Day 296 Padstow Bay and the River Camel

Thursday 26 May 2016

Polzeath to Treyarnon

18 miles

Treyarnon Bay Camping and Caravan Site

looking over Polzeath to Stepper Point and Trevose Head
It had been another cold night but the sun was already warm at 7 am when I set off. I had left my tent up and just set off to walk the 5 miles around Pentire Point (the bit I missed yesterday). 

approaching Rumps Point and The Mouls
It was glorious in the morning sun, and nice not to be carrying a rucksack. I had great views all the way along the coast and across to Hartland Point (very faint in the distance). My only company was a few fishing boats in the water and cows on the headland. 

looking back up the coast into the morning sun
Rumps Point once had an Iron Age hill fort atop it and must have been well defended. 

Rumps Point in the glorious morning sun
Rumps Point from Pentire Point, on the same headland
Pentire Point is a fantastic viewpoint. From there I could see Padstow Bay, along the Camel Estuary to Padstow, Stepper Point and Trevose Head on the other side of the Camel Estuary. There were lots of golden sandy beaches. 

looking across Padstow Bay, the mouth of the River Camel, to Stepper Point and Trevose Head further down
looking down the Camel Estuary
I returned to the campsite to pack up my tent and then headed to the nearest cafe for some well-earned breakfast. 

surfers in the sea at Polzeath, Pentire Point behind
It was only 3 miles around Trebethernick Point and along Daymer beach to Rock. Wonderful in the morning sunshine. 

looking across the Camel Estuary at Hawker’s Cove
Daymer Bay and Brea Hill, guarding the entrance to the River Camel (Padstow just visible)
Daymer Bay looking like a Caribbean beach
As I arrived at Rock the passenger ferry that bridges the Camel was ready to leave so hopped on board. This meant I didn’t go into Rock itself but, with my underwear hanging from my rucksack to dry, I didn’t think this posh town was ready for me.

the sand spit at the end of Daymer Bay (not on my map!)
the ferry to Padstow
looking back at Rock across the Camel Estuary
Padstow was busy but strangely quiet. I think everyone was hanging around the harbour in silence waiting for lunchtime so they could head to one of the Rick Stein eateries. 

I bumped into Tanya, one of the Europeans from last week, which was nice. She was off to get a bus so I went to get an ice cream and then headed to the National Lobster Hatchery. It was established in 2000 and aims to increase the Cornish lobster population by keeping berried hens (pregnant female lobsters) and then incubating their offspring so they don’t become prey in the wild. This way they try and replace the stock we deplete. It was very interesting. 

a baby lobster at the National Hatchery
I couldn’t eat lobster after that so I bought a pasty from Chough Bakery, the 2016 World Pasty Champions. It tasted very nice sat on a park bench overlooking the River Camel. 

a nice spot for lunch, overlooking Padstow and the River Camel
the entrance to the Camel Estuary (Padstow Bay), Stepper Point on the left and Pentire Point on the right
Clouds started appearing and the wind strength increased as I walked out to Stepper Point and looked across at Polzeath and Pentire Head. As I turned the corner I left behind the Caribbean-green, shallow, sandy estuary and faced the dark blue, choppy, deep sea. Quite a contrast. 

the view across Padstow Bay from Stepper Point to Pentire Point
looking at Trevose Head
I was now entering childhood holiday territory. I calculated that 25 years had passed since this next stretch of coastline was my family’s annual holiday destination. Time to see how much it had changed. 

this could be NE Scotland!
a tidal pool at Trevone
At Harlyn Bay I headed inland, cutting out Trevose Head (left for tomorrow), and walked along the roads to Treyarnon. I decided to camp there as I wanted to swim in the tidal pool that we used to love as kids. 

Harlyn Bay
After walking around I determined that only 1 out of 3 campsites was immediately available (I had moved out of any phone signal area, which didn’t help matters when campsite receptions were closed). Where I ended up was not great but I had no choice. I pitched and walked to the sea. 

Treyarnon Beach, facing West
Treyarnon Bay had not moved on in 25 years. It was exactly the same and has an air of being in the middle of nowhere. I even saw a man using a pay phone in a red telephone box – it really was an old fashioned pay phone, I checked. They don’t even have those in Shetland!

The pool was deserted, which wasn’t how I remembered it. It also seemed rather small. No matter, I went for a swim and even dived off the rock a few times. It wasn’t even that cold and the water was crystal clear. 

Treyarnon tidal pool (it definitely used to be bigger!)
I struggled to wash my sweaty clothes and then contemplated the 2 mile walk to St Merryn for a decent meal. Fortunately the student working in the campsite reception offered me a lift. Unfortunately, it had started raining when I left and I had to navigate the 2 miles back across overgrown fields in the rain. I got soaked and my only set of “clean” clothes were now covered in mud. Oh well, at least I made it. 

they have cows on the headland at Pentire Point
looking down the River Camel

3 thoughts on “Day 296 Padstow Bay and the River Camel

  1. Chris F May 30, 2016 / 7:35 am

    Day 296 and your Ten Day Bridgette’s are still going strong!!!!! You know you would not have been allowed into Rock if you were carrying anything less than a Cath Kidson rucksack (minus knicks drying over the top flap). Beautiful coastline and an 18 mile trip down memory lane………OUTSTANDING……on on Marshal of the Air (Retd) .


    • Lucy May 30, 2016 / 9:03 pm

      10 day pants still going strong!


  2. jstumm May 30, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    That pool was definately bigger. I took Andreas there when we first got together, and I remember thinking the same then. The scramble down was easier though! Can’t wait for all the photos now… How about a camping holiday in a couple of summers time?


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