A New Discovery in North Cornwall – Porthcothan Bay :)

Cornwall – the most beautiful place in the world – especially North Cornwall 🙂
A new campsite found (to which we will return), and meeting with old friends.
This was a very special part of our trip 🙂

It’s been a few years since our last trip to Cornwall, but, considering it’s my favourite place in the world, it won’t be our last!

This trip in particular was a bit special. Not only was it wonderful to be out and about in the van again, but we were meeting up with friends who we hadn’t seen for nearly a year. AND we got to watch England beat Germany in the Euros together. What more could you want??

We discovered a site (Old MacDonalds Farm) that not only gave a wonderful first impression, but managed to build on that as our stay progressed – if we hadn’t had other bookings (due to worrying about being able to get in anywhere if we didn’t!) we would have stayed longer without a doubt.

We had 5 nights here and crammed a far bit in – here’s a summary:-

Looking out at the Petting Zoo (and the Alpacas) from the bar

Day 1 – Arrived (via a typical Cornish lane – meeting a tractor coming the other way!) We drove down (we were tired) to the Bay (it is walkable, but probably about 3/4 mile and quite a trek back up the hill!) There is a bus though 🙂

The beach is beautiful. The tide was out and we just walked out to the surf’s edge, exploring all the little caves and coves along the way.

We also noticed that all the beaches in this area have ‘litter picking’ stations, which is a wonderful idea. If we had been staying longer Calv would most definitely have got involved 🙂

Day 2 – It rained all night and didn’t stop all day, so we pulled on our wet gear and walking boots and headed out to get some fuel for the little car at St Merryn. Calv said the shop was amazing! So any camping needs should be filled here 🙂 We then took the road opposite the garage (and past the chippie) down towards Harlyn Bay and Trevone Head.

Initially we kept going straight on taking us past the golf course and driving range, before turning round and taking a left down towards the 2 holiday parks. There are 2 national trust car parks down here to take in the views or visit the bays. At the end of the road is the Trevone lighthouse – but the road goes no further!

We came back to the 1st car park and walked, in the rain, down to the delightfully named Booby’s Bay, which links up to Constantine Bay. I scrambled down to the beach via some rocks only to walk around the corner and find some wooden steps! Beautiful golden sands and patrolled by lifeguards, this was a lovely find.

Then we got a call from our friends to say they were waiting for us at our van! So we headed back and had a lovely afternoon catching up before they carried on to their holiday home in Padstow (normally rented out – #seaviewpadstow).

Day 3 – We headed slightly south to Bedruthen Steps, from where we walked to Mawgan Porth and back, a total of 5 miles. We didn’t know we were going to walk quite so far, and on leaving Mawgan Porth we decided to try to avoid the diversion on the cliff path (they’re putting in steps) by walking up the hill on the road (next to the Pitch and Putt). We thought this had worked, but the path ended up taking us back down to the beach anyway!! Massive fail…

An evening at #seaviewpadstow (our friend’s holiday cottage in Padstow) finished off the day. A taxi back to the campsite cost just £15 (although the taxi driver was pretty miserable!!)

Day 4 – Steve and Denise bought our little car back and then we took them back to Padstow, via Padstow Farm Shop (very disappointing) and Tesco’s. They later joined us at the campsite to watch THE match of the Euros so far (England v Germany in case you’re wondering) in the bar. The evening rounded off with a buffet meal outside the van and a few games of boules.

Day 5 – Our last day on site. We had a lovely sunny day so lathered on the suncream and took the kayak down to the bay. Great fun, especially surfing the waves back into the beach and even though Calv then tipped me out into the shallows – bless him….

Our last hurrah was to go back to Padstow for a wander before collecting Marie and Steve to come to pick up their car from the night before. They had all been on a Boat Safari during the day – seeing lots of dolphins 🙂

This part of the country is simply amazing – beautiful beaches, country lanes and stunning landscapes. A new view around every corner (and a tractor of course!)

We Stayed:Old MacDonalds Farm, Pothcothan

Next Stop: – Peter Tavy, nr Tavistock (Harford Bridge Camping)

Our Favourite Beaches and Seaside Resorts in the UK

That the UK has some stunning countryside is accepted by all, but our beaches? Many people aren’t aware of just how beautiful many of our beaches really are – a friend who has just visited Devon & Cornwall commented that you wouldn’t expect to see the beaches that they’d found in the UK! Read this to discover some of the must see beaches and resorts in the UK.

