Holywell Bay to Newquay

Holywell Bay to Newquay (via bus)

A one-way coastal walk, made circular via an initial bus journey, from Holywell Bay along the coast and Gannel estuary to Newquay, passing the beaches of Porth Joke and Crantock and the headland of West Pentire where there is a spectacular display of red-and-gold wildflowers in June.

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The walk begins with a bus journey from Newquay to Holywell Bay and heads down to the beach. The route crosses the top of the beach towards the sacred spring before joining the coast path across The Kelseys where there are magnificent views across Holywell Bay. The walk continues to the tiny undeveloped cove of Porth Joke. The walk then follows the outermost paths around West Pentire headland and continues on the coast path past the Bowgie Inn on the way to the Crantock beach. The walk then heads up The Gannel estuary and returns to Newquay through Trenance Gardens.


  • Route includes paths close to unfenced cliff edges.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 104
  • Distance: 6.9 miles/11.2 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Bus: 85 from Newquay Bus station to Holywell Bay.
  • Recommended footwear: Waterproof boots

OS maps for this walk

OS Explorer 104 OS Explorer 104 (laminated version)

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)


  • The Holy Well - an amazing natural series of basins created from dissolved minerals
  • Spectacular display of poppies and corn marigolds in June
  • Panoramic views of the rugged coastline from the coast path, including a blowhole at Crantock
  • Golden, sandy beaches at Holywell Bay, Porth Joke and Crantock
  • Wildlife along the coast and on the dunes of Cubert Common
  • The historic Bowgie Inn at Crantock
  • Birdlife in the Gannel estuary

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Bowgie Inn
  • The Griffin Inn
  • The Towan Blystra
  • The Treguth Inn


It is important that you carefully time this walk with the tide times: the footpath along the edge of the estuary is underwater at high tide. Once you reach the top of the Gannel estuary, there is no time pressure from this point on. The edge of the creek is a little muddy so ensure you have appropriate footwear.

  1. Start the walk by catching a bus from Newquay to Holywell Bay and disembarking at the bus stop opposite the Treguth Inn. From the bus stop, follow the road towards the sea a short distance past Rhubarb Hill and Treguth Close to reach a small lane on the right beside the Pennasville sign.
  2. Bear right onto the narrow lane beside the Pennasville sign and follow it ahead, keeping left at the Treguth Common sign to follow the track downhill to emerge onto the beach and continue ahead to a Holywell Bay lifeguard information sign with a red section at the top.

    The sand dunes provide a good habitat for adders, which bask in the sun in warm weather.

    Unlike many species of snake, adders don't lay eggs but give birth to live young as there isn't enough warmth available during the spring to hatch eggs. It usually takes the female adder two to three years to replenish the energy reserves to be able to breed again.

  3. From the beach information sign, follow the sandy path to the left between the large dune and the main stream onto the beach. Bear right around the base of the dune to reach the seashore and walk along the beach past the lifeguard hut until you reach a large gap in the dunes about half-way between the lifeguard hut and the start of the cliffs.

    At low tide, if you walk to the north end of Holywell beach (along Kelsey Head), you can find a sea cave containing a freshwater spring. Calcium carbonate dissolved in the springwater has created a spectacular series of natural basins fed by the well. The source of the calcium carbonate was originally thought to be the fragments of shell in the sand dunes as there are few sedimentary rocks in this part of Cornwall. However, there are thin bands of limestone in this particular area and current thinking is that the source may be one of these, but it is not known for certain.

  4. Bear right into the gap and walk to the back of this to reach a path slightly to the right leading inland. Follow this until it ends in a T-junction with another path.

