Walk in Cornwall: The dramatic coast and lush vale of Crackington Haven

The Crackington Haven walk offers the best of both worlds: the rugged coast and dramatic seas of North Cornwall, and the lush rolling hills and peaceful valley of Ludon. This coastal walk is one of the best walks to discover the striking contrast that shapes the wild landscape of Cornwall and makes it one of the most beautiful counties in England.

The circular walk starts at Crackington Haven, a quiet hamlet near Boscastle and Bude in North Cornwall. The Crackington Haven walk first leads you along the South West coastal path to the top of impressively tall cliffs, from where you can enjoy spectacular views. The walk then takes you inland to the lush and green valley of Ludon. The Crackington Haven coastal walk is a challenging walk and includes several long and steep ascents. So, be prepared, it will take your breath away – in more ways than one!

Location: Crackington Haven, Bude, North Cornwall

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

Hiking the rugged, wild cliffs of North Cornwall

The Crackington Haven coastal walk starts at the serene hamlet of Crackington Haven. Featuring a white sand beach, tall cliffs and quaint cottages, Crackington Haven is a typical Cornish coastal village. The walk first takes you along the South West coastal path. From there, you can enjoy stunning views of Crackington Haven, the delightful cove it sits in and the rugged cliffs that surround it.

Coastal path and kissing gate on the Crackington Haven walk
The South West coastal path

The coastal walk begins, gently at first, but then rises more sharply as you ascend to the top of the first and tallest cliff named Cambeak Headland. The climb to the highest point in the walk is arduous, as the path leads you in a series of zigzags up the flank of the cliff. As you finally reach the top, the beautiful Cornish coast unravels at your feet.

The Crackington Haven walk continues along the coastal path, climbing to the top of cliffs and dipping sharply to the sea. At every step of the walk, you can admire the impressively high and rugged cliffs that define North Cornwall. From the height of the cliffs, the views are glorious and far reaching. From Crackington Haven to the rugged coast, the hidden coves, the white sand beaches, and even the villages of Boscastle and Tintagel further down the coast, the scenery is spectacular.

Splendid view from the coastal path on the Crackington Haven walk in Cornwall
Spectacular coastal views from Cambeak Headland

Strolling through the lush green valley of Ludon

As you reach the foot of High Cliff, the highest cliff in North Cornwall, the walk leaves the South West coastal path and leads you inland. Before leaving the coast behind, you can make a detour to The Strangles beach. The descent to this white sand beach is made through a long and steep flight of steps, but the reward is well worth the effort. The scenery from the beach is as glorious as the scenery from the coastal path, and offers a different viewpoint from the base of the tall cliffs.

With a twinge of regret, you then leave the rugged coast and tall cliffs behind and make your way inland to the lush valley of Ludon. The verdant scenery in the second part of the walk is as striking, maybe even more so because of the sharp contrast with the wild coast. The Crackington Haven walk leads you along a country path and a rural road to Trevigue Farm, a 16th century farmhouse now turned into a B&B.

Verdant Ludon Valley on the Crackington Haven walk
The enchanting Ludon Valley

At the farm, you then follow the trail through verdant fields and down into the enchanting Ludon valley. The views of the surrounding hills and valleys are stunning. The scenery seems so green, so lush and so peaceful compared to the dramatic coast. When the trail reaches the bottom of the valley, you enter lush green woods. Following a cute stream, the walk leads you back through serene woodland to the hamlet of Crackington Haven.

To view the walk itinerary, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk.

Notes on the Crackington Haven walk itinerary

Throughout the walk, you can easily follow the National Trust acorn signposts. However, when you reach Trevigue farm, the walk is not well signposted. After passing the main gate to the 18th century farmhouse, take the small gate to your right. Cross the farmland and head to the left of the white cottage towards a second small gate.

The Crackinton Haven walk details

Location: Crackington Haven, Bude, Cornwall

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

Ascent: Very steep

Itinerary: The Crackington Cracker walk

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get muddy in wet weather

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes.

Parking: Crackington Haven (EX23 0JG)

Facilities: Toilets, shops and pubs in Crackington Haven

Notes: Please be careful on the cliff tops. Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead. Please beware of oncoming vehicles when walking on roads.

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