I think we all have a favourite beach, but that doesn’t, of course, mean that this is the best beach in the country!  We can’t all visit them all can we?  So this is my selection of our favourite beaches that we have visited in the UK – so far 🙂

Note, these are OUR favourites, and therefore I feel it’s only fair to fess up to the fact that I’m not a fan of pebbly beaches.  So, even though some pebbly beaches are stunning  they’re unlikely to feature in our favourites as I would aim for a sandy beach over a pebbly one any day of the week 🙂  Maybe I’ll do a separate list for pebbly beaches one day!!

My favourite features are beach huts (the quirkier the better), a good old fashioned pier, a nice promenade and beautiful clean sand and water.  These are to be found in abundance all around the coast here in the UK.  (Note: not having a blue flag designation does not mean a beach and it’s water aren’t clean…)

I have missed out so many beaches (there are numerous lovely examples in Norfolk – from Mundsley to California, Lincolnshire – from Cleethorpes to Skegness, Yorkshire – Saltburn to Robin Hoods Bay, Northumberland – Newbiggin to Spittal, Dorset – Bournemouth to Swanage, Cornwall – too many to mention! and not to forget Devon where my childhood memories are of Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth, and where I first swam without armbands in Bigbury Bay (where the beach scenes in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were filmed).  Or Wales where all the beaches I’ve ever visited are stunning (Tenby (see no. 10 below), Saundersfoot, Pendine, those on the Gower peninsula and North Wales too), and, of course, the Isle of Wight (right on our doorstep).  I’m look forward to visiting Liverpool and the Wirral in a few weeks to see what they have to offer us on the North East Coast 🙂

Also I am able to say that we have actually visited all the beaches featured on the following pages – so again I am quite sure there are others that you might include – please feel free to share!

 

Before you look through my choices I have to say that a couple of other beaches deserve a special mention (I decided to stick with a Top 10 but can’t resist these):-

Filey, East Yorkshire – good old fashioned seaside resort with a surprising amount of history

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Filey Beach

Southwold, Suffolk – what a surprisingly lovely resort.  A unique pier, no amusement arcades – just a lovely promenade along the seafront and a charming little town with a rather lovely fish and chip shop! The Little Fish & Chip Shop   No wonder it topped a poll of the UK’s favourite seaside resorts!

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View from the end of the pier at Southwold

Scarborough, East Yorkshire – Specifically the quieter North Bay, overlooked by the castle high up on the hill that divides the 2 bays.

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Overlooking Scarborough beach and harbour

Weymouth, Dorset – the sand may well be imported but this is a lovely south coast resort with a permanent sand art display on the beach.

And, finally, the main picture was taken, believe it or not, on the outskirts of Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire!  We were NOT expecting this 🙂

Now, read on for images and comments on our top 10 favourite beaches 🙂

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Cornwall – the most beautiful place in the world :)

After Yorkshire we headed for Cornwall…  Yes, a slight deviation from our route around the coast, but necessary to attend my friend’s Very Important birthday celebrations 🙂  Louise had rented a house for the week in Rock where she was staying with her family, so we took the van and had my sister & brother-in-law to stay for a couple of nights + another friend and her husband in their tent for a couple of nights (as it happened due to the weather they put their tent away and stayed in the van with us for their 2nd night).

Now, I have spent a lot of time in Cornwall throughout my life and it remains my favourite place in the world.  I did think that perhaps I wouldn’t feel the same when I returned, what with all the wonderful places we have seen over the last couple of years, but no, as ever, it felt like I was coming home 🙂

On this trip we managed to visit 3 of my favourite spots in the county, Tintagel, Bedruthen Steps and Port Isaac.  Unfortunately we ran out of time and couldn’t get to Boscastle this time (if you’re visiting Cornwall for the 1st time it’s a must).  We also managed to visit several places that I’ve somehow missed on previous visits, although it’s always possible that I went to any of them as a child and have simply forgotten; Rock itself, Trevone, Trebarwith Strand and Port Gaverne – a short walk from Port Isaac.

Rather than write in detail about each I’ve simply decided to put pictures up!  They really speak for themselves 🙂

 

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We had such a wonderful weekend with the focus being on birthday celebrations.  On the Friday evening the ladies were all heading over to Padstow to eat at Rick Stein’s Fish Restaurant.  We went over on the ferry and came back on the water taxi (which you have to call, but is basically a ferry as well).

I have to be honest here and admit that I wasn’t looking forward to this particularly as I’m not overly keen on seafood, I knew it would be fairly expensive and, shock, horror, I’m not actually a fan of Rick Stein.  However, the food was exquisite, the atmosphere was very laid back and the bill wasn’t actually as expensive as expected.  On top of that, on discovering it was Lou’s birthday, an additional dessert was brought out with 6 mini desserts on a plate on which happy birthday had been written in chocolate 🙂

We had such a lovely evening, made even better when we received a text from Calv with a picture of the menu from the pub the boys had gone to in Rock (see below for extract!)

