Things To Do In Boscastle
Boscastle is one of the most attractive places to stay in Cornwall. It is actually quite a large village, spreading up the valley with lots of interesting cottages and other items of interest to see. The jewel in the crown is, of course, the harbour – and you are lucky enough to be staying in one of the nicest cottages in it!
Much of the harbour area is owned by the National Trust, who also own a number of cottages and other properties in and around the harbour. Development is very rigorously controlled, which means that the harbour area is not radically different to the way it looked a century ago. The restrictions on business development, traffic etc., mean that the harbour is normally a peaceful place – even when the tourist season is at its peak. It often surprises visitors how few people can be seen, even when the car park is full of cars and coaches. This is probably due to the wealth of footpaths leading from the harbour and up through the village, which seem to effortlessly soak up visitors.
Most visitors want to explore the area on foot to enjoy sights such as the ocean views and the Valency valley. Ordnance maps and a mounted map on the landing have been provided to help visitors to get their bearings, but to start you off, here are a few ideas for walks that you way wish to try.
The Grassy Bank
This is our name for the very gentle walk that runs along the valley side opposite TOSH. Its proper name is Green Cut. If you walk towards the harbour, cross the lower bridge and climb the short slope to the right of the Harbour Light you will reach a small clump of cottages. A path is signposted just before you reach the cottages which doubles back along the valley side. It’s a gently rising grassy path, with several benches to allow you to sit and enjoy the views to the south, back towards TOSH. A real sun-trap on a sunny day. If you follow the path to the end, you join the Bude road about 100 yards above the newsagents.
The Queen’s Head
If, instead of doubling back along the Grassy Bank, you continue past the cottages on the right-hand side of the harbour, you can follow the path right to the entrance of the harbour, to the Queens Head, so called because from certain angles it resembles the head of Queen Victoria. It’s more properly called “Profile Rock” If you climb to the cliff edge overlooking the Atlantic a bit to the right of the Queens Head, there is a slate bench offering fantastic views both inland and over the ocean. A birdspotter’s dream, and a great place for photography. On a calm day you may spot the harbour seal or even a sunfish – with its spookily shark-like dorsal fin.
If you’re feeling ambitious you can head along the coast path from here towards Crackington Haven.
As the crow flies, it’s not too far but be warned, the ravines that run into the sea mean that what appears to be an easy walk can be quite challenging due to the sharp drops and equally sharp climbs out of each ravine. The views are stunning, though.
The Lookout Tower and Forrabury Church
If you leave the cottage and walk towards the harbour, keeping to the left hand side, there is a path which leads easily along the water’s edge and along the cliffs towards Tintagel. It is a bit steep in parts, so sensible shoes are recommended, but there are some benches to allow a rest and a chance to enjoy the views. This is a great place to watch the sun go down.
If you follow the path along the cliff you have the option to walk up to the lookout tower which was recent re-opened and is staffed part time by volunteers, helping to keep the coastline safe for fishermen and sailors. If you look inland to the left you will see Forrabury Stitches. These are conserved strips of farmland dating back for centuries. If you follow the path to a natural T-junction at the corner of the Stitches, you have the choice of turning right, along the coast towards Tintagel, or left towards the village, where a gate leads you through the churchyard.
If you take this option, a nice downhill walk will take you to Old Road and back to TOSH in the harbour.