A recent trip to Cornwall – with images – that shows off the glory of its northern coastline.
Weekends are precious things and, for those of us who can make the time, can be a source of rest and relaxation more beneficial than longer periods away that involve excessive packing, train journeys, car travel, parking problems and, worst of all airports!
Travel light, pack a tent, don’t forget the sun screen, towels and swimming costume and head for the beach. Make the most of the summer whilst it is here and pick a less well-known destination to avoid crowds.
I live and work in the north-west, but a few weekends ago I jumped in my car at 6.00 p.m. on the Friday evening, drove down to Devon and spent Saturday through to Monday in the beautiful south-west corner of the country. I drove about 725 miles over the whole weekend but spent most of it completely stress free, on a Cornish beach or at a camp site drinking champagne cocktails and eating food cooked on a disposable barbecue. The big distances were at either end of the weekend, but I feel I ended up on the plus side, stress wise, despite the mileage.
Saturday – the sun was shining and after a relaxing start to the morning I was on the road again, this time pointing the nose of the jalopy northwards, with Bude in my sights and then a short trip west along the coast to Widemouth Bay.- pronounced Widmuth!!
This is a charming family-friendly beach with a small car park and a little cafe – ideal for a cold beer or two for the non-drivers. This was late July and yet the beach was pleasantly empty. It was an idea spot for a lazy day in the blistering sun and an evening beach barbeque.
The evening in the camp site nearby, at not much more than a tenner per tent, was a perfect ending – friends enjoying Prosecco cocktails in the fading light. Glorious.
Good Things Sometimes Require Effort
Sunday was as glorious weather-wise as the previous day and the opportunity was taken to visit Boscastle, which has recovered remarkably from the dreadful battering it received a few years ago. Don’t pass through but stop, have a late breakfast and take the short walk down the river to the sea. You will be rewarded with a stunning view – just don’t leave your camera in the car like I did!!
The beach on the agenda was at Bossiney. The picture above shows the view west whereas the one below shows the opposite end of the beach. As you can see, the views are stunning.
However, it is not the easiest place to find and for the reward of the sand and the views you need to pack some decent footwear and take a steep 20 minute hike down to the beach, and I mean ‘down’!
You Also Get Rock Climbing Practice
If you look at the attached picture carefully you might be able to spot some handrails near the top right. Getting to them involves scrambling up the rocks, with the aid of a conveniently situated rope – and that’s the easy part of the journey back! Whatever the weather, be sure to save plenty of water to keep you going on the steep climb back up towards the car park – it is neither short nor flat!
Having said that, the beach itself, as you can see, is well worth the effort and if you remember to look back as you climb (and rest assured, you will take every opportunity to stop on the way up!) you will be rewarded by excellent and inspiring views!
If you are the sort who likes to brave a dip in the ocean – and it is the Atlantic out there – keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife, including the odd jellyfish. You will see some on the beach as well as in the water, as in the photo here. Jellyfish on the beach are NOT dead, so leave them alone would be my advice!Given the water temperature, you might fancy a wet suit too, although the initial chill will still get you, it will pass as the suit does its job. Ideal protection against those jellyfish too!
Sunday Evening – When A Little Pre-Planning Might Have Helped
Padstow – if you intend staying there, book in advance. We didn’t and ended up driving back to Devon instead after trawling around a few B&Bs and finding them all full – on a Sunday night.
Personally, I feel like renaming Padstow ‘Steinstow’, as Stein’s influence is difficult to avoid. Given the option I’d go to St Ives instead, it is more varied and has better beaches. Of course, it’s a little further away too, so not necessarily ideal for a very short weekend break.
First Surf, Then Turf
Or, to be more precise, The Turf Pub on Exmouth Bay at the estuary end of the canal. Fine food, fine views and a glimpse of how the other half lives – see the photo of the posh boats attached!
Having returned from the coast earlier than anticipated an alternative was required and The Turf filled in for a Cornwall beach admirably. There was still plenty of warm sunshine, despite the breeze, and there’s a certain something about al fresco dining…..