    The holy well in the cave on Holywell beach was documented in Victorian times by Polwhele in the "History of Cornwall":

    In this parish ( St Cuthbert ) is that famous and well-known spring of water, called Holy Well, so named, the inhabitants say, for that the virtues of this water were first discovered on All Hallow's Day. The same stands in a dark cavern of the sea cliff rocks, beneath full sea-mark on spring tides. The virtues of the waters are, if taken inward, a notable vomit, or as a purgent. If applied outward, it presently strikes in, or dries up, all itch, scurf, dandriff, and such-like distempers in men or women. Numbers of persons in summer season frequent this place and waters from countries far distant. It is a petrifying well.
  5. Turn left onto the path and keep right when you climb the dune. At the top also keep right to pass around the rim of the large dip and reach a waymark. Continue following the waymarked path through the dunes to reach a kissing gate.

    The shipwreck visible at low tide on Holywell beach is generally thought to be the remains of the SS. Francia, a 700 ton steam-powered Argentinean coaster. It was wrecked in 1917 shortly after setting out from Newquay with a cargo of coal. However, some reports state that the Francia sank 4 miles offshore, so exactly what happened is a bit of a mystery.

  6. Go through the kissing gate onto The Kelseys. Follow the coast path to another kissing gate.

    If there are sheep in the field and you have a dog, make sure it's securely on its lead (sheep are prone to panic and injuring themselves even if a dog is just being inquisitive). If the sheep start bleating, this means they are scared and they are liable to panic.

    If there are pregnant sheep in the field, be particularly sensitive as a scare can cause a miscarriage. If there are sheep in the field with lambs, avoid approaching them closely, making loud noises or walking between a lamb and its mother, as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.

    Sheep may look cute but if provoked they can cause serious injury (hence the verb "to ram"). Generally, the best plan is to walk quietly along the hedges and they will move away or ignore you.

  7. Go through the kissing gate and follow the coast path, across Kelsey Head, until you reach a fork in the path at a waymark.

    Look out for Fulmars which nest along the cliff faces. You'll often see them soaring over the tops of the cliffs as they circle in to land.

    The fulmar is a grey and white bird related to an Albatross although it can be mistaken at a distance for a gull. Close up, the beak is the giveaway: the fulmar has a tube on its beak which is visible as a black bar across the beak at a distance. The tube is a gland for excreting salt from the seawater that they drink. As a defence mechanism, the fulmar regurgitates foul smelling oil from its stomach - the name comes from the Old Norse for "foul" (full) and "gull" (mar). The oil disrupts the waterproofing of predatory birds' feathers in a similar way to a crude-oil spill, so they avoid preying on fulmars.

  8. At the fork in the path, keep left until you reach another fork in the path near another waymark.

    Also on the offchance that you see any black birds with red legs...

    After several decades of extinction, a pair of choughs settled in 2001 on the Lizard Peninsula. Since then, the birds have successfully bred and been joined by a few more incoming birds, and the population has steadily grown and spread further across Cornwall. Each Cornish chough is fitted with one leg ring in the colours of St Piran's flag and two other colours on the opposite leg to identify them.

    Although the principal populations are around Lands End and The Lizard, choughs are now becoming more common on the north coast around the Newquay beaches.

    If you think you've seen a chough, take a photo if possible and email choughs@cbwps.org.uk to report the sighting. This will help the "Chough Watch" team keep track of the growing population.

  9. Bear right to rejoin the more well-worn path and keep right on the waymarked path and the headland to where it descends into a valley to reach a footbridge.

    At the end of Kelsey Head, between Holywell Bay and Porth Joke, is an L-shaped bank which is thought to be the remains of a hill fort from the Iron Age. It's possible that it was abandoned before it was completed as the ramparts are much more developed at one end than the other.

  10. From the footbridge, continue until the path forks to descend to the back of the beach.

    Seals are easily disturbed by the presence of humans (and dogs) and this is can be the difference between life and death for seals in several different ways. Perhaps the most obvious is that a panicking seal is liable to injure itself rushing for the water. When breeding, even mild disturbance can lead to mothers abandoning their pups which then starve to death. More subtly, disturbance also causes seals to burn up their precious energy reserves. Even in a "good" year, 75% of young seals can end up dying due to insufficient energy reserves (95% in a very bad year!). If a seal looks at you, this should ring alarm bells as it means you're too close. To watch seals responsibly, it's important to keep your distance (at least 100m), avoid being conspicuous (e.g. on the skyline) and minimise noise.

