Oliver's Cornwall
Coast and Country
The North Coast

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This page has now been superceded by my Oliver's Cornish Coast Path page and my Coastal Round Walks page

ON THIS PAGE - INTRODUCTION to the NORTH COAST

FEATURES RETAINED ON THIS PAGE
Rumps & Lundy Bay
Polzeath & Daymer Bay
Watergate Bay
Newquay Waterfront
Holywell Bay
Trevellas Porth

CORNWALL REVIEWS INDEX and SITE CONTENTS

Introductory Guide
What's New?
Oliver's Cornwall Walking Pages
Homes
Gardens
Museums & Galleries
Countryside
Holy Sites & Churches
Antiquities
Castles
Towns & Villages
Miscellanea
Home Page
Contact Me
© Copyright Oliver Howes 2016
Page updated 03 October 2016


Introduction - The North Coast from the Devon Border to St. Ives

There is some wonderful walking along the northern section of the superb Cornish Coast Path.  For us it is the most accessible part as we live about midway between St. Ives and Bude.  We love the soaring cliffs, long sandy beaches, the rocky coves, surfers and wind surfers, heather and gorse, crumbling ruins of old tin mines.  Most of all we love the wonderful bracing air and the chance to see more and more of the land we love.  Deep inlets often require arduous climbs, yet there are stretches - as at Godrevy and around Treyarnon - where you can walk for miles without coming down from the clifftop.  Toughest walking on the north coast is to be found between the Devon border at Marsland Mouth and the tourist village of Tintagel.  Between Crackington Haven and Boscastle are Cornwall's highest cliffs - High Cliff rises to 731 feet.  There are also parts -such as Perranporth, Constantine, Hayle  - where the towans (dunes) behind the beach mean it is simplest and best to walk along the beach.   This page is now redundant, superceded by may Oliver's Cornish Coast Path page and my Round Walks from the Coast Path page.  However, I have retained a few entries which originally appeared as short features on this page. These are listed in the index to this page above.
Godrevy Lifeguard Hut & Lighthouse
 
