Boscastle – South West Coast Path walk

Boscastle - South West Coast Path walk

This is a relatively easy walk, as although there are quite a few climbs it is fairly short at five miles long. The coast on this part of the path is quite spectacular and the villages of Boscastle and Tintagel both have a lot of interest. There is no road walking sections on this part of the path and it is all quite well signed. There is a small sandy beach, which is covered at high tide, part way along the walk.

Boscastle Harbour is very picturesque. It is very difficult to access from the sea, but it is the only harbour along some 20 miles (32 km) of the North Cornwall coast. There has long been a harbour here. The first record dates from Elizabethan times but it almost certainly pre-dates this time. During the 1800s in particular this was an important harbour, importing coal, salt, bricks and beer for local use and exporting locally quarried slate and minerals, china clay from inland and local agricultural goods.

The area around Boscastle provided inspiration for one of Thomas Hardy's early books, 'A Pair of Blue Eyes'. It is also where Hardy met and courted his first wife, Emma. He returned to the wild cliffs of North Cornwall in 1913, after Emma had died, and was once again inspired by the landscape, resulting in twenty-one of his most emotional poems.

The cliffs above Boscastle Harbour are frequented by birds such as kestrel, peregrine, stonechat, gannet and fulmar. The blowhole in the harbour booms and spouts water two hours each side of low tide - an impressive site if you're lucky enough to catch it!