Gone are the days when I could just set off for a quick walk in Kent or Sussex – North Cornwall, with its dearth of public transport is a long long way from London. Anyway, we arrive in Crackington Haven in the middle of the day, leave the car in the car park and after a cream tea top up, set off up the cliff path.
A photo opportunity…..
After climbing up to the headland of Pencannow Point the path dips steeply down and then almost immediately up again. The path is narrow and stony, running between closely packed gorse bushes – I need to keep my eyes on my feet to avoid twisted ankles, which is just as well since some of the precipitous drops would probably make me feel a little queasy.
Thankfully, the path eventually opens up onto a stretch of gently rolling hills, an area called Lower Tresmorn.
– this sign on a gatepost makes me laugh.
We walk past Cleave Strand and Chipman Strand – an obvious Viking legacy (“strand” is Danish for “beach/coast”) If anyone is interested, the link below has more information on the influence of those who came to “rape and pillage”
At this point we are treated to a short stretch of woodland – twisted trees patched with moss and lichen watch over a blanket of bluebells interspersed with bright green virgin ferns. Beautiful….
We have reached Dizzard Point from where we can just about see the sands of Widemouth Bay which is our destination for today. Later I am told never to pronounce the first syllable as rhyming with “side” but rather “sid”. This goes against all my training in the teaching of English pronunciation where adding the “e” makes a long vowel. Examples are “sit” and “site”, “pin” and “pine”, “shit” and ……………….but then there are so many exceptions to the rules of our mongrel language.
Coming down into the valley we cross a pretty little stream and then it’s up and down the other side into Millook Haven.
Towering above the beach are cliffs of what look like sandstone and something darker laid down in chevron folds. This is apparently one of Britain’s top 10 geological sites, leading the “folding and faulting” category.
Perched above the small stony beach is a pretty wooden house – obviously a summer residence. I dread to think what it must be like to live here in the winter – there is road access but a very narrow one and it really is miles from nowhere.
A little later the path joins the road and down on to Widemouth Sands – we have a stream to cross and then up onto some sand dunes to reach our destination – the wonderful Beach Hotel.
If you ever come across it, do not be put off by the down at heel exterior. The interior is surfer/traveller chic, colourful and homely. Small meditating buddhas sit serenely amongst the shelves of books, musical instruments, toys and surf boards. The walls are covered with striking paintings by the owner’s mother and the food is delicious and beautifully presented. The staff are friendly and efficient and our waitress didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked her to freeze an ice pack and prepare my Chinese medicinal herbs. So there ‘s a plug (which I don’t usually do).
This is a picture from their website, obviously taken in Summer but we had the same view.
Distance: 9 miles
Again – if you can’t see the map below, just click on the URL link at the bottom of the page. Still working on it.