Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

Bedruthen Steps, Cornwall, the descent Bedruthen Steps, Cornwall, the rocks and beach at low tide

Bedruthan Steps, owned by the National Trust, offer lovely piece of coastal walking along the cliffs. From the top of Bedruthan Steps there are fine views of the eroded rocks forming sail-like islands just off shore.

As you look at the coast, with its rocks and (if the wind is blowing) boiling seas, you will appreciate that this stretch of coast caused many a shipwreck in days of old. Probably the most famous of these wrecks was the brig The Samaritan in 1846, whose cargo of silks outfitted the populace for miles around, it also carried barreled beef and printed cloth. Trevose Head Lighthouse was built a year later, and the number of wrecks dropped.

At Bedruthan Steps, the National Trust have rebuilt the cliff staircase down to the beach, but it is unsafe to bathe in the sea at any time. The staircase, you can see from the photograph is quite steep, and you need to be fairly fit to get down and back up.

Bedruthan Steps originally referred to the steps that were hacked out of the cliff face, probably to assist in removing washed up cargo from the beach. There were two separate stairways down the cliff face to the beach. One near the present NT staircase was steep and fairly hazardous, the other was a more winding path just north of Diggory's Island. Both these paths were destroyed by landslips in the 1960's and early 1970's and it was impossible to get to the beach after that. The National Trust opened the beach again with the current steps in 1975. These are a very thorough job with safety netting bolted to the cliff face to prevent falling debris hitting visitors. The National Trust close the beach during the winter as both the sea and the cliff are more dangerous then.

Bedruthan Steps has two Iron Age hill forts about two miles away and six Bronze Age burial Barrows. Redcliff Castle, an Iron Age Promontory fort.


Return to Map of Cornwall - Gazetteer