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South West Coast Path: Pentireglaze Mines to Watergate Bay

This video series comes from my January trip with Dad to Cornwall to smash out yet another bit of the coast path. I didn't post the earlier ones here, mainly because I didn't yet have a functional blog, but they are available on the YouTube playlist.

Here's the latest one, where we walk from Watergate Bay to Porthcothan:

Why Here?

We picked this bit of the coast path to do based on Dad's research as to the more flat bits, as at the time, he was having issues with his foot and wanted to take it easy.

In terms of the overall trip, we covered from just East of Newquay at Watergate Bay all the way round to Pentireglaze Mines, which is Northeast of Polzeath. As with most of our trips, we hop around from day to day, covering different sections in different directions. For this stretch, we did the following in chronological order:

  • 29th January: Porthcothan to Harlyn Bay (video)
  • 30th January: Harlyn Bay to Padstow (video)
  • 31st January: Watergate Bay to Porthcothan (video)
  • 1st February: Rock to Pentireglaze Mines (video not yet available)

Instead of parking in Padstow and taking the ferry across to Rock, we started and ended the walk on either side of the ferry crossing. This makes sense, especially with one vehicle, as it saves getting the ferry back across or going the long way round at the end of the day, and is what we try to do whenever possible.

Accomodation and Shops

For the first night, we wild camped on the side of the road, nearish Newquay Airport. We arrived late and left early, and as per usual, left no trace.

On the second and third nights, we stayed at Tregella Place Caravan and Camping, which is one of the sites that has a licence to operate year-round. Whilst the site wasn't 'open' in the true sense of the word, for a tenner a night for a hot shower and actual bathroom on some hard standing, we couldn't really go wrong.

During the first day, there's a couple of Cafés on the way, but no shops and nothing properly built up. At Harlyn Bay, there's a good place to get some chips and either a hot or alcoholic drink. Camping wise, there's not too much closer to Padstow, and we found that Tregella Place was a reasonable distance from all points from Newquay to Padstow.

If doing further than Pentireglaze Mines though, it probably makes sense to camp to the East of the river Camel from that point on. Both Newquay and Padstow have good shops and a variety of places to eat. There's both Rick Stein's Deli and The Seafood Restaurant, which are pricey but very, very good.

There's a wonderful pasty to be had at the Malcom Barnecutt Bakery in Rock, and both The Fish Bar Newquay and the Towan Blystra in Newquay if you're looking for a good fish restaurant or a cheap and cheerful spoons. Finally, there's also The Pig - at Harlyn Bay, which we didn't try as it's very expensive, but have heard very good things about.

Parking and Public Transport

Parking on day one was in the Porthcothan Bay Car Park, which is free in the off-season, and otherwise quite pricey. Day two was at Harlyn Bay Car Park. Day 3 we parked at the Premier Inn in Newquay and took the bus to the start and back from the end. On the last day, we parked on the side of the road in Rock, but I believe this is restricted in peak season. There's a car park at the harbour at the bottom of the road during peak season, but why pay to park in the off-season when we can park for free?

Public transport was abysmal for two of the three days we used it, having to walk back from Harlyn Bay to Porthcothan on day 1, and having to get off the bus at the top of the road on day 2. Besides that it wasn't too bad, and cost £2 for a single each time.

If you have similar bus issues, you can contact the bus company, who will probably tell you what you need to know. Taxis aren't brilliant around this area, so book in advance and make sure a Taxi can get to you if you want to use one.

Other Things to Do

We didn't fancy walking every day of the trip, so we went to St. Ives to the Tate gallery there, and a wonder round. Bear in mind St. Ives is about an hours' drive each way, however.

You're also not too far from the Eden Project, but that can be quite expensive to get into.