Morwenstow is a small village, in the most northerly parish in Cornwall, close to the border with Devon. The village is doubly blessed with the picturesque countryside and rolling hills that surround it, and the stunning stretch of nearby Atlantic coastline with its rugged rocks and spectacular cliffs.
Morwenstow is home to the National Trust's smallest building, Hawker's Hut which is built into the face of the cliff overlooking the sea. It is well worth taking the gentle cliff top trail that passes a beautiful ancient church, believed to date back to Saxon times, and leads to the hut itself, once the refuge of poet Reverend Robert Hawker. On a clear day, Lundy Island can be seen from here, and it is a fabulous place to spot an abundance of birds and wildlife.
Just 6 miles to the south you'll find the bustling seaside town of Bude will cater for all your holiday essentials, offering a wide selection of cafés, bars and restaurants, and also two sandy beaches that are popular with families, surfers and dog owners alike.
This whole stretch of coastline offers numerous pretty fishing villages and excellent beaches to explore - catering for watersports enthusiasts, families, walkers, foodies, and those looking to escape to one of the many hidden secluded coves.
A holiday cottage in Morwenstow offers a quiet Cornish retreat set away from the crowds, but within easy access of Cornwall's most popular tourist spots.
A magic experience to enjoy while you’re on holiday in Cornwall, the Museum of Witchcraft is in the village of Boscastle and was the creation of Cecil Williams whose fascination with the subject started in childhood. He set up the Cornish museum in 1960, saying it was three miles from a prehistoric maze stone carved into a living rock face, ‘proof that from ancient times man and his magic making with the world of spirit were active in this area’. Today you can visit to explore the collections or enjoy seasonal events such as candlelit evenings and Halloween at the museum.
Part of English Heritage, Tintagel Castle is more a ruin than a castle these days, but nonetheless, it’s an exciting opportunity to get involved with the history, myths and exceptional scenery at this spot that’s inextricably linked to the legend of King Arthur. Set on a coastline that has inspired artists and writers for centuries, see ancient artefacts and explore the history of the castle and the legends that have shaped its story, as well as learning about its time as a royal stronghold, thriving trading post and the setting for romantic stories. Prices start at £7.90 for adults who are not members, and £4.70 for children.
For a fantastic, fun, all-weather family day out, Trethorne Leisure Park is sure to tick all your boxes. Comprising of a large indoor play area, perfect for rainy days, with a dropslide, ballparks, trampolines, climbing wall, assault course and much more, as well as outdoor space with crazy golf, paddle boats, slides, swings, sandpit and an adventure climbing frame. There's also an animal barn with ponies to ride, a cow to milk, and guinea pigs and rabbits to cuddle.
If you're looking for even more family entertainment afterwards, you'll find 8 lanes of ten pin bowling, a dodgems rink, and a games arcade right next door!
A beautiful Georgian house dating back to 1753, Lawrence House is leased to Launceston Town as a local museum and civic centre, spread over three floors, with exhibits focusing on local history and the area’s links with Australia. When you visit you can learn about Philip Gidley King who sailed on the HMS Sirius, which accompanied the first fleet of convicts to Australia, see a display of costumes that date from the 18th century to the 1960s, discover the Victorian kitchen and let the kids play in the toy room. Opening times are limited so make sure you keep an eye on the website for further information.
Rock climbing, coasteering, ecoasterring, wild swimming, sea kayaking – for the thrill seeker who wants to get that little bit closer to Cornish nature, Cornish Rock Tors has venues on the north and south coasts of Cornwall, so it’s a good one to keep in mind whether you’re visiting the area for the first time or after multiple trips. Suffice to say the excursions allow you to take in some of the most picturesque aspectsof Cornwall, getting to grips with the great outdoors and some of the most incredible scenery the UK has to offer. They even cater to hen weekends and stag parties, all the while endorsed by the National Trust and conservation organisations.
A 13th century traditional Cornish pub with open fires in winter and a beer garden with beautiful sea views and children’s play area for summertime. Open all day, all year round, serving tasty light lunches, cream teas and hearty evening meals along with a great selection of local ales and other beverages for all occasions.
