Hi, I’m Louise founder of Experience Cornwall Tours and your personal guide for today on this virtual tour of North Cornwall.
We start at Wheal Coates, a site managed by the National Trust and with UNESCO World Heritage status. The iconic engine house sits proudly on the cliffs between St Agnes and Chapel Porth.
Mining in Cornwall plays a huge part of our heritage, and at the peak of the industry employed over 30’000 people, including women and children. This mine descended 600ft to where miners would extract rock containing tin ore for processing. It was a dangerous job and sadly many miners lost their lives through rock fall, flooded shafts, or arsenic poisoning. This mine ceased production in 1889, with the industry in decline, causing many Cornish miners take their skills abroad.
A little walk from the National Trust car park, we take a short climb up to the summit of St Agnes Beacon. The 360-degree views from the top are stunning, both up and down the coast, but also inland. On a clear day you should be able to see the highest peak in Cornwall, Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor.
Wrap up warm though, it can get quite windy up here!
Perranporth was the hometown of Winston Graham, who wrote the Poldark series, which has now been turned into a hit TV series twice. There is a memorial bench to be discovered in the dunes at Flat Rocks.
This three miles stretch of golden sand can be extremely dangerous, with strong rip currents due to shifting sand banks, so this beach is manned throughout the season by trained lifeguards.
We explore Droskyn cliffs and take the steep steps down to the beach to explore Chapel Rock, a tidal sea pool hidden from view.
Perranporth was the landing place of Cornwall’s best known Saint.
The story says Saint Piran was a preacher in Ireland and performed miracles. The jealous king tied him to mill stone and threw him into the ocean, where he floated and landed on Perranporth Beach. He is celebrated every year on the 5th March and processions are made to the lost church which he is said to have built in the sand dunes.
Holywell bay is named after the Holy well that is hidden until low tide. The Victorians loved to visit here as it is said to have healing powers. It is a natural well, created by the minerals seeping through the rock and forming little pools of calcified minerals.
This beach has been used for many film locations, including James Bond and Poldark. Next time you watch ‘Die another day’, look out for the iconic rocks in the background, when Pierce Brosnan surfs a mammoth wave. Plenty of CGI was used here!
Before we explore the town of Newquay, we drive to Pentire Headland. From here you have breath-taking views of Crantock Beach and the River Gannel to your left, and to your right you will get views of the coast heading all the way to Watergate Bay.
There is a little ice cream hut here, so a great place to take a ‘pew with a view’ and enjoy the scenery, while eating some Cornish Ice cream.
Heading to Little Fistral car park, we visit the world-famous surfing beach of Fistral (the equivalent to Australia's Bondi Beach). Surfing is now embedded in Cornwall’s culture and Fistral is where to watch the pro’s at work.
Within the carpark sits the old lifeboat station and slip way, now no longer in use, it was moved to the shelter of the harbour which we visit next. Keeping the sea to your left, you will walk past the Huer’s hut, an important link to our fishing heritage, where men used to watch out for the shoals of fish out at sea.
Heading down to the working harbour, keep an eye out for seals and if you have more time, explore the shops and bars on the main high street.
We hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of Cornwall’s Rugged North Coast. We look forward to taking you on your next adventure soon. Book a tour by calling Louise on 01872 396143
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