Car-free adventures aroundNewquayCornwall

Twelve sandy beaches, world-class walking, several scenic bus rides and a tropical zoo all make Newquay a great car-free destination. You can reach Newquay by train from Par (see 3 below) or by bus along the coast from Padstow (see 4 below). Summer is really busy in this popular town, but head off the beaten track and you’ll still find quieter coves and cliff paths to explore… Come back in peaceful springtime to see dolphins in the harbour or lambs on the farm and in mellow autumn to explore the Luxulyan Valley's beech woods in all their golden glory.

  1. 3. Luxulyan by train

    The Luxulyan Valley is a former mining area that has now become a magical nature reserve. You can get there easily from Luxulyan station, on the scenic branch line that runs between south-coast Par and Newquay, across cotton-grassed Goss Moor.

    • Branded the Atlantic Coast Line, this pretty twenty-mile railway costs just £5.20 for a day return along the whole route.
    • Tell the guard to stop the train at Luxulyan village. The King’s Arms pub is just a few steps from the station. The local church is worth a look too – go back over the bridge and up the hill. Dedicated to Saints Julitta and Cyriacus, it may have been founded by Welsh missionary monks in the sixth century.
    • This is one of twelve churches along the 30-mile route called the Saints Way, which runs between Padstow and Fowey, marked by massive granite stiles.
    • You’ll see the Saints Way arrows heading towards the Luxulyan Valley (see map below). Wander a lovely mile through mossy oaks and fern-fringed waterways. In spring, foxgloves and bluebells sprout beside old tramlines and forgotten cascades. In autumn, the beech woods around the monumental Treffrey viaduct turn copper and gold.
    • Towering thirty metres over the wooded path, this huge granite viaduct, set in a UNESCO-listed valley, is even more impressive close-up. You can walk back along the road or return the way you came. Either way makes a pleasant couple of miles’ walk.
  1. 4. Bedruthan Steps by bus

    These huge mussel-cloaked stacks of granite punctuate the distinctive view from the café at Carnewas. Legend has it that the Cornish giant Bedruthan used the rocks as stepping stones. Once a popular Victorian beauty spot, the cliffs are now managed by the National Trust.

    • The double-decker A5 Atlantic Coaster bus from Newquay stops there every couple of hours (not every bus): the buses that leave from Newquay bus station at around 10am, 11am, noon, 2pm and 4pm stop at the Bedruthan House Hotel. Climb down the steep adventurous path to the beautiful beach. Or simply admire the view from the tea room at the top.
    • The A5 also provides another scenic (if leisurely) way to arrive in Newquay; it connects with the 11A Blue Flash bus from Bodmin.
    • Either way, it’s a great route. The road climbs, through hedges of honeysuckle and banks topped with frondy tamarisk, to the cliffs above Watergate Bay. While cars wind blindly through the sunken Cornish lanes, top-deck vistas from the A5 take in idyllic sandy coves like Harlyn Bay or wisteria-draped villages like St Mawgan.
    • At the far end of the hour-long bus ride, you reach popular Padstow, with its harbour-side shops and cafes. From here, you can catch the ferry over to Rock across the lovely Camel Estuary, a very regular service that costs £4 return.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount

Visit car-free in 2019!