A Tour of the North Cornwall Coast - delights, hidden gems and wonders.
Part 1 of this tour of North Cornwall and its delights and gems commenced at Rock and finished at Port Isaac.
Part 2 is a full days tour starting from Port Isaac. We finish just across the border into Devon at Clovelly. If your time is limited, Crackington Haven makes a good starting or finishing point too.
Port Isaac is an attractive fishing village with its narrow, winding streets, lined with old white-washed cottages and traditional granite, slate-fronted Cornish houses, many of which are listed as of architectural or historic importance. Use the large car park at the top of the hill and to walk down to the village, as the narrow streets can be difficult to negotiate. Port Isaac is renowned for one of the narrowest thoroughfares in Britain – Squeezy Belly Alley!
Drive along the coast road 10 miles to Tintagel (Trevena in Cornish – means village on a mountain) is famous for the legends of King Arthur. Evidence suggests that the rugged windswept headland was home to a settlement as far back as the 5th to the 7th century AD. The new pedestrian bridge here replaces 148 steep, winding and barely wide enough steps to the castle. There are a wealth of photography opportunities to delight you here! Tintagel Old Post Office, dates from the 14th century and is now listed and owned by the National Trust.
St Nectan’s waterfall, a gem of Cornwall is in a wooded valley a short walk away. An area of woodland stretching for around a mile along both banks of the Trevillet River, boasting three waterfalls and a beautiful woodland walk.
Another short drive northward will bring you to Boscastle Harbour one of Cornwall’s most picturesque and un-spoilt villages. The harbour is reached by the long narrow valley runs down to a steep and rocky entrance to the sea beyond. This area is steeped in history, associated with authors and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty. You can be assured of spectacular walks along the dramatic coastline and inland too. You can read more here.
TOP TIP:- Boscastle Farm Shop (award winning), in the countryside just outside the village is a great for present shopping, delicious coffee & cake, lunches and teas. Its farm shop is open, and you won’t be disappointed!
Wind your way 7 miles onwards to Crackington Haven, park here to watching seas crested with white horses, the rock formations here are splendid, or watch kaleidoscope sunsets painting the landscape flame red, orange, mauve and purple. The Coombe Barton Inn situated right on the beach in this beautiful cove.
Drive along the coast road passing Widemouth – a great beach for surfers, and on to Bude. There is a great circular walk to Bude from the free car park on the cliffs above Widemouth – about 5 miles. See iwalk for other splendid walks
Bude is a family seaside town with a canal and walkways as well as a seawater pool refilled at every high tide. Sandymouth beach connects to the main beach at Bude when the tide is low, and a lovely little spot to skim stones and watch the sun go down over the sea, with a fish and chip supper to follow?
Kilkhampton A few miles north and inland from Bude has a lesser known hidden gem -St James Curch with its beautiful interior architecture, open most days, and Tamar Lakes an inland waterway to wander and take in the wildlife.
From here head back to the coast and Morwenstow and wander this spectacular coast to Hawkers Hut where the rev Hawker in the 1800s penned The Song Of Western Men which is the Cornish anthem. You will be rewarded by passing Spekes Mill Mouth Waterfall. Docton Mill Tea Rooms are not far should you be in need of light refreshment.
You are now on the Hartland Peninsula, an unknown corner North Devon. Hartland Point will show you stunning geology and the Atlantic crashing at its most majestic.
From here Clovelly Village is a short drive, a picturesque, ancient, fishing village once owned by the Queen of England. From Elizabethan days until today Clovelly has been in private ownership, which has helped preserve its original atmosphere. Clinging to a 400-foot cliff, it has no vehicular traffic. For those who do not want to walk back up, there is a fare-paying Land Rover service. Clovelly offers breath-taking scenery Hobby Drive, built after the Napoleonic wars to give employment to Clovelly’s returning soldiers, is a public path, it winds its way through woods and offers superb views.
The Clovelly Soap Company shop is situated at the top of the village near the souvenir centre.
If you fancy a great day out, lots to see and do, and some gifts to take home, look no further – beautiful handmade natural soaps and candles from Clovelly!