Trevillett Mill and Cottages, self catering holiday accommodation exclusively located in Rocky Valley, Tintagel, North Cornwall



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Cornish Highlights

Welcome to Rocky Valley.  Here is a synopsis of some other Cornish highlights you might consider visiting whilst in this corner of the UK. They are listed in alphabetical order for ease of reference.

BEDRUTHAN STEPS

Bedruthan Steps has become one of the most popular destinations on the north Cornish coast because of the stunning cliff views of sea stacks stretching across Bedruthan bay. The whole coastal  area around Bedruthan is ideal for walking.

The cliffs at Bedruthan have been systematically eroded over the years, leaving a series of impressive volcanic rock stacks. Theses pillars of detached cliff rise majestically from Bedruthan Beach, forming a series of columns that stretch across the bay.

HISTORY

The name Bedruthan Steps is said to be taken from a mythological giant called 'Bedruthan' who used the rock stacks on the beach as stepping stones, and seems to be a late nineteenth century invention for Victorian tourists.

The buildings at Bedruthan and Carnewas are a reminder of it's  industrial past when iron, copper and lead was mined from the cliffs. The National Trust shop was originally the count house office of Carnewas Mine and the cafe was one of the mine buildings.

BOSCASTLE

Boscastle is set in a narrow ravine and is one of the few remaining unspoilt harbour villages in Cornwall. Designated an Area of Outstanding beauty, the National Trust own and care for the beautiful medieval harbour and surrounding coastline.

With its Medieval core and distinctive harbour, Boscastle is one of Cornwall’s most romantic places. It is a village steeped in history, associated with authors and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty. A lovely valley path heads inland following a stream which leads to several hidden churches.

HISTORY

The name of the village comes from Botreaux Castle, a 12th century motte-and-bailey fortress, of which few remains survive. Boscastle was once a favourite haunt of author, Thomas Hardy, and the setting for one of his novels, 'A Pair of Blue Eyes'. It was here that he met his wife, Emma.

A flash flood in 2004 caused extensive damage to Boscastle. Four buildings were demolished and a further 58 were flooded as the downpour hit. An estimated total of 440 million gallons of water flowed through the village.

BOTALLACK

Dramatically perched above the Atlantic Ocean on Crowns Rocks, Botallack is one of Cornwall’s most painted and photographed mine sites. It is, in fact, an ancient group of mines, formerly worked for tin, copper, arsenic and a few other rare minerals. The BBC television series Poldark was filmed partly in Botallack.

The small historic village of Botallack, in Cornish, Bostalek, now a haven for visitors enjoying the beauty of West Penwith, was once part of Cornwall's thriving mining industry. The Botallack former tin mines, are low down the cliffs north of Botallack.

HISTORY

Botallack mine date from the early eighteenth century. In 1721 and is the result of an amalgamation of several other small more ancient mines. includes the former Wheal Cock, Crowns and Carnyorth Mines as well as Parknoweth. There has been a mine in this area for at least 400 years.

Built during the 1860s at the height of the Cornish mining boom, the Count House at Botallack stands on the cliffs near the Crowns Mine. It was the hub of the day-to-day running of the mine and also where the miners collected their pay.

BUDE

Bude is a small seaside resort town in North Cornwall, which overlooks a wide bay, flanked by spectacular cliffs and protected by a breakwater. Bude has two excellent beaches - Crooklets and Summerleaze, both offer extensive flat sands and when the tide is out, are perfect for beach lovers of all ages. There is also a seawater swimming pool under Summerleaze Downs providing safe swimming even at low tide.

The popularity of Bude as a seaside resort dates from Victorian times and has managed to retain its atmosphere of easy going charm whilst catering for the most discerning modern day tourists.

HISTORY

In the 19th Century Bude was notorious for its wreckers, who plundered the ships that came to grief off the coast. The figurehead of one of these, the Bencoolen, a barque whose wrecking in 1862 resulted in the drowning of most of the crew, was preserved in the churchyard but was transferred to the town museum to save it from further decay.

In 1823 the Bude Canal was constructed to carry beach sand 20 miles inland to Launceston and for exporting Local produce. It was this waterway that brought development to the town. The canal is now used for pleasure-boating and fishing.

CADGWITH

Cadgwith is a village and fishing port in Cornwall located on the eastern side of the Lizard Peninsula. Thatched and whitewashed stone cottages cluster around the beautiful cove and a fleet of working fishing boats can be seen hauled out on the beach.

