Outdoor Activities in North Cornwall

North Cornwall provides visitors with beautiful beaches to surf, swim or relax on, and delightful countryside for hiking, cycling or horse-riding through. Be sure to check out the magical Bedruthan Steps and the nostalgic experience of swimming at Bude.

Surfers at Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach by Bryan Ledgard licensed under CC BY 2.0

Highlights: popular outdoor activities in North Cornwall

  • Hiking – The Camel Trail, Padstow: The Camel Trail is an 18 mile track through some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside. It runs from Padstow to Wentfordbridge, but Wadebridge (5.5 miles) and Boscarne (11.25 miles) make for convenient shorter walks
  • Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) – Harlyn Bay, near Newquay: Stand up paddleboarding is becoming more and more popular. It’s great fun, great exercise and at Harlyn Surf School you can learn how to SUP safely and hire all the equipment you need for this fun excursion
  • Atlantic swimming – Bude Sea Pool, Bude: Nestled between cliffs, the Sea Pool at Bude opened in the 1930s and provides a great opportunity for sea swimmers to enjoy Atlantic waters in a safe, fun and beautiful environment
  • Surfing – Fistral Beach, Newquay: Internationally renowned and recognised as being among the best surfing destinations in Europe, Fistral Beach is a great place to surf, or simply watch others surf
  • Snorkelling, surfing and sailing – Perranporth beach, Perranporth: The golden sands of this huge beach are spellbinding. It’s a pleasure to walk the length of the beach, taking a break at a café, and enjoying the vast expanse. The sand dunes are also worth clambering across, where, at the right time of year, you’ll encounter beautiful butterflies. It’s a great spot for all manner of water sports
  • Walking – Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps, St Eval: From the car park there’s a well-trodden path that takes visitors along the coast to reveal the spectacular stacks that make up the Bedruthan Steps. It’s also possible to take paths down from the clifftops to the secluded beaches below
  • Horse riding on the sands – Reen Manor Riding Stables, Perranporth: Ride horseback for three-miles across one of the most beautiful expansive beaches in Cornwall and take in the Perran sand dunes. Horse riding lessons and other rides – including a half-day Pub ride are also available
  • Surfing – Crantock Beach, Newquay: Crantock is a great place to surf whatever your ability. It’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. The views from the top of the dunes are simply stunning, and when you’re all surfed out the nearby village has a couple of delightful pubs in which you can quench your thirst
  • Sea kayaking – Koru Kayaking, Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes: There’s no better way to see North Cornwall’s rugged coastline than from the water. Koru Kayaking offers tours throughout the year, has plenty of equipment to hire and puts your safety first

At a glance

Go surfing at Fistral beach and see for yourself why many call Newquay the surfing capital of the UK

Take a walk along the clifftops and marvel at the Bedruthan Steps that stand proud in the sea a short distance from the beach

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