It’s nearing the end of January and the car park next to the beach at Polzeath is practically empty. Some of the shops have closed for winter but there’s a lot of activity in the surf shops; wetsuits are hanging outside on a rail for hire and although there were no surfers around today, the shop is busy being stocked with beach paraphernalia.
Points to note; this beach doesn’t have lifeguards out of season and there are no litter or dog-doo bins on the beach at this time of year. But the thing I kept thinking was – Bailey would love it here; miles of sandy beach, waves crashing in from Padstow Bay; a freshwater outlet to cross; lots of playmates and of course the fascinating rocks to clamber over, and I kid you not – these guys are purple! The colours are amazing.
It’s a clear, sunny day and I’m off to enjoy the walk (sans my four-legged friend) that takes in such spectacular views as Pentire Point and the Rumps, which is the site of an Iron Age promontory fort with a great chunk of Cornish history attached to it. This part of the coast path gives you a cracking view of Stepper Point to the south and Doyden and Tintagel Castle to the north, but in fact everywhere you look there is just amazing scenery. If you need a few cobwebs blowing away then this is the place to go.
I joined the coast path by walking up a set of steps from the beach and walking a few hundred yards up the road until I came to directions pointing down a narrow, hedged pathway and onto a rough bridge separating the beach from farmland. There is a warning that you could get cut off at this point during high tide, but it was way out so everything was fine. Here you have the choice of taking the Pentire Farm path or going straight on, through the gate and up a winding path, which I chose. There has been some rock fall in this area and parts of the coast path have been diverted away from any dangerous parts of the cliff, but watch out if it’s been raining – some parts of the path were quite muddy and slippery, although a very lean and very keen runner seemed to take it all in his stride! It’s a long, beautiful walk to Port Quin but very much worth it, and great fun for dogs! I know what I’d be saying if my dog was with me – ‘Bailey...get out of that rabbit hole!’