Archive for the ‘cornwall’ Tag

A Review of 2017   18 comments

I’ve read quite a few blog post in the past few days reviewing other peoples 2017 exploits. I enjoyed them so much I thought I’d do the same. Good excuse to look back through my photos and remember what we got up to. At my age I need help remembering stuff!.

Acutely conscious of the modern trend for these awful “round robin” letters you get at Xmas (we get one of these smugograms every year) I tried to select photos that bring back a particular memory for me so its more a personal, family introspection on outdoorsy stuff, than a blow by blow account of the year. As its based on my photo collection if I didn’t photograph it, it ain’t here!

January

We started the year off in Tenerife and New Years Day was spent on this rather splendid beach (the earlier part of the day was in the mountains but I cocked up the photos from that part of the day!)

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Returning to the British winter, a walk along the Cats Back in the Black Mountains with TBF, memorable for a cloud inversion after a very wet morning. A reminder that despite our travels we are lucky to have some stunning scenery on our doorstep

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A solo day out in the Brecon Beacons, the first snowy walk near to home and pretty much the only one with significant snow during the early part of the year (made up for it at the end)

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A glorious day out in the Black Mountains with TJS and a cooked breakfast on a cold Table Mountain. I like this photo though as it has Mynydd Troed in centre shot, my very first mountain climbed when I was about 10

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And my usual skiing trip (only a weekend this year) to finish off the month. Snow was a bit rubbish but we had a laugh nonetheless

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February

Another solo day on Fan Fawr in the Brecon Beacons. I remember this day for a very mild Friday afternoon (16C) and snow in the mountains 18 hours later

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A short walk with TBF on Hatterall Hill

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March

The first weekend of the month is always spent in Scotland with friends of long standing. A new location at Bridge of Orchy and a two out of three days were magnificent winter days. The walk along this ridge high above Rannoch Moor on the first day was superb

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Me and TJS also managed a cheeky backpack into the Black Mountains. Straight from work on the Friday for a one nighter in my new tent. Need to do more of these this year

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2017 is the year I rediscovered cycling – mainly to help my knee and also to be less of a lazy layabout during the week. The Hardman – a VERY keen and VERY fit cyclist caught wind and insisted we meet up in the Peak for a trip along a couple of the old railway trails. A cracking sunny day and I survived cycling with the Hardman!

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And we finally managed a meet up in the Berwyns with Uncle Fester after a few aborted attempts

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April

More cycling and solo trip through the Brecon Beacons on the “Gap” route. Cycling to over 600m was a first for me and I started to feel that I almost, might, actually enjoy cycling.

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Easter and a major backpacking trip with TJS to the Cairngorms. The weather was wild and windy but we had a couple of superb wild camps and TJS bagged his first Scottish 4000 footer

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I even coaxed TJF out for a bike ride along the Brecon and Usk canal

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May Day weekend was mostly in April. Mixed weather but we had a fine gaggle of friends on a hike around Greendale, taking in Buckbarrow and Seatallan

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May

No finer way to celebrate a birthday than a lunchtime hike. This one was on one of my local hills, Bryn Arw with TBF

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Followed by a weekend away in Cornwall. It almost felt tropical on the white sands just north of Padstow on one of our walks

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Whitsun weekend was spent with our good friends in Silverdale. The Sunday was a real winner with a long but easy stroll and a fantastic pub lunch. Weather was mixed the rest of the time but great company, many laughs and a chance to relax

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June

A different walk from the usual mountains. One of the small hills that overlook Gloucester and across to the Cotswolds. Not something I’d do every day but a nice change

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One of the highlights of the year was the long-planned backpacking trip with the kids into the Howgills. Despite poor weather we gave it a go and it was a huge success. The kids really enjoyed the adventure and I’m hoping they have caught the wild camping bug

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July

After the backpack trip I was out of action for a few weeks recuperating and resting after a minor knee op. Didn’t affect my water based fun though, a nice albeit far too long trip down the river Wye

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By the end of July I was back in the hills again (the knee op has been a great success I’m pleased to say). A fine evening stroll with TBF and TJS on Ysgyryd Fawr (we even took a cheeky cold beer to drink on the top)

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Another “local walk for local people” – this time Garway Hill where we reached the top, saw this nasty storm approaching and raced it back to the car. We won.

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Late July brings the annual camping trip to Towyn Farm on the Llyn Peninsula. We packed in lots of walks and beach fun in a very mixed few days of weather. My abiding memory though was this game of Kubb which was huge fun with both adults and kids alike taking it far too seriously and larking about in equal measure. A happy afternoon

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August

The big family trip of the year, a rail trip around some of Europe’s finest cities. An real change from our usual outdoor camping trips and it was real success. We all took took to the city life rather well you might say. One of my best ever holidays. A few photos that made me smile

One of the many fountains in Paris (we called this one the fountain of throttled fish)

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A monster thunderstorm in Turin

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My favourite seafront walk in Venice

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The Colloseum in Rome – of course

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Schloss Belvedere in Vienna (courtesy of an unplanned extra couple of hours from a very late train)

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The thermal baths in Budapest – “like taking a bath in a wedding cake”

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A stroll along the Spree river in Berlin on a sunny Sunday afternoon

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And the railway bridge over the Rhine in Cologne

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September

Back to earth with a bump. A few days after the heat and sun of Europe we were walking in the Black Mountains in driving rain and cold winds!