Cadgwith cove has two small beaches and a small brook runs through the cove over the sand and shingle into the sea. The large cliff to the south of the cove is known as the Man o' War.

HISTORY

Known in Cornish as Porthkajwydh, meaning cove of the thicket, the village has its origins in medieval times as a collection of fish cellars. From the sixteenth century, Cadgwith came to be inhabited, with fishing as the main occupation.

All around Cadgwith cove are reminders of the past - old pilchard cellars, winches, the old lifeboat house that was used until 1963. The film 'Ladies in Lavender' starring was set in Cadgwith.

CAPE CORNWALL

Cape Cornwall is a small headland four miles north of Land's End and is the point at which Atlantic currents split, either going south up the English Channel, or north into the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea. A little known fact is the definition as to what a "cape" really is. It is a headland where two oceans or channels meet.

The whole area is littered with the picturesque ruins of the mining industry. And the Cape is recognisable by the old chimney on its summit, a relic from the tin-mining days when mine shafts extend out under the sea for hundreds of metres.

HISTORY

Cape Cornwall Mine, a tin mine on Cape Cornwall, operated intermittently between 1838 and 1883. The mine's 1864 chimney near the peak of the cape was retained as an aid to navigation, and in the early 20th century the former ore dressing floors were for a time converted into greenhouses and wineries.

The name Cape Cornwall appeared first on a maritime chart around the year 1600 and the original Cornish name Kilgodh Ust has fallen out of use. In English it translates to "goose-back at St Just", a reference to the shape of the cape.

CHAPEL PORTH

Chapel Porth is set in a mining valley between high cliffs, the first view of the cove is quite dramatic. A vast low tide beach and a sea of glowing heather make it hard to believe this area was once an industrial landscape. The dramatic ruins of the old Wheal Coates tin mine are perched on the cliffs above the beach

Chapel Porth is one of the most exposed beaches on the North Coast facing the full force of the Atlantic. In the winter it can be a bleak foreboding place with the famous Wheal Coates engine house overlooking the scene from its clifftop.

HISTORY

Chapel Porth in the late 19th century would have looked a barren wasteland with pools and mounds of mining spoil, and sheds and wooden frames linked by channels of water. Much of the valley floor was used for the processing of tin ore, powered by water from the fast-flowing stream.

It is still possible to follow the mining trail beginning at the famous Wheal Coates tin mine on the cliffs near Chapel Porth and continuing along the coastal path until the trail ends at Blue Hills at Trevellas, the last remaining tin production centre in Cornwall.

CHARLESTOWN

Charlestown is situated on the outskirts of St. Austell on the south coast of Cornwall and is an unspoilt, Grade II Listed Harbour. The Harbour was originally built to export copper and import coal and was soon being used for the export of China Clay.

The port remains unspoiled and retains much of its Georgian character. This unique combination has lead to Charlestown being a popular location for film and television locations

HISTORY

Charlestown grew out of a small fishing village called West Polmear which consisted of a few cottages and three cellars, in which the catch of pilchards were processed. The population amounted to nine fishermen and their families in 1790.

The ports development was planned by local landowner Charles Rashleigh and built between 1790 and 1810 for the export of copper and china clay.

CHUN QUOIT

Chun Quoit stands on a northwest facing slope of a natural rise just over a mile from the sea in open moorland near Pendeen. It consists of four upright stones about a metre and a half in height, three of which support a fairly circular 2-3 metre wide capstone.

The name 'Chun' comes from the Cornish 'Chy-an-Woone' meaning 'the House on the Downs'. Chun Quoit can be reached by following a track from the nearby farm, which also takes you past the nearby Chun Castle, a small Iron Age hillfort.

HISTORY

Chun Quoit is remarkable for being the only dolmen in the area to have retained its capstone in its original setting. Erected in the Neolithic period (3500-2500BC), this chambered barrow still retains some evidence of the mound which once surrounded it.

In the same vicinity of Chun Quoit there are many other megalithic and archaeological sites as Lanyon Quoit, Mulfra Quoit, Mên-an-Tol and Men Scryfa. The rocky outline of Carn Kenidjack marks the position of midwinter sunset away to the south-west.

