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Bedruthan Steps

bedruthan steps

Natural Adventurers Discover Stunning Bedruthan Steps

Positioned north of Newquay along Cornwall’s wild northern coastline lies one of the region’s most photogenic beaches – magical Bedruthan Steps. This National Trust owned slice of golden sand guarded by hulking rock stacks promises intrepid families a day of exploring blowholes, rockpools and secret caves framed by azure seas.

Our complete guide explains everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable family adventure discovering Bedruthan Steps’ natural wonders and Cornish myths.

2024 update: Please note that following a rockfall, the beach is currently closed. Hopefully this will be opened soon. Check back here for confirmation.


Getting to Bedruthan Steps

Access Bedruthan Steps via the B3276 coast road roughly halfway between Newquay and Padstow. Use postcode PL27 6LG for satnavs.

By Car – The small National Trust car park above the steps costs £6 for 4 hours. Overflow parking spills into neighbouring field in peak season.

By Bus – Several Newquay routes including the 85, 85A and 587 stop at Pipers Pool Cafe approx 10 minute downhill walk away.

By Foot/Bike – Bedruthan lies directly on NCN Cycle Route 32 winding along the North Cornwall coast between Padstow and Newquay.

The South West Coast Path map is an essential companion for exploring Cornwall’s stunning coastline. Packed with detailed maps, hiking trails, and hidden gems, it promises thrilling adventures along rugged cliffs, golden beaches, and charming villages. Whether seeking solitude or adventure, this guide unveils the beauty and excitement of North Cornwall.

Find Out More

sw coastal path guide

Entry Prices and Opening Times

Open year-round with seasonal lifeguard patrols:

Daily 8am – around 7pm

Parking fees – £6 for up to 4 hours

(National Trust members park free)

Annual admission also covers nearby Carnewas & Bedruthan beach.

bedruthan steps

Protective Steps

These dynamic rock stacks owed their name to a historic stairway cut into the cliffs allowing local families safe access to fish from ledges below. Today a steep path passing Bull Betty’s rock and natural blowholes leads you down towards sandy beaches either side.

However do take care as footing on the exposed steps themselves is slippery and inherently dangerous, especially around incoming tides. Always heed warning signs dotted along the routes. Parents know your adventurous kids best – assess risks accordingly.


What to See and Do at Bedruthan

This wild stretch of Cornish coastline promises intrepid explorers scenic coastal walks, hidden smugglers’ caves and abundant rockpools waiting to be discovered beneath Carnewas Point and Park Head on either side of Bedruthan Steps.

Scramble through Giant’s Cave looking out for the imprint of mythical hero Bedruthan’s foot immortalised in the roof where he once hid from raiding Vikings. Or pick your way around the tide line from Park Head towards Sixties Surf Cafe discovering tiny sheltered Anchor Cove, site of historic shipbuilding.

When the tide goes out, exciting shallow pools full of marine life appear. Equip the kids with nets and buckets for responsibly catching small crabs and fish before learning about their habits from identification charts then safely returning creatures home. Look out for colorful beads of butterfly blenny fish, camouflaged spider crabs and neon beadlet anemones as you go.

bedruthan steps map

Rock-Climbing and Coasteering Adventures

Adventurous older kids will love tackling guided rock climbing routes on unique sea cliffs with local activity providers. Qualified instructors talk new climbers through equipment, techniques and safety before leading scrambles over rock faces to reach otherwise inaccessible ledges surrounded by swirling tides.

Similarly thrilling coasteering sessions involve donning wetsuits then plunging into surf to jump off rocks, swim through caverns and ride waves right next to iconic landmarks like Queen Bess Rock crowned by wheeling seabirds. Expect an adrenaline-loaded hour bonding with nature!

Bedruthan’s Magical Myths and Legends

Beyond photogenic scenery, Bedruthan holds deep roots in Cornish myths and magical folklore. Have kids hunt out the hoof-shaped hollow on rocks where Queen Bess Rock’s resident white horse left her mark fleeing the devil himself – giant bedruthan!

They can also scan cliff edges seeking the mythical Maidens’ Hair waterfall containing golden strands from princesses turned to stone for cliff dancing on Sundays. Just mind local tales warning doom befalls anyone removing hair strands!

Then view the ocean through one of the bull holes in the rock formation named Queen Betty…but make a wish while you gaze for local legend promises your heart’s desire may be granted if the sea swell pulses twice through!

looking down onto bedruthan steps

Dining With A View

Carnewas Tea Rooms at Bedruthan Steps is a charming haven nestled on the rugged cliffs of the North Cornwall coast. Overlooking the iconic Bedruthan Steps, these tea rooms provide a perfect blend of panoramic views and delectable treats. The setting is nothing short of breathtaking, with the dramatic cliffs and the wild expanse of the Atlantic Ocean creating a stunning backdrop.

The tea rooms, housed in a historic building, exude a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Visitors can indulge in a delightful array of homemade cakes, scones, and sandwiches, all prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The menu caters to various tastes, offering both traditional Cornish specialties and contemporary culinary delights. Accompanied by a steaming cup of tea or a freshly brewed coffee, the culinary experience is elevated by the tranquil ambiance and the soothing sounds of the nearby waves crashing against the cliffs.

The outdoor terrace beckons patrons to soak in the sunshine or relish the crisp sea breeze while savoring their treats. Carnewas Tea Rooms at Bedruthan Steps thus provides not just a gastronomic delight but a holistic experience, inviting guests to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds them. It stands as a testament to the harmonious marriage of Cornwall’s rich heritage and the timeless allure of its coastal landscapes.

bedruthan steps cafe

Combine A Visit to Bedruthan Steps With…

If you have time, team up half a day getting back to nature at Bedruthan Steps with…

  • Newquay Zoo – Located around 10 minutes’ drive from Bedruthan Steps, this zoo enables close-up animal encounters with meerkats, lemurs, sloths and endangered species. There’s also a tropical house, gardens and play areas.
  • Watergate Bay – Just north of Bedruthan is this two mile stretch of golden sand, popular for watersports like surfing and kite-surfing.
  • Mawgan Porth – A family-friendly Blue Flag beach with soft sand and a scenic stream leading to the sea. Plenty of facilities nearby include cafés, shops and surf schools.
  • Padstow – Take a 10 minute drive to explore this picturesque harbour town with winding estuary walks, known for celebrity chef Rick Stein’s restaurants offering excellent local seafood.
  • Trevose Head Lighthouse – Walk out to this brightly striped 19th century lighthouse for panoramic coastal views stretching across Padstow Bay around Stepper Point to Pentire Head and the Camel Estuary.
  • Harlyn Bay – Found next to Constantine Bay, this is a more secluded beach with soft sand, rock pools to explore, a seasonal lifeguard and good waves for beginner surfers.
  • St Eval Candle Company – Visit this traditional candle makers near Bedruthan to browse their collection of hand crafted candles using natural soy wax that come in wonderful coastal scents.
  • Camel Trail – Access this popular bike trail from Padstow to follow a scenic route along the Camel Estuary all the way to Bodmin Moor and beyond, through Wadebridge.

Boasting both rugged raw beauty and an air of magic, Bedruthan Steps lets every adventurer create special memories exploring this stunningly wild and wonderfully untamed slice of the Cornish coastline. Just watch out for sneaky smugglers and giants!

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