    The Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust gather information about the numbers of seals in each location to study migration behaviour. Each seal has a unique pattern of spots which is like a fingerprint, allowing individuals to be identified so photos are also very useful.

    If you see one or more seals, take a photo if possible but never approach the seals to take a photo - use a zoom from a clifftop. Send the location, date, number of seals and photos if you have them to sightings@cornwallsealgroup.co.uk.

  11. At the fork, bear left down the steps and follow the path along the back of the beach, over a small wooden footbridge, to reach a kissing gate.

    The sandy cove known both as Porth Joke and Polly Joke belongs to the National Trust and is completely uncommercialised except for the occasional cow wandering on the beach. The confusion about the name arises because it was originally known as Pol Lejouack (the old Cornish words for "Jackdaw Cove") and sounds a bit like "Polly Joke". Porth (beach or port) and Pol (cove or harbour) were used fairly interchangeably, which possibly gave rise to the two competing names.

  12. Go through the kissing gate and keep left at two forks in the path to reach a gap in the wall with an ivy-covered post on the corner of the hedge.

    Because bluebells spread very slowly, they're considered to be an indicator of ancient woodland sites. In areas where trees are not very old, the fact there are bluebells around can indicate that there has been a wood on a site for a very long time. Even if there are no trees there at all, bluebells tell us that there was woodland there some time in the past. The bluebells along the coast are a relic of the gnarled oak woodland that used to grow here before it was cleared for grazing. There is still a patch of the ancient oak woodland left along the coast at Dizzard.

    According to Winston Graham, Nampara Cove in the Poldark novels was based on a composite of Porth Joke and a small cove on the west side of Crantock beach (possibly the one just below the Bowgie Inn between Vugga Cove and Piper's Hole).

  13. Follow the path leading out onto the headland past the post. Continue through a pedestrian gap in a fence. Carry on following the path to reach a bend where the path turns right uphill to cross over the headland.

    The headland is known as West Pentire.

    The name "Pentire" is common on the coast for the simple reason that it means "headland": in Cornish pen means head or top and tir means land. Some Anglicised names such as "Pentire Point" (i.e. Headland Point) are somewhat tautological.

  14. At the bend, bear right uphill and follow the coast path until you reach a waymarked fork in the path.

    West Pentire headland, between Porth Joke and Crantock beach, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildflowers and rare plants. The south-facing (Polly Joke) side of the headland is a particularly good area for sun-loving wildflowers. In spring, tiny blue squill flowers and then pink thrift flowers can be seen here.

  15. At the fork, keep right in the direction waymarked and follow the path to a gap in a wall.
  16. Go through the gap and then follow the path downhill to a waymark beside a wall. Keep right and follow the path to a junction with a waymark.

    The beach ahead is Crantock Beach and the headland opposite is East Pentire, along which the River Gannel flows.

    Crantock beach is a dune-backed beach south of Newquay across which the River Gannel runs. Due to the strong currents associated with the tidal river, the northern area of the beach is not recommended for swimming. The best place to swim is towards the southern side, backed by the cliffs of West Pentire.

    In summer, there is a ferry service across the river to the Fern Pit Café opposite, and Fistral Beach is just the other side of the headland.

  17. At the junction of paths, turn right and follow the path to reach a kissing gate.
  18. Go through the kissing gate and where the path splits, turn left. Follow the path downhill until the path becomes tarmacked and a small path leads down to the beach.

    The settlement of Crantock dates back to AD 460, when a group of Irish or possibly Welsh hermits founded a chapel there. The parish was once known as Langurroc, which translates as "The Dwelling of Monks". The chapel of Langurroc was said to have been covered up in a sandstorm, and may lie beneath the sand dunes behind Crantock Beach. The village church is dedicated to St Carantoc - said to be one of the founders of the village. In its heyday, when the River Gannel was navigable, Crantock was a river port.