COVERACK

Coverack is a coastal village and fishing port in Cornwall, on the east side of the Lizard peninsula. The beach at Coverack is a large, sheltered, crescent shaped arc of sand, that can be quite rocky in places, but is ideal for swimming & windsurfing.

Coverack is built on two sides of a spur of rock that juts out into the sea. The village retains much of its original charm and atmosphere. Fishing boats and pleasure craft shelter in Coverack's small harbour - built out of the local green serpentine rock

HISTORY

Ships of every shape and size have run aground on the sharp rocks that make up the cliffs around Coverack. This expanse called the Manacles, has claimed life of both native and foreigner. Eventually a lifeboat house was built near the bay.

Every year on Christmas Day, all the local villagers and many holiday makers turn out to watch volunteers go swimming in the harbour in aid of charity. This tradition has gone on for nearly 50 years. The setting for the book Wild Strawberries by Emma Blair.

CRACKINGTON HAVEN

Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Crackington Haven is a small coastal village on the North Cornwall coast just West of Bude. Sheltered from the north by the cliffs of Pencannow and by the headland of Cambeak to the south, Crackington Haven is a small unspoiled, almost secret, cove.

Crackington Haven is popular with campers, walkers and geology students. The surrounding cliffs are well known for their visible folded sedimentary rock formations. The village gives its name to the Crackington formation, a sequence of Carboniferous sandstones and grey shales.

HISTORY

Until the nineteenth century, Crackington Haven was a small port similar to many others on the North coast of Cornwall. Limestone and coal were imported and slate and other local produce were exported. After the railways reached the district in 1893 the village could be reached more easily, so holidaymaking became more common.

Crackington Haven was badly affected in 2004 by the flood that damaged several other villages, including Boscastle. The road bridge across the stream, several homes and pub were damaged by floodwater.

CRANTOCK

Crantock has plenty of rock pools and caves to explore at low tide, along the edges of both East & West Pentire Headlands. The southern edge of the beach is lined by sand dunes and Marram grass- creating a nature haven for the local wildlife.

The parish is bounded to the north by the River Gannel. This tidal river flows across the northern edge of Crantock beach to join the Atlantic Ocean. A ferry operates seasonally between Fern Pit on the Newquay side of the river and Crantock Beach.

HISTORY

The older part of Crantock village is situated around its church which is dedicated to St Carantoc, founder of the village. At one time the parish was known as Langurroc which translates as – The Dwelling of Monks.

The Celtic monastery was established in Crantock before the Norman conquest and was sized by the Count of Montain once they had subdued the nation. His son passed on to the Montacute Priory in Dorset in 1230.

DAYMER BAY

Daymer Bay offers a stunning beach that at low tide forms long stretches of golden sand backed by dunes from Daymer Bay to Rock with superb views across Camel Estuary.

Daymer bay and Cassock are in the mouth of the Camel estuary and has very little in the way of surf, but it is an excellent spot for swimming, windsurfing, or boating. Daymer Bay is an ideal location for families and walkers.

HISTORY

Daymer Bay has seen its fair share of shipwrecks over the centuries an the infamous Doom Bar across the estuary has driven many a ship to ruin.

At south the end of the beach is the grassy mound of Braey Hill which offers excellent views of the area. At the foot of the hill a little way from the beach is St Enodoc Church  It is here that the former Poet Laureate, John Betjeman is buried.

GODREVY

Godrevy Island lies approx three hundred yards off Godrevy Point. The uninhabited island is the site of an operational Trinity House Godrevy Lighthouse, where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. Gulls, oyster-catchers and pipits make their homes on the island, which is partly covered with grass, as it slopes down to the sea.

Godrevy - meaning 'small farms',  is an area on the eastern side of St Ives Bay, west Cornwall. Facing the Atlantic Ocean it is popular with both surfers and walkers. Godrevy Island with it's lighthouse, was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel 'To the Lighthouse'.

HISTORY

Godrevy lighthouse was erected in 1859, after an iron steamer was totally wrecked with the loss of all passengers and crew. Two keepers were originally appointed to the lighthouse and they maintain the two lights. Godrevy lighthouse was modernised in 1995 when it was converted to solar powered operation.

The white octagonal tower, 26 metres high, is made from rubble stone bedded in mortar, and is sited together with its adjoining keepers' cottages almost in the centre of the largest of the rocks. The cost of the Godrevy Lighthouse station was £7,082.

