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PEI’s famous Cavendish Cliffs are located in the Green Gables Shore area of PEI and are part of PEI National Park. These cliffs get their signature color from the high levels of iron in the rock, which turn red when oxidized, in other words, the color is caused by natural rusting. The best way to visit these cliffs is by booking a tour that will take you to multiple points of interest nestled nearby!
See the Rugged Red Cavendish Cliffs & More!
What to Know
Cavendish is a place located on the north coast of Prince Edward Island that entices tourists not just for its scenic beauty but also its cultural significance. The red cliffs of Cavendish served as a setting for the beloved Anne of Green Gables penned by LM Montgomery. Sightseers who have read and cherished this classic children's tale flock to this tourist spot to see the natural beauty that the feisty protagonist adored!
Cavendish is also the place where the author grew up, which is one of the reasons readers want to see this site so much! The red sandstone in Cavendish Cliffs is said to be ever-changing due to the natural erosion in the sediments, so it's recommended that you visit this place more than once so you can see its breathtaking metamorphosis.
How to Get There
Cavendish Cliffs are nestled in Prince Edward National Park, and they form a part of Parks Canada Gulf Shore Parkway route running from North Rustico to Cavendish. You'll spot lots of parking areas at the park's entrance. The best way to reach these rugged red sandstone cliffs is by booking a guided tour that'll pick you up from your location in Downtown Prince Edward Island to save you the hassle of navigating!
Best Time to Visit
You can see and admire the beauty of the picturesque red sandstone of Cavendish Cliffs all year, but it's recommended that you plan a visit during the summer months to observe the natural magnificence of the place in pleasant weather.
Come and marvel at the rock formations of the red cliffs nestled in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada! Admire the various shades of red in the sandstone that is ever-changing! Stroll down the pathway to Cavendish Beach to see the waves splashing across the shore! Stand where Anne of Green Gables stood and snap some photos to capture this beautiful moment!
A visit to PEI is not complete without visiting the enchanting Cavendish, a beach town nestled on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. Famous for its eye-catching red sandstone Cavendish Cliffs, the gorgeous North Rustico Beach, the Anne of Green Gables farmhouse, and more — this place has plenty to offer to the many sightseers who flock here regularly!
When you drive along the 40+ kilometer coastal road of PEI National Park, Cavendish Cliffs will definitely catch your eye. The rugged red color unique to these magnificent hills is because of the oxidized iron-rich materials in the many layers of the sediments. You won't forget the scarlet beauty and serenity of this place once you leave!
The foundation of Cavendish dates back to the year 1790 when three families — the Clarks, the MacNeils, and the Simpsons — emigrated from Scotland to Prince Edward Island to settle in this area. A farming community was established here which remained the primary highlight of this place throughout the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries because Cavendish lacked a harbor back then.
This rural community in Queens County got its name from Field Marshal Lord Frederick Cavendish who served as a Colonel of the 34th Regiment of Foot. It is speculated that this community was given its name by William Winter to honor the patron of Lord Frederick. Winter was a resident of this community and he had also previously served in the British Army as an officer.
This community's cultural history is as significant as the history of its foundation. The revered children's author LM Montgomery was raised in a home, east of the Cavendish United Presbyterian Cemetery which stood where Cavendish Road and Cawnpore Lane intersected. A small rustic farm by the name of Green Gables was nestled west of the intersection, where Montgomery's cousins lived. The author frequented this scenic place and it left its impression on her which is reflected in her literary blockbuster "Anne of Green Gables".
The author set many scenes of this book series in Cavendish, specifically Green Gables and the red Cavendish Cliffs which the beloved protagonist adored! Due to this book series and its subsequent movie and TV adaptations, this place has become a cultural phenomenon and tourists flock to see Anne's humble abode in Green Gables and the surrounding tourist spots like the Cavendish Beach and Cavendish Cliffs.
In efforts to preserve the scenic beauty of the area, Prince Edward Island National Park was established in 1937 which stretched along 60 km of the Gulf of St. Lawrence shoreline. PEI National Park protects and boasts many sand dunes, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, and sand beaches (including Cavendish Beach and Rustico Beach). To entice more tourists, the park constructed an 18-hole golf course and also turned the small farmhouse of Green Gables into a tourist attraction.
The further renovations and additions between the 1950s-1990s included amusement theme parks, shopping centers, clubs, bars, motels, campgrounds, and diners. These developments have successfully turned this site into a tourist hot spot and today, this park is brimming with tourists, especially between July and August.