Something a bit controversial on a blog about living in Devon – I really love Cornwall, have visited for at least 2 weeks of each year for the past 15 years and being in such close proximity was one of things I was most excited about when we decided to move.
If we get up early enough it’s a mere 45-55 minutes to Boscastle from our house to the harbour, about the same distance that we lived from Brighton/Lewes when we were in Sussex and therefore to us not far away at all, as we visited those places quite often.
We’d been to the Boscastle Food, art and Craft Festival a few times before, but we realised if we went this year, we’d have the added bonus of being able to buy ‘perishable’ food to take home with us, whereas before we’d always been staying in B&Bs, who often aren’t too impressed when you ask to store mince and cheese in their fridge…
So we set off nice and early the day before the festival, having decided to camp at a fantastic little campsite near to our favourite beach – adults only, one pitch ‘deep’ along the long field for privacy and an uninterrupted view, and a proper bathroom block all for £10.
Being incredibly lazy, and the weather being really warm for the 2 weeks before, we didn’t bother with the proper tent and just used the pop-up one. It claims to be a 2 person tent but I think perhaps either Pat and I are larger than the average camper or you aren’t supposed to keep anything silly like sleeping bags or pillows in there with you.
After a nice chat with the site owners, who turned out to be from Sussex, we sped off like excited kids to Tregardock beach.
I always have a war with myself about this beach. On the one hand I don’t want anyone to know about it, because I’ve noticed that lately there have been in excess of ten people
on the two mile stretch and it’s just too many. On the other hand I love it so much that I can’t help but be enthusiastic and tell people to go there.
It’s a mile walk over a hill called ‘The Mountain’ – although it’s on the way home you have to walk up – with no facilities and a quick incoming tide. They have just installed some fancy new steps, but you still have to earn your treat by choosing one these two sets of ‘steps’ at the bottom. Top tip – use the one on the right as a very uncomfortable slide.
It’s popular with surfers for a reason, you only need to be knee deep in the water to get waves crashing over your head, and a jellyfish to the face
– but it’s beautiful, secluded, great for body-boarding for those of us not cool enough to surf, and occasionally you might find a seal or two wandering about on the sand.
Tregardock is also a great place for mussel picking. High on the rocks they are sand/grit free, and super fresh and tasty.
We then went to Port Isaac for some local Ale and one too many rums in the Golden Lionwhere we met a talkative American couple and a very hungry dog, and then on to The Slipway for dinner – the less said about that the better, I think they must have been between chefs.
We then visited my favourite Museum for a special candlelit nighttime opening, I can’t think of a better museum to visit at quarter to midnight.
Then it was back to camp, where we froze our noses off during the first night in 3 weeks where the temperature had dipped below 5 celcius.
However we were woken by this beautiful sunrise, an improbable shade of yellow, the sun appearing in the juncture of Brown Willy and Rough Tor on the horizon.
Somewhat more bleary eyed than we’d planned to be, we packed up and
drove to Boscastle nice and early, got a parking space right by the Food Festival tent and had a proper English Breakfast at the Spinning Wheel cafe, out in the sunshine.
We then did our first round of the Food Festival tents to scope out all available stalls, so I don’t spend all my money too soon and miss out. As there are a lot of fantastic local craft and artist’s stalls as well as delicious food this is easily done!
After some arty purchases we got two portions of Goat curry, with a Hog Roast bap ‘for the road’ for Pat, and took our lunch up to Penally point.
The sun came out and we watched a Seal catching fish in the mouth of the harbour for a while, before walking back up the river to Minster Church, a grade one listed building set in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with resident Greater Horseshoe Bats.
The grave of Joan Wytte – the ‘Fighting faerie woman’ who died in Bodmin gaol in 1813 and whose skeleton was once on display in the Museum of Witchcraft, also sits just outside the consecrated ground.
We stopped for a quick chocolate brownie on a bench by the river, then picked up our fresh local meat, charcuterie and cheese purchases from the food tent and it was time to go back home, exhausted and stuffed, and already looking forward to next year.