  19. Continue uphill on the tarmac path to reach a path with a line of granite posts leading up to the Bowgie Inn.

    The deep gully on the west side of Crantock Beach is known as Piper's Hole. Within this, inside the first cave on the right is a flat surface with carvings which include a female figure, a horse and a few lines of verse.

    This has given rise to romantic stories that the poem and drawings were carved by an an artist after his lover got cut off by the tide on her horse and both were washed out to sea. However the horse was added around 40 years later and its tail wasn't added until 2011!

    The original carving made of the female figure was made by London artist Joseph Prater who often visited relatives in Crantock and made the carving on one of his visits, probably in the early 1900s. The identity of the woman is not known. The horse was carved in the 1940s by James Dyer of Crantock but for some reason this didn't include a tail. The carving was tidied up by an artist commissioned by the Parish Council in 2011, removing some graffiti, re-carving the poem and adding the missing tail.

    More about Piper's Hole

  20. Bear left through the gap at the end of the wall and follow the path past the benches to another gap in the wall with a C-Bay sign. Go through this and continue on the path to reach another gap with a second C-Bay sign beside some wooden steps.

    Tidal range is mainly determined by 15 fixed points around the world’s oceans, known as amphidromes, around which water rotates. The further a coastline is from the nearest amphidrome, the larger the tidal range. This is a fair way in the case of Cornwall so difference between low and high tide is around 7 metres on average. Consequently offshore rocks that are 20ft below the surface at high tide can lie just under the surface as the tide falls.

  21. Continue a short distance downhill on the coast path to reach a junction of paths. At the junction, keep left to continue ahead then immediately keep right to pass the blue sign. Follow the path across the footbridge and up the steps and continue until you eventually reach a kissing gate.

    It's thought that as well as the word "rose" coming from Latin (rosa), the "dog" part of "dog rose" may have also come from Latin: the Roman naturalist Pliny attributed rosa canina to a belief that the plant's root could cure the bite of a mad dog. It's been suggested that the belief might be based on the resemblance of the thorns to canine teeth.

  22. Go through the kissing gate and follow the path to reach a waymark.

    You may remember from school geography lessons that the faster-flowing water around the outside of the bend causes a meander in a river to slowly grow as the outside edge is eroded and sediment is deposited on the inside by slower-moving water. At this point, your school geography teacher probably got excited about ox-bow lakes and never got around to explaining exactly why the water flows faster on the outside in the first place. So that you don't go to your grave feeling short-changed, an attempt at an explanation follows...

    Flowing water piles into the outside of the bend and creates a higher pressure there. Close to the riverbed, water is moving very slowly so the high pressure pushes water across the bottom from the outside to the inside. This drags the faster-moving water across the top of the river to the outside to take its place. This spiralling current both erodes the outside edge with faster-moving water and also transports the sediment back across the bottom to the inside

  23. Continue on the path from the waymark, following the main path (left) at the junction and a bit further along keeping right at a fork in the path. Continue on the path to reach a signpost at another junction of paths.

    Erosion of the vegetation by foot traffic can cause the dunes to disintegrate, so areas are sometimes fenced off to allow the all-important weeds to recover, particularly the seaward edge which is both the most fragile and most visited area. During the 1970s-80s erosion was at its worst but many dunes have since been stabilised. Some of the fencing has now been removed to allow some bare areas of sand to be created which are necessary for the natural process of sand migration to the dunes further inland.

  24. At the junction, keep left then immediately right to follow the path ahead towards Crantock Beach. Follow the waymarked path across the dunes (bearing right to a waymark on the skyline where the path splits into several) to emerge through a gate into the Crantock beach car park.

    Ragwort is fairly easy to recognise as a relatively tall plants with yellow flowers standing above surrounding grass.

    Ragwort was rated in the top 10 nectar-producing plants in a survey for pollinating insects on UK agricultural land. The plant has also become known as "Benyon's Delight" following Facebook comments describing it as a "vile poisonous weed" by Richard Benyon, the then government minister responsible for biodiversity.

