17. South West Coast Path (North Cornwall)

178. Trebarwith Strand to Boscastle

Monday 22nd April 2019

The same taxi driver from Boscars picked me up from the Wellington Hotel and took me to Trebarwith Strand. The ‘unforeseen circumstances’ of yesterday turned out to be that they attended a charity day at the Napoleon pub in Boscastle – and why not. Clear blue skies and sunny again but a bit more of a breeze today. Looked like it was going to be another hot day so I was in summer gear of T-shirt with a waterproof in my pack.

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Gull Rock, Trebarwith Strand (GR049864)

Followed the path out of Trebarwith Strand (GR049864) on steps which eventually were cut into the rock. This was a steep climb with intermittent steps compensated by good views back to Trebarwith Strand and Dennis Point.

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Port William pub, Trebarwith Strand

As is often the case I wondered if I could have gone further the previous day, in this case on to Tintagel, as that was my tentative plan, but there is absolutely no way with these steps in the state I was in yesterday. The path levelled out at the top of the climb above Vean Hole and the houses on the outside of Tintagel could be seen. Despite it being a bit misty, could see a very long way down to the west of the coast but couldn’t see much to the east (because of Tintagel Head rather than the mist).

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St. Materiana’s Church, Tintagel (GR051884)

This was a very pleasant and mainly level clifftop walk through National Trust Bagalow, which is left by a stone stile at which point the church at Tintagel can be seen. It was an easy walk past Lower and Higher Penhallic Point and Dunderhole Point and across a wide open clifftop heading towards St. Materiana’s Church (GR051885) mainly accompanied by many dog-walkers.

Approaching Tintagel it was unclear as to whether the path straight ahead went down into the dip and up to the castle or whether it was blocked off by the work ongoing so decided to go round by the road which was probably less hilly and easier. The ongoing work was the building of a £4 million bridge onto Tintagel Head and is considered by some to be the ‘Disneyfication’ of an iconic part of Cornwall. The design images looked pretty impressive to me and although it was due to open Spring 2019 it was clearly not very close to completion.

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Construction of bridge onto Tintagel Head (GR052888)

Followed the steep road up to the village of Tintagel (GR055885) where I had not been for many years and turned left on the road past many cafes giving off an enticing aroma of breakfast. When possible I like to leave my hotel without breakfast and eat a couple of hours into the walk but I had a bed and breakfast deal with the Wellington Hotel and at this time of the year and in Cornwall it is not necessarily easy to find cafes that are open.

Continued along the road until it turned left at the Headland Caravan Park and took the footpath straight ahead (GR057888). It had become cloudy and even a little bit cold rather than the expected hot day – better for walking in many ways. The sandy track by the caravan park led onto a field path which climbed up to a point with good views back to Tintagel Castle and forward to the next series of small bays.

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Tintagel Castle and Tintagel Head (GR055891)

Continued across the open clifftop and then up steps. The path dropped down to a wooden footbridge and then steeply up steps at Bossiney Haven (GR065893) – the first of this series of bays.

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Benoath Cove (GR065894)

A stiff little climb was then followed by a pleasantly undulating path above Benoath Cove. Stopped to do up my bootlaces yet again. Don’t know what it is about bootlaces – yesterday didn’t have to do them up at all but had to do it twice already this morning.

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Across Benoath Cove to Lye Rock (GR071896)

Passed to the seaward side of a large outcrop of rock and then start the drop down to the impressive Rocky Valley (GR072896) which was indeed very rocky. The climbs down and up at Bossiney Haven and Rocky Valley were really rather taxing and something of a surprise on a stretch described as ‘moderate’ by the South West Coat Path guide book. However, they were well worth it for grandeur of the coastline. After Rocky Valley the footpath undulated along underneath the Trewethett Farm Caravan Park and above Trewethet Gut. (it seems that as a ‘Gut’ the name ends in a single ‘t’ whereas for the ‘Farm’ it is ‘tt’ – or the Ordnance Survey map is wrong).

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Rocky Valley (GR072895)

At a path junction (GR081904) took a path up to the right heading towards Trevalga so as to cut off the last bit of the coast path. Partly this was because Diane had texted to say that they were in Boscastle and I felt that the road might be quicker, but also because if we were to walk in the afternoon I wanted to avoid some of the hard work.

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Saddle Rocks (GR074901)

From Trevalga (GR081901) went up to the main B3266 road (GR083899) and turned left. Continued on the B3266, which was rather busy, for about ¾ mile and then turned left on a minor road (GR091904) and down a succession of minor roads to Boscastle (GR099912) to meet Tony and Diane.

They were sitting on the veranda of the Wellington Hotel and a pint of beer and a crab sandwich somewhat deadened the desire to walk in the afternoon. It was in any case difficult to see where to walk to as there are very few access points on this part of the coast and the nearest, Crackington Haven, was too far as was demonstrated by the next day’s walk.

The Wellington Hotel was an old hotel that had been renamed after the Duke’s death in 1852 and each room had a list of prominent people who had stayed in it over the 170 years. Mine, despite being small and in the attic although perfectly comfortable, had apparently hosted the Professor Divinity at Durham University (1872), Countess Helena Bismark (1878), Lord and Lady Truscott (Lord Mayor of London) (1881), Miss K. Hardy (Thomas Hardy’s daughter) (1928), Evelyn Moore (Squadron Leader Guy Gibson’s fiancé – of Dambusters fame) (1940) and Jason Karl (TV presenter) (2002). Jason Karl ? Had to look him up. Apparently one genre of his TV presentations was the paranormal.

We had an excellent meal in the hotel restaurant that evening.

Days from Chepstow   178

Miles today   6.9

Miles from Chepstow   2153.6

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