Porthcothan to Watergate Bay coastal walk via Bedruthan Steps and Mawgan Porth

Porthcothan, Bedruthan Steps and Watergate Bay (via bus)

A (bus-assisted) one-way walk along the coast with spectacular wildflowers and one of Cornwall's most photographed views over the volcanic rock stacks of Bedruthan Steps, which Victorians liked to think of as a giant's stepping stones.

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Download the (free) app then use it to purchase this walk.
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The app will direct you to the start of the walk via satnav.
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The app guides you around the walk using GPS, removing any worries about getting lost.
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The walk route is described with detailed, regularly-updated, hand-written directions.
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Each time there is a new direction to follow, the app will beep to remind you, and will warn you if you go off-route.
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A map shows the route, where you are at all times and even which way you are facing.
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Each walk is packed with information about the history and nature along the route, from over a decade of research than spans more than 3,000 topics.
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Once a walk is downloaded, the app doesn't need wifi or a phone signal during the walk.
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The app counts down distance to the next direction and estimates time remaining based on your personal walking speed.
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We keep the directions continually updated for changes to the paths/landmarks - the price for a walk includes ongoing free updates.

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

Starting with a bus journey to Porthcothan, this walk follows the Coast Path from Porthcothan Bay past the Trescore Islands to Porth Mear. The route then climbs over Park Head to overlook the sandy beach at Pentire Steps. From here, the route passes the iconic islets at Bedruthan Steps to reach Carnewas near the National Trust tearoom. The walk then descends to Mawgan Porth with spectacular views of the beach. The final stretch overlooks Beacon Cove which is only accessible by sea.


  • Spectacular coastal scenery
  • Easily accessible sandy beaches at Porthcothan and Mawgan Porth
  • Tidal sandy beaches at Pentire Steps and Bedruthan Steps
  • Rockpools at low tide at Porth Mear
  • Rich bird life including kestrels, skylarks and seabirds
  • Beautiful displays of thrift flowers in late spring
  • Option to cut down to a 4.4 mile walk by parking and catching the bus from Mawgan Porth instead of Watergate Bay


  • Route includes paths close to unfenced cliff edges.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 106
  • Distance: 6.8 miles/11.0 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Bus: 56 from Watergate Bay to Porthcothan.
  • Recommended footwear: walking boots, or shoes in summer
  • No stiles: ✓
  • Pub: ✓
  • Café: ✓

OS maps for this walk

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

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Merrymoor Inn

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£3.29) or a PDF of directions (£2.79) Example of directions

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