GOLITHA FALLS

Golitha Falls is a famous beauty spot on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor. Known locally as Golitha Falls, the reserve is an area of woodland occupying a steep-sided valley gorge, with the River Fowey flowing through it in a series of spectacular cascades.

The site is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its woodland flora. To view the wildflowers of the area, it is best to visit the site between April and July, however the River Fowey and the waterfalls can be enjoyed at any time of year.

HISTORY

The unusual name is pronounced 'Gol-ee-tha' which derives from the old Cornish word for obstruction. King Doniert was one of Cornwall's last Kings, who was drowned while hunting, in the River Fowey at Golitha Falls in the year AD875.

Management of the Golitha Falls woodland by coppicing dates back to the time of the Doomsday book and possibly earlier. In amongst the lichen covered trees you can also find all that now remains of what was a nineteenth century industrial mining complex

GWITHIAN TOWANS

Gwithian Towans is magnificent beach backed by sand dunes tufted with wild grass, at low tide there is a vast amount of sand to enjoy and large areas of rock pools and caves are uncovered which are great to explore. The beach is popular with surfers as the constant swell provides good all year round conditions.

Nearby is Godrevey Island and it's lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf's novel, 'To the Lighthouse'. Seals are a common sight on the beach and breeding colonies of guillemot, razorbill, fulmar and cormorant can be seen on the cliffs.

HISTORY

Gwithian Towans cover the site of a Bronze Age farm. The church and relics of St Gwithian or Gocianus, built in 490, were uncovered from the beach and dunes during the early part of the 19th century, but were then allowed to be reclaimed by the shifting sands. Gwithian is the patron saint of good fortune on the sea

Until relatively recently the sand from the dunes here was liable to be blown in land in large quantities. It is recorded that in 1651 the farm of Upton Barton became so inundated with sand during one night that its occupants could only get out through the windows.

HOLYWELL BAY

The large, open sandy beach at Holywell Bay is located on the North Cornwall coast. Holywell beach is exposed to large Atlantic swells and it is a popular beach with surfers and body boarders. Cliffs encompass this rural beach, which at low tide is a mile long and there is a large expanse of sand dunes.

Holywell beach adjoins the settlement to the northwest and Penhale Camp, an army training establishment regularly. On the north side of Holywell beach Holywell Cave is accessible at low tide and contains many pools formed by natural build up of minerals.

HISTORY

Holywell Bay unsurprisingly gets its name from a holy well - a freshwater spring in a sea cave at the North end of the beach. In Cornish, the name is Porth Elyn, meaning "cove of the clear stream" which could either be a reference to the spring in the cave, or simply the stream running across the beach.

The pair of rocks off Penhale Point are owned by National Trust and are known either as Carter's or Gull Rocks. It has been reported that some locals refer to them as "Fishtail Rocks", which nicely describes their shape.

KYNANCE COVE

Kynance has been popular as a beach resort since Victorian times with its clear turquoise waters and fine sand. It has some very unique rock formations including a distinctive pinnacle on the north side of the beach.

On the west side of Kynance beach the causeway or tombolo, which connects the mainland with Asparagus Island, is completely covered at high tide, cutting off the island for a good six hours.

HISTORY

The cove became popular in the early Victorian era, with many distinguished visitors including poet Alfred Tennyson. The BBC has described Kynance Cove as "one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the South West."

The Kynance Cafe opened for business in 1929 and until recently relied  on spring water, and on a generator for power. In 1999 The National Trust renovated it and provided mains water & electricity.

LAND'S END

Land's End is located eight miles west of Penzance in the village and parish of Sennen. It is the most westerly point in mainland Britain. The headland is one of many that characterise the coastal landscape of West Penwith.

Although the cliffs immediately to the east and west of Land's End are owned by the National Trust, Land's End itself is privately owned and consists of a tourist complex, which is one of Cornwall's most popular destinations.

HISTORY

A mile offshore and clearly visible from the headland is a group of treacherous islets known as The Longships. Numerous ships have come to grief here, most recently the German cargo ship, the RMS Mulheim, which ran aground in 2003.

In 1987 Land’s End purchased  for almost £7 million. Two new buildings were erected and much of the present theme park development was instigated. The current owners purchased Land’s End in 1996 and formed the company - Heritage Great Britain PLC

LANYON QUOIT

Lanyon Quoit is probably one of the best-known of Cornwall's ancient monuments, dating from the Neolithic period 3500-2500BC. It is believed that Lanyon and other quoits in the area were used as ritual funeral sites. It's possible that bodies were laid on top of the capstone to be eaten by carrion birds.

