Monday, 20 May 2019

Boscastle, Cornwall : Walking to the Old 1584 Harbour Wall - 16 Photos

Entrance to Boscastle harbour, Cornwall

This is Boscastle, Cornwall. The photo above shows the hazardous entrance to the harbour. 100 years ago this was the only place a harbour could be built on this stretch of Cornwall's intimidating north coast. 

It was an active port and harbour, until the railway reached Cornwall in 1893. Today there are just a few fishing boats and pleasure crafts in the harbour.

Boscastle is now very much a tourist destination. There is a large car park and from here it is a walk to the old harbour wall. You can't get lost - you just follow the small river, as shown in the photo below.


River running through Boscastle, Cornwall

Along the valley there are a few cottages and buildings ...

River running through Boscastle, Cornwall

... most constructed from local stone.

Cottages in Boscastle, Cornwall

You'll also find a Witchcraft Museum! It is said to be the oldest and largest collection of items relating to witchcraft and the occult in England.

The witchcraft Museum, Boscastle, Cornwall

The river gradually widens. I snapped the photos when the tide was low.

River at Boscastle, Cornwall

There's somewhere to get a cuppa or lunch in Boscastle. Several of the old buildings now cater for tourists needs.


Cafe at Boscastle, Cornwall

At last we get the first glimpse of the old harbour wall, only a couple of small boats to be seen.

Harbour wall at Boscastle, Cornwall

A close up of the stonework of the harbour wall, said to have been built way back in 1584.

Close up of the old harbour wall, Boscastle, Cornwall

Another view of the entrance to Boscastle harbour.

Inlet to the harbour from the sea at Boscastle, Cornwall

The photo below was taken from the harbour wall looking inland.

Looking inland from the old harbour wall at Boscastle, Cornwall

There's somewhere to tie up your boat.

Old wooden boat ties, Boscastle, Cornwall

On our walk we now had to retrace our steps to a small bridge so we could get to the other side of the valley. The photo shows the main harbour wall from a different angle and also the smaller second wall.

Harbour at Boscastle, Cornwall

There's a footpath on this side of the river so as to get a higher view from the cliff top.

Footpath up side of valley at Boscastle, Cornwall

The photo below is looking inland from the footpath.

Looking back at Boscastle from hillside

After the walk we meandered back to the car, passing The Cobweb Inn ... but then we realised it's possible to also walk along the valley inland, which leads to St. Juliot church.

The church has a significance for any Thomas Hardy followers. He was the architect for the church restoration in 1870 - and it was here that he met his first wife. It is believed that their love affair was his inspiration for his novel A Pair of Blue Eyes

Cobweb Inn, Boscastle, Cornwall

All very pleasant!

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Chapel Rock Watches Over The Unspoiled Bude Coastline The Unspoilt Bude Coastline


Chapel Rock, Bude, Cornwall

This is part of the harbour at Bude, Cornwall. The mound, in the photo above, is known as Chapel Rock. It is said that there was once a hermitage on top of the rock - but this may well be just one of 'those' stories.

The photo below was taken in the 1890s so not much has changed.
1890s photo of Chapel Rock, Bude
Chapel Rock is linked by a breakwater which gives some protection to the shoreline from the strong Atlantic winds.

Breakwater and Chapel Rock, Bude, Cornwall

The winds, though, are ideal for surfers and bodyboarders 

Beach and surfers at Bude, Cornwall

The RNLI lifeguards were on duty as the sea was beginning to get choppy.

RNLI doing a rescue at Bude

The RNLI orange dinghy has a special bit of equipment to get the dinghy back to dry land.

RNLI returning to beach

Looking down from the clifftop on Chapel Rock, Bude. It was beginning to rain slightly.

Viewing Chapel Rock and breakwater from cliffs at Bude, Cornwall

And finally looking across the shoreline and cliffs from Bude. 

Looking out to sea from cliffs at Bude, Cornwall

Thursday, 16 May 2019

A Walk With Stunning Views At Tintagel, Cornwall: King Arthur Country - 20 Photos

A lovely walk at Tintagel with stunning views

The 20 photos today were snapped while on a quite special circular walk at Tintagel, Cornwall. It's only about 3.5 miles but it takes in a cliff castle - often known as King Arthur's castle - stunning coastal views, an old church and the south-west coastal path. It's quite up and down - well actually it's down and then up again but it's worth the effort.

The starting point is the cliff top St. Materiana's church - photo below- where there is a convenient car park. It is believed that the church is 11th or 12th century though there have been various alterations since then. It's worth a visit

St Materiana's church, Tintagel, Cornwall

From the church it's a right turn along the coastal path. Within a short distance a flat topped island can be seen. This is the home of Tintagel Castle (King Arthur's castle) - 250 feet above sea level. 

The flat topped island on which Tintagel Castle sits

Following the path brings glimpses of the castle - much of it in ruins. The photo below shows the height of the building and also the small bridge that separates the island and castle from the mainland.

First view of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle

Another view from on high.

Looking across to ruins of Tintagel Castle

Below can be seen one of the castle walls looking out to sea. Keep following the path, but it's time to start going downhill.