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The Rumps and Lundy Bay

On a cold but still December afternoon in 2003, I dropped Jane off at her quilting circle in Rock and headed to the coast.  I parked first in the National Trust's car park above Lundy Bay to explore a part that Jane remembers from her childhood, but I had not seen before.  On the west side of Lundy Bay is Lundy Hole where, on a rough day, the sea spouts alarmingly up through a cave-like gap in the cliff.  Like most of the north coast, the scenery is superb, views are long and the walking is moderate to tough (tougher if you continue east to Port Isaac).  I then parked in the Trust's car park at Pentireglaze to walk to the Rumps.  The Rumps is a narrow-necked rocky promontory, delineated by iron-age earth works, creating a promontory fort.  It appears to have three conical hills on it but, when you get there, you discover that the third is a separate island called the Mouls.  Later I took sunset photos from Pentire Point and New Polzeath looking across the Camel Estuary.  I returned to The Rumps on a brilliant early November 2004 day, walking from New Polzeath by way of Pentire Point.  Although there is quite a climb to Pentire Point, it is not difficult though you do feel a bit close to the edge in places.  As so often, I made a round walk of it (around 5 miles) by returning inland by Pentire Farm. 
The Rumps from near Pentire Point
 OS Explorer 106    Rumps 'Antiquities' feature
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Polzeath and Daymer Bay
This is one of our favourite short walks - only three miles there and back and only 20 minutes from our home.  Sometimes we like to park at Daymer Bay (quite close to St. Enodoc church in the dunes), other times at Polzeath, where you can park on the firm beach at low tide.  Either way we usually have a snack at one of the several cafés by the surfer's beach at Polzeath.  [Since writing that, coffee and food have generally become much more expensive at Polzeath, due presumably to the 'Rock effect'.  It seems to me that a £2.50 coffee is London prices, not Cornwall prices]  It is an easy walk with only very moderate cliffs and a grassy track.  In summer there are two things against this walk - the sheer number of people and the fact that, so many of them being from the big city, few make eye contact, let alone exchange the usual greetings.  When we walked in early November 2003 the surf was roaring and the late low sun was creating rainbows in the spume.  Polzeath is a very popular surfing beach.  Daymer Bay is a favourite of wind and kite surfers out of season; in season it is very much a family beach.  There is parking at both ends of the walk but we prefer to park at Daymer (cheaper in winter) or at New Polzeath (free along the front, if you can get a space).
Park at Daymer Bay, Polzeath or New Polzeath
Surf rolls in on a quiet day at Daymer Bay
Our preferred Polzeath Café:  Above the west end of the beach is the Methodist sponsored Tubestation.  This is now our definitely preferred Polzeath café.  Charming yound people, good coffee, good food, comfy chairs, dog-friendly.  What more could you want?
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Watergate Bay
We return time and again to Watergate Bay, just to the north of Newquay on the north coast.  We park near the Watergate Bay Hotel.  Sometimes we walk the three miles of firm golden sands, sometimes we walk the coast path to Newquay, sometimes we just enjoy the rugged and highly colourful cliffs, the surf and the surfers.  Facilities are good.  Watergate Bay Hotel is a good, slightly old fashioned hotel with an indoor pool and is very popular with families.  The Extreme Academy is an admired surf school.  Attached to it is Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant, below it the good quality Beach Hut bar and café and a seasonal takeaway.  There were other hotels at Watergate Bay but they have been replaced by holiday apartment blocks.  The main car park is directly above the Beach Hut;  there is more parking in a field behind.  Newquay Airport - flights from London Gatwick and Stansted and several flights daily to the Isles of Scilly - is just two miles away.  While you can approach Watergate Bay from the A39 at St. Columb, it is far more scenic to take the winding coast road from Padstow.
Beware!  Parking at Watergate Bay is now very expensive
Watergate Bay from above Fruitful Cove
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Newquay Waterfront Walk - Out and Back from Towan Head
Learning of a Newquay Discovery Trail - leaflet available from the TIC - my sister Mary and I decided to make it the basis for a walk of our own in October 2003.  We parked above the southern end of Fistral Beach - away from the tawdry town - and walked the waterfront by cliff and beach from surfers paradise Fistral Bay in the south to ancient Barrowfields (a former bronze-age burial site) to the north.  The walk took us past the old Lifeboat Station, the Coastguard lookout, the Huer's Hut from which shoals of pilchards were spotted, past the hidden harbour, past the Island - where a house is reached by its own suspension bridge - and along lovely sandy beaches - coves at high tide, a great three mile sweep of sand at low tide.  Depending on the state of the tide, you may have to include some of the town in this walk but none of the worst of it.  And, if you do have to include some of the town, you will probably find yourself on the route of the railway that J. T. Treffry built;  in the harbour, look out for the tunnel from which the railway emerged to terminate on the now stranded pier in the harbour.  This makes superb easy walking with lots of interest and some wonderful views.  Our preferred eating place is the conservatory like café in the Headland Hotel with its sea views.  We also like Rick Stein's simple fish-and-chippery at Fistral Beach. 
 When parking in Newquay beware of over-zealous clampers.
 Huer's Hut, said to be Newquay'soldest building
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Holywell Bay Revisited in September 2007
I have walked at Holywell Bay many times, with Jane, with sisters Mary and Frances and with American friend Craig.  I never tire of the beauty of the walk taking in the bay, the dunes and Pentire Point West.  But each time before I have parked at West Pentire, an expensive business.  This time, in September 2007, I wanted to spend more time in both Holywell and around the beach, so I parked in the National Trust car park on the lane to Penhale Camp.  I covered 2 miles along the beach and back and then took the coast path to West Pentire.  From there I returned to Holywell by way of Treago Mill, Lewannick (there is a right of way through), Trevornick, then Ellenglaze and down the valley.  Apart from the sheer pleasure of the walk - about 8 miles in all - I also wanted to see the cliff castle on Kelsey Head, the holy well on Trevornick golf course and the cave with a spring at the northern end of Holywell beach.  I didn't find the latter on this occasion but did later.  I was quite impressed by the two holiday parks, Trevornick with fishing lakes and golf course, Holywell Bay with a small supermarket.  There are two pubs in Holywell, Treguth Inn in the village, St. Piran's above the beach.  I returned later for a round walk over Penhale Sands and was successful in finding the remarkable cave with the spring, claimed by some to be a holy well.
Holywell Bay, Gull (or Carter's) Rocks
OS Explorer 104. 
Walked yet again at the end of September 2007 with my sister Frances.  I showed her the two holy wells, we had coffee at the Bowgie Inn and lunch at St. Piran's Inn - not our kind of place but we enjoyed our hot baguettes.  We then climbed Penhale Point.
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Trevellas Porth and Trevellas Coombe
The photo on the left suggests a quiet little cove.  So it is now, but a century or so ago this was a site of frenzied mining activity, engine houses and other mine buildings stretching back up the valley towards the little village of Mithian.  Now a few cars may find their way down to the porth and a few walkers pass on their trek along the Cornish Coast Path.  Any activity now is in adjacent Trevaunance Cove, the beach for St. Agnes.  I was persuaded to park at Trevellas Porth (in August 2006) after learning that it was one of the locations used in the TV version of the Poldark novels.  I decided to take an inland walk to find the birthplace of John Opie, famous 18th century portrait painter, and for a snack in the promising Miners Arms in Mithian, the village that provided the labour force for the successful Blue Hills mine in Trevellas Coombe.  As usual, no footpaths were signed and, as so often, I lost my way badly in one place.  It's high time Cornwall Council fulfilled its obligations on path signage.  Back in Trevellas Coombe, I spent some time wandering around taking photos - there are considerable mine remains - and discovered that there is still a Blue Hills mine, a small one where the Wills family smelt their own tin to produce attractive jewellery and giftware. 
Trevaunance Cove from Trevellas Porth
On OS104, Redruth and St. Agnes
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CORNWALLREVIEWS INDEX and SITE CONTENTS
Introductory Guide
What's New?
Oliver's Cornwall Walking Pages
Homes
Gardens
Museums & Galleries
Countryside
Holy Sites & Churches
Antiquities
Castles
Towns & Villages
Miscellanea
Home Page
Contact Me
© Copyright Oliver Howes 2016
Page updated 03 October 2016

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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