Lanyon Quoit is situated in a field by the side of the Morvah to Madron road. It lies at the north end of a long barrow 26 metres long and 12 metres wide. At the south end of the barrow are some more large stones which may be the remains of one or more cists.

HISTORY

In the 18th century the quoit had four supporting stones and the structure was tall enough for a person on horse back to ride under. On 19 October 1815, Lanyon Quoit fell down in a storm. Nine years later enough money was raised by local inhabitants to re-erect the structure, under the guidance of Captain Giddy of the Royal Navy.

One of the original stones was considered too badly damaged to put back in place, thus there are only three uprights today and the structure does not stand as high as it once did. The reconstruction also placed the structure at right angles to its original position.

LOOE

Looe in South East Cornwall is a very popular family Holiday Resort town, divided into two distinct parts - East and West Looe, with the Looe river running through the centre of the town. East Looe is the main tourism centre - a collection of narrow streets lined with shops cafes and pubs that lead through to the main town.

Over the years, the town has retained its small fishing fleet, which return at high tide, to off load their catch alongside the riverside quay at the busy fish market, which dominates the towns Quay.

HISTORY

In medieval times East Looe and West Looe were separate towns. They are joined by a seven arched bridge, built in 1853. This replaced a much earlier bridge from the 15th century. Looe has relayed more heavily on the tourist industry since its pilchard canning factory closed in the sixties.

One of Looe’s oldest buildings is the Old Guildhall in East Looe. It dates back to around 1500. It was formerly the town hall, but now houses the Museum.

MAWGAN PORTH

Mawgan Porth is situated mid way between Padstow and Newquay on the rugged North Cornish coast. It offers a beautiful west facing beach, stunning scenery, picturesque walks, and superb surfing.

The large expanse of fine sands is bounded by high cliffs to the north and south and by low ground and the River Menalhyl to the east. A stream flows to the sea at the southern edge and there are some rock pools. The coastal footpath also crosses the beach.

HISTORY

Mawgan Porth is recorded as Porthglyvyan in 1334, Cornish for 'Cove of the little wooded valley river'. Then later as Porthmaugan in 1755, Cornish for cove of St Mawgan.

Excavations carried out in Mawgan Porth in the latter part of the twentieth century unearthed evidence of a late Saxon settlement consisting of three groups of buildings and a burial ground. The settlements are thought to date from 850-1050.

MEVAGISSEY

Mevagissey nestles in a small valley with narrow streets that lead down to the centre of the old Town.  The distinctive twin harbours of Mevagissey provide a safe haven for the many fishing boats. In typical picture postcard style cafes, galleries and shops cluster around the harbour walls and line the pretty streets.

At the end of June each year, Mevagissey celebrates Feast Week with local entertainments and dancing in the streets. Mevagissey is also a convenient centre for those wanting to visit such local attractions as the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

HISTORY

Mevagissey was once the centre of Cornwall’s pilchard fishery and which still boasts a working harbour. It has a tradition of boat building dating back to 1745. Many of the old buildings, constructed of cob and slate, bear testimony to a time when the large shoals of pilchards were the livelihood of the whole village.

The name Mevagissey is derived from the names of two saints, St Meva and St Issey. The first record is of a hamlet of this name in 1313, but there were local settlements in the Bronze Age. Two Bronze Age Burial Urns were discovered at nearby Portmellon.

NEWQUAY

Newquay is perched on Cornwall's Atlantic cliffs and bordered by seven miles of glorious golden sandy beaches. It is one of the nation's favourite seaside towns and manages to be both trendy and yet remains a great family resort, all wrapped up in the most fantastic coastal scenery.

Newquay has for the last 100 years become both a popular holiday destination and an internationally renowned surfing area and venue.  With consistent waves and a fantastic array of beaches to suit different tides, weather conditions, mood and ability.

HISTORY

Newquay was originally the fishing port of Towan Blistra before the new quay was built in the fifteenth century. the quay was mainly used for the import of coal and the export of mined ore for the tin and copper mining industries. For many years, the main industry was pilchard fishing and salting.