    Since water drains away quickly through the sand, marram grass has evolved a number of strategies to capture and retain water including its waxy, curled leaves which contain hairs inside to minimise evaporation caused by moving air. Its roots form a fibrous mat which traps water but also plays a vital role in stabilising the dunes by stopping the sand blowing away. During the 17th Century, large amounts of marram grass were harvested for thatch and this destabilised the dunes so much that farms, estates and even entire villages were buried.

  25. Cross the car park and go through the gate opposite signposted "Coast Path Penpol", and climb the steps to emerge onto a track.

    Amongst the strange critters that can wash up on the beach during a storm, are goose barnacles.

    Goose barnacles are alien-looking creatures, usually found on flotsam such as driftwood that has been at sea for a while. In mediaeval times, before it was realised that birds migrate, it was believed that goose barnacles hatched into geese just before the winter. The association is thought to be based on similarities in the colour and the long necks of the barnacles. Since there were no plastic bottles or wellies floating in the sea back then, they were only ever seen on driftwood and it was assumed that the wood was already covered in the barnacles, laid by geese, before it fell into the sea. This elaborate lifecycle was also exploited as a "loophole" in religious doctrine which forbade the eating of meat on certain days. As geese were deemed "neither flesh, nor born of flesh", they were exempt and could be eaten.

  26. Turn left onto the track and follow it until it ends in a turning area in front of some houses with a waymarked path.
  27. Join the waymarked path leading ahead along the wall from the turning area and continue until the path forks at a waymark for "Caravan Park" and "Penpol".

    The name of the river is from the Cornish An Ganel meaning "the channel". At high tide, the River Gannel used to be navigable all the way to Trevemper Bridge, and schooners and barges would transport coal, timber and sand to the mining and agricultural industries further inland. In 1838 the East Wheal Rose mine began discharging mine waste into the tributaries of the river. This caused silting and slime to coat the riverbed. Despite complaints to the Admiralty about the impact on the river's navigability, the silting continued.

    Since the closure of the mines, the water quality has greatly improved and the Gannel river supports wildlife including salmon and the once common but now endangered European eel. The salt marshes created by the silting have also become an important habitat which is now earmarked for protection within a Marine Conservation Zone.

  28. Bear left to follow the coast path towards Penpol. Continue to reach a kissing gate into a field.

    The settlement of Penpol was recorded in 1216, and is Cornish for "top of the creek". The word pol - literally "pool" - was also used to refer to a natural harbour, e.g. Polperro.

  29. Go through the kissing gate and follow the path along the bottom of the field to a gap in the far hedge.

    Rosebay willowherb is a tall plant with a spike of pink flowers in late summer which can often be seen beside paths and tracks. Their long leaves have a distinctive thin, white vein along the centre.

    The name "rosebay" dates from at least Tudor times and is thought to be based on loose resemblances of the leaves to bay leaves and the flowers to wild roses. The overall family are also known as "willowherbs" due to the resemblance of the leaves to willow leaves. The two names have since been brought together resulting in the slightly confusing duplicate description of the leaf shape.

    As long as the sun is below 42 degrees from the horizon, you can see a rainbow. In the summer, the angle of the sun is too high during the middle of the day for rainbows but you can still get them in the morning and evening (you can potentially see a rainbow before about 10 am and after about 5 pm on any day in Cornwall).

  30. Go through the gap and then keep right at the waymark to stay in the field. Follow the path to reach a kissing gate into the woods.

    The path to the left leads down to the shore, but a deep stream runs from the top of the creek, cutting off the higher part of the Gannel estuary.

    Common knapweed (also known as black knapweed) is most easily recognised by its bright purple thistle-like flowers but without spiky leaves. It's actually a member of the daisy family and is often seen along paths and roadside verges. Other names for the plant include "hardhead" (used in Cornwall in Victorian times) and "loggerhead" due to the sturdy flower heads. "knap" is from the Middle English word for "knob" and consequently another name for the plant is "knobweed".

