Port Gaverne beach - circular walks

Port Gaverne beach

The beach at Port Gaverne, Cornwall

At high tide, the beach at Port Gaverne is a shingle which is mostly flint - unusual in North Cornwall where most beaches are a golden sand composed of slate and fragments of shell. The reason is that the flint was used as ballast for incoming ships collecting Delabole slate which was brought to the coast by horse and cart. As the tide goes out, a sandy beach is revealed.

Being one of the few sheltered ports on the North Cornwall coast, the beach is used by local fishermen to launch boats and preserving it for this purpose this was a condition of the beach being given to the National Trust by the family that previously owned the beach. Consequently the central area of the beach is not the ideal place for swimming as the rock platforms either side of the inlet give boats very little room for manoeuvre and once a boat coming ashore raises its outboard motor to prevent it grounding on the seabed, it is unable to steer.

Walks visiting Port Gaverne beach

  • 3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Port Isaac

    Port Isaac Harbour

    Port Isaac

    3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A short circular walk in Doc Martin Country including the pretty fishing village of Port Isaac and the historic beach of Port Gaverne with birds-eye views over the harbour.

  • 6 miles/9.7 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Port Gaverne to Barretts Zawn

    Port Gaverne Beach

    Port Gaverne to Barretts Zawn

    6 miles/9.7 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from Port Gaverne around Port Isaac Bay to Barretts Zawn, where a tunnel leads to the beach, through which donkeys used to haul slate.

  • 9.7 miles/15.6 km - Strenuous

    Port Isaac to Tintagel

    West Quarry at Trebarwith Strand

    Port Isaac to Tintagel

    9.7 miles/15.6 km - Strenuous

    A one-way walk from Port Isaac to Tintagel along towering cliffs, past the long, sandy beaches of Tregardock and Trebarwith, the slate pinnacles of the coastal quarries and via the mediaeval cliff-top church to the castle of Arthurian legend.

Download the iWalk Cornwall app and use the QR scanner within the app to find out more about any of the walks above.

We have a few options for walks from Port Gaverne: There is a short circular walk around Port Gaverne and Port Isaac with nice views from the top of the valley and the headlands. There is also longer circular walk around the bay from Port Gaverne to Barretts Zawn. Finally there is the epic one-way coastal walk from Port Isaac to Tintagel (using a bus from Tintagel to Port Isaac to make it circular).