Bedruthan Steps is now generally the name given to the beach and the spectacular stacks of detached cliff on the coast at Bedruthan, north of Watergate Bay, near Newquay. They are formed from a type of hard slate called “Killas”, which have been weathered over hundreds of years. There are frequent landslips and their outline has changed in living memory, particularly the one known as Queen Bess Rock, which lost its distinctive top in the early 1980s.
Originally, Bedruthan Steps was the name given to the actual cliff staircase. The name first appeared in 1847. The National Trust has regularly to carry out stabilising work to the crumbling cliffs to maintain access to the beach. At Carnewas, the National Trust has a café, shop and information centre, in what was the count house for the Carnewas brown haematite mine in the 1870s. The view from the cliffs of the waves sweeping across the Stacks is awe inspiring. The low plateau of Park Head provides a background to this dramatic scene. It has been a popular place to visit for over 150 years, starting with the Victorians, when Newquay developed as a holiday resort.