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Padstow Loop Walk Around Rock

· 1 review · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Acorn Sign
    Acorn Sign
    Photo: Craig Dickson, Macs Adventure
m 60 40 20 -20 10 8 6 4 2 km
Cross the Camel Estuary from Padstow to explore Rock via a number of coastal paths, sand dune trails and footpaths.
Distance 11.5 km
3:20 h
105 m
107 m
69 m
1 m
A circular walk around Rock, taking a foot-passenger ferry from Padstow. Arrive at Porthilly Beach on Rock to begin your adventure.  The route offers great views of the Camel Estuary as you hug the coastline, following well waymarked paths to conquer the sand dunes before turning inland. The second part of the walk will allow  you to see the beautiful Cornwall countryside passing the village of Pityme as you continue back to the start point.

Author’s recommendation

Enjoy the stunning views of the Cornwall coast before you head inland. You may see some wind surfers out in the water if the weather is suitable!

The St Enodoc Church with an  unusually shaped spire, is a sight to behold and is open to the public everyday.


Profile picture of Craig Dickson
Craig Dickson
Update: November 10, 2020
Highest point
69 m
Lowest point
1 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

Check tide times at the North Quay to decipher which ferry port you will need to take. Check ferry times and allow yourself enough time to make the final ferry to Padstow.

During the first part of the walk, the route follows a coastal path with steep drops at some points, ensure you take your time and mind your step.

Be careful when walking on the roads, checking for passing cars.

Tips and hints

You can check the Padstow to Rock ferry timetable here:

There are a number of places to stop and get refreshments on the route. In Polzeath, you will pass a number of beach cafes. There are also public toilets and a supermarket. 

Padstow is a lively fishing port with a number of amenities. The town has plenty of hotels, B&B’s, cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. Ideal if you are wanting to stock up on food and water before you go.

Check out Stein's Fish & Chips when you are in Padstow -







Padstow Harbour (6 m)
OS Grid
SW 92776 75835
50.545475, -4.926214
50°32'43.7"N 4°55'34.4"W
30U 363526 5601053
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Padstow Harbour

Turn-by-turn directions

Make your way to Padstow Harbour. The ferry departs from different locations dependent on whether the tide is in or out. Follow the harbour around the North Quay, where you will find the information board telling you which ferry port to head to.

TURN RIGHT if tide is in where you will find the ferry at the end of the Quay. If the tide is out, you will need to head to the Lower beach.

Head back towards the public toilets BEAR LEFT and follow the well signposted path down to the lower beach. A set of stairs will lead you to the beach where you wait for the Ferry to dock and take you across to Rock. Buy your tickets on board - Tickets cost £4 return (cash only). 

0.00km -  The concrete ramp where you arrive on the ferry is your starting point, if arriving from the Lower Beach, TURN RIGHT walking across the beach to the concrete ferry port. This is the port you will arrive if coming from the high tide ferry port.

Continue STRAIGHT ON up the path, following the acorn and yellow arrow signs, see photo section. TURN LEFT and continue on the sand path over dunes. 

0.25km - Continue STRAIGHT ON over the stream, avoiding any side paths down to the beach. TURN LEFT at the acorn sign, keeping the beach to your left. Continue STRAIGHT ON, keeping to the higher path. 

0.50km -  BEAR LEFT at the acorn sign down towards the beach. At the bottom of the sandy path TURN RIGHT towards the white building in the distance. 

1.00km -  BEAR LEFT on wider path before keeping right keeping the white house on your right side.  

1.20km - BEAR RIGHT at fork staying on the higher path. Watch your step as there are steep cliffs down to the beach on your left. 

1.80km - You will arrive at a small sandy bay, walk down to the stream and follow the path through shrubs to the footbridge. 

1.90km - Follow sign for Polzeath. TURN RIGHT at the small ‘church’ sign. 

2.00km - BEAR LEFT at the fork, continuing on the path lined with bushes. Continue left following the acorn sign onto the beach. 

2.10km - Cross the beach to the concrete stairway to the carpark. TURN LEFT until you reach the overgrown ‘Coastal Path’ sign. Follow this path with the sea on your left. 

3.00km -  Continue STRAIGHT ON at first fork and again at second crossroad, keeping on the main gravel path with the beach and crashing waves on your left.

Follow the path until the end, continuing STRAIGHT ON over the small wooden footbridge. 

3.70km -  TURN LEFT at the other side following the fenced path to avoid the carpark.

