A drive through North Cornwall

While I am spending a few days in Cornwall before I move to Sydney for a year, I decided it was time I visited some parts of the county I haven't been to before. With the purpose of seeing one of Cornwall's most famous tourist attractions, Tintagel Castle, we spent Tuesday driving up the north coast, taking in picturesque harbours, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking beaches.

Our first stop was the tiny coastal settlement of Port Quin. An incredibly charming collection of well kept buildings overlooking a small beach, it was an icy wind trap when we visited so we didn't hang around long!

Just one hop up the coast is the picturesque fishing village of Port Issac, famed for being the filming location of the popular British TV series Doc Martin. There are signs everywhere saying things like 'this is Doc Martin's House' and 'this is where Doc Martin enjoys a pint'...

Next we visited Trebarwith Strand, a village located above a stunning golden beach which was being bombarded by violent white weaves and a terrific wind on the afternoon we visited. We sought refuge in the Port William Inn where we could stay warm and enjoy hot food while looking out at the stunning views.

From Trebarwith, we made the drive up to our intended destination – the much-hyped Tintagel Castle. The location is unquestionably stunning, but as someone who spent their childhood running past the proud old mine buildings at Bottallack (Poldark fans out there will know these) and jumping in and out of ancient stone circles it was incredibly underwhelming. Of course, had the sun been on our side and the wind given us more of a chance, we would have ventured closer to the ruins and experienced their full glory. As it was, we held our scarves in place around our cold ears and looked from afar, marvelling only at the hideousness of the 'Camelot Castle' hotel.

Just a stretch up the coast is the gorgeous village of Bostcastle, famous for the Museum of Witchcraft and, sadly, for flooding disastrously in 2004. There we braced ourselves against the wind one final time to walk along the zig-zagging harbour wall and try a couple of scoops of Heslett Farm ice cream, 'the best ice cream in the world' according to a sign. It came close...

Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath 
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Remembrance at Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath 
Trebarwith Strand | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Camelot Castle Hotel, Tintagel | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Tintagel  Castle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath
Ducks fight the stream at Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

The sun on Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo: © Rosie Pentreath

Bostcastle, Cornwall | Photo © Rosie Pentreath

If you like this, why not try:

How to make the most of a British summer holiday
Cape Cornwall
So long, farewell, Bristol

Rosie Pentreath


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