The Cornish North Coast is considered more rugged than its Southern counterpart. The crashing waves favoured by surfers are more plentiful on the north as are the jagged cliffs that hug spectacular golden-sand beaches, deep gorges and sea caves. The north coast is strewn with picturesque towns and villages that offset the stunning natural scenery. Some of the U.K’s most distinguished restaurants are located along the north coast too.
Padstow is a characterful working harbour and high end dining location due to prestigious eateries including Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Paul Ainsworth at No.6. Take a ferry ride across the Camel Estuary to Rock or nearby Polzeath, stylish neighbourhoods that are also popular with holidaying celebrities. The Camel Estuary is home to some of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches including Harlyn Bay, Mother Ivey’s Bay and Porthcothan.
Wadebridge straddles the River Camel and is located 5 miles upstream from Padstow. The two are linked by the Camel Trail a recreational route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The Royal Cornwall Show, the county’s largest annual trade festival takes place just outside Wadebridge.
Polzeath is a small north coastal village with a glorious surf beach bookended by Pentire Head to the north and Highcliff to the west. Poet Laureate John Betjeman celebrated this Cornish haven in many poems and it’s also a great spot for bird and dolphin watching. There‘s a fine selection of waterfront restaurants serving fresh local produce.
Only a few miles from the Devon border but Bude is very much a vibrant Cornish town. Popular with holidaymakers during Summer months, Bude is also a haven for nature lovers and has a laid back traditional charm. There are excellent conditions for surfing, cycling, golf and there are no shortage of golden sandy beaches. Bude has a beautiful sea pool cut into the rock at Summerleaze Beach.
Port Isaac. Port Isaac is a small picture postcard traditional fishing village made famous by the TV series Doc Martin and sea shanty singing group Fishermen’s Friends. Made up of narrow, cobbled alleyways there are many nearby beauty spots and beaches including Port Gaverne and Daymer Bay. Take a boat trip or fishing expedition during Summer. The Two Michelin star Restaurant Nathan Outlaw is in Port Isaac.
The North Coast of Cornwall is best reached by car along either the A30 or the A39, otherwise known as ‘The Atlantic Highway. This stretches from the Devon border into Cornwall’s northeastern corner and continues west along near the coast.
Train services to the north coast of Cornwall are limited. Newquay can be reached by branch line from Par. For trains to Bude from London, passengers can change at Okehampton. To reach smaller towns and villages a local bus service may also be required.
Air travel to Cornwall is served by Newquay Airport with daily flights to London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Leeds/Bradford, Teeside, Dublin and Alicante.