Gothic, romantic and wild: the Cornish North Coast exudes windswept charm.
But with a new myth or legend around every headland it’s no cliff top cliché. Expect sugared-sand beaches, cultural curiosities and elemental walks in this Top Ten of places to visit between the picturesque towns of Port Isaac and Boscastle, 12 miles north.
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- Start as you mean to go on – deliciously – in Port Isaac at The Harbour Restaurant. For fine dining, or the holy trinity of holiday eating (coffee, cake and a view) this tasty and intimate hang out is the perfect starter to any North Cornwall experience.
- Be sure to hang around harbour-side to enjoy an al fresco ‘shantying’ by The Fisherman’s Friends. Dates for 2012 can be found here.
- Looking northward, Trebarwith Strand’s film star good looks command the attention and demand some devotion to hedonistic beach pursuits: surf low-tide for a kid-friendly wave then forage in the cliff-face rock pools come high tide. Insider tip: approach from Tintagel on the South West Coast path for a real wind-in-your-hair experience.
- Tintagel town is itself a curio, but visit The National Trust’s wonky and wonderful Old Post Office for the definition of real ‘olde worlde’ quirky.
- Heading toward Boscastle try a couple of lesser known walks to really shift those workaday cobwebs: Bossiney (on the Tintagel to Boscastle road) is a tiny but glorious beach at low tide with a lovely waterfall.
- Do you believe in fairies? Search The Rocky Valley following a little stream interlaced with bridges to St Nectan’s Glen. As well as a 60ft waterfall and plunge pool known as St Nectan’s Kieve, magical tea rooms and a hermitage add to the Glen’s mysticism.
- If fairies aren’t your thing – how about witches? More Wicca than Wicked, the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft is the largest in Europe but by the pricking of my thumbs it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Romantics (capital ‘R’) will always enjoy the sinuous South West Coast path but if you like your romance a little more literal visit St Juliot’s church in Boscastle: the beginning of the Hardy’s nineteenth century love affair.
- Inspired? Get your art fix at The Old Forge Gallery, also in Boscastle.
- Ok I said no clichés but if you’re going to visit Cornwall you must have a cream tea – and the riverside view at The Riverside Restaurant is the perfect spot.