|Distance : 5 miles||Grading : +++||OS Sheet : 190|
This is a relatively easy walk, as although there are quite a few climbs it is fairly short at five miles long. The coast on this part of the path is quite spectacular and the villages of Boscastle and Tintagel both have a lot of interest. There is no road walking sections on this part of the path and it is all quite well signed. There is a small sandy beach, which is covered at high tide, part way along the walk.
Boscastle is best accessed by taking the A395, which joins the A30 near Launceston. Then follow the signs from the A395. There is quite a bit of parking at Boscastle and also some parking at Tintagel.
There are bus services to Boscastle from Bude, Widemouth Bay, Crackington Haven and Tintagel. For more information, see the links below.
If you're planning to stay in the area there are Hotels at both Boscastle and Tintagel, although you may need to book in advance at Bank Holidays and during the school summer holidays.
I recommend starting at the Heritage Coast Centre, which is in the car park at Boscastle. There are maps on sale here, as well as toilets. A look around the village is also worthwhile before you leave. When you are ready to leave, make sure you are on the west side of the river, the path will be obvious as you leave the harbour. As you climb the cliff there are excellent views of the harbour below. The entrance to the harbour is rumored to be one of the most difficult to enter, due to the sharp turn by the harbour entrance, although this curve is what makes the harbour such a safe haven for boats.
On the first headland you will get a view of the coast back towards Bude. The harbour entrance is not obvious once you get a little away from it. There is a small watch tower on the headland which is worth looking at, as the views from here are better. Out to sea there is a small island, which gets pounded by the sea.
Soon you will descend to pass a small stream before climbing back to the cliff top again. There are excellent views out to sea here and often many sea birds around here to.
As you get further towards Tintagel, you will pass a rock with a whole in it, as used as the image for this walk. If the weather is bad you can feel how this whole was created! The coastal views on this part are excellent and looking back towards Bude and towards Tintagel you can see the many different headlands.
Soon you will pass a caravan site and then down to a rocky valley, which is not a good place to go for a swim! The path then climbs up again and soon passes Bossinney Haven, where there is a small beach. It's covered at high tide so you may not see it, but at low tide there is some sand and it's possible to get down onto the beach. If the weather is warm it's a handy way to cool your feet down.
Soon the castle comes into view, on it's eroding island and connected via a bridge. As you come around the headland you will see there are quite a few caves around. There is also a small mostly shingle beach, though swimming and bathing is not really safe here as the sea is rough and the rocks and caves dangerous. The castle is now owned by English Heritage and there is an admission charge to go inside, but it's well worth it. Many parts of the ruined castle have no been uncovered. This castle is where the legend of King Arthur was born and you will see plenty of references to King Arthur in the village.
There are toilets and a small visitor centre at the castle. Its a short climb up to the village, which is well worth seeing. There is the old post office, a lovely building now owned by the National Trust and several traditional Cornish buildings
There are buses running around once every two hours, from Tintagel to Boscastle and on to Bude. For more information, see the links below.
Here are some photos of the walk, in roughly the correct order. Click a picture for a larger version and description.
Ordnance Survey Landranger map 190 covers this area of the coast path and is available from most book shops nationwide. It is also stocked at the centre in Boscastle.
Multimap is a web site which provides maps of the UK, including Boscastle and Tintagel. The links below will be of most use to the coast path from Boscastle to Tintaglel. These maps join to provide the complete coast path between Boscastle and Tintagel.