Monday 23 May 2016
Bude to Boscastle
Boscastle Youth Hostel
It was already warm when I packed my tent away and ate some porridge. It was hot and sunny all day and this ensured I was overwhelmed by spectacular views all day long. I kept having to reapply suncream only for it to drip off as I sweated up (yet more) steep climbs.
It took me less than an hour to reach Widemouth, just after the beach cafe had opened, so I stopped for a second breakfast to fuel the long, tough walk.
The first major climb was at Millook, where the road had a 30% sign. But the hardest climb of the day was just after Dizzard Point. This one was so steep that there was a signposted diversion.
Half-hidden on the sides of a bench at Dizzard Point were 2 small signs: one said ‘500 miles to Poole’ and the other said ‘132 miles to Minehead’.
The sunshine and blue sky gave the sea a beautiful turquoise hue. I could see for miles along the stunning and dramatic cliffs; views all the way back to Higher Sharpnose Point (by the GCHQ listening post), across to Lundy, and down the coast past Tintagel.
A couple of the valleys had small streams in them that were so clear, and full of tadpoles. One also had a dipper busy feeding.
As the cliffs were generally the highest points around, I also had great views inland, across all the patchwork farmland and small villages dotted around.
I stopped in Crackington Haven for a spot of lunch, a crab sandwich and salad followed by my first Kelly’s Cornish whippy ice cream. Delicious.
High Cliff was my highest point of the day (>200m) and then the path actually went around the cliff, about halfway down. I rounded the Penally Hill and there was Boscastle, with the River Valency flowing through the middle of it. I had only ever seen it in the television after the town was all but destroyed by terrible floods in 2004. It has been completely, and sensitively, rebuilt.
I had intended to camp tonight but the only campsite was a couple of miles before Boscastle, and inland. So I changed my plans (I wanted to see Boscastle and get a pub dinner) and headed for the Youth Hostel right on the main street instead.
It had been a truly spectacular day and I celebrated with fish and chips in The Cobweb Inn.