Up to the early 20th century, Newquay was famous for pilchards and there is a "Huer's Hut" above the harbour from which a lookout would cry "Hevva!" to call out the fishing fleet when pilchard shoals were spotted. The town's present insignia is two pilchards.

PADSTOW

Padstow lies on the Camel Estuary, in an area of considerable natural beauty with stunning bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath. Padstow is probably best known for its celebration of 'The coming of Summer' with its 'Obby Oss' festivities on the 1st May each year,

The town is built around a small harbour that divides its facilities between the local and visiting fishing fleet and a strong maritime leisure trade. Padstow is situated on the western side of the river directly opposite the village of Rock.

HISTORY

Taditionally a fishing port, Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. Although some of its former fishing fleet still remains. During the mid-nineteenth century, ships carrying timber from Canada would arrive at Padstow and offer cheap travel to passengers wishing to emigrate.

Padstow was originally named Petroc-stow, after the Welsh missionary Saint Petroc, who landed at Trebetherick around AD 500. After his death a monastery was built here, which was of great importance until Padstow was raided by the Vikings in 981.

PERRANPORTH

Perranporth is located on the rugged North Cornwall Coast, Surrounded by countryside that inspired Winston Graham’s swashbuckling Poldark novels. With it's three miles of golden sands, spectacular cliff walks and famous surf, Perranporth attracts visitors from all over the world.

During the summer months the beach has lifeguard cover for the busy times. For surfers Perranporth beach offers a variety of waves giving good conditions for both beginners and experienced surfers, it is recognised as a good place to learn surfing.

HISTORY

Until the 1960s, Perranporth was served by a railway line. Built as the Truro and Newquay Railway, the line ran from Chacewater to Newquay and the principal intermediate stop was Perranporth station. Perranporth also had a second station, known as Perranporth Beach Halt.

The village's modern name comes from Porth Peran, the Cornish for the cove of Saint Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall. He founded St Piran's Oratory on Penhale Sands near Perranporth in the 7th century.

POLPERRO

Polperro is a village and fishing harbour on the south east coast of Cornwall. It is a noted tourist destination, for its idyllic appearance with tightly-packed ancient fishermen's houses which survive almost untouched, its quaint harbour and attractive coastline.

In Polperro it is easy to step back in time in what is a largely unspoilt fishing village. Cottages cling to steep hillsides around a small harbour, beloved by artists over the years. Its infamous history as a smugglers haunt is told in the harbourside museum.

HISTORY

Fishing has been the principal occupation in Polperro for generations, and the harbour was a valuable source of income to the local lords of Raphael manor since the 12th century who owned it until ownership passed to the Harbour Trustees in 1894.

Two terrible storms struck Polperro harbour within seven years, however. In January 1817 the ruin was dreadful; out of 45 fishing boats, 30 were completely destroyed and others damaged almost beyond repair.

POLZEATH

Polzeath is a small village on the headland opposite Padstow and is a haven for surfers due to its easily accessible location and long slow breaking consistent waves. Dolphins have been spotted in the bay along with many types of coastal bird including puffins.

Polzeath, is split into two parts – the old and the new, both overlooking a magnificent stretch of golden sand between Pentire Head to the north and Highcliff to the west. The beach more or less disappears at high tide and the car park may disappear too in very stormy conditions.

HISTORY

The remains of an Iron Age fort can still be seen on the headland known as "The Rumps" on the coast path from Polzeath to Port Quin. The three defensive ditches and the remains of circular huts dating back about 2000 years are still visible.

From the Victorian age until the present day Polzeath has always been one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in Cornwall, if not the UK as a whole.  Polzeath was also a favourite haunt of the poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman, and is celebrated in some of his verse.

PORT ISAAC

Port Isaac is a small picturesque fishing village on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall and nestles in a sheltered valley. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with old white-washed cottages and traditional granite, slate-fronted Cornish houses.

Both Port Isaac is within what is both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Heritage Coast Area. Consequently, there are many lovely walks along the coast and inland.

HISTORY

From the Middle Ages until the middle of the 19th century, Port Isaac was a busy port handling various imports and exports, including coal, timber, pottery and Delabole slate. The name Port Isaac is derived from the Cornish Porth Izzick meaning 'corn port'.

Since the 1980s the village has served as backdrop to various television productions, including the ITV series Doc Martin, and is home to the group Fisherman's Friends, sea-shanty singers.

