Wednesday, July 27, 2011
If you are staying at The Beach House, do not miss the opportunity to explore the South West Coastal Path – it’s on your very doorstep. (Well, it’s at the bottom of the garden, but it’s close enough!)
As the longest National Trail in the country, the path stretches some 630 miles all the way from Minehead in Somerset, around the South West peninsula and along to South Haven Point in Dorset.
The trail boasts stunning scenery the entire way, and of course we think the North Cornish leg is the most beautiful! Characterised by flat topped cliffs, small coves and expanses of sandy beaches, you cannot help but be in awe of the rugged Cornish terrain. With picturesque villages and remnants of the old mining industry dotted along the way, you’ll feel you’ve been transported back to a bygone era.
In fact, the path has hardly changed over the years, and was a working footpath right up until 1913. Coastguards would patrol on foot every day, walking up and down the path on the look-out for smugglers, and later keeping watch for signs of military action. Today the relics this past remain evident, as many of the coastguard cottages are still standing, while the stone stiles and walls built in the course of their duties continue to be in use.
But while this footpath is a well-trodden one, if you are new to the area you may want to consider where (and just how far) you wish to walk. Whether you are a dedicated rambler, or you simply enjoy a gentle stroll from time to time, there is something for everyone.
For those looking for a gentle warm-up, the walk from Port Isaac to the tranquil cove of Port Quin is ideal. It is a popular route, and if the children are in tow they are sure to enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of Port Quin’s beach at low tide.
On the other hand, if you are considering something a little more strenuous, try traversing the 9 miles to Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. At the end of the road you will be rewarded with the impressive sight of Tintagel Castle, majestically spread across the steep cliff-face.
In other direction and a cool 12 miles away is Padstow, an idyllic fishing village and home to TV chef Rick Stein. Undoubtedly you will have worked up an appetite after all that hard-work, so a plate of his famous fish and chips will go down a treat.
If the thought of walking back to the Beach House is too much to bear, you can always catch a bus back home, a service available all the way along the coastal path. And remember, the entire trail is well sign posted in both directions, so there is little chance of getting lost.
So with such a fantastic (and free) facility at the bottom of the garden, this is your chance to leave the car at home, dust off those walking boots and give the legs a stretch.