It may be cold outside, but that’s no excuse for not stretching the legs on a long walk across beaches, along cliff-tops, beside estuaries and through woodland trails. Cornwall is all about the enjoying the outdoors and appreciating its outstanding natural beauty in all seasons. So wrap up warm and join us as we explore the the top winter wonderland walks near Padstow.
You don’t have to stray far from town for a fine walk. This one starts with a brief uphill section from the harbour, before levelling out on the low cliffs overlooking the Camel Estuary. With farm fields on one side, and wide open views of the sea on the other, this is a particularly scenic walk. After passing a the Old Lifeboat Station and a small collection of cottages, the trail heads uphill towards Stepper Point with superb views in all directions. It’s no coincidence that there’s an active Coastguard lookout station here to assist boats on their passage from the wild Atlantic to safe harbour in Padstow.
This route follows the Camel Trail which is a mixed use path popular with cyclists, runners and walkers. It follows the route of an old railway line along the banks of the Camel Estuary, offering opportunities for birdwatching and admiring the rolling North Cornwall countryside. This 5-mile route crosses an old iron bridge before trailing off towards Wadebridge. It’s a very easy walk, with only a few small inclines so it’s suitable for most ages and abilities. Reward yourself with a Cornish pasty or ice cream when you reach the other end.
Watch the waves roll in on Trevone beach before joining the South West Coast Path along the seashore. Ignore the urge to take a dip in the tidal swimming pool – it’s far too cold for that – and carry on instead past the sea view holiday homes en-route to Harlyn Bay. This sheltered beach is one of North Cornwall’s favourite surf beaches, where waveriders come to escape the messy winter swell and southwesterly winds which batter more exposed spots. It’s a gentle stroll along the sandy beach, before joining the cliff path again past the lifeboat station at Mother Ivey’s Bay. It’s not far from here to the lighthouse at Trevose Head, which has been protecting passing ships for centuries.
This is a beautiful hike from one distinctly Cornish coastal village to the next, starting on the sandy shore of Treyarnon Beach. The coast path skirts around rocky coves and inlets, over stiles and through fields with a stunning sea views the whole way. After the rewarding stroll, stop for a sandwich and coffee at Porthcothan Bay Stores – but phone ahead for opening hours if visiting in the depths of winter.
The historic Saints Way trail leaves from Padstow and continues all the way to Fowey on the south coast of Cornwall. The 27-mile trail is thought to be one of the routes early Christian travellers took on their way from Ireland and Wales to Brittany or Santiago de Compostella in Spain. It’s a little too far to walk all the way in one go. So, instead, we suggest following the path inland from Padstow, along Little Petherick Creek and then uphill to St Breock Downs for superb views back down to the sparkling mouth of the Camel Estuary.
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