Despite the bad start to the morning, it has turned into a beautiful day. Perhaps it’s the weather, or perhaps it’s because it is a Sunday, but I have met an unusual number of walkers along this section of the South West Coast Path.
I find a pub and sit outside, overlooking the beach. Unfortunately the fish cakes are ‘off’, but the cook kindly makes me a children’s size portion of fish and chips. Plenty big enough for me!
The beach below looks crowded. Everybody is coming to spend a day at the seaside. I walk across the sands and find the footpath leading up the opposite cliff.
At the top is a footpath sign and a board with a metal design fixed to it. On closer inspection, this seems to be a place where you can leave dropped objects you find along the path (lost gloves, scarves, etc, I imagine).
A great idea!
Sadly there is nothing on the board today. But maybe that’s a good thing.
Little did I know that I was soon going to come across one of the most scenic parts of the north Cornwall coast.
GREAT DANGER, SHEER CLIFFS.
And then I am walking above an area whose features read like poetry on my map: Whitestone Cove, Pendarvas Point, Redcove Island, Bedruthan Steps, Queen Bee’s Rock, Diggory’s Island, Pentire Steps.
But it’s not just the names that are beautiful.
I had never heard or this area before, although others clearly have because there are a number of people strolling on the top of the cliffs and admiring the views. The National Trust says this place has “views that are arguably some of the most impressive in Cornwall” – and I wouldn’t argue with that.
It would look different when the tide was out. Probably just as impressive, but different.
In the middle of this bubbling cauldron is a cove where the water is calmer. And here is a surreal sight. Far below is a lone surfer. He is attracting some interest from the view-watchers on the cliff top. At first I think it is because he is alone in this wild place. And I suddenly see the reason why everyone is staring and pointing. He is naked!
I continue onwards. Despite the wildness of the cliffs beneath, the top is a relatively tame walk through open landscape and farmland. I come across sheep.
And walkers enjoying the wonderful views.
There are numerous little coves indenting the cliffs below. I see surfers (wearing clothes) enjoying the waves.
And finally I come round the coastline and I know I am at the edge of Porthcothan bay and the first of the two main beaches.
The tide is high and people are having to squash up on the narrow strips of sand that remain. It is amusing watching the territorial battles.
I walk onwards and soon find myself walking down the side of the narrow inlet that leads up to the village of Porthcothan.
The waves roll inwards and people are enjoying the low surf. When the tide is out, this would be a large expanse of sand. But now everybody is squeezed back to the apex of the cove and the small patch of beach at the top. The place is crowded with young families and children.
Beyond the beach are a series of high dunes, through which it is difficult to pick my way to the village beyond. I find a small café/shop, seeming almost overwhelmed by the encroaching waves of sand, but it sells everything from beach equipment to snacks. I buy a cold drink and sit outside in the sunshine, waiting until it is time for the bus to take me back to Newquay. The place smells of salt and suntan cream. A perfect spot to end the day.
Miles walked today = 10
Total miles walked = 1,260