As well as having a magnificent name, the Cornish beach Booby’s Bay is one of many you can enjoy on an easy stroll along the South West Coast Path.
Taking in 630 miles of the best coastal scenery in Britain, the South West Coast Path (SWCP) is a free and mostly continuous walking trail covering the whole of Cornwall and Devon, and parts of Somerset and Dorset.
Some people tackle the whole of the SWCP in one go, but for the more sane amongst us, it can be split into easily manageable short walks.
If you’re holidaying in the Padstow area of north Cornwall, the 8-mile walk from Trevone to Constantine Bay is the perfect way to get some sun on your face, some sea air in your lungs and to see some of the best beaches our country has to offer.
There are loads of placenames in Cornwall beginning with the prefix “Tre” – Cornish for settlement. First stop on this walk is Trevone, a beach resort and village two miles south of Padstow. The sand is as golden and as soft as sand can get, so you should have a barefoot walk on the beach before the journey begins.
Leaving Trevone behind, the next stage of the walk takes you along cliff-tops above hidden coves and beaches. The only way to get to most of these, other than jumping from the cliffs, is by sea-kayak.
After a couple of miles walking along the cliff edge, you will reach the wide sandy beach at Harlyn Bay. Popular with families, surfers and dog owners, it gets very busy and windy here. You might not see too much sand, as most of it is taken up by families with their windbreaks.
Soon, you will get to the best beach you’ve probably never heard of – Mother Ivey’s Bay. There is a large caravan park behind the beach, but it’s quite hard to get to and park, so doesn’t attract the crowds that Harlyn Bay does.
There is a lifeboat launch to the left of the beach, and looking out to sea on a calm day with the fluffy white sand in your toes, you might think you’re in the Caribbean.
Walking through the caravan park, you will find a lane that leads down to Booby’s Bay, but just before you enter it try a delicious Cornish ice-cream from the van parked in the lay-by.
Booby’s Bay beach is completely submerged when the tide is in, but when it’s out the beach is a popular spot for surfers braving the strong currents and rocks.
It’s quite a small beach in comparison to its neighbour, the sand dune-backed Constantine Bay. For such a huge beach, this one can be quiet as the car park is not very big. If you’re lucky enough to have it almost to yourself, enjoy the view of the uninhabited rocky islets known as the Quies, and contemplate the long walk back to Trevone.
From here, the SWCP continues south where it loops around Land’s End, following the south Cornwall coast and ending at Poole Harbour in Dorset. If you don’t fancy re-tracing your steps for the walk back, the green number 556 Western Greyhound bus will take you from Constantine Bay to Padstow in 20 minutes – see here for the timetable.