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Mawgan Porth to Padstow

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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The golden sandy beach at Mawgan Porth
    / The golden sandy beach at Mawgan Porth
    Photo: Heleen Bosch, Macs Adventure
m 100 50 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A gentle mix of dramatic coastal walking and peaceful countryside takes you from Mawgan Parth beach to Padstow harbour.
Distance 16.9 km
4:30 h
240 m
245 m
From the beach of Mawgan Porth, the coast path climbs moderately until reaching a plateau that undulates past sandy beaches, rugged coves and offshore islands until the pretty seaside village of Porthcothan.  From here you turn inland across a patchwork of farmland passing through St Merryn and continuing through the backstreets of Padstow to the harbour.

Author’s recommendation

Pop into Rick Stein's fish & chip bar in Padstow for a well-earned world class lunch!
Profile picture of Erin Connor
Erin Connor
Update: November 10, 2020
Highest point
110 m
Lowest point
5 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Some sections of this walk are on tarmac roads with traffic, please use caution when sharing roads with cars and other vehicles.

Tips and hints

Food & Drink:

There are shops and cafés along the beach front where your taxi drops you off this morning in Mawgan Porth.  Passing through St Merryn there are shops and cafés and a service station. 

In Padstow there are many restaurants and bars to suit all needs.

Point of Interest:

The Camel Estuary was used as a film location for the BBCs adaptation of the Poldark story.  The beach at Porthcothan stood in for the fictional "Nampara Cove".


Mawgan Porth beach (16 m)
OS Grid
SW 84927 67181
50.464925, -5.031854
50°27'53.7"N 5°01'54.7"W
30U 355797 5592297


Padstow harbour

Turn-by-turn directions

A transfer brings you to Mawgan Porth this morning (please see your accommodation sheet for taxi contact details and pick up times).


0.00 km - Start on the bridge, facing the sea.  TURN RIGHT and at the end of the bridge TURN LEFT onto the beach away from the river.  Following the South West Coast Path signs (the black acorn), climb the steps at the end of the beach.  From here you will follow the coast path signs along the coast until reaching a footbridge over a wide grassy valley and stream. 

5.40 km - BEAR LEFT and cross the wooden bridge.  BEAR LEFT again after the bridge to climb up the wooden steps and continue on past Porthcothan beach. 

7.00 km - Once past the beach, BEAR RIGHT at the fork down the sandy path and past the shop until reaching a tarmac road.

7.10 km - TURN LEFT along the tarmac road and cross a stone bridge.  BEAR RIGHT uphill, ignoring signs for the coast path on your left.  Follow this tarmac road uphill with caution as you will be sharing this road with traffic.

7.50 km - TURN LEFT uphill onto a minor tarmac road signposted "Treyarnon".  Follow this road past a holiday park and then later a caravan park on your right.

8.10 km - TURN RIGHT through a wooden gate immediately after the large stone barn conversion onto the first gravel drive.  Keep the barn on your right until the end of the driveway to enter a field. 

8.20 km - On entering the field continue STRAIGHT ON with a fence on your right until you reach a stile in the corner of the field.  Cross this stile and BEAR LEFT diagonally thorugh the field, aiming for a wooden gate in the fence ahead.  Once through the gate BEAR LEFT downhill towards another stile at the endge of the field.

8.70 km - Cross the stile and continue STRAIGHT ON across two bridges in quick succession.  Continue STRAIGHT uphill across the field towards a stile which will shortly come into view to the left of the telegraph pole.

8.90 km - Cross the 'lift up' stile and TURN RIGHT around the edge of the field.  TURN RIGHT through the gap in the hedges and then immediately TURN LEFT into another field, walking towards the houses in front of you.  Exit the field via the 'lift up' stile signposted Public Footpath which leads to a tarmac lane.

9.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON across the lane to cross another stile opposite.   BEAR RIGHT to cross the next stile and descend the steep narrow steps to the tarmac road.  

9.40 km - TURN LEFT onto the tarmac road.  Take care on this road as it is shared with traffic.  Continue along this tarmac road, ignoring any Public Footpath signs to your left and right until you reach a cross road.

10.50 km - At the cross road, TURN RIGHT and continue along road then TURN LEFT onto a small side street "Parc Eglos".  Follow this street until reaching a T junction.

10.80 km - At the T junction, TURN RIGHT.  As the road begins to curve to the right, TURN LEFT down a dead end, leading you to a footpath signposted St Merryn Church.  Follow this path across several stiles and through several fields until reaching the churchyard.

11.50 km - Continue STRAIGHT through the churchyard and around the church.  On reaching the church entrance, TURN RIGHT to reach a tarmac road.

11.60 km - TURN RIGHT onto road (caution: traffic) then BEAR RIGHT downhill on narrow tarmac road until arriving at a cross road, signposted "Tressallyn Cross"

12.90 km - TURN LEFT along a minor tarmac road until reaching a T junction with the main road.

14.20 km - TURN RIGHT and cross the main road when able.  Please be careful at this crossing as there is fast traffic in both directions.  Within 50m TURN LEFT through a side gate signposted Public Footpath.  Continue between hedges, cross the tarmac driveway of the caravan park entrance to continue continue STRAIGHT ON the path opposite signposted for Padstow, with a hedge on your left and holiday homes on your right.  Go through a gate a directly across fields and stiles until a small vehicle track between two stiles.

15.10 km - On reaching the small track continue STRAIGHT through the gate and across another field on an earthy path flanked on both sides by wire fences.  Follow this path until a tarmac road on the edge of the town.

15.70 km - At the tarmac road TURN LEFT then at the main road TURN RIGHT.  Cross this main road at the traffic island and continue downhill to walk under a subway.  Continue downhill, BEAR LEFT on New Street then TURN RIGHT into a cobbled street signposted The Drang towards the harbour.

16.60 km - Finish today's walk at Padstow harbour.



all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
SW 84927 67181
50.464925, -5.031854
50°27'53.7"N 5°01'54.7"W
30U 355797 5592297
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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
  • Blister kit
  • 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.

Questions and answers

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lauren Cole
July 16, 2021 · Community
Great coastal path and nature reset. Would recommend for all!
Show more
Friday, 16 July 2021 19:57:23
Photo: lauren Cole, Community

Photos from others

Friday, 16 July 2021 19:57:23

16.9 km
4:30 h
240 m
245 m


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