Cornwall Life - - WALKS -

Boscas­tle is a great start­ing point for a va­ri­ety of walks. A stroll along the north side of the har­bour and along to Pe­nally Point is packed with in­ter­est and won­der­ful coastal views. The only safe haven on the long and dan­ger­ous stretch of coast from Port Isaac to Bude, Boscas­tle’s tightly shel­tered har­bour once bus­tled with ketches and schooners. Nav­i­ga­tion into the har­bour’s nar­row wind­ing chan­nel was (and re­mains) tricky, as can read­ily be ap­pre­ci­ated from Pe­nally Point or Pe­nally Hill above. Larger ves­sels were ‘hob­bled’ in by eight oared boats.

None­the­less, car­goes from lo­cal ports, Bris­tol, South Wales and even

North Amer­ica were off­loaded on the El­iz­a­bethan quay in con­sid­er­able quan­ti­ties – 200 ves­sels were recorded here in one year alone. Trade de­clined after the rail­way reached North Cornwall in 1893. To­day, small fish­ing boats and plea­sure craft pre­dom­i­nate and safety is much im­proved with Wil­la­park Look­out Sta­tion. Orig­i­nally built as a sum­mer house in the early 19th cen­tury, the build­ing later served as a Coast­guard look­out and then a folly, be­fore it was leased to the Na­tional Coast­watch in 2002.

Re­turn­ing to the har­bour, there is much of in­ter­est, in­clud­ing the Mu­seum of Witchcraft and Magic. Not to be missed, the Na­tional Trust’s Vis­i­tor Cen­tre, has a fas­ci­nat­ing video of the ter­ri­ble 2004 Boscas­tle Flood. You may like to ex­tend your walk by fol­low­ing the easy and scenic river­side path from the car park. Un­der nor­mal con­di­tions, the river Va­lency ap­pears be­nign and keeps well within its banks. How­ever… look up and see how the steep sided river val­ley could fun­nel huge quan­ti­ties of wa­ter rapidly into Boscas­tle after heavy rain.

Ter­rain: Easy, level path along har­bour and Va­lency Val­ley; gen­tle path to Pe­nally Point; stepped path up Pe­nally Hill

Maps: Ord­nance Sur­vey Ex­plorer 111; Lan­dranger 190; Har­vey’s SWCP 1

Re­fresh­ments: Choice of cafes and pubs, in­clud­ing Na­tional Trust café/shop/vis­i­tor cen­tre, 01840 250010

Pub­lic Toi­lets: At start

Pub­lic Trans­port: First Ker­now 94/95/96, Truro/Bude route daily, 0871 2002233 trav­e­linesw.com

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