Rock is a great place to start a walk along the coast path. Not, as many people think, a rock, the village of Rock takes its name from the quarry (now the car park) which provided stone to act as ballast for ships. An earlier name, dating back to 1337, was Black Tor, which is why the passenger ferry, which makes the frequent crossing from Padstow, bears that name.

Setting off from Rock through the sand dunes (or on the beach at low tide) you will reach Bray Hill. Climbing to the top to experience the stunning views (or keeping to the path around the front or back of the hill ) you can catch a glimpse of St Enodoc Church. This wonderful old building, parts of which date back to the 12th century, was once overwhelmed by the surrounding sand dunes, so much so that the priest had to be lowered in through a trapdoor in the roof to conduct a service once a year! (this was required if the church was to remain active.) A beautiful spot, the church is now famous as the burial place of John Betjeman, the Poet laureate, who spent much of his life in this part of Cornwall.

From the church, continue along the coast path between Daymer Bay and Polzeath where you come across the less well-known Greenaway Beach – a quiet place ideal for a picnic and rock pooling, which has a history of shipwrecks, the most recent of which happened in 2013. If you look closely, you can see the remains of one of those shipwrecks.

Carrying on, you will arrive at Polzeath. On the cliffs, over looking the beach is The Cracking Crab -a café and restaurant perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


The beach at Polzeath is the only surfing beach in the Camel Estuary and next to it, the smaller, New Polzeath, also known locally as ‘Baby Beach’ is where you will find one of the new ‘Saunas-by-the-sea‘!


To finish your walk, retrace your steps back to Rock or, if you want to continue, head up onto Pentire Point. With stunning views back towards Padstow, this dramatic headland is steeped in history that is not always obvious to the naked eye. Look out for the plaque which marks the spot where, in 1914, Laurence Binyon wrote the famous war poem “For the Fallen” with the famous line that we recall every Remembrance Day – ‘We will remember them’. From this spot you can also see why people might be reminded of a sleeping dragon! The spectacular headland called ‘The Rumps’ is the site of an Iron Age hill fort and the system of ditches and ramparts that protected it can still be seen. There was a mine at Pentireglaze which in the mid 1800’s produced 955 tonnes of lead ore and 19,065 ounces of silver so keep your eyes peeled! The National trust has recently opened a new café nearby – perfect for a coffee stop before heading back to Rock.