At the beginning of the month I took a trip to Cornwall. My family goes every year and I tagged along this time, on the condition that we could do a bit of exploring during our time on the Southern coast rather than sitting on the same beach for the whole weekend. It took some convincing, but I did manage to squeeze in a day trip to Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula and an evening visit to Bedruthan Steps.
And they were by far the highlights of my weekend. Wow factor doesn’t even cover it and several weeks on, I’m still flicking through my photos of both places in absolute awe.
Getting to Bedruthan Steps
Bedruthan Steps are located a few miles east of the famous Boardmasters beach, Watergate Bay. And, as with Kynance Cove, getting to the beach at Bedruthan Steps requires a certain level of fitness, a careful footstep and a bit of planning.
There is a National Trust carpark within walking distance of the beach and there is a level path to the viewing point so anyone can pop along to enjoy the sights, however, if you’re planning to walk down to the beach itself you’ll need to be very steady on your feet as the steps are incredibly steep and I would recommend checking the tide times before you leave home as the beach is not accessible at all during high tide.
What to do at Bedruthan Steps
At low tide it is possible to clamber down the steep steps to the beach, although it is worth noting that they are shut in the winter and even in the summer time they can be very slippy. If you are brave enough to make the descent, then you should keep an eye on the tide as the beach completely disappears from view at high tide!
The beach itself seems quite small and swimming is prohibited at all times due to the strong current, so really the attraction here is the views from the top of the cliff. Looking down onto the steep steps is likely to give you vertigo at the same time as it gives you an adrenaline rush. And gazing out across the bright blue sea and along the pointed stacks that jut out into the Atlantic will definitely fill you with awe – or at the very least the fear that a pirates boat might appear on the horizon at any moment.
There are a number of different viewing points and walks along the top of the cliffs that will take you through the headlands and along the coast path. And if you get a bit peckish or require a break, there is a cafe with views out across Bedruthan Steps back at the National Trust carpark so you can still enjoy your visit from the comfort of a chair!
The history of Bedruthan Steps
I’m always fascinated, not only by the views in places such as Bedruthan Steps, but in the history too – I feel that it gives the place a depth that it didn’t have before and this was definitely one of those places. Legend has it that a giant called Bedruthan used to use the beach stacks as stepping stones across the bay. While it’s a somewhat unrealistic tale, it made me smile when I learned it and it definitely added a fairytale element to the area for me, making it even more magical than it had been before.
In, slightly more realistic, history – the name ‘Bedruthan Steps’ was established in 1847 and is believed to have been conjured up as a result of the original cliff staircase. The staircase has since been reinforced by the National Trust and the name has grown to encapsulate the entire beach, not just the stacks that are still present now.
All-in-all? I absolutely loved my evening spent at Bedruthan, it was simply breathtaking whichever way you looked at it and I will definitely be adding this to my (now very long) list of places that I want to visit again.
A Guide to Visiting Kynance Cove, Cornwall