The Bush Inn Crosstown, Morwenstow, Bude EX23 9SR (T: 01288 331242)
A pretty tea garden by the sea run by local legend Margaret, who is as famous for her delicious home-made cream teas and pasties as she is for her sense of humour. Pretend to walk off the calories afterwards by strolling down to the beach or along the cliffs to Northcott Mouth. All seating outside, dogs welcome.
Margarets Rustic Tea Garden S W Coast Path, Bude EX23 9ED (T: 07747 537564)
A picture perfect English tearoom surrounded by the beautiful wild flower gardens at Docton Mill, a great spot for a cream tea or slice of homemade cake after a few hours discovering the wonderful array of plants here. Also serves a good range of freshly prepared soups, pasties, salads and sandwiches.
Docton Mill Gardens & Tearooms Lymebridge, Hartland, Bideford EX39 6EA (T: 01237 441369)
A bustling beachside café just a stone’s throw from Crooklets beach with an enclosed sundeck overlooking the waves and plenty of seating. After a hard day rockpooling, surfing or building sandcastles this is the place to come for a coffee, a refreshing beer or something delicious from the menu. Think gourmet burgers, woodfired pizzas, salads, plenty of fish and seafood and lots more!
Rosie’s Kitchen Crooklets Beach, Bude EX23 8NE (T: 01288 354238)
Less the five minutes on foot from the centre of Bude, Summerleaze Beach is an easy beach to get to and enjoy for the whole day. There’s a river flanking the sandy beach and it’s sheltered by a breakwater, making it popular with families and surfers. You can book beach huts daily or weekly, and adding to its charm is a part man-made/part natural salt water sea pool to swim in at the foot of the cliff, that’s been welcoming swimmers since it opened in 1930. There’s lifeguard cover in the summer months, dogs need to be kept on leads from May to September, and there are toilets and disabled toilets close by as well as an RNLI shop, sandy play area, a beach café, and a large car park that leads directly to the sand dunes.
Three miles south of Bude, Widemouth Bay Beach is a long, open bay that’s popular with families and surfers, while at low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. It’s a wonderful place to learn to surf or body board thanks to fantastic conditions and lots of local surf schools in the surrounding area. There’s free parking at both ends of the bay as well as viewing points. Dogs are welcome throughout the year on the south section of the beach, otherwise known as Black Rock, but on the northern part there are seasonal dog bans. It has a wild feel to it, which adds to its appeal, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer, but nonetheless do be careful when swimming.
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Lovely clean beach.
At the end of a narrow valley, surrounded by towering cliffs, backing into the village of Crackington, Crackington Haven Beach offers shelter from the elements but only by comparison to the exposed coastline. The beach is all rocks and shingle, and has a seasonal ban on dogs from Easter to October. There’s parking at the beach, so remember to take cash for pay and display, and there are two cafes, a pub, surf hire and toilet facilities close by. There’s also lifeguard cover in the height of summer.
In the shadow of Tintagel Castle, Tintagel Beach is small and often overlooked, barely accessible via a scrabble down the cliff path. To the north of the beach there’s a waterfall and to the south is Merlin's Cave, a 300ft long tunnel passing under Tintagel Island and castle that’s only accessible at low tide. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and the beauty of the place is its remoteness – just you, the beach and the sea, so there aren’t any facilities nearby basically.
Two miles from Tintagel, Trebarwith Strand Beach on the north Coast of Cornwall is easily accessible and is owned by the National Trust. A long stretch of sand, it’s backed by flat rocks and steep cliffs, but check the tides before you visit because people often get cut off in the summer months. Once there, there are caves to explore and rock pools containing a wealth of sea life. It’s been the setting for a number of films in its time, but these days it’s all about swimming (when lifeguards are on duty between May and September) and exploring. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and there are two car parks – the main one is a bit of a walk away, and a smaller one is closer to the beach. There’s also a handful of roadside parking spaces.