Wednesday 25 May 2016
Tintagel to Polzeath
The Valley Campsite
I went to sleep last night to the sound of cows mooing and sheep baaing. It sounded like an animal version of The Waltons, “night Jon-boy”, “night Mary-Ellen”. (I might have been on my own for too long.)
It was very windy this morning and a lot chillier. In fact I woke up cold in the night. I packed away and headed into Tintagel for a coffee and pain-au-chocolat to set me on my way. I was expecting another hard walk, and I wasn’t disappointed.
High cloud was diluting the sun; pretty much perfect walking conditions. The views were amazing again.
The 3 miles between Tintagel and Trebarwith Strand once had 10 slate quarries. There were some fantastic slate pinnacles left behind. The high quality Upper Devonian slate has been used for building and roofing since the early 15th Century.
Gull Rock dominated my view along the coast to Rumps Point. I could see my entire day’s walk ahead of me.
There were 5 big descents and ascents close together. I met some people who told me they’d read a book last night that said this section of the coast walk should only be attempts by people training to join the Royal Marines. In that case I qualified for my green beret!
Port Isaac is very quaint; an old fishing village nestled in the cliff. The buildings are all crammed in and higgledy-piggledy, which adds to the charm. There were a lot of tourists, I think mostly looking for Doc Martin as Port Isaac doubles as Port Wen in the television series. I bought a pasty and sat on the wall, opposite Doc Martin’s house, to eat it while admiring the view. To finish off I headed into the nearest cafe for tea and cake. My legs deserved a break and my shorts seem to have grown bigger recently so I need to try and fill them again!
From Port Isaac to Port Quin. A much smaller settlement in a natural harbour. Just like Port Isaac, at the centre of the village is an old fish cellar.
Port Quin is ‘guarded’ by Doyden Castle, a truncated gothic folly built in 1827. This small bit of coast is peppered with old silver, lead and copper mines, and plenty of sea caves.
I was on the last stretch of another gorgeous day. I had decided it was too much for me to walk around Pentire Head so I cut across the headland straight to Polzeath (I’ll walk it in the morning).
Polzeath is sheltered in Hayle Bay, just on the East side of Padstow Bay, before the start of the Camel Estuary. There was lots of house building going on, all big windows and wooden boarding. There were also lots of surfers enjoying the early evening waves. It looked lovely.
I found a sheltered campsite, pitched, did some hand washing, showered and then headed up the hill to the Oystercatcher Bar. My dinner wasn’t great but the view across Hayle Bay was lovely. There was a wonderful, deep red, sunset.