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Port Isaac to Tintagel

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Port Isaac, the setting for TV drama Doc Martin
    / Port Isaac, the setting for TV drama Doc Martin
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
m 100 50 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A dramatic coastal walk takes you from the pretty village of Port Isaac to the Tintagel, famous for it's clifftop ruined castle, believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur!
Distance 15.4 km
5:30 h
760 m
680 m
140 m
5 m
From the natural harbour of Port Isaac you quickly climb through narrow streets to reach a high level footpath with superb views of the bay.  You descend into the hamlet of Port Gaverne and commence climbing and descending over narrow, steep gullies and wider eroded valleys until reaching the lovely beach at Trebarwith Strand.  The church at Tintagel is visible for miles along the clifftops as you make your way towards the town and legendary castle.

Author’s recommendation

Stop to refuel in Trebarwith Strand in the pub with its fantastic terrace looking across the bay towards the rugged Cornish coastline. 
Profile picture of Erin Connor
Erin Connor
Update: February 14, 2019
Highest point
140 m
Lowest point
5 m
Best time of year

Safety information

The coastal cliffs are frequently eroded by fast running streams creating a series of steep climbs and decents.  Be aware that the cliff ede is very fragile.

Tips and hints

Points of interest:

Port Isaac

A sleepy looking village nestled in a natural harbour, Port Isaac draws huge numbers of international tourists for its picturesque setting and also because it was used as the setting for TVs Doc Martin.


Tintagel Castle

This medieval fortification has had strong links with the legend of King Arthur for centuries.   You can visit the ruins on your way into Tintagel, there is a shop and a cafe if you need some Cornish cream tea after your walk! 

Food & Drink:

Port Isaac has a number of cafes and shops.  Trebarwith Strand has a pub, a cafe and small shops.


Lifeboat station, Port Isaac (10 m)
OS Grid
SW 99645 80757
50.592077, -4.832042
50°35'31.5"N 4°49'55.4"W
30U 370326 5606066


Old Post Office, Tintagel

Turn-by-turn directions

A transfer brings you to Port Isaac. Your walk today starts from the Lifeboat Station in the centre of the village.  


0.00 km - With your back to the Lifeboat Station, facing the sea, TURN RIGHT uphill on the paved street.  This street becomes a minor tarmac road, follow uphill until the road begins to bear right by a large stone house with two chimneys and three windows in the upper story.   BEAR LEFT at this house to follow the wooden Coast Path signs along the tarmac footpath until it meets a tarmac road.

0.80 km - TURN LEFT downhill at the entrance to Port Gaverne until a minor road junction by the slipway.

1.10 km - TURN RIGHT up the tarmac lane then immediately TURN LEFT  before the hotel to follow the Coast Path signs, up a steep concrete driveway. 

1.30 km - At the top of the driveway BEAR RIGHT then LEFT onto driveway then grassy cliff path.    From here, continue to follow the wooden signposts for the Coast Path as it ascends and descends over the Dannonchapel and Tregardock Cliffs until you reach a cross junction of paths with a wooden signpost.

7.90 km -  At the cross junction continue STRAIGHT ON, following the signs for Trebarwith.  Follow the path until reaching a stone bridge across a stream.

10.00 km - Cross the bridge and BEAR LEFT taking you across a wooden bridge.  Continue uphill to climb the steps then BEAR LEFT to follow the lower grassy track as it zig zags uphill to a wooden gate.

10.50 km - Continue through the gate then BEAR LEFT around the edge of the field, keeping the fence on your left.  This field is shared with cattle so please take care when walking through.  At the end of the field, descend the steep steps towards the edge of the village of Trebarwith Strand below.

11.10 km - TURN LEFT over the stile to enter Trebarwith Strand. Continue to main tarmac road by the entrance to the pub.

11.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT across the tarmac road, down the steps to the slipway.   BEAR RIGHT across the slipway to follow the wooden Coast Path sign uphill and out of the village.

11.30 km - At a 3 way junction of paths, take the middle path up the steps.  Continue STRAIGHT along this path, following the Coast Path signs for Tintagel and ignoring all footpath signs to the right. Follow the path until it forks.

12.30 km - After passing a wire fence on your left, BEAR LEFT  at the fork, away from the stone wall and along the rocky path, past the disused quarry until a stone stile in a dry stone wall with wooden fencing and a gate.

12.80 km - Cross the stone stile and immediately TURN LEFT across two wooden stiles.  This brings you onto a rocky coast path with the stone wall and fields on your right. Follow the Coast Path until reaching a wooden gate.

13.20 km - After the gate, BEAR LEFT as the path forks and leads you towards the Tintagel Youth Hostel building ahead.

13.50 km - Pass the Youth Hostel on your left and BEAR LEFT uphill onto the wide gravel path towards the church.

13.90 km - As the path forks, BEAR RIGHT to take you towards the church car park.

14.00 km - TURN LEFT along the gravel path with the church on your right.   Continue until reaching a junction of paths.

14.40 km - At the junction TURN RIGHT to follow the way marker signposted Tintagel.  You are now leaving the Coast Path, continue until reaching a wooden footbridge.

14.70 km Cross the bridge and BEAR RIGHT uphill to follow the Pedestrian Route to Town signs.  At the top of this tarmac road TURN RIGHT into the village and continue until the National Trust Old Post office building on your right.

15.00 km - Finish today's walk at the Old Post Office in Tintagel village.


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
SW 99645 80757
50.592077, -4.832042
50°35'31.5"N 4°49'55.4"W
30U 370326 5606066
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Strong boots are needed to negotiate the rocky ascents and descents along the coastal path.  You may find it helpful to have walking poles as some stretches are quite challenging.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others

15.4 km
5:30 h
760 m
680 m
Highest point
140 m
Lowest point
5 m


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