4.10km -  Walk away from the beach taking the small alleyway between properties until you reach the main road. 

4.20km - TURN LEFT at the road walking down towards the toilet sign.  Here you can grab a bite to eat in the many cafes. There is also a supermarket, public toilets and an ATM. 

4.30km - TURN RIGHT after the ‘Fusion’ shop and before the main row of shops. Following the gravel road which passes a campsite on your right.

Continue STRAIGHT ON as the road narrows into a dusty path. 

5.10km - Follow the path until the end avoiding the gate on your left. Continue STRAIGHT ON over the cattle grid/stone bridge. BEAR LEFT at the next fork towards the grassy opening.

5.20km - Before reaching the main path on the golf course, BEAR LEFT towards the small grass path through the trees, signposted ‘Public Footpath’. See images to get a better idea of where the small opening is located. 

5.50km - Continue STRAIGHT ON following the smaller dirt path and avoiding the main path on the right, used by golfers. Be aware when crossing the golf green! The path continues through the trees, before merging with the gravel path.

5.90km - At the end of the path, avoid the footbridge to your left. TURN RIGHT onto the road and continue up the hill. There is no pavement, so be careful of oncoming cars. Follow signs for ‘The Point’, avoid any gates on your left continuing on the road. 

6.30km - At sign post TURN LEFT following the road down to Pityme. 

7.30km - After the barrier, continue STRAIGHT ON before navigating a gate onto a dust trail. You will reach a main road with the Pityme Inn on your right. This is a good place to stop for lunch if you haven’t already done so.

Avoid the cul-de-sac on your left and follow the road around to the left. 

7.80km - TURN RIGHT at the junction, following the sign for Pityme Industrial Estate. TURN RIGHT again before the Sharps brewery sign. Walking past a small ‘Public Footpath’ sign.

Continue through the carpark, finding the footpath opening at the rear after a style.

8.20km - Follow the hedge to the end of the field. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the gap in the hedge towards the next field. Cross the second field diagonally. You will find a hidden style at the rear of the field, see images. Cross the style and then take the bridge over the pond. 

8.50km - TURN LEFT towards the tarmac road. TURN RIGHT on the road for a short distance before reaching a small bridge and style on your left.

Continue STRAIGHT ON at the grassy path, keeping a residential fence on your right. 

8.70km - TURN RIGHT walking past a cottage on your right. Walking down a dirt track, you will pass the Penmayne Gallery on your left. Follow the path until you meet the main road.

8.70km - TURN LEFT at the main road and follow this until the end. TURN RIGHT at the end of the road and follow the residential road. 

9.00km - Avoid the public footpath sign, continuing until the next junction. TURN LEFT into ‘Little Treylyn’ and walk until the end of the road. You will reach a footpath with the familiar acorn sign. 

9.30km - TURN LEFT at the fork, following the yellow arrow on the dirt track straight over the tarmac road. Follow the sign for ‘Footpath to Porthill Beach’. Continue STRAIGHT ON past three fields and swing gates. Follow the dust path over the style. 

9.80km - BEAR LEFT on the road down to the sea. 

9.90km - TURN LEFT at T junction. 

10.00km - TURN RIGHT through the gate, following the ‘Public Footpath’ sign until you reach Porthilly Beach.

Your next route will now be dependant on whether the tide is in or out. 

10.00km - LOW TIDE – Continue STRAIGHT ON walking along the beach to the life boat station. This is where the ferry embarks to Padstow. 

10.00km - HIGH TIDETURN RIGHT and follow the narrow path between the trees up towards the main road. 

10.30km - TURN LEFT on main road and continue down towards the sea in the distance. 

12.00km - You will recognize the concrete ferry port from the start of your walk. This is where the ferry embarks back to Padstow.


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
SW 92776 75835
50.545475, -4.926214
50°32'43.7"N 4°55'34.4"W
30U 363526 5601053
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


The terrain is a combination of sand dune tracks and footpaths. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable walking shoes with a sturdy sole.  Appropriate clothing for rainy or cold weather is recommended. There are some steep sections so some walkers may wish to bring walking poles.

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Jessica van Vliet
June 14, 2021 · Community
First half great, second half terrible. Better to double back from Polzeath to get the reverse view. The inland journey goes though a golf course, industrial estate, holiday trailer parks, and poorly maintained paths - there is very little to enjoy.
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When did you do this route? June 13, 2021

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11.5 km
3:20 h
105 m
107 m
Highest point
69 m
Lowest point
1 m


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