Our friends Shrimp and Rob had rented a property in Padstow for the week and invited us to join them for a couple of days walking the SWCP. We drove down on the Sunday afternoon and almost immediately went for a look around the town with their dog, Roxy. It was an ideal time to visit Padstow in that the weather was around 16/17˚C and it was before the summer hoards arrive, so plenty of space in which to move around.
After an excellent meal on Sunday evening in The Old Ship Hotel, the next day the plan was to walk to Polzeath. The reason that we walked only 9.5 miles over the 2 days was that Shrimp and Rob had invited mutual friends Daphne and Keith who live in Camborne to join us all on Monday for the walk. Catching the ferry across to Rock we walked along the beach … (where Roxy returned from a swim, much to Rob’s shock!)
… and then passing Daymer Bay along the headland to Polzeath …
… where we sat out drinking coffee – the deal at the cafe was that after the first drink you could stay there all day paying just an additional £1 for each additional cup. But we wanted to be back in Padstow for a pasty from the famous Chough (pronounced Chuff) Bakery on the harbourside – wonderful, and just in time as well as we got almost the last 6!
The next day just the four of us, plus Roxy, set off to walk the 7 miles to Harlyn Bay after having left a car at the finish to get us back to Padstow. Again, the weather was perfect although even breezier, especially rounding Stepper Point. Before then the path was very gentle mainly just above the beach and at the Old Coastguard Station there are houses that were homes for the coastguards and pilots who guided ships around the large Doom Bar into Padstow and beyond to Wadebridge. Here there is an opportunity for morning coffee etc in the garden of the house where the excellent refreshments are served out of the kitchen window!
Around Stepper Point there is a short climb up to the 40ft daymark, a navigation aid from past times, but just before that is the volunteer run National Coastwatch Institution hut.
The path around the headland offers wonderful views and passes several “holes” which are caused by sea erosion when a thin vertical band of harder rock protects a softer rock behind. When the harder rock is breached the softer rock is eroded and eventually collapses in on itself creating for example Butter Hole …
Eventually having passed through Trevone we turned a corner and saw Harlyn Bay, our destination for this walk, come into view.
An excellent 3 hours walk which was rewarded with a cream tea back in Padstow.
Although we only knocked 9.5 miles off our target we probably walked at least twice that with the retracing of our steps and the several trips up and down from the accommodation above Padstow. All in all a very enjoyable few days, with good company, weather and food.