PORT QUIN

Port Quin lies between Port Isaac and Polzeath and is a magical near deserted cove with a rugged natural harbour. The picture of serenity on a peaceful summer's day, with clear, clam waters that are safe for swimming, Port Quin is nonetheless prone to savage storms during the winter months.

One of these storms is reputed to have wiped out the entire fishing fleet sometime in the nineteenth century, giving rise to Port Quin's eerie nickname - 'The village that died.' After the storm the women of the village were forced to abandon their homes, due to hardship.

HISTORY

During the medieval period, boats from Port Quin often sailed to Wales trading coal, manure, lead and building ashlar. The local economy was based primarily upon the pilchard season and fresh catches were placed in several large drying sheds in the village before being transported for sale.

In February 1700 the East Indian ship Thornton was wrecked at Port Quin. On the south-west side of the inlet is Doyden Point, on which is situated Doyden Castle, a castellated folly built about 1830 by a Samuel Symons.

PORTREATH

Portreath is a small resort with a very narrow harbour located about 5 miles north of Redruth. The pretty, sandy beach has a stream running down to the sea on the left hand side. Like many beaches on the North coast, Portreath is popular with surfers.

The south side of Portreath beach is a quiet haven overlooked by sloping cliffs and dominated by Battery House; here cannons were kept in readiness during the French wars to repel any attacks on the cove and harbour.

HISTORY

Portreath was first recorded in 1485 and tin streaming in the valley was recorded from 1602.  The village had a fishing fleet, mainly for pilchards The harbour we see today was started in 1760 to service the expanding ore industry in the area.

By 1827 Portreath was described as Cornwall's most important port and Portreath was one of the main ports for sending the copper ore to Swansea for smelting. The ships returned with Welsh coal to fire the steam engines used on the mines.

ST IVES

St Ives is widely regarded as the jewel of Cornwall’s crown, a beautiful seaside town, set in breath-taking coastal scenery and is one of Cornwall’s top holiday destinations. St Ives has four beaches and climate which has some of the mildest winters and warmest summers in Britain,

St Ives has been attracting artists for decades who come to capture the area’s undeniable natural beauty. It started with J M W Turner and the marine artist Henry Moore who first came to St Ives in the mid-1800s and since then the town has become a magnet for some of the world’s greatest artists.

HISTORY

The origin of St Ives is attributed in legend to the arrival of the Irish Saint Ia of Cornwall, in the 5th century. The parish church bears her name, and St Ives derives from it.  From medieval times fishing was important at St Ives; it was the most important fishing port on the north coast.

The modern seaside resort of St Ives developed as a result of the arrival of the St Ives Bay branch line from St Erth, part of the Great Western Railway in 1877. With it came a new generation of Victorian seaside holidaymakers. Much of the town was built during the latter part of the 19th century. 

ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT

St Michael's Mount is a picturesque rocky island that has been described as the 'Jewel in Cornwall's crown'. This, the most famous of Cornwall's landmarks, has a fascinating history and is steeped in both legend and folklore. It boasts a picturesque harbour, with panoramic views across Mounts Bay to Lands End and The Lizard.

St Michael's Mount with it's spectacular castle dates from the 14th Century. Now in the care of the National Trust, the Mount's castle and magestic gardens are open to the public during weekdays from April to October, and most weekends. Access is on foot across the causeway at low tide, or by short ferry crossing at high tide. The castle is floodlit on some evenings and the lights reflected in a calm sea, make it appear as if it is floating in the air.

HISTORY

Thousands of years ago, the island was a busy port, trading tin with Europe and is widely believed that the island was known to the ancient Greeks as Ictis. In 495, St Michael is said to have been seen by fishermen on top of the island and by the sixth century, it is thought that the island was a major religious centre.

An abbey was built on top of the island and granted to the Benedictine monks from Mont St Michel in France. The island has seen several battles for its ownership. In 1588, the first beacon was lit on St Michael’s Mount to warn of the arrival of the Spanish Armada – seven years later, the Spanish returned and burned most of Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole and Paul. Marazion and the Mount escaped unscathed from the invasion.

TINTAGEL

Tintagel castle is found in the spectacular setting of the dramatic North Cornwall coast. Tintagel has been famous for its King Arthur legend, including the historic castle on the cliffs. For more than 800 years a magical tale has been told that Tintagel was the birthplace of the noble King Arthur. He was protected from evil by Merlin the magician who lived below the castle in a cave.

