By Dave & Mandy, Jul 31 2017 07:01PM
The summer is here, the holidays are in full swing and thoughts turn to sunny days on the beach – kids making sandcastles, having a crack at surfing, barbeques, dogs chasing balls across the sand – and there is no better place to come to than Padstow and its surrounding beaches – the ‘seven bays’. In our last blog we took you from Porthcothan to Booby’s Bay. In this, the second part of our guide, we’ll carry on the journey towards Padstow.
We left you last time at Booby’s Bay, on our way to Mother Ivey’s. This is a lovely walk along the well-worn furrows of the south west coast path around Trevose head – a beautiful spot covered in coconut scented gorse in the springtime and wild flowers in the summer. The sea changes from turquoise in Booby’s Bay to a deep aquamarine around the headland. There is a great lookout and photography point here at Trevose lighthouse, with breathtaking views up and down the coastline and the chance to see the occasional seal catching fish in the crystal clear water below you. You carry on past the lighthouse and past Padstow lifeboat station – surely one of the most picturesque in the UK - along the clifftop above a couple of sandy inlets accessible only from the sea until you’re greeted with the welcoming sight of Mother Ivey’s bay.
Mother Ivey’s Bay
Mother Ivey’s is one of the smallest but possibly the loveliest of the seven bays – even though there is a holiday park at the top of the cliffs backing onto the beach, it is rarely crowded, even on the busiest summers day. The beach is the softest golden sand which slopes gently into the Mediterranean coloured sea and there are rocky outcrops and sea caves to explore. You can be here and not believe you are still in the UK! This really is a fantastic spot for families and kids, for a swim, or just to sit and gaze at the horizon. Folklore has it that Mother Ivey was a white witch in the 16th century who placed a curse on the merchant family who owned the surrounding land as a consequence of a dispute about fish processing. To this day, a nearby field remains fallow to honour the curse! There is limited parking near the entrance to the holiday camp if you want to visit by car.
A short walk around the headland from Mother Ivey’s brings you past a small sheltered bay with white sand and crystal clear water – but you’ll need a kayak or a paddleboard to leave your footprints in the sand here! This is where you get your first view of the lovely Harlyn Bay – a wide sweep of golden sand with rocky cliffs, sand dunes and fields full of sheep behind. There are houses, a pub (The Harlyn Inn) and plenty of car parking at the western end of the beach. The beach is deep even at high tide, so bring your bucket and spade. It is always popular with families, kid and dogs and is fantastic for swimming with a little surf school at one end and rock pools galore. Harlyn village is just behind the beach with the family-friendly pub which has a large beer garden (a great spot for lunch) and shops for picnic supplies and extra buckets and spades! Leave Harlyn by the car parking area and you’ll walk over the rocky headland towards Trevone.
The coast path from Harlyn brings you around the rocky coastline until you reach the sea pool. A lovely spot where there is a man-made wall which allows you to swim in calm sea water amongst the rocks. Really refreshing on a hot day! From here you enter Trevone which is a pretty little village that tumbles down onto the beach. Again, the beach is soft golden sand, with plenty of car parking available next to the well stocked village shop. Trevone is probably the smallest of the seven bays, but sheltered, great for kids and with grassy areas for picnics as well as the beach itself. From Trevone you can walk back to Padstow – either around the headland past Stepper point, or across country, past the Trethillick farm where you’ll find the highly recommended Padstow Farm Shop (great sausages and chops!), and back into Padstow itself via Prideax Place – which is a lovely walk.
The west facing bays (Porthcothan, Treyarnon, Constantine and Booby’s) can be recommended for spectacular sunsets, so take the camera, a glass of local fizz and don’t go home too early! For the adventurous, you can visit all seven bays in a single day of easy walking – the number 56 bus runs every two hours between Porthcothan Bay and Padstow, so either start out from Padstow in the morning and get the bus back, or take an early bus to Porthcothan and enjoy a leisurely stroll back home. It’s about 13 miles in total, so allow yourself enough time and we hope you enjoy the beauty of Padstow’s seven bays as much as we do!
Of course there are Padstow’s ‘town’ beaches to explore too – Hawker’s Cove, George’s Well and Tregirls, and via the ferry across the estuary at Rock, Daymer Bay and Polzeath, but they are all easily explorable on foot from Padstow Harbour, so we’ll let you discover those for yourselves.