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Also, here’s a picture of my dessert 🙂  Very nice it was too!

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We struggled to get a taxi to take us back to our campsite 2 miles away from the house (as in, it was impossible!) so we had to walk back on both Friday night and Saturday night – after the barbeque.

As the bbq didn’t start until mid-afternoon those of us staying at the campsite headed out to Port Isaac in the morning after Emma and Chris arrived.  In fact they arrived before Debbie and I actually got back from our walk to pick the car up – we went the long way across the fields and the golf course so that we could have a look at the historic church that’s right in the middle of the golf course, St Endenoc.  This then took us across the dunes and down onto either the beach or into the car-park – depending on which of numerous paths you choose!

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Watch out for the parking wardens – a ticket was received by 1 of the cars for being parked partly on the grass of the packed car park.  As ever Port Isaac didn’t disappoint and, this time, I walked up to the headland beyond the Doc’s surgery with Calv 🙂

On the road down to Rock there are a number of individual shops including a butchers and a bakers.  We used both of them and they were wonderful!  We also used the fish and chip shop on Sunday night when we headed again to the house to harass Lou and her family!  This was a bit of a special evening actually culminating as it did with a  sing-along with Lou’s grandparents; an amazing couple , married 68 years and still going strong 🙂

After a boules match, that saw both Calv and Debbie beat the mega competitive Chris (!)  Don’t worry I played him after Debbie and Paul left and I let him win….  Haha 🙂

We then headed off on a trip down towards Newquay to Bedruthen Steps, a beautiful beach with natural caves and rock formations, accessed by some brutal steps!  I was very happy the next day to find that I am obviously much fitter than I was 3 years ago when we first visited – in that I was able to actually move and walk the next day with no problems whatsoever (it took me days to get over it last time, and I struggled to get into and out of the van!)

On Monday we had to move sites (we were moving to a certificated site a mile or so away that was £13 per night.  In August.  In Cornwall….!)  Other than that we did very little apart from head into Wadebridge to do a little bit of shopping.  It pretty much rained all day.

Tuesday dawned much nicer and we headed back to Rock for a day on the beach with Lou and her brother & his family.  We took the kayak with us and the girls loved it!  Louise and I failed miserably at the first attempt of climbing the dunes – they were far too high to tackle in flip-flops…  We finished the day with a wonderfully competitive game of French cricket (proper rules!)

One thing we noticed both at Bedruthen and Rock were the number of jelly-fish washed up on the beach – they were everywhere!

On Wednesday we headed for Tintagel but took a wrong turn just before we arrived and found ourselves at Trebarwith Strand.  We decided to take a look which ended up with Calv going into the water to get a little girl out who’d slipped off the rocks, and was in danger of being swept away down the narrow channel into the sea.   All he got for his efforts was a deep cut above his eye and blood all over his face – no thank you from her father when he turned up….

As he was soaking wet and more than a little shocked we headed back to the van – Calv with massive pasty in hand.

We did make it to wonderful Tintagel the following day before we left for home, via Bridport.  Or so we thought…

We intended to stop in a free car-park by the police station in Bridport, but got there to find that the fun-fair had moved in for 3 days 😦

We stopped to try to find a motorhome stopover and found a pub, but on phoning them there was a problem with them enabling us to fulfil the condition of having a meal in the pub, so we abandoned that plan.  We eventually found a certificated site that could take us and headed there.  We missed the turn though so had to continue along the road, which took us past the pub we’d tried to get into (the car park was far too small for us anyway), but I realised that Lou’s nan and granddad actually lived opposite the pub!  Lou later told me that they were all eating in there that evening, AND, the site we ended up at was, quite literally, behind here mum and dad’s house!

1 final coincidence was that there was a couple in a motorhome on the same site as us that night.  We arrived late and only said ‘hello’, and they had left before we got up the next morning.  When we pulled up at Kia Ora, our ‘home’ site in Nutbourne near Emsworth, this same couple had just pulled in…  You couldn’t make it up!

We did notice that there were more foreign visitors in Cornwall than anywhere else we have visited (and there have been plenty).  All nationalities here as well, but lots of Italians for some reason…

We have just had 10 days at home and today have moved back up country – we’re just south of Sheffield.  Check back for my next post which will deal with a cycle ride along the Hayling Billy yesterday 🙂