5. Cornwall: New Polzeath to Pentireglaze and The Rumps (Circular) - 5 miles - OS Explorer 106
Start at the car park by the loo at New Polzeath. Straight on takes you to a premier surfer’s beach, often overloaded with triers, experts and inbetweeners. But then again, it’s a great beach. For this walk go right past the loo to Pentireglaze Haven (Baby Beach to locals).
Descending the path to this quiet oasis you’ll see a signpost before you step on the sand. Follow the one inland marked Pentireglaze for a pleasant walk through fields to a lane and onto Pentireglaze with its NT café, toilets and information on the lead mines around this area.
Rather than put a simple schematic here, this link https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polzeath-to-port-quin/trails/pentire-headland-walk takes you to a National Trust web page with a excellent map of the area. It also has a similar but shorter trail.
Passing through Pentireglaze go left at a T junction for 300 yards until you see a sign to lead mines and car park. Follow this to connect to a path to Pengirt Cove and the coast path.
Great views of wide Port Quin Bay greet you, but this will only get better. Go left (west) and enjoy.
By the time you reach Sandinway Beach, The Rumps, sticking out like antlers, will be in view.
Shortly after, a path leading to them will appear. Take it to explore this odd but quite beautiful bit of coast, and the site of an Iron Age fort.
Fort is a grand word for what was defensive earth ramparts, ditches and maybe but maybe not a wooden enclosure. Commanding amazing views east and west along the coast and out to sea, you can see why they chose it.
Many walkers miss out this bit, as does the National Trust trail I gave you a link to, so it tends to be quieter - apart from the birds. A perfect spot to rest and enjoy a picnic and spot a seal.
This serene promontory was the scene of a shipwreck in 1995. The very beautiful training ship, Maria Assumpta, built in 1858 and once a slave ship, was taken too close to shore by the master and disaster struck. Three died and he was jailed for manslaughter. The Cornish coast is treacherous to shipping The Rumps and the rocks off it are ample evidence why.
Having rounded both points of the aptly named Rumps, continue along the coast path to Pentire Point.
Here the land turns south-west and the view changes to the majestic beaches of Polzeath and the gawping mouth of the Camel estuary.
Sir John Betjeman was a fan of this area and was buried over there at Enedoc Church, near Rock; a lovely little church that’s had to be dug out of sand dunes a few times.
Beneath the cliffs as you walk back, a rocky shore stretches into the ocean.
At one point these rocks form an inlet to a small shingle beach. This is a good place to find tiny cowry shells. They were an early form of currency, but not backed by the Bank of England I’m afraid. Look nice in the bathroom though.
Back on Baby Beach, I recommend the Gypsy, horsebox café there for refreshments. Its whitefish wrap is tastier than Kim Kardashian – although that could be my age.