A short circular walk off the beaten track through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a National Trust footpath. It leads you through a sheltered valley with grassy meadows and scrub to a small rocky bay with golden sand.
Location: 5 minutes’ drive from New Polzeath and 10 minutes from Polzeath (grid reference SX953795).
Distance: 1 mile.
Time: 30 to 40 minutes (or a little longer for time to take in the scenery).
Difficulty: Easy (sloping paths, some stony terrain and steps down to access Lundy Bay).
For you: Take in a lot of beautiful coastal scenery in a short space of time while exercising your dog.
For your dog: Plenty of grass to run on, scrub to explore and – for those so inclined – a splash in the stream or sea on the right tide.
Highlights: Two viewing spots on the way down, one of a small and secluded sandy cove far below the path and the other of a collapsed sea cave. The small golden sandy beach of Lundy Bay on a lower tide at the bottom of the path.
Lead? Well behaved dogs could stay off the lead for the whole walk but there are a couple of points where the path is close to the cliff edge, so dogs that run off might need to be put on a lead here.
Parking: National Trust car park with a donation box suggesting £2 per car.
The starting point is a small National Trust car park, which can be found on the left hand side, halfway down the road that leads to New Polzeath. There is a small sign but it’s not too obvious, which is why many would drive past without knowing it’s there.
Cross the road from the car park (with care) and go through the wooden gate opposite. This opens out to a gently sloping footpath with trees to one side and a grassy meadow to the other.
Continue down the path, which leads down the sheltered valley surrounded by light woodland and scrub.
The path splits. Here you will find a viewing point down to the stunning sandy cove of Markhams Quay.
Take the lower route, which leads to the back of Lundy Bay. On a lower tide, you can access the beach down a flight of wooden steps.
If the tide has gone past the steps it is possible to scramble down the rocks higher up the beach. On a high tide, you can just enjoy the spectacular view of the waves crashing against the rocks beneath you.
Above the bay is a grassy meadow filled with flowers (a good spot for throwing a ball to tire your dog). There is also a little stream they can splash in.
Once you've had your fill of the beautiful bay, rock pools and meadow you can turn around and take the higher path to your right.
A little way up this path you'll come across a stone wall with a view down to a breathtaking collapsed sea cave.
You will then rejoin the original path and you can walk up the valley and return to the car park.