A few minutes after leaving the warmth and comfort of our BnB we are hit by a sudden, unexpected deluge of rain leaving us scrabbling for waterproofs. And as we trudge silently down a narrow muddy lane to the sea, both of us are wondering whether this is a good idea.
At Trebarwith however the rain stops and after a quick hop and skip over the black slippery rocks we set off up the hill.
The rain however, continues to haunt us so I don’t take out the camera until we are approaching Tintagel. Several Pac a Mac tourists are braving the weather to make the pilgrimage to the ruins of the monastery and the castle – we are more concerned with finding a place for a cup of coffee.
After a coffee and a particularly good carrot cake, we join the path again and dally for a while to brush up on our history. It is remarkable how, through the centuries, the Arthurian legend has captured the imagination of people in Britain and abroad, particularly when you consider that the details of the story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention.
From Tintagel the walk to Boscastle is easy, we follow a wide path across the top of the cliffs past Bossiney Haven and Benoath Cove, until we reach a deep descent down into Rocky Valley.
Coming up out of the valley, the rain starts but thankfully doesn’t last long. When the camera comes out again the map shows we are walking through Western Blackapit, an area littered with ruined slate structures. These are the remains of the quarries that produced slate here to be shipped out of Boscastle in return for coal and timber from other parts of the country.
Around the next corner we look down on the narrow approach to Boscastle Harbour. Apparently, in the days when this was a busy port, it was never safe for ships to enter under their own sail, so on their arrival, a boat with nine men called “hobblers” would go out to meet them and tow them in to their berth.
Here we meet people for the first time…….
Boscastle Harbour is very pretty and even on such a dull day the National Trust cafe is packed with visitors. It has an interesting display of photographs showing the damage done to the harbour by a flash flood on the 16th August 2004. On just that one afternoon, 75 cars, 5 caravans, 6 buildings and several boats were washed into the sea. Approximately 100 homes and businesses were destroyed, including this one which has now been rebuilt, complete with its original sagging roof!
By this time the weather is picking up so we decide to walk on to Pentagon, where a footpath across fields will take us to the road and then back on the road to Boscastle.
Distance: 10 miles