17. South West Coast Path (North Cornwall)

175. Harlyn to Padstow

Tuesday 29th January 2019

I stayed at the Metropole Hotel in Padstow which was OK bur was undergoing a big refurbishment and I am not sure whether or not my room had been refurbished. Took a taxi out to Harlyn Bridge on Harlyn Bay (GR879754), another sandy surfing bay but just a few dog walkers today.

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Harlyn Bay (geograph.org.uk)
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Shackleton on South Georgia (from Endurance by Alfred Lansing)

A grim morning really, very dark, bit of rain but no wind. The weather was about to test another new item of my walking equipment but the more immediate problem was that I was unable to take many photographs today so I have used public available ones (credited) which may make things look better than I experienced them. I have recently read Endurance by Alfred Lansing describing Shackleton’s 1914-16 Antarctic trip. Trapped in the ice, in open boats across the widest seas and trapped on tiny beaches they kept taking photographs. This one was taken crossing South Georgia on the day of certain death through freezing or almost certain death by tobogganing down the side of a glacier on a coil of rope for a toboggan trying to avoid precipices. They succeeded which makes you feel a little pathetic when a little rain stops photography.

The path from Harlyn Bridge was stony at first and then sandy as it wandered gently along low cliff tops with cultivated land to the right around Newtrain Bay to reach Trevone Bay (GR892759). Went round the beach at Trevone Bay and followed the road out of the bay for a few yards and then left up some steps to climb up onto low cliffs again.

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Across Trevone Bay (GR890762)

A very pleasant grassy path leads out towards the sea up to Roundhole Point (GR889763), passing Round Hole which is indeed a big round hole in the ground. Followed a broad, grassy and fairly level track to a huge corner stile at the impressive Longcarrow Cove (GR895768).

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Longcarrow Cove (GR894768)

Took a path up to the right to avoid the worst of the climb up to Gunver Head (GR897772) and crossed a couple of fields to rejoin the path. This was wide path along the top of the cliffs in places worn into about half a dozen separate paths. Still raining, not heavily but consistently. The path reaches another impressive rocky cove at Butter Hole (GR909778).

Climbed up to the landmark tower on Stepper Point (GR910784). This is hollow and you can go inside a get a little shelter but it has no roof so the rain still comes in.

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Landmark at Stepper Point (geograph.org.uk)

From the tower walked across the grassland and round Stepper Point itself to the coastguard station (GR913777). Continued in front of the station although as visitors were welcome I could have gone in and got warm and dry. Followed the narrow path down to reach the estuary of the River Camel where Polzeath and Rock can be seen opposite but Padstow was hidden round Gun Point.

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Hawker Cove (geograph.org.uk)

The path dropped down to the road at Hawker’s Cove (GR912776) and then off to the left a few yards down the road.

Reached the beach at Harbour Cove (GR911770) and perhaps should have crossed it, but instead followed the official path which took a circuitous route through some boggy woodland and then eventually went along the back of the sand dunes on the beach to Gun Point (GR918768).

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Dune path at Harbour Cove (geograph.org.uk)

This is rather a boring section of path along the estuary heading for Padstow. Eventually the path turned into a very difficult to walk on stone surfaced path and reached the small sandy bay at St George’s Cove (GR919764).

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St George’s Cove (geograph.org.uk)

The path continued along to the impressive war memorial at St Saviour’s Point (GR922760) from where Padstow can be seen.

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War memorial at St Saviour’s Point (geograph.org.uk)

The rain was now getting to be a bit too much so walked down into Padstow to arrive at The Shipwrights (GR920755). Stopped in there for a couple of pints of Proper Job and some crab.

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The Shipwrights (geograph.org.uk)

Walked back to the Metropole Hotel very wet and bedraggled. Thought to myself that I might do the bit from Rock to Polzeath in the afternoon – decided that was a bit of a joke and went to bed for the afternoon.

The item of equipment tested was an expensive new Berghaus Hydrocell waterproof jacket to replace my not so old previous even more expensive Berghaus jacket that now has no waterproof capability whatsoever despite re-proofing it three times with the spray and twice washing it in the non-detergent cleaning/waterproofing liquid. Why is it impossible to get a jacket that remains waterproof ? I think the new jacket worked but as always rain gets in somehow, probably down your neck.

Days from Chepstow   175

Miles today   7.5

Miles from Chepstow   2129.0

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