The Atlantic breakers crash against the cliffs, and through Merlin's cave, as visitors climb the steep but breath-taking path to Tintagel Island. During the summer months, a story-teller is often on hand to bring the legends of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot to life. In the bleak mid-winter, Tintagel is a place that inspires the imagination of many and is a place of romance and legend.

HISTORY

After a period as a Roman settlement and military outpost, Tintagel became a trading settlement of Celtic kings of Cornwall during the 5th and 6th centuries. Legend has it that one of these was King Mark, whose nephew Tristan fell in love with Yseult (or Isolde). Their doomed romance is part of Tintagel's story.

The remains of the 13th century castle are breath-taking. Steep stone steps, stout walls and rugged windswept cliff edges encircle the great hall, where Richard, Earl of Cornwall, once feasted. The modern day village of Tintagel was known as Trevena until the 1850s, when it was renamed to promote tourism on the back of the King Arthur and Camelot legends. Strictly speaking, Tintagel is only the name of the headland.

TREBARWITH STRAND

Trebarwith Strand is a popular family beach known for its fine golden sands, located on the North Cornwall coast - between the ever popular villages of Port Isaac and Tintagel. Located at the very bottom of a deep valley, with many attractive views along the Heritage Coastline - with Gull Rock, lying just of the beach providing an interesting focal point to the views.

Trebarwith Strand Beach, is accessed via a short walk down hill from the car park. At low tide the beach offers a large area of sand and rocks, that is ideal for bathing and surfing with plenty of rock pools and small alcoves to explore. At high water the sands are completely covered by the incoming tide.

HISTORY

The name Trebarwith really belongs to the village on the higher ground to the south of the valley which is the most southerly part of Tintagel parish. The road along the valley from Penpethy to the Strand was originally built to allow the collection of sand for agricultural purposes: there are several disused slate quarries on either side of the road.

Lying in the bay, just off of the beach, is Gull Rock - an imposing cliff stack, reminiscent of a dogs head, that provides a home to many local sea birds. The picturesque setting of Trebarwith Strand with with its vast cliffs, dark caves, fine golden sand and Gull rock, makes the area popular as a TV and Movie location.

TREVOSE

Trevose Headland just west of the town of Padstow is the setting for this Lighthouse. It was designed in the mid-19th century to bridge the gap in ship guidance in the Bristol Channel between the Longships lighthouse near Land’s End and Lundy off the coast of North Devon.

The lighthouse is situated on the north west extremity of the head, with gigantic cliffs of grey granite rising sheer from the sea to a height of 150 feet or more. Trevose’s 'keepers' cottages are now holiday lets, offering visitors a unique place to stay, with stunning views and a real understanding of being exposed to the elements.

HISTORY

The tower is 27 metres tall and has a range of 20 nautical miles, but on a clear night, you can just spot the light from Pendeen Lighthouse, over 35 miles away. Originally, Trevose shore station sported two fixed lights. one high and one low. However, the lower light was withdrawn in 1882.

Designed by engineer James Walker the two original lights were constructed under the supervision of Henry Norris, by builders from Falmouth. Despite the proliferation of sea mist and fog in this area, it was not until 1913 that a fog horn was added to the station. The lighthouse was automated and became unmanned in 1995

TREYARNON BAY

Treyarnon Bay is a north-west facing sandy cove with a lovely clean beach, backed by sand dunes and surrounded by low cliffs. To the north is Treyarnon Point and the south, Trethias Island, both of which provide some shelter. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area, especially with families because the expanse of soft sands and low waters.

A small car park is situated by the beach, from where there is level access to the beach. Toilet and refreshment facilities are nearby. Treyarnon Bay was recommended in the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide in 2014 as one of the best family beaches in the Padstow area.

The coastal footpath provides breath-taking views along the coast to Trevose Head in one direction and Newquay and even St Ives on a clear day, in the other direction. At the mouth of the bay is Treyarnon Island. This large rock, topped with grass and thrift, is separated from the mainland by a narrow gulley and is a nature reserve and home of breeding sea birds.

There are lots of sand and rock pools stretching round one side of Treyarnon Bay which are ideal for children to explore. These rock pools are teeming with life such as shrimps, crabs and small fish. There is even a natural "swimming pool" within the rocks to the north of the beach.

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Updated on January 27th, 2013

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