North Cornwall – Castles & Coves

Last summer we had a family holiday in England and spent some days exploring the beautiful coast of North Cornwall. Here were some of the highlights.

Port Isaac

The beach at the quaint fishing village of Port Isaac. This scene may look familiar to fans of the TV series Doc Martin which was filmed here. Doc's house is the second from the right.

The beach at the quaint fishing village of Port Isaac. This scene may look familiar to fans of the TV series Doc Martin which was filmed here. Doc’s house is the second from the right.

White and grey is the colour code for house in this village.

White and grey is the colour code for houses in this village. They might not appreciate it if you painted your house exterior pink or blue.

Baby seagulls are cute but the grown ones were keen to get some of my delicious crab sandwich, purchased at the harbour front.

This baby seagull was cute but the grown ones were keen to steal some of my delicious crab sandwich, purchased at the harbour front.

A prop from the Doc Martin TV series advertising Large's Restaurant in Port Wenn.

A prop perhaps from the Doc Martin TV series advertising Large’s Restaurant in Port Wenn.

Boscastle

The harbour village of Boscastle is one of the most unspoilt in Cornwall.

The harbour village of Boscastle is one of the most unspoilt in Cornwall.

This ancient building had a narrow escape when Boscastle was struck by a devastating flood in 2004.

This ancient crooked cafe had a narrow escape when Boscastle was struck by a devastating flood in 2004.

This old lady working at the Witchcraft Museum looked friendly but she wouldn't answer our questions.

This old lady working at the Witchcraft Museum looked friendly enough but she didn’t talk much.

Typical Cornwall scene in Boscastle

Typical Cornish scene in Boscastle

Launceston

Launceston is known as the Gateway to Cornwall and its Norman castle, dating from around 1070, was built to dominate the approach to the town.

Launceston is known as the Gateway to Cornwall and its Norman castle, dating from around 1070, was built to dominate the approach to the town.

View from the top of Launceston Castle.

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One of the residents at the Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre, near Launceston.

Bude

The beach at Bude.

The beach at Bude.

A row of hideous beach huts at Bude. For some reason which escapes me, the British are very fond of their beach huts and are willing to pay quite a lot of money for them. The huts seem to be exempt from Britain’s normally strict planning laws, perhaps because they are deemed as temporary structures even though these ones have obviously been around for a long, long time.

Considering that our visit was during summer and the weather was good, the beaches were very empty.

The North Cornish coastline is wild and rugged in places and many secluded coves and beaches are not easily accessible without a boat.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle was built on a rocky outcrop joined to the mainland by a narrow neck making it easily defendable.

Tintagel Castle was built on a craggy promontory joined to the mainland by a narrow neck making it easily defendable. 

The site has been occupied since Roman times or earlier but is best known for its association with the legendary King Arthur.

The site has been occupied since Roman times or earlier but is best known for its association with the legendary King Arthur.

Centuries of erosion have taken their toll on the castle walls and buildings but there is still a lot to see.

Centuries of erosion have taken their toll on the castle walls and buildings but there is still a lot to see.

The ruins were interesting but the spectacular setting with sheer cliffs, great views and a bracing cool breeze were what we enjoyed the most.

The ruins were interesting but the spectacular setting with sheer cliffs, great views and a bracing cool breeze were what we enjoyed the most.

Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven has a relatively sheltered shingle and sand beach and is popular with surfers.

Crackington Haven has a relatively sheltered shingle and sand beach and is popular with surfers.

The village of Crackington Haven is tiny but has a pub, a tea room and a shop.

The village of Crackington Haven is tiny but has a pub, a tea room and a shop.

One of the best things about Cornwall and Devon is the South West Coast Path (630 miles long) which hugs the coastline at Crackington Haven and provides great views over the bay.

Creativity at Crackington Haven

My daughter practicing her photography and flower arranging skills.

Padstow

Padstow is a picturesque fishing port turned tourist destination. Despite having over 1500 years of history it is best known as the base for Rick Stein's seafood cooking TV series.

Padstow is a picturesque fishing port turned tourist destination. Despite having over 1500 years of history it is nowadays best known as the base for Rick Stein’s seafood cooking TV series.

As a sign of Padstow’s gentrification, harbour tour operators offer rides in upmarket Riva-like speed boats.

Facing Padstow, on the opposite bank of the River Camel, is a lovely sandy beach at Daymer Bay. The gorgeous scenery of this area, together with the ‘Rick Stein effect’, has pushed up property prices in Padstow so much that only rich out-of-towners can afford to buy (second) homes here.

Cozy Padstow pub.

 Goodbye Cornwall – See You Next Time

Contemplating at Widemouth Bay.

Contemplating at Widemouth Bay.

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