Top Three Walks From The Headland
National Walking Month - Our Concierge Recommends...
National Walking Month starts on May 1 and there are some spectacular sights to enjoy within a short distance from The Headland.
So why not put on your walking shoes, fill up your water bottle and explore some of the coastal delights which lie in store?
Concierge Sarah Gaskin, a keen walker herself, has suggested three different routes...
Walk 1: Pentire Headland
From The Headland Hotel exit the front door, turn right and head towards the famous Fistral Beach. When you get to the bottom car park you can either walk across the beach, depending on the tide, or take the coastal path next to the golf course, heading all the way to the other side of the beach. When you reach the end turn right, keeping the hotels and houses to your left side - this will naturally keep you on the path. Keep walking past Kraken café (open seasonally) and on to Pentire Headland.
You can walk all the way to the brow where you will find a lovely bench surrounded by the Ocean - keep an eye out for seals and dolphins, you just never know what you might see!
On your return head to the right of the last bungalow onto Riverside Crescent following an unmade track which becomes Riverside Crescent. After 200 metres or so you will find the wonderful Fern Pit Café on the right hand side - ideal for a crab sandwich and glass of fizz overlooking the River Gannel.
To return to the hotel, carry on walking down Riverside Avenue and back to Fistral via Pentire Crescent. This walk will take approx. 1.5 hours.
The walk is around two miles long and suitable for dogs. There is a moderate incline from Fistral Beach towards Pentire Headland.
Walk 2: Porth Joke, Kelsey Head and Holywell Bay
This walk starts at West Pentire pay and display car park (TR8 5SE), situated near the village of Crantock on West Pentire Headland. The route is approximately 4.5 miles long and encounters some striking contrasts within the landscape of North Cornwall.
From the car park return to the main road passing through the gate on to the coastal path. There will be a sign sending you to Porth Joke. Take the path which descends to the beach. When you arrive on to the beach cross the bridge and head up to Kelsey Head, keep an eye out to the right as you may well see seals basking on the beach in between the coves.
Leaving the Kelseys behind you, head towards the wonderful rocks of Holywell Bay and pass through a gate to follow the path. At this point you will be able to see the twin peaks of Gull Rocks.
After passing through a second gate follow the boardwalk path through the sand dune and down on to the beach. In the village of Holywell there is 13th Century pub called the Treguth Inn, a great pit stop to grab a drink and a bite to eat. You can return via Cubert common if you have a good connection on your phone with a Google map app, however it is probably easier if you re-trace your steps and return home along the cliffs. When you arrive back at the start there is a wonderful restaurant/bar called C-Bay Bar and Bistro which is situated in the Crantock Bay apartments this is also dog friendly.
If you are taking your doggy, it will be advisable to keep them on a lead as you may encounter livestock and cliff edges.
This is a moderate to hard walk as it has a steep incline, but the scenery will be worth it.
Walk 3: Porth and Watergate Bay
From The Headland, head towards the town along Headland Road, at the end turn right into Beacon Road. If the tide is out* when you reach the Red Lion pub, you can walk across the beaches (but please check the tide times first). To do this turn left at the pub, go down the hill to The Harbour Fish & Grill restaurant (highly recommended), turn right and proceed down a small path leading to the beach. Walk across the Harbour Beach, up the slip way and across the car park to some steps which lead down to Towan Beach. Continue on to Towan Beach and past the famous Island with a house on top until you reach Great Western Beach and further on to Tolcarne Beach. Go up the slope from here to the ancient Barrowfields, which are named after the Barrows or burial chambers that have been discovered here.
* If the tide is in, walk past the Red Lion to the mini roundabout and into Fore Street. Continue through the town via Bank Street, East Street, Cliff Road and Narrowcliff, where you will eventually come to the Barrowfields.
Take the coast path through the Barrowfields until you reach the granite cross at the junction of Lusty Glaze Road, which was erected to mark the Millennium. At the end of the Barrowfields, continue to follow the coast and take the path which bears left above Lusty Glaze Beach and past the Glendorgal Hotel, through a residential area to the cliff tops above Porth Beach. Go down the slope and walk across the beach to the road on the other side. Walk a little way up the hill and then take the footpath to the left leading to Trevelgue Head/Porth Island which contains eight massive earth and stone ramparts, two large early Bronze Age barrows and the foundations of several large roundhouses. The island is connected to the mainland by a wooden bridge which spans a narrow gap through which the sea surges several feet below at high tide, it’s quite a spectacle! At mid tide there is an excellent view of one of Cornwall’s finest blow holes from the bridge, especially on windy days. Leaving Porth, follow the footpath to Watergate Bay. Here there is a fabulously wide stretch of golden sand and rolling surf – some of the finest coastal scenery in the world. There are a few restaurants here where you can grab a bite to eat and re-fuel for the walk home, or wait for the number 56 bus back to Newquay. They usually run once an hour. The local taxi firm, Pete’s Taxis (07525 661662), would also be happy to bring you back to The Headland. This walk will take approximately two hours and is quite challenging. Dogs will love it, little legs may not.
Holywell Bay - Photo: Adam Gibbard
Watergate Bay - Photo: Matt Jessop