confirmed we had left surfer land and arrived in the more sophisticated arty end of Cornwall. The last 6 miles (a 3 mile swing inland around Hayle estuary) and a walk past the golf course and through Carbis Bay before entering St Ives we did with a spring in our step. We persuaded a couple to take a photo of us together in St Ives to celebrate the completion of our trip and booked a table at the Seafood Café to mark the occasion properly.
We both concluded it has been a great trip, occasionally hard work, but ultimately very satisfying and having left us with many great memories of people and places along the way.