Bedruthan Steps - Cornwall
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Despite the weather, it‘s a breathtaking beach where you walk between huge rock stacks for almost two kilometers at low tide. At high tide, the sea covers the entire beach up to the steps. The tidal range can be up to 7 meters during the big spring tides. The tides are coming in pretty fast. You need to enter a gate to get to the 120 steps down to the beach.
From November to February the gate is closed due to severe weather and surf and also during periods of bad weather. This spectacular beach is best visited up to two hours before low tide to maximise your time here. Plan at least 3-4 hours for a visit. Tide Times Bedruthan Steps
Often only the main car park is open. At low tide and around midday cars are queuing for space. If you arrive one or two hours before low tide, you increase your chance for a parking lot. The Café is popular for jacket potatoes, cream tea, and homemade scones; the reason that it gets busy at midday especially at weekends.
The coast experiences a mild climate throughout the year. The average temps in the summer are around 20°C, but 30°C are possible in July and August. Autumn is slightly colder on average 13°C to 18°C. The spring temps are around 11°C to 15°C. Due to drizzle, fog, and wind which occurs throughout the year, it may feel pretty chilly. Usually, the driest months are April, May, and August. The water temp is quite cold even in the summer maximum of 17°C.
Stay nearby in Padstow for a couple of days to visit Bedruthan, Tintagel Castle, Lanhydrock House. Bodmin Moor to mention a view of the many highlights.
Our favorite hike is the coastal path from Carnewas at Bedruthan to Padstow. The rugged scenery is just mind-blowing. We highly recommend staying in the luxury Padstow Townhouse B&B. The only issue you may have afterward is that you don't want to leave this awesome house and this high-level service. Another option for low budget travelers is the Hostel YHA Treyarnon Bay north of Bedruthan Steps.
Bedruthan also called Carnewas at Bedruthan is a popular destination for more than a hundred years now. The tale is that the name Bedruthan Steps comes from the huge rocks along the beach which were put there and used by a giant called Bedruthan. Actually, the name was given to the staircase but it is used for the entire beach. It’s a breathtaking place to feel the power of mother nature. The rocks are always changing due to erosion. In former times the entry to the steps was repeatedly closed due to safety reasons and at one time the last part was washed away. Since 1995 the steps are reopened.
It takes around 20 minutes from the car park down to the beach. 120 slippery, sandy steps leading down are not for the faint-hearted. Walk carefully and use the handrail if necessary. A large stretch of sandy beach to the right and left awaits you. Several caves to both sides want to be discovered. Watch the tides always. Dogs are allowed on the beach.
The cliff top is as spectacular as the beach itself. Therefore during high tide and in winter Bedruthan is also worth a visit. If you are not capable to climb the steep steps down just walk along the coastal walk.
We visited Bedruthan twice once when the tide already came in and once two hours before low tide. One of the most impressive beaches we've ever been to. Truly a place in Cornwall you should not miss!
When walking on the beach to the right almost at the end leads a steep path and climb to the top of the cliffs. Helpful to know when the tides are coming back too fast.
There are two car parks. One nearby close to the Café and National Trust Shop and one further down the road. The second one opens in summer only when it’s super busy. Even on a bank holiday weekend, the second car park might be closed. Queuing around midday is standard. Don’t forget to pay and display your parking fee. Parking is for free for NT members. Just scan your member card at the machine and display the ticket in your car.
Where to Eat
The lovely Café offers freshly prepared food, cream tea, and scones. The jacket potatoes are tasty; filled with different choices. It gets very crowded in- and outside at weekends around midday. Clean facilities are outside and usually open to the public.