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But there was still enough warm weather left for a round of the hills near the Talybont Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons

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October

A walk with friends in the Roaches on the dreariest day of the year (when everywhere else was sunny – I’m not bitter)

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More evidence of my new found cycling passion (probably too strong a word). A ride around the tracks of the New Forest while TJS took a look around Southampton University

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And why settle for one trip to see major cities when you can do it twice. As a special treat for TJS 18th Birthday we spent a week in Barcelona. Probably my favourite city but despite all its famous sights, this little known hill and its view overlooking the city was my favourite spot

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November

After sunshine comes the reality of winter. A couple of cold but beautiful days. One in the Black Mountains on the Sugar Loaf and Crug Mawr

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And one of my favourite walks in the Black Mountain

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A delayed birthday treat weekend for TBF saw us in Padstow for a couple of nice meals and walks along the Cornish coast and Dartmoor

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December

And last into the proper depths of winter. The first snows saw me and TJS head into the highest peaks of the Black Mountains

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The day after saw the biggest dump of snow I’ve seen in my own backyard for many a year. Walks around my village in deep snow under crisp blue skies were wonderful

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The start of the Xmas holidays is marked with an annual get together of my University friends and their families. Always great fun but this year we could climb the hills in snow (rather than wet rain) and play at snowballs

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Finally coming full circle with a return to the Canary Islands to spend Xmas in Lanzarote and Xmas Day sunning ourselves on the beach

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Well I enjoyed looking through my photos, choosing a few and reliving a great year. Hope you enjoyed it too. All the best for 2018 🙂

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On Yer Bike – The Camel Trail   15 comments

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A walk on the moors, a walk on the coast, a play in the sea. We needed something else to entertain us on the last day. Some cycling was in order. The Camel Trail runs for 17 miles along the estuary and inland towards the fringes of Bodmin Moor. That would do nicely, we hired bikes, packed a picnic and headed off

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Its a supremely easy and flat ride, busy and very popular with families. There are wide and expansive views across the estuary

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After passing through Wadebridge the character changes and it becomes a wooded trail. Much quieter and in fact for large stretches, deserted

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At the far end near Wenfordbridge we came across this rather nice meadow by the river and had tea, crab sandwiches and cake. Very refined

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And then back the same way rather than a trip through the lanes. To be honest the inland stretch was a bit samey, just long stretches through the trees with not much in the way of views. I think a road return would have added some variety but there is a lot to be said for traffic free cycling

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We returned along the estuary for more fine views and and ever increasing soreness of backside (a problem I find when I don’t have any cause to ride out of the saddle on a longer ride)

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A 34 mile trip took the weekends outdoor distance covered to almost 50 miles. Not bad

Camel Trail

Just a final stroll through Padstow and a quiet sit on the harbour to finish off a superb weekend

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Getting older has its benefits, lets just hope I have plenty more Cornwall weekends left in me! 🙂

Showers and Sunshine around Padstow   14 comments

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Day two of our weekend away in Devon and Cornwall and time to swap high moors for coastal cliffs and beaches. More showers were in the air so it looked like one of those days when waterproofs would be regularly on and off. We planned to repeat a circuit we’d done a few years back when staying in Trevone, cutting across the peninsula and back to Padstow around Stepper Point. The walk across the fields was actually quite pleasant. No muddy corners or overgrown stiles. The first stretch was through a waving field of young wheat or barley

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As we caught first sight of the coast we were hit by the first soaking downpour. Only lasted a few minutes but enough to dampen the spirits a little

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Just as quickly the sun came out, spirits and waterproofs were dried out as we walked down to the sea at Trevone Beach

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Walking out to the headland, we were soaked again!

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This was a short sharp shower and luckily for us the last one of the day. The flowers in the coastal meadow are always a delight in the SW

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We circled Trevone Round Hole, one of several sea caves with a collapsed roof in the area

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The coastline along this stretch is dramatic and the path twists and turns around the small headlands, revealing numerous caves and sea arches. This is Porthmissen Bridge

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This dramatic feature near Gunver Head doesn’t seem to have a name on the map although the parcel split off from the cliffs does, Middle Merope Island

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From there to Stepper Point and its abandoned lighthouse its a less dramatic but glorious walk across wild flower be-decked meadows along grassy paths. In the warming sunshine its was marvellous

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From the headland you get grand views across to Polzeath and back inland along the Camel estuary towards Padstow (hidden from sight)

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The wild flowers in the hedgerows along the path prompted me to take a photo

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We took to the beach at Harbour Cove to walk back towards Padstow.

