We recently joined Cornish Ramblings for a walk around Bedruthan and Porthcothan near Newquay. The group, organised by Jody and her working cocker spaniel Purdy, meet regularly at weekends to explore walks across the county. It’s a great way to meet fellow walkers and explore parts of Cornwall you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

I’d been meaning to visit Bedruthan Steps for so long. So many people have recommended this coastal walk to me. When I found out Cornish Ramblings were heading that way, I signed up via their website immediately. The walks are free to attend but if you catch the walking bug, you can be come a member for as little as £5 per year.

We met in the National Trust Carpark at Bedruthan. The weather was very miserable, with strong winds and the typical Cornish mizzle. Had I not signed up to walk with a group, I probably would have stayed at home! I’m so glad I did make it out though, as the walk itself was breathtaking. Even in the wind and rain, you can’t beat the panoramic views of the Cornish coastline.

We were following the Bedruthan Steps to Porthcothan Circular walk by iWalk Cornwall. iWalk Cornwall have a handy app that tracks you via GPS and notifies you if you stray away from the route. The app covers the whole of Cornwall and you can purchase walks for a couple of pounds within the app. I’d heard about iWalk Cornwall before but it was amazing to see it in action. I’m excited to try more of their routes in our free time!

Cornish Ramblings are family and dog friendly. In fact, we had 4 dogs join us for the walk. Woody (obviously,) Jody’s dog Purdy, a cockapoo called Barney and a Border Terrier called Bramble. Porthcothan beach is dog friendly all year round and the pups enjoyed playing fetch together while us humans took a break. I kept Woody on his lead for the majority of the walk, so it was great to see him running free with his new friends.

The first half of the route followed the Cornish Coast path before heading in land. Some of the dogs were walked off lead but I didn’t feel comfortable letting Woody roam so close to the cliffs. Dogs don’t always see or understand sheer drops and the RNLI are called  to recover a number dogs that have fallen off cliffs each year. Woody didn’t seem to mind being on his lead and it was a great opportunity to put his EzyDog Road Runner* through its paces.

He also wore his Ruffwear Palisades pack*, which I filled with water and a few supplies. We got a few funny looks at first but this walk was perfect training for our Cornish Coast Path walk next year. I’ve been gradually increasing the weight Woody carries over time, to ensure he’s not overloaded. Dogs should never carry more than 25% of their body weight. Woody weighs 16kg but tends to carry around 2-3kgs in his pack. It was the first time he’d worn it for a longer walk and I was incredibly impressed. Aside from carrying briefly when we stopped at the beach, Woody wore it for the majority of the 6.2 mile walk.

There were plenty of stiles along the way, some of which were hard for the dogs to cross on their own. Some were slate with jagged edges and one absurdly had barbed wire on the other side. In both instances I simply lifted Woody by the handle of his harness and carried him across. Sections of the walk were on roads too, though we rarely came across any traffic. Nonetheless Woody did amazingly, keeping himself tucked in with the rest of the group.

We did walk through a couple of livestock fields. The first holding cows right on the coast path. We had to walk around a huge bull, something I was particularly nervous about. I’m always wary of cows, ever since being stampeded by one in the dark. Walking as part of a group definitely helped, if I was on my own I probably would have froze! The bull shouldn’t really have been in the field, as it definitely looked of 10 months old. Fortunately he didn’t get up and let us walk quietly walk past.

We also crossed a field of horses, who were a little excited when we arrived. We were sure to keep the dogs on short leads and give plenty of room while walking round them. It turns out they just wanted to see their friends in the neighbouring field and soon let us on our way. If you’re wary around livestock, like me, I’d definitely recommend joining a walking group. The support of others and the extra pairs of eyes definitely made me feel at ease!

Woody and I enjoyed our walk with Cornish Ramblings and look forward to joining the gang again soon. If you’re looking for likeminded humans and hounds to walk with at weekends, we’d highly recommend them!

Where’s your favourite walk in Cornwall? Have you been out exploring with a walking group before?

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