Cornwall is home to some of the most impressive coastline found anywhere in Europe. Rugged, wild and imposing, Bedruthan Steps in the country’s north is the jewel in the crown.
This craggy section of coast is easily accessible from Newquay. Begin at the National Trust-run Carnewas car park where there is a cafe and toilets. From here, join the coast path and walk north.
STEP INTO THE PICTURE
Many of the cliffs around Bedruthan Steps exceed 70m, gifting far-reaching and spectacular views along the Cornish coast. In stormy weather, massive waves crash against large sea stacks that rise from the beach below. While at low water, a broad and inviting beach is revealed – during spring and summer the sands can be accessed by a steep staircase.
This is a great place to walk and the perfect environment to spot wildlife. Look for common lizards basking on walls and fence posts, while stonechats nest among the gorse, and kestrels and peregrines patrol the sky. Bedruthan Steps is synonymous with spring flowers, making May one of the best times of year to visit the area. Thrift, one of the most dominant flowers, carpets large swathes of the cliff tops. Nicknamed sea pinks, these densely packed plants are hugely photogenic.
A SHIFT OF LIGHT
When in bloom, sea pinks provide a colourful and interesting foreground to wide-angle views of the coast. A focal length in the region of 16-35mm works well, allowing you to capture the flowers in context with the landscape that surrounds them. Crouch down among the clumps of thrift and fill your foreground with pink. Stay safe, though, and avoid getting too close to the edge of the cliff.
This is a location best shot just before sunset, when warm light bathes the cliffs. Wander along the coast path and look for a good vantage point – you don’t need to go far. Enjoy the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks below and wait for the light to turn golden as it dips towards the horizon.