Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps is one of the big attractions on the north Cornish coast. These rock pillars form from thousands of years of erosion along Bedruthan beach.

It feels like the English version of the Twelve Apostles in Australia and I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve seen them! Hello absolutely amazing views and one sweaty steep hike.

This is definitely one you’re going to want to visit when you go to Cornwall – so make sure you keep some time aside for it.

This post should help you with everything you need to know…

Bex stood on the trail in a relaxed pose with a cheesy grin at Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps sits neatly between Newquay and Padstow and is managed by the National Trust. It’s the kind of place you can go for a good stomp and a chat to blow the cobwebs away. It has gravitas – the kind of presence and sweeping landscapes written about in classic novels.

If you read this blog regularly by now you’ll be aware that I love my National Trust membership. It’s definitely opened up my world to all the amazing experiences we have in the UK and encouraged me to get out there a bit more and make the most of them. And, it helps me protect these places and experiences for others to enjoy.

The great thing with National Trust sites is that you know there’s probably going to be the essentials, in or near what you’re trying to visit.

And, the Bedruthan Steps are well catered for with…

  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Tea Room (this one isn’t run by the Trust)
  • Fairly good accessibility – there’s a level path to the view point but it is steep.

Woof woof, your four legged friend is welcome too. Personally due to the steep cliffs I would keep my dog on the lead. But, that’s one for you to consider, at the end of the day, you know your dog best.

Oh and don’t forget to check if the beach stairs are open, the website has all the up to date information and it’s always best to check in case of bad weather or, err…global pandemics, to see what the current situation is!

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, UK

Time your visit

The beach is tidal and it can be easy to get cut off from the stairs. Please, please check the tide times before you go, or stay up on the cliff top coastal path when you visit. Also, this is not the place to go swimming, the currents here are always strong and will out power even the best swimmers.

Ideally you’ll want to time your visit so you can walk down on the beach but, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t.

It’s a steep old walk but the cliff top really allows excellent views of the stacks that stand proud in the sea.

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, UK
The Bedruthan Steps are to the bottom left of this image, where the mesh on the cliff is.

The beach steps were closed during my visit which was a shame but I still admired the natural pillars from above. Next time I’d like to go on the beach though just so I can get a better idea of how big those stacks are.

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, UK

The steps are on a trail that’s geared up for a good long walk. But, if you’re very short on time, and you’re desperate to see the stacks, a visit is still achievable. You could walk down and see them within an hour. This might appeal if you’re only staying for the weekend or have other time restraints on your day.

Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, UK


I love Cornish mythology, if it isn’t pixies, gnomes, elves or witches, it’s giants! The history of Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps is of course, pleasingly no different.

During the 1800s the area was used shortly for mining hematite, an iron ore. To get to the mine, staircases were built into the cliff, and locals called them ‘Bedruthan Steps’ after a Cornish mythological giant named ‘Bedruthan’ who apparently used the rock stacks as stepping stones at high tide. I mean, it paints a glorious mental image, doesn’t it? In my head it’s the BFG’s walkway!

While the mining has gone, the buildings that form the National Trust shop and cafe were once the mine’s office. It’s very cute, and stands out in an otherwise empty landscape.

Walk The Bedruthan Steps

The walk along the coast is beautiful and the trail ultimately as long as you want to make it. Keep in mind that it does take a lot longer to travel distances because the terrain is very up and down. Give yourself a little extra time to travel the distance you’d normally cover.

Don’t forget…

  • A water bottle
  • Good sturdy shoes – it’s seriously steep
  • A jumper or coat – it’s very windy
  • SPF

Have you been to Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps? Let me know if you’ve been or are thinking of going.

Visit Carnewas aka The Bedruthan Steps National Trust webpage

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