Day 295 Polzeath via Port Isaac

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Tintagel to Polzeath

17 miles

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.)

looking back at The Island with Tintagel Castle
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. 

looking down the coastline, Dennis Point and Gull Rock prominent
High cloud was diluting the sun; pretty much perfect walking conditions. The views were amazing again. 

one of many ‘holes’ in the cliff
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. 

the Slate Pinnacle at Lanterdan Quarry
another quarry
Gull Rock dominated my view along the coast to Rumps Point. I could see my entire day’s walk ahead of me. 

approaching Trebarwith Strand
rugged coastline
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! 

another steep climb at Delabole Point
walking to Port Isaac
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!

Port Isaac
if you want Doc Martin, try the small house in the middle
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
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. 

Doyden Castle
beware the mine shafts!
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). 

Varley Head, protecting Port Quin
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. 

Polzeath Beach
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.

lovely view back to Penhallic Point from Trebarwith Strand
a greener sea looking back to Port Isaac

3 thoughts on “Day 295 Polzeath via Port Isaac

  1. Chris F May 30, 2016 / 7:27 am

    17 miles of the most beautiful coastline……Jon Boy and Mary Ellen to keep you company and ending in Port Isaac with a pasty waiting for Martin Cloons to stomp down the street…….whilst wearing saggy shorts!!!!!! On on Juice……its down hill from here. Oh and book ahead to get a table at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Padstow!!!!!


  2. Zephyrine May 30, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Perhaps your animal Waltons experience means you’re ‘goin’ Bodmin’ (as per Doc Martin)…? I’m still so enjoying your travels & the odd travail – but no more maps gone missing lately. – I know someone who lives on the coast near Looe – would you like me to contact him, see if he would like to let you use his washing-machine when you get that far? Zephyrine


    • Lucy May 30, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      Hey Zephyrine. I’m glad to hear from you – I was just thinking today that I needed to send you a message. No more missing maps…yet. I think I might be ok near Looe thanks as my cousin lives there. But I really appreciate the offer. My kit always needs washing! Are you still walking?


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