Looking across to parts of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle

The path leads to steps - quite a lot of them - which takes walkers down to sea level and also to the entrance of Tintagel Castle - there is an entrance fee.

Steps down to sea level and entrance to King Arthur's Castle at Tintagel

Walking down the steps emphasises the height of the cliffs. High, on the opposite side of the valley is the Camelot Castle Hotel.

Camelot Hotel, Tintagel, Cornwall high on the cliff top

At last down to sea level.

Sea at Tintagel, Cornwall

From here, on the small beach, there is Merlin's Cave - everything seems to be linked to King Arthur in Tintagel.

One version of the story is that is that King Arthur was conceived at the castle. His father, supposedly Uther Pendragon, the king of much of England, had a dalliance with Ygerna (or Igraine) the wife of Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall. It's a long story but eventually the two were able to marry and Arthur's birth was legitimised. It is also claimed that King Arthur was born in the castle.

But there are many other stories. In Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King, for example, he describes how the waves of the sea brought the infant Arthur ashore to Merlin. Thus the cave below is associated with Merlin and King Arthur.


Merlin's Cave, Tintagel, Cornwall

But time to get walking again: cross the bridge over a stream by the small beach and start climbing - with a promise of lovely coastal views to follow.

Coast path at Tintagel

But, first, a view looking back at the path just travelled ...

South west coastal path at Tintagel, Cornwall

... and a view again of Merlin's Cave and also walls of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle.
Looking down on Merlin's cave, Tintagel

Another scene looking back towards the castle.

View of bridge and steps leading to Tintagel Castle

Keep walking upward along the coast path, it's quite a steep climb to the Barras Nose headland but from here there are wonderful coastal scenes.

Stunning views of coast from coastal path, Tintagel

The day of our walk the weather wasn't that great ...

Views of cliffs from coastal path at Tintagel, Cornwall

... but the coast still looks magnificent, almost mystical. 

Cliff top views from cliffs at Tintagel, Cornwall

We were tempted to walk further along the coastal path but followed the circular walk taking the path inland.

Footpath sign and footpath leading to Tintagel village, Cornwall

The final photo of the walk. From the gate keep on until Tintagel village is reached. Walk through the main road, turning right at the church sign, where the car was parked. It's a bit of an uphill road!

Gate and looking back at path to cliffs at Tintagel

It's quite easy to include a tour of Tintagel Castle within the walk as it's only a small detour to the entrance - the cost is around £10 for adults unless English Heritage members. Note though that the castle will be closed for some essential maintenance during 2019, so check their website for details of when they are open.

I snapped the photo below of the castle on a previous visit - and on a very sunny day!


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Let Off The Lead In Truro and The Victoria Gardens - While The Cathedral Watches On.

Detail of Truro Cathedral, Cornwall
My wife had an appointment in Truro, Cornwall's cathedral city, so I had about one and a half hours to fill. I decided to wander round the city and then make my way to Victoria Gardens to see if there were any flower displays. I started out at the Cathedral - some lovely carvings at the front of the building - as above.
Shopping in Truro, Cornwall
I often visit Truro but it struck me how the cathedral dominates everything - wherever you look - there's the cathedral looking down from on high.
Shops in Truro, Cornwall
Walk further and the cathedral is still there. It even seems to squeeze between the narrow lanes ...
Truro Cathedral overlooking shops in Truro, Cornwall
... glance sideways and there's a spire - or three.
Shops being overlooked by the Cathedral in Truro, Cornwall
I made my way out of the shopping area and passed the Cornwall's Courts of Justice on my way to Victoria Gardens.
The Courts of Justice at Truro Cornwall
But looking back from the court what do we still see? Why, the cathedral, of course.
Looking back from Truro Courts towards the Cathedral, Cornwall
There is a gate by the court that leads to Victoria Gardens. There are so many lovely mature trees.
Mature trees in Victoria Park, Cornwall
The garden was created to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - so that would have been in June of 1897.
Invictus Trust in Victoria Park, Truro, Cornwall
A much newer contribution to the gardens is the Invictus Vase of Hope - as above. And I found some flowers too.
Flower bed in Victoria Park, Cornwall
The bandstand is a prominent feature. During the May to September period there are often free concerts - a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
The bandstand in Victoria Park, Cornwall
As I wandered I snapped a few photos of the flowers.
Flowers in Victoria Park, Truro, Cornwall
Love the subtle colours ...
Flowers in Victoria Park, Truro, Cornwall
... and also the matching colour by the small lake.
Flowers in Victoria Park, Truro, Cornwall
As time was getting on I meandered my way back to the main city. 

Not everything is old in Truro. There are a few modern stores, of well known retail names like Primark, Marks & Spencer and so on.
Primark shop in Truro, Cornwall
Then a phone call from my wife, would I meet her ... by the entrance to the cathedral ... of course, where else!
Turo Cathedral, entrance, Cornwall

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Boscastle, Cornwall : Walking to the Old 1584 Harbour Wall - 16 Photos

This is Boscastle, Cornwall. The photo above shows the hazardous entrance to the harbour. 100 years ago this was the only place a harbour...