Constantine Bay – the centre of the Padstow/Trevose area – is a wonderful beach and holiday area. At the base of Trevose Head, Constantine provides excellent facilities – championship golf course, great shops, and one of the best beaches in Cornwall.
The beach is a beautiful stretch of sand and is about a third of a mile in length. At low tide there is a large expanse of sand and rocks, while at high tide a wide strip of soft sand is still uncovered at the base of the large sand dunes. Crabbing, shrimp net fishing, rock pool exploring, building sand castles or damming a little stream – there are hours of fun to be had here.
At the bottom of the beach road there is a small car park. The car park is free – and is usually packed full. Off the road to the right near the bottom, there is plenty of extra parking in the fields behind the dunes. From the car park, a short sandy trail leads up and across the dunes, where you arrive at the south side of the beach. The reef is straight ahead of you to the south side of the beach – exposed at low tide. Here at the head of the beach, you will often find a few stalls in peak season – a delicious expresso coffee stall, jewellery laid out for browsers, and the ice cream van, in the same place it has been for 30 years.
The track continues around the headland, before you can climb a stile, and head across the short and flat headland to Treyarnon. Only 5 minutes walk, and fine with children of all ages and buggies. On the way round the front, there are steps down the sea wall to the beach. This is a very sheltered and pleasant part of the beach often overlooked – great sun-bathing, and a myriad of rock pools at low tide; great fun.
Going down onto the main beach, the sand dunes stretch away along the top of the beach. There are paths running all through the dunes, but caution is required as dune conservation is rightly a big deal these days. The main beach continues in a massive arc towards Booby’s Bay in the north.
It is a good walk of about 10 or 15 minutes along the sickle-shaped beach, go up the wooden steps at the far end, or clamber over the rocks, onto the headland to see Booby’s Bay ahead of you. The ‘island’ in between these 2 beaches is climbable but care is needed. The view from here in both directions is fantastic. Booby’s itself is covered at high tide, but can also be walked to from Constantine on the sand at low tides. There is always plenty of room near the top end of Constantine – with those prepared to carry their beach things a little further getting some of the quietest spots.
Constantine is a great surfing beach – picking up as much swell as any beach in Cornwall. There are ‘rip’ currents, so be careful and follow the instructions of the life guards and respect the bathing flags. But the sea is fantastic here for all to enjoy however young.
Fires and barbecues are allowed on the beach, although they are restricted within the dunes themselves. As always, make sure you clear away all rubbish and debris – and enjoy!