    It is an important plant for pollinating insects and was rated in the top 5 for most nectar production in a UK plants survey. In terms of plants that produce both nectar and pollen, it is rated as the top producer overall, producing a good amount of each.

    The little egret - a white member of the heron family - can be seen on many of the creeks in Cornwall and yet is only a very recent settler in Britain. The birds first appeared in Britain in any number in 1989 and the first to breed was in 1996 in Dorset.

  31. Go through the gate and follow the path through the woods to a waymark post with a gate to the right.

    The name "Kissing Gate" is based on the way that the gate touches either side of the enclosure. Romantics may however wish to interpret the name as part of the walk instructions.

  32. Keep left at the waymark to follow the creek-side path to where the path forks at another waymark.
  33. Keep left at the waymark to follow the path downhill and along the creek to emerge via some steps on a track crossing the top of the creek.

    During Victorian times there was a lime kiln beside the river and a quay for unloading coal and limestone.

    Internally, a lime kiln consisted of a conical stone or brick-lined chamber which was loaded from the top with alternating layers of limestone and carbon-rich fuel such as charcoal, peat or coal. At the side of the kiln was an alcove known as an "eye" which was used to access the kiln and remove the quicklime from a hole at the bottom of the chamber. The kiln was often run continuously with more layers of fuel and limestone added to the top as the previous layers worked their way down through the kiln. Air was drawn in through the bottom of the kiln and heated up as it passed through the quicklime (also cooling the quicklime) before it reached the level where combustion was taking place.

  34. Turn left onto the track and cross the concrete section. Turn left onto the path along the shoreline signposted to Newquay. Follow the path until it emerges onto the sand.

    If the tide turns out to be further in than you anticipated, the track leading through the two gates on the right can be used to reach Little Trevithick and then a footpath leads onwards through Treringey towards Trevemper where it emerges on a track which leads back down to the Gannel estuary. Once you reach the estuary again, you can rejoin the walk route leading over the footbridge at the top of the estuary.

  35. Bear right to follow along the edge of the creek for about three quarters of a mile, sticking to the higher, sandy path along the sand where the creek starts to become more muddy. Continue to reach a small path departing from the creek on the right, just before a white post.

    The mud deposits in the estuary provide a habitat in which marsh samphire can grow.

    Marsh samphire, also, known as glasswort, grows in estuary mud and resembles miniature asparagus. It is not that common in Cornwall but can be found in the muddy saltmarshes of some of the north-coast rivers. In recent years, marsh samphire has been rediscovered as a culinary ingredient and now appears as "samphire" or part of the "sea vegetables" on many menus and is even available in supermarkets. It has a delicate texture and mild but salty flavour which makes it useful to add as a seasoning to a dish.

    Despite sharing a name, it is unrelated to rock samphire which is common on the cliffs and has fleshy leaves with a pungent flavour.

  36. If the tide is fully out then you can continue along the riverbed until you reach the sign for Penpol Path. If the tide is starting to come in then use the path leading up from the creek on the right, following it through a series of kissing gates until it emerges onto the Penpol path.

    Tides in the Atlantic are closely aligned with the moon's position above the Earth which takes just under 25 hours on average to return to the same position; this is slightly more than 24, as the Earth has to chase the moon's orbit. The tides therefore "slip" by at just under an hour each day so that over a 7 day week, low tide and high tide have approximately changed places (e.g. no beach in the afternoon vs a huge beach in the afternoon).

  37. If you are following along the river: when you reach the path on the right at the end of the white posts (or if you are coming on the higher path: when you reach the last of the kissing gates), keep left to follow the path across the mudflats to the footbridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path to the road.

    Sea purslane (Halimione portulacoides - Americans call a different plant "sea purslane") grows along estuary mudflats and is immediately recognisable by its grey-green leaves forming a large carpet near the high tide line. The greyness of the leaves is partly due to tiny hairs which reflect sunlight to reduce water loss. It's also due to salt expelled through special glands in the leaves drying on the surface.

