Route Highlight

Far North Coast Beaches

This rugged stretch of coast has more shipwreck locations and smuggling sites than sandy beaches. That’s all the better for out-of-season roadtrip explorers. Look out for the beguiling small sheltered cove at Crackington Haven alongside Cornwall’s highest cliffs and the long, windy surfing beach at Widemouth with an enticing selection of beach cafes. Bude has more of an all-round appeal with surf-pounded sands, a man-made ‘sea pool’, quiet boating canal and all the facilities of a quirky little seaside town.

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The old estuary village of Rock is enjoying a similar up-market transformation to Padstow on the opposite shore. Rock always had beaches, views and walks – and now there are gourmet restaurants and designer shops too.

Port Isaac

The biggest of a trio of tiny adjoining coves, Port Isaac was thrust into the spotlight when serving as the location for TV’s Doc Martin series. Along with Port Quin and Port Gaverne, expect rocky inlets with tiny beaches sheltering a handful of fishing boats


Don’t let the touristy high street full of homemade fudge and Arthurian replica swords deter you – it leads to one of the great sights of Cornwall. You’ll cross the new spectacular footbridge to reach the romantic ruins of Tintagel’s medieval island fortress.


A craggy inlet twists inland to a harbour where wonky cottages climb uphill from a cleft in the cliffs. Boscastle’s quirky appeal includes individual artists’ galleries, a spooky witchcraft tradition and a noisy blowhole spouting water through a gap in the cliffs. Superstitious villagers still call it ‘The Devil’s Bellows’.


See beyond the expensive car park, commercialised visitor centre and the awkwardly steep cobbled main street and Clovelly is one of THE essential Devon sights. Thanks to its private aristocratic owners, nothing architectural has changed here for almost 300 years.


They call the far northwest corner of Devon the ‘Hartland Heritage Coast’ – it’s a beachless peninsula that’s a largely unspoilt Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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