The picturesque harbour of Boscastle is one of Cornwall’s most romantic places. The long narrow valley runs down to a steep and rocky entrance to the raging sea beyond. It is a place steeped in history, associated with authors and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty, but its also been a working harbour, both for fishermen and stone workers over the years. The main village sits high above the harbour and is a pleasant place to explore.
Reasons to visit Boscastle...
- Distinctive natural harbour
- Surrounding landscape and coastline, much of which is National Trust owned.
- Museum of Witchcraft
- Associated with authors and artists, including Thomas Hardy, who was inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty
- Abundant in wildlife, dramatic walks and historic features
- Great potteries and art galleries
Things to do in Boscastle
The landscape, coastline and quaint old buildings are undoubtedly the main attraction of the local area. These are made all the more interesting with local potteries, art galleries and the Museum of Witchcraft. Also nearby is sacred site Saint Nectan’s Glen where the River Trevillet has created a magnificent 60 foot waterfall cascading into a beautiful valley.
The area also has a number of gorgeous churches, most dating from Norman times and there are plenty of good walks into the beautiful countryside that start in the village.
Explore the area
As you wander around the harbour you will begin to notice the quaint old buildings which have been converted into pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. Look out for the wonky rooftops and crooked cottages, they have real character. The limekiln and storage buildings give a brief reminder of Boscastle's industrial past. It is also worth while looking around the main village on the hill above.
Follow in the footsteps of the famous novelist Thomas Hardy by taking the path through the woods and up the valley to St. Juliot’s Church. See the Old Rectory where Hardy stayed and met his sweetheart Emma whilst he was an architect working on the church tower.
For fantastic coastal views take the left hand path at the harbour that leads to a slate platform where you can see the ‘Blowhole’ an hour before or after low tide. Boscastle's blow-hole beneath Penally Point is often called the Devil's Bellows. It can be seen thumping and snorting about an hour either side of low tide, blowing a horizontal waterspout halfway across the harbour entrance if the conditions are right. You can follow the path up to Willapark, where the National Coastwatch have a watch-house.
The Visitor Centre
The National Trust Visitor Centre has an extensive gift shop, tea rooms and the usual visitor information such as maps of the area and non expensive walking trail leaflets.
Useful Boscastle links