Walking across a beach, toes wet from walking at the water’s edge, is part of “living the dream”. Of course, not all beaches are created equal! So here are 6 short walks across a beach where you can walk right across and not have to turn round and come back!
When you’re looking at walking across a beach, you will often find that it’s only possible at low tide (when the tide is out) – it’s not something you can guarantee to do all day every day, but twice a day you can walk from one side to the other.
The question here is whether it’s worthwhile walking to the other end, expecting to continue your walk, or whether you’ll find that there’s no way off the beach at the other end and you have to double back, maybe running the risk of being cut off!
This is not about coasteering, where you take your life in your hands leaping across boulders, clinging to rocks and swimming your way round to the next bit. This is a gentle and pleasant stroll through a few inches of water (at most)….. not to be confused. I’m the “easy life” type.
It is technically possible, if you’re fast enough and don’t mind getting your feet wet, at times of very low tides, to walk (run!) from Newquay Harbour all the way to Watergate Bay. I’d really not recommend that except as some major coastal speed running challenge. There are spots along there where you’ll be wading up to your knees in water and the timing would be critical. But, in case you’ve ever wondered, it is possible. I’ve personally done each section that’d be necessary to achieve this, but not all on the same day. The deepest water part was between Lusty Glaze and Porth – the other tricky bit is getting from Porth to Whipsiderry as there’s quite a bit of clambering over slippery rocks and I had a bit of a nasty fall doing that one year (top tip: never go alone, if you make a mistake there’s nobody to shout “HELP”).
- Watergate Bay to Whipsiderry Beach: Probably the most “treacherous” route to take, it is possible to walk from Watergate Bay to Whipsiderry Beach, or the other way round, but ONLY after you’ve checked the tides. This is the route where most people find they are cut off and need to be rescued. It’s about a mile long and does involve some clambering over the rocks in the middle. I dislike the middle section as you find yourself between two lots of rocks, with your “escape route” either side of them, so there’s no room for mistakes. The return journey can be made on foot via the coastal footpath, or you can catch a bus in either direction. This is the longest route of all, possibly one mile, backed by a 200′ sheer cliffs. Not for the nervous; not on an incoming tide.
- Porth Beach: This is a tiny beach, but you can walk across it and get out the other side, although it’s not large, if you’re walking the coastal footpath then the fact you can get out the other side will be of interest, rather than being forced to go back where you started from. No danger whatsoever here, this is literally a 200 yard walk that’s achievable 99% of the time.
- Lusty Glaze Beach to Tolcarne Beach, Great Western Beach and Towan Beach: When the tide’s out you can easily walk between all four of these beaches. The trickiest part is the access to and from Lusty Glaze Beach where you’ll often find you need to clamber over some low rocks. From Tolcarne Beach, past Great Western Beach and to Towan Beach there are no such obstacles. The return route can be made following the coastal path. If you’re walking towards town, the route just gets easier, with a way off the beach at several points, however, if the tide is coming in, then don’t linger between Lusty Glaze and Tolcarne!
- Towan Beach to Harbour Beach: When the tide is at its lowest you can just walk round the quay into Newquay Harbour. This walk is literally a few metres. Once you’re in the Harbour Beach, you can then walk to the far side where there’s a set of steps that come up to where the Harbour Hotel is, if you wish to keep walking! No dangers here, if you can see it can be done, then it can.
- Little Fistral to Fistral Beach: While mostly possible, at low tide, you will find it’s a lot of rock clambering and you will have to climb up before the final few feet and walk on the coastal path for 25 yards. A pleasant little walk, most of the time, you’re unlikely to get “stuck” doing this one. If it looks OK, it probably is.
- Fistral Beach: You can walk across Fistral Beach and get off the other side, there’s also access to the coastal footpath at a couple of points. Most of the day you can walk back and forth, from one end to the other, without any issues whatsoever. There are no dangers here.
In short, you’ll not “get into trouble” with most of these walks across a beach, they are all brief and pleasant strolls across the sand with the surf between your toes – however, the Whipsiderry Beach to Watergate Bay route IS something to take on only if you’ve checked the tide times.