Time for a spot of camping in brilliant Cornwall. It’s easy to fall in love with Cornwall and did this on my first visit back in 1985.
Cornwall’s ancient Celtic kingdom and language date back to pre-Roman times – its deep-seated history chiselled in the coastline’s craggy cliffs and boundless miles of breathtaking beaches.
The county’s magnetic pull sees travel through England’s stunning south-west county on many occasions. And for me, Cornwall always feels as if its independence is at the forefront of the minds of Cornish people.
The elderly or original locals of Cornwall have their own language – Kernewek. Based on the Celtic language, Kernewek started seeing a revival during the 20th-century after its extinction as Cornwall’s first language in the 18th-century. The Cornish accent is what I love most as it reminds me of a pirate’s accent.
Sparse tin mines still dot the impressive Cornish coast and becoming even more popular due to the British historical drama series: Poldark.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, it’s comforting to know that Cornwall’s historic mining landscapes are protected for future generations.
The camping base is in the gorgeous seaside town of Bude, which is wonderful for surrounding dramatic coastal and beach walks – my previous post on Bude includes for more activities.
Why not enjoy the endless striking coastline with a long walk or hike?
Take a wander along the South West Coast Path from Bude to the coastal village of Crackington Haven on a hike of almost 16 kilometres. At the start of this walk, you bump into several memorials and monuments overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean.
This particular monument close to the cricket pitch is in memory for the hospitality that Bude gave to Clifton college (originally in Bristol, Somerset) following the college’s bombing during WWII.
The experience of driving through Normandy in 2016 to visit the infamous D-Day Landing beaches also helps to reflect on this tumultuous history during this coastal walk.
The English coastline is scattered with WWII reminders as is Dorset – some 28,000 coastal and inland pillboxes of which only around 6,500 still remain.
Ambling further along this beautiful coastal path and only reaching Maer Cliff, decide to turn back for the long 5-kilometre walk to the campsite.
Built perhaps as a refuge for coast guards back in 1835, Compass Point Tower offers a temporary sanctuary should the weather worsen.
And, is a great spot for photographing up and down this savage rugged coast.
Café Limelight – Bude Castle
When in town, a visit to Bude Castle is a must but make time to stop for a scrumptious Cornish Tea – still the cheapest and best in town at £5.50 – served with thick artery-hardening clotted Cornish cream.
Today’s lunchtime indulgent consists of a delicate homemade crusty quiche with a side of coleslaw and a fresh crisp salad. The chicken sandwich is also delicious – prices are reasonable.
Exuding wonderfully warm-baked homely aromas that beckon, a visit to Padstow is not complete without indulging in a famous traditional delectable Cornish Pasty.
Just off the waterfront serves the best pasty in Padstow in the small but very busy family-run Chough Bakery, which has been operating for almost 30 years.
Once the pasty hits your stomach, it’s time to amble along the pretty streets…
St Petroc Church
Dating back to 1425-1450, St Petroc church’s cream stone used for the columns arrived by sea from Caen in Normandy. The Dolerite (dark grey stone) used in the church was quarried at Cataclews Point.
Back in town, even tired seagulls need a safe haven to rest…
Padstow’s picturesque harbour is popular with tourists – on every visit so far it’s busy, especially during summer.
Strolling west from Padstow along the walking path, a panoramic uninterrupted vista of The Rock – small village opposite Padstow – comes into view.
Acclaimed as one of Cornwall’s major water sports centres, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, and canoeing are offered weather permitting.
Take a ferry from Padstow’s harbour across to The Rock and laze on the long stretches of fine sandy beaches – a result of the estuary’s tidal waters.
Another of my favourite Cornish destinations is the quaint fishing village of Boscastle.
Visiting over several decades, Boscastle seems much busier with tourists today than I previously remember.
Dating back to the 12th-century, many of the medieval buildings have been restored.
Boscastle’s 2004 destructive flash flood saw extensive damage. Tragically, 100 homes were destroyed and 6 washed into the sea.
First visiting the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in 1985, I’m happy to see this non-profit museum still operating. Offering a ton of history and exploring ‘British magical practice’, the museum is worth a visit.
On this unusually hot English day after indulging in a must-have super-rich, Cornish clotted cream ice-cream, decide on a coastal walk heading out of Boscastle along the SW Coastal Path’s aged jagged cliffs.
Boscastle’s natural harbour is further protected by 2 stone walls built in 1584, which provide a safe shelter for fishing and private boats.
…with the village of Boscastle quietly nestled in a fluorescent-green undulating valley.
The unique Harbour Light Tea Garden is popular with tourists and serves deliciously light lunches, ‘locally grown loose leaf tea and hand-roasted coffee’.
Dating back to the 16th-century, past guests include members of the Royal Family. Thomas Hardy – English novelist – fell in love with Boscastle and also stayed at the Wellington.
From Street in Somerset, it’s a good 2-hour drive depending on traffic, until you reach Bude.
Driving along the southwest coast, tiny charming villages are never too far away from each other so days trips are easy to Boscastle and Padstow.
On the way back along the coast, why not stop at the captivating village of Clovelly?
Camping in Bude
The cost of a pitch at the tranquil campsite excluding power is £23 per night. Great clean facilities are provided.
Practice a couple of weeks ago at the Glastonbury Festival makes pitching the 4-man tent much easier today.
Could easily stay at this site for a week or more but time is hurrying on…