Trevose Head, Headland and Lighthouse

Trevose Head is a headland on the Atlantic coastline of Northern Cornwall. It is 5 miles west of Padstow and 13 miles north of Newquay. The well-signed South West Coast Path (SWCP) runs around the promontory. So there is an easy route to follow if you want to walk around the headland. The headland is part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also the Trevose Head Heritage Coast.

Heading south from Trevose Head along the SWCP is the quiet beach at Booby’s Bay. A thin rocky point separates this from the sandy Constantine Bay. Head east in the other direction to pass the Padstow Lifeboat Station in Mother Ivey’s Bay. The station was moved here in 1967 after Padstow had lost three lifeboats on the treacherous sandbars of the Camel estuary. The path continues past Long Cove Beach to the sheltered sandy beach at Harlyn Bay. Dunes and fields back the beach here with low cliffs stretching towards the headland. Harlyn Bay is the site of a number of Bronze Age burial mounds and a cemetery.

OS Explorer 106 Map. The Explorer 106 Ordnance Survey map covers this area of Cornwall. The map displays the area of Newquay, Padstow, and Port Issac, down to St Austel. With this map, you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The Explorer Map is available in both the standard paper version and weatherproof ‘Active’ version.


Because of its location, the views from Trevose Head are far-reaching in both directions. Pretty much the whole length of the North Cornwall coast is visible. The view north goes as far as Hartland Point on the Cornwall / Devon boundary a distance of about 40 miles. In the other direction, you can see south past St Ives to the headland of Pendeen Watch 35 miles away.

As well as amazing views, Trevose Head has some wonderful wildlife and a very diverse landscape. The excellent line of sight up and down the coast made it the ideal place to build a lighthouse.


Trevose Head has two car parks. One at the tip of the headland close to the lighthouse, which is open all year round and operated by the National Trust (members can park for free). This car park is available on the PayByPhone app (803551). There is a second car park open from the end of March to the end of October. This is popular with visitors to the beaches at Booby’s Bay, this is also available on PayByPhone (803552).

The car parks can be busy in summer and do get full. Please don’t park on the road or nearby verges as emergency services need access to the Padstow Lifeboat Station at all times.

There are no public toilets on the headland and no refreshments, except in the summer when a mobile catering van (Dagastino) is located in the seasonal car park.

Trevose Head Lighthouse

There were only two lights to guide ships in the Bristol Channel before the lighthouse was built here. These were the Longships Lighthouse to the south and to the north the old Lundy Lighthouse. Trinity House commissioned the lighthouse here on 1st December 1847. It sits on the northwest extremity of the headland on top of sheer grey granite cliffs at a height of 150 feet above sea level.

Trevose Head Lighthouse is now fully automated. The keepers were withdrawn on 20 December 1995 and their old accommodation is now holiday cottages.

A Short Walk Around The Headland

Summer Car Park to Booby’s Bay

This short circular walk can be as long or short as you like depending on how much time you want to spend on the beaches and other places. Start from the summer car park (you can do a circular tour from the National Trust car park as well) and head west to pick up the SWCP and turn left to visit the beach at Booby’s Bay. If it’s low tide and you don’t fancy the scramble onto the beach continue along the SWCP to Constantine Bay and walk back along the sands to Booby’s Beach.

Booby’s Bay Beach is wide and sandy, has lots of rock pools and is popular with surfers. There are signs on the beach warning of strong undercurrents and large breaking waves. Access to the beach is a bit of a scramble over rocks. These can be slippery if they are wet. Lifeguards patrol the beach in summer. At low tide, it is possible to walk over the sands to Constantine Bay. There are no restrictions on Dogs.

Dinas Head

Leave Booby’s Bay Beach and return to the SWCP and head in the direction of Trevose Head. The path follows the cliff line of Trevose Head towards the lighthouse. This is a spectacular walk but quite exposed on the seaward side. Please take care especially with children and dogs, the cliffs are steep.

Just past a circular hole/crater on the right, leave the SWCP and find the path on the left running out over Dinas Head. This is a great place to be on a sunny day or when there is a heavy sea. This is right on the exposed western tip of the headland. Be extra careful not to go too close to the cliff edges as they are unguarded.

The exposed position means there are generally waves crashing all around. The views here are excellent and extend in three directions, towards the lighthouse, out to sea and southwest towards Booby’s Bay and Constantine Bay. The large rock just off the cliffs is the Bull and the small ones further out the Quies.

Dinas Head to Summer Car park

Return back to the SWCP and continue to follow the path past the Lighthouse. Keep on the path, around the headland until you are facing back towards the mainland. At this point you might want to take a small detour to the seat above Barras Bay. This is a great place to enjoy cliff and sea views.

Return back on the Coast Path which shortly crosses the access road to Padstow Lifeboat Station. The lifeboat station is definitely worth a visit when it’s open. If you are here on Wednesdays at 6 pm they often have a “training launch”.

Continue to follow the SWCP to Long Cove Beach. Although this faces northeast the headland shelters it from the prevailing westerly winds. The beach is privately owned by the nearby caravan site, but access is permitted from the Coast Path. There are no restrictions on Dogs.

From Long Cove it’s a short walk back to the summer car park.

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