Pentire Point and The Rumps

Image courtesy of trewena.com

In Brief

Distance: 4 miles
Expected duration: 3 hours
Starting point: Lead Mines car-park near Polzeath Beach, between Padstow, Port Isaac and Wadebridge
Finishing point: Lead Mines car-park (this is a circular walk)
Difficulty: 3/5. Mostly level terrain with a few fairly steep sections, as well as some narrow paths that meander across the summit of exposed cliffs
Wildlife to discover: You can gaze at small islands out to sea that are popular with breeding colonies of seabirds, so keep an eagle eye out for puffins, gannets and kittiwakes
Best Insta-worthy spot: Pentire Point, for sure. Venture up here at sunrise to witness a kaleidoscope of colours lighting up some of Cornwall’s most beautiful landscapes
Random fact: There is an Iron Age promontory fort on high ground at The Rumps. Built between 400 BC and 100 AD, the ancient defensive site can be seen from the path

Welcome to a walk that takes you around one of the most breathtaking portions of the county’s rugged northern coastline. The Pentire Point and The Rumps circuit is spectacular every inch of the way. These exposed headlands that jut out between Port Isaac, Padstow and Wadebridge showcase windswept Cornwall at its wild best, so get that camera phone at the ready and prepare to capture plunging sea cliffs, offshore bird sanctuaries and even an ancient fort site on film.

This magical meander, which takes around three hours to complete, begins at the National Trust-owned Lead Mines car park. From here, head east over a mound to the rear of the car park and then walk between a few fields before you get to a kissing gate and then join the South West Coast Path. Then turn left towards The Rumps along the famous path and prepare to tower over steep cliffs as you admire the views towards Port Quin and even Tintagel on a clear day.

Map created with © OpenStreetMap contributors, available under the Open Database License

The Pentire headland is formed from pillow lava that once flowed from ancient volcanoes and the point itself soars above the ocean to offer stunning views across the bay to Polzeath Beach and around to the Camel Estuary with Stepper Point on the opposite headland. Also gaze out to the islands out to sea from here that are home to all sorts of seabirds at the right times of the year. Then head down the coast towards Polzeath and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the site of an Iron Age fort that dates back around 2,000 years.

This hike’s final leg follows the coast path until just before it reaches the small and sandy beach at Pentireglaze Haven, which is otherwise known as Baby Bay. There’s a lane that runs left at the end of a gully which leads away from the coast here. It takes you towards the National Trust-owned Pentire Head Farmhouse and, when you get there, hook a right for a final five-minute stroll back to the car park, where you can sit and relax for a while flicking through your most spectacular photos of the day and, should you want a million likes, uploading them on to social media.

Why we love this walk: Because it’s spectacular and it’s a walk for all weathers. On a clear day, the sea, island and cliff views offered by the elevated positions en route are magnificent. When storms set in, the headland gets battered by high winds and watching the rough seas from up on high can make for a dramatic sight (as long as you make sure you’re safe). The only weather we imagine that would ruin this king of cliffside hikes is fog.