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The sun came out in full effect and with the gentle clear waters in the sheltered estuary and the pale sand it felt almost tropical

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Without shades, the light was blindingly bright but the scene was a happy one of people strolling and enjoying the simple pleasures of playing with various dogs and kids. I enjoyed this stretch immensely

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Sadly the beach finishes among the rocks and you are forced to rejoin the crowds as you head back into Padstow. It was as busy as always but in a nice way. We enjoyed a pasty from the Chough bakery (the best in Cornwall that I’ve tried) serenaded by a half decent busker

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A pretty decent 8 miles for half a day but that day wasn’t yet over

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Time for some water based fun for TBF at least. Treyarnon Bay is one of our favourites and we headed back again. One of the reasons for visiting Cornwall for my Birthday is for me to catch some waves. Bad news was that my car was in for repairs and I had no way to carry my kayak on the roof of the loan car they gave me. I also had a bad cold and didn’t think splashing about in cold water was a good idea. Last time I was dumb enough to do that I got a nasty sinus infection that I wasn’t keen to repeat

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I took on the role of photographer and beach potterer in chief and spent a happy couple of hours poking about on the sand in the caves and watching TBF body boarding

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I took a final stroll along the path watching a newly wed couple (the bride in a backless dress) having their wedding photos taken in the strong chilly breeze. She looked very cold!

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A superb day finished off with another fine seafood meal at the excellent Prawn on the Lawn

South and West to Cornwall – Part 2   6 comments

Time to move on. We were spending the majority of our holiday down near Padstow at a place called Trethias Farm. It’s a splendid place, quiet, walking distance from the beach with stunning coastal views.

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

The perfect site, or so we thought until the day we left but more of that in a later post.

Our first evening treated us to a spectacular sunset, probably the best part of holiday on the west coast.

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

After a washout day of dreary rain, things improved and the rest of the week was mainly sunny albeit unseasonably cold with a strong northerly wind for the whole time we were there. We took the short drive to Bedruthan Steps which, as you can see is a spectacular spot.

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

It’s only accessible at low tide and even then only by a steep set of steps hewn into the rock. Once on the sands on a sunny day its a fabulous spot to spend a couple of hours

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

Strong currents mean there is no swimming here so wandering about scrambling on the rocks (and through them, there are several caves) and just enjoying the scene are the order of the day

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

As it’s a taxing climb and more than a 5 second walk from the car its relatively quiet by Cornwall standards padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

The beach gets its name from the huge rock towers that stud the beach, said to be stepping-stones for the giant Bedruthan. Evocative names as well. Carnewas Island, Pendarves Island, Redcove Island, Samaritan Island, Queen Bess Rock, Diggory’s Island, They add a very photogenic attraction to this superb stretch of golden sand.

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

It’s pretty much the perfect beach for walking and exploring (if not water-based fun). Loads of secret little corners, and pocket coves with deep turquoise pools in the sand.

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

Perfect morning activity to work up an appetite for a picnic lunch back at the campsite – and a quick snooze for some

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

padstow, treyarnon bay, bedruthan steps, cornwall, carnewas island, sunset, digger's island, queen bess rock, red cove island, samaritan island, pendarves island

More water based fun to come

South and West to Cornwall – Part 1   10 comments

Our second holiday of the summer and just the family this time. We’d not been to Cornwall for a few years so time to re-aquaint ourselves and get some more use out of the camper. To beat the traffic of the Bank Holiday weekend we travelled down few days early and stayed a few nights near Bude as we’d never done that part of the coast. Bude was a bit down-market to be honest. Our impression not helped by a full tide and lots of scum floating in the water sea, washed from the farmers fields in recent heavy rains

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

We stayed just south of Widemouth Bay, itself a few miles south of the main town. Very nice it was too. We stayed on the very welcoming and friendly Penhalt Farm campsite, high above the sea with some fine views.

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

A quiet, uneventful yet very enjoyable stay. We took a stroll along the coast down to, and across, Widemouth Bay itself

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

We also took in some body boarding while TJS went for a solo stroll from Crackington Haven back to the campsite along the spectacular coast path. The cliffs here are some of the highest in the SW

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

In the afternoon we took a family stroll down to Boscastle (via an Ice Cream shop) and had a very fine early evening on the cliffs above the harbour after all the tourists had gone home

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

Crackington Haven was revisited. Another fine spot for an evening with a cafe doing freshly baked pizzas and a BBQ – perfect for an al-fresco meal if we’d not had a BBQ ourselves at lunchtime. Noted for a return visit

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

Our stay was completed with a magnificent sunset from the campsite

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

penhalt farm, bude, cornwall, crackington haven, boscastle, widemouth bay

Short post for a short but enjoyable stay before we moved on further South and West for the rest of the week

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