Westward Ho! to Padstow

HIGHLIGHTS


Wild Cliff top walking mixed with fascinating villages and inlets make this a wonderfully varied walk.

  • The Picture Postcard Village of Clovelly
  • Tintagel Castle - with its King Arthur myths
  • Spectacular Cliff Top walking
  • Wonderful local seafood

PHOTOS


WHAT'S INCLUDED


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  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
  • Luggage Transfer (one bag per person)
  • Maps and Guide books
  • Itinerary

KEY INFORMATION


Starting point: Westward Ho!
Finishing point: Padstow
Avg. daily distance: 13 miles / 21 km
Total distance: 78 miles / 125 km
Terrain: Hard
Walking grade: Challenging

6 DAYS FROM £575

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01326 279 278

WHEN TO WALK


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OVERVIEW
ITINERARY
ESSENTIAL
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
REVIEWS

From North Devon to Padstow “The Food Capital of Cornwall”. A challenging walk but one that rewards with some spectacular views and magnificent high cliffs.

Day 1: Travel to Westward Ho! where your first nights accommodation has been booked.

Day 2: Westward Ho! to Clovelly. 11 miles (17.5km)

Day 3: Clovelly to Hartland Quay. 10½ miles (17km)

Day 4: Hartland Quay to Bude 15 miles (24km)

Day 5 : Bude to Boscastle. 16 miles (22.5km)

Day 6: Boscastle to Port Isaac. 13½ miles (21.5km)

Day 7: Port Isaac to Padstow. 12 miles (19km)


Day 1: Travel to Westward Ho! where your first nights accommodation has been booked.

Day 2: Westward Ho! to Clovelly. 11 miles (17.5km)

From Westward Ho! the path rises and falls before following Hobby Drive, an old carriageway built by Napoleonic prisoners of war, that winds through woodland to emerge above Clovelly. The path then follows the cobbled main street of this pretty little fishing village as it plunges past whitewashed, flower-smothered cottages to the tiny harbour that lies at the bottom of a gap in the cliff wall.

Day 3: Clovelly to Hartland Quay. 10½ miles (17km)

From Clovelly the path continues around Hartland Point, a dramatic headland with jagged black rocks overlooked by a solitary lighthouse, to Hartland Quay. Once a busy port that was mostly destroyed by storms in the last century, Hartland Quay comprises a scattering of cottages, the Merchants House, stores and lime kiln around the remains of the harbour. The Hartland Quay Museum is well worth a visit.

Day 4: Hartland Quay to Bude 15 miles (24km)

From Hartland Quay the path continues above a rocky shoreline notorious for its shipwrecks, past the spectacular waterfall that plunges to the beach at Speke Mill's Mouth, before descending to Welcombe Mouth with its fine sandy beach. From here the path crosses a series of narrow valleys, before descending to the village of Morwenstow. Morwenstow is best known as the home of eccentric writer and parish priest R S Hawker who built the unusual mock gothic vicarage beside the church. The churchyard contains the wooden figurehead of the Scottish brig Caledonia wrecked more than 150 years ago and many poignant memorials to shipwreck victims.

Leaving Morwenstow the path returns to the cliffs by Hawker's Hut, here in his driftwood cabin the eccentric priest would sit smoking opium, writing and entertaining guests including Tennyson and Kingsley. Descending again the coastpath crosses the valley of Tidna Water and then climbs to Higher Sharpnose Point, which provides far-reaching views along the coast. From here the path weaves along the coastline descending to explore a succession of idyllic secluded little coves before reaching the bustling resort of Bude. Popular with Surfers, Bude is an attractive town with an interesting little museum on the quay.

Day 5 : Bude to Boscastle. 16 miles (22.5km)

From the beach, backed by cliffs of tightly folded bands of sandstone and shale, the path crosses the sea lock of the historic Bude Canal and climbs to the cliff top at Compass Point, with far-reaching views back to Hartland Point, inland to the rocky tors on Dartmoor and ahead to Cambeak on the far side of the inlet of Crackington Haven. Wonderfully situated between 400ft cliffs of contorted strata at the mouth of a lush valley, Crackington Haven was once a major port exporting slate and importing coal from boats that were beached at high tide.

