Day 298 Newquay and Crantock

Saturday 28 May 2016

Mawgan Porth to Porth Joke

14 miles

Polly Joke Campsite

I was up at 7 am and already there were 3 caravans waiting to pitch – half term mayhem had started. Ian and Barbara had already packed their wet tents away and Ian caught a bus around Newquay. I went for a coffee at the local shop with Barbara as she was leaving on another bus to head back to Germany. 

Beacon Cove
I packed away at 9 am and headed towards Newquay. The high cliffs here overlook beautiful clear sea and sandy beaches, most of which are joined together at low tide. It was another lovely walk until I reached Newquay town. 

looking along the high cliffs at Watergate Bay
I couldn’t believe how many new hotels and apartments had been built along the coast. The dominant Watergate Bay Hotel was now dwarfed by other establishments. This looked like the posh end of Newquay. The town itself was heaving with people and did not look so posh. (Neither of my German friends liked Newquay.)

Watergate Bay
I bumped into Barbara again as she was waiting for another bus, so we went for a cream tea in Newquay town. People-watching was fun. 

looking at Newquay from Tolcarne Beach
Newquay harbour
The sun was trying to come out as I left the town and walked over Towan Head to Fistral Beach, the home of British surfing. Just on the headland at the edge of the town is the Huer’s Hut, a 14th Century huer’s look out for shoals of pilchard. Upon spying a shoal the huer would ‘hue’ (alert) the local fishermen.

the Huer’s Hut
Fistral Beach was packed and there were at least 4 surf schools in the water, despite the lack of waves. 

Fistral Beach
Over Pentire is Crantock Beach, an old family favourite. The Fern Pit Cafe has steps leading down the steep cliff to the River Gannel and a footbridge that is submerged at high tide (when they run a ferry). The old shop with live crab and lobster in tanks that kids can look at was still there. 

The River Gannel at Crantock Beach
kids playing in the river and people on the beach
I walked along the beach and a sea mist came in; I remember sea mists being frequent at Crantock. 

the sea mist on Crantock Beach
I climbed up the cliff at the end of the beach and walked around Pentire Point West to Porth Joke, our favourite beach. It looked just the same: no lifeguards, huts or cafes here, just a small beach with a shallow stream running onto it. It is a half mile walk from the car park to the beach and I had always wanted to stay at the small campsite (no caravans allowed) that is next to the path. Today was my chance. 

the back of Porth Joke Beach
This campsite always finds room for hikers so I had no problem getting a space. The facilities were basic but I managed.

Porth Joke
I walked the half mile back to the beach for a swim and tried to get all my stuff dry before I headed back up to The Bowgie Inn at West Pentire for dinner. The sea mist rolled in again, thicker this time. 

a wonderful view along the coast to Newquay

6 thoughts on “Day 298 Newquay and Crantock

  1. Chris F May 31, 2016 / 4:25 am

    Isolated coves, beautiful golden beaches, majestic cliffs soring up above a blue sea……what more could you want?????? Another 14 miles further down memory lane and the realisation that time stand stands still for no one….well except possibly in Porth Joke! On on with your nostalgic walk along the north Cornish coast.


  2. jstumm May 31, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Haha, isn’t that funny. I always wanted to stay at that campsite too. So many memories of Porth Joke – walking like a tortoise (with the surf boards on my back), pasties from the butchers on the way, mom actually getting in the sea, burning to a frazzle, rabbit watching, and my first taste of rocket (which now grows in my garden). It all looks so lovely. When Peter can swim we are coming over in the school holidays!


    • jstumm May 31, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Oh, and the seal that you swam with, how could i not mention that?!


      • Lucy June 3, 2016 / 8:07 am

        That was dad’s fault


    • Lucy June 3, 2016 / 8:08 am

      And the campsite was not very good. I should have stayed in Treago Farm, almost next door, as it was cheaper and had much better facilities. That’s where you should stay if you come over


    • Lucy June 3, 2016 / 8:09 am

      Unfortunately Cubert was a bit too far inland for me to see if the butcher was still there and doing pasties. Remember the jewellery man too?


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