    Sea purslane leaves are edible (and often feature on Masterchef amongst "sea vegetables"). They are very salty when raw, but when cooked this diminishes to more mellow levels. They turn bitter if overcooked, so a short dunk is ideal. The young, green leaves are the most tender which are most abundant in late spring/early summer.

  38. Cross the road at the traffic lights and turn right on the other side to reach a junction at the end of the fence.

    The first traffic lights were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in 1868 to stop horse carriages so pedestrians could cross. During the day these used raised/lowered arms (like a railway signal). The red and green lights were only used at night, lit by burning gas and were consequently prone to explosions.

  39. Turn left onto Trenance Lane and take the second path to the right (through the gate) leading to the lake. Turn left to walk alongside the lake and continue to reach the café.

    Trenance gardens were initially laid out in 1906. Further work was done during the Great Depression of the 1930s to create the boating lake. Local unemployed men were paid dole money, a pasty per day and some tobacco to work on this and at the end of each week their wives received a packet of tea.

  40. Bear right to pass the café and then keep the water on your right. Continue until you reach a final (wooden) bridge to the right, next to the pergola.

    During the 1960s, it was considered an exotic school trip for schoolchildren in Tintagel to be taken to the boating lakes at Trenance Park. Unfortunately, schoolteachers at the time were less well-acquainted with boats than the schoolchildren, and a teacher who unwisely stood with one leg in each boat was reminded of Newton's Laws in a way that was both memorable and ceased any more Newquay visits for the schoolboys in the two boats.

  41. Bear right across the bridge and then left through the railings to reach the crossing. Cross the road and go through the railings ahead, then keep the water on your left until the path ends in a bridge crossing back over the river.

    Trenance cottages are thought to have been converted from the remains of an old malthouse which had fallen out of use by 1840. In the 1970s, the cottages were used as a private museum. Since then they have undergone a community-led restoration project to create the tearoom, a function room and a free public museum which explores the history of tourism in Newquay.

  42. Cross the bridge and turn right to keep following parallel to the road. Continue until, just before the path goes beneath the viaduct, you reach a Public Footpath sign at the bottom of a flight of steps.

    Newquay Zoo is a short distance further along the road beneath the viaduct and can be reached via the pedestrian crossing just before the viaduct.

    Newquay Zoo opened in 1969 by the Newquay district council, went into private ownership in the 1990s and is now part of a larger conservation charity which also includes Paignton Zoo. Newquay Zoo increasingly holds endangered species and has a number of successful conservation breeding programmes including the Red Panda.

  43. Turn left and go up the steps. Keep right where paths join from the left to keep climbing the steps. When you eventually reach the top, follow the path until it emerges into a turning area appropriately outside Newquay Hospital.

    During the 1840s, the Victorian entrepreneur Joseph Treffry created a horse-drawn tramway from the area around Bugle to his port in Par. In 1849, the tramway was extended through St Dennis to Newquay, in an ambitious scheme to export from the mines to both coasts. In Newquay the tramway ran along the trackbed of what is now the railway line, over the Trenance viaduct and beside the current station but rather than terminating here, it continued through the town to the harbour.

  44. Turn right and follow the road away from the hospital until you reach a junction to the right.
  45. Bear right to follow the pavement along the road to the right; follow this until it ends at a T-junction.
  46. At the junction, turn right and follow the road around a bend to the left until it also ends in a T-junction.

    In 1873 the Cornwall Mineral Railway took over the line to Newquay with a view to exporting iron and china clay but the demand for transport was less than expected. The line was therefore opened to passengers in 1876 in an attempt to diversify and the railway station was built in 1877, providing access to Newquay's array of golden beaches. After buying the line to Newquay in 1896, the Great Western Railway ran a poster campaign to entice city dwellers to discover the wonders of Cornwall. This proved hugely successful and a number of hotels were built in Newquay to accommodate the surge in tourism. Passengers were originally taken from the station to their hotels in horse-drawn taxis.

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