Leaving Crackington Haven the path climbs up to the fine viewpoint of Cambeak and then follows the cliff top path over High Cliff, which at 723ft (223m) is the highest point on the coast path in Cornwall above dramatic landslips to the Pentargon inlet where an impressive waterfall plummets into the sea. From here the path continues around the cliffs to Penally Point, which provides spectacular views of the sinuous channel between soaring black cliffs that leads to Boscastle's little harbour. Boscastle is a delightful village with neat little thatched and lime-washed cottages surrounding the twisty harbour and staggering up the hillside above. The Cobweb Inn on the quay is so called because spiders were encouraged to keep down the flies surrounding the barrels of sherry stored there.

Day 6: Boscastle to Port Isaac. 13½ miles (21.5km)

Soon after Boscastle, Long Island and Short Island come into view, which have the largest colony of puffins in Cornwall. The path then goes through Rocky Valley with its Bronze Age labyrinth rock carvings (some people now think they maybe Victorian Grafitti!) to the village of Tintagel with its evocative ruined island castle, the reputed birthplace of King Arthur. After rounding Penhallic Point the path passes an incredible rock pinnacle left by the quarryman behind Hole Beach. Ships were loaded by whim driven by a blindfolded donkey above Penhallic Point and quarrymen were lowered on ropes to work the slate beds. Soon after the path descends to Trebarwith Strand, a precarious little anchorage that shipped locally blasted slate, and then continues along the cliffs past the sleepy little harbour of Portgaverne to Port Isaac. Wedged in a gap in the precipitous cliff wall, Port Isaac is an attractive little fishing village of narrow twisting lanes, slate roofed, whitewashed cottages and a picturesque harbour surrounded by fish cellars.

Day 7: Port Isaac to Padstow. 12 miles (19km)

Headland follows cove to the well-protected natural harbour at Port Quin. Port Quin relied greatly on its fishing industry, as can be seen by the size of its old fish cellars that were used for weighting and compressing pilchards during the salting process. On the headland above Port Quin stands Doyden Castle, a folly built by Samuel Seymour as a place where he and his friends could enjoy dining, drinking and dicing. The path continues around the Rumps past an impressive Iron Age Fort to Pentire Point that provides glorious views across the Camel Estuary.

After descending through Polzeath to the golden sands of Daymer Bay and St Enodoc's Church, the path meanders through the sand dunes that once buried this delightful little church, before returning to the beach to catch the ferry to the historic port of Padstow. Once ecclesiastical capital of Cornwall built on a hillside overlooking the Camel estuary, Padstow, with its fleet of trawlers, netters and crabbers and bustling harbour surrounded by medieval buildings is a delightful town to explore. Buildings of note include the 15th century Abbey House, the 16th century court house of Sir Walter Raleigh and Prideux Place, an elegant Tudor Mansion.

WALKING DIFFICULTY: This is a testing but very rewarding coastal walk.

ACCOMMODATION: Our standard itinerary provides accommodation in either 3 or 4 star bed and breakfasts or small hotels or inns. When quoting for a holiday a draft itinerary is provided showing typical accommodation used on the route.

ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: Extra nights can be taken anywhere.

NAVIGATION: Navigation is generally straight forward, follow the acorn signs and keep the sea on your right. The guide notes provided will help you with any of tricky bits.

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS: All our prices include transfering one bag per person (max weight 20kg) between your overnight stops.

PRICES:

6 Day Walking Itinerary (7 nights accommodation) from £575 per person

Single supplement (for person walking on their own) £30 per night

Extra nights from £50 per person

Tintagel to Padstow, then The Saints Way, then St Ives to Padstow

Mr and Mrs Jackson - May 2014


Dear Tim

We had a great trip weather was great for the last 5 days and really was not bad the first half. The lodgings were great. The Old School in Port Issac was nice since we are Doc Martin fans. The best place was Gurnard’s Head was well worth the longer first day. The Saint’s Way was a good for a different kind of scenery.

( Mr and Mrs Jackson