Day 49 – Bridgwater to Cardiff

Day forty-nine!!  YES!!  That means we will complete our entire loop of mainland Britain’s coast today.  We are both feeling super excited!


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Royal Sands and Uphill, Driving on the beach, Julian, Jarno, Thumbs up
Driving on Uphill Beach



Coastal Road Trip, Burnham-on-Sea, Burnham on Sea Motor Boat and Sailing Club, River Brue, Sunrise
From Bridgwater we made our first coastal stop of the day at Burnham-on-Sea.  As we arrived the sun was just rising over the local sailing club & the mouth of the River Brue.
Coastal Road Trip, Burnham-on-Sea, Mural, Street Art, Seaside scene
The sailing club walls, with the colourful Burnham-on-Sea mural detracting from the security atop!
Coastal Road Trip, Burnham-on-Sea, Beach, Low Lighthouse
The warm morning light gave Burnham-on-Sea’s beach a deep bronze glow, contrasting with the bright white Low Lighthouse…
Coastal Road Trip, Burnham-on-Sea, High Lighthouse, Somerset
…and behind that, the High Lighthouse was towering above Burnham-on-Sea’s coastal houses.



Coastal Road Trip, Berrow, St Mary's Church
Just outside Burnham-on-Sea, the 13th century St Mary’s Church at Berrow.   As we wandered around, we realised the church had flood protection…
Coastal Road Trip, Berrow, Golf Club, River Parrett, Hinkley Point Power Station
…as we walked behind the church, we realized why.  Just the low-lying Burnham and Berrow Golf Course were separating it from Berrow Beach and the Bristol Channel.  In the distance you can also just make out Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station, an area that we skipped at the end of yesterday’s journey.
Coastal Road Trip, Berrow, Beach, Warning, Sinking Sand
We tiptoed down Berrow Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Berrow, Beach, Groyne Posts, Longshore drift prevention
Groyne posts lined (fairly) neatly down the beach.  There’s always one annoying one out of place 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Berrow, Beach, Fisherman, Brean Down
A solitary fisherman was patiently fishing in rather rough and chocolaty brown looking sea.  Brean Down and its Fort in the background.


Brean Down

Coastal Road Trip, Brean Down, National Trust, Julian, Jarno, Bristol Channel, Windy
Driving past many static caravans hugging the coast, we arrived at the National Trust’s Brean Down.  Despite the sunshine it was very cold and windy at the top of the limestone peninsula.
Coastal Road Trip, Brean Down, Panorama, National Trust
Looking back inland along the ancient field system to Weston-super-Mare to the north and Berrow to the south.



Coastal Road Trip, Royal Sands and Uphill, Beach, Kite Surfers, Weston-Super-Mare
On the northern side of Brean Down, after quite a detour inland, we arrived back at the coast at Uphill Beach, with Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier coming into view.  The beach was busy with kite-surfers.
Coastal Road Trip, Royal Sands and Uphill, Beach, Kite Surfer
Look how murky and churned-up that Bristol Channel water is!
Coastal Road Trip, Royal Sands and Uphill, Driving on the beach, Julian, Jarno, Thumbs up
Driving on Uphill Beach.  In the distance you can just about see Steep Holm island off Brean Down in the middle of the Bristol Channel.



Coastal Road Trip, Weston-super-Mare, Royal Sands, Beach, Beach Huts
Pastel coloured beach huts lining Royal Sands as we drove into Weston-super-Mare.
Coastal Road Trip, Weston-super-Mare, Grand Pier, Entrance
Driving alongside the seafront promenade past Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier entrance.  Like so many piers, it had been badly damaged by fire in 2008.  After a whopping £39-million restoration it was reopened two years later.
Coastal Road Trip, Weston-super-Mare, Birnbeck Pier, Abandoned
Meanwhile further along the seafront, the Birnbeck Pier was looking a little sorry for itself.  The closed and deteriorating pier is unique in that it links the mainland to an island (Birnbeck).
Coastal Road Trip, Weston-super-Mare, Birnbeck Pier, Abandoned, Close-up
There was a small cafe and information hut near the original pier entrance.  The volunteers explained the several regeneration attempts of the pier since it closed in 1994.  But so far sadly nothing has come to fruition.


Sand Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Sand Bay, Sand Point, National Trust
As we continued along the coast we stopped briefly at Sand Bay, with views north to the National Trust’s Sand Point.



Coastal Road Trip, Clevedon Pier, Heritage Trust
The rather elegant Clevedon Pier, originally opened in 1869 as a landing for ferries crossing the Severn Estuary to South Wales.



Coastal Road Trip, Portishead, Battery Point Lighthouse, Esplanade Road
If you had mentioned Portishead to us before this trip, we would have thought you were talking about the 90’s band.  Anyway, it turns out the band Portishead was named after the place, and here we are!  The Battery Point Lighthouse at the end of the esplanade.
Coastal Road Trip, Portishead Quay Marina, Yachts, Apartments
Around the corner from Battery Point, we arrived at the surprisingly large and busy Portishead Quay Marina.


Tyntesfield House

Coastal Road Trip, Tyntesfield, National Trust, Wraxhall, Sunny, Blue sky
Before crossing over the River Severn, we decided to drive inland to another National Trust property, Tyntesfield House and Estate.  The Gibbs family had made their wealth in the guano trade (bird excrement fertiliser).  The Victorian Gothic mansion looked stunning in the afternoon sun.
Coastal Road Trip, Tyntesfield, Horse and Cart, Driveway, National Trust, North Somerset
A couple of handsome horses were pulling a cart up the estate driveway.


Severn Bridge

Coastal Road Trip, Severn Bridge, Looking up
As we drove back along A403 and the Severn Estuary, we struggled to see anything worth taking a picture of.  The area was mainly one long industrial estate.  So we continued on our way crossing over the Severn Bridge….
Coastal Road Trip, Welcome to Wales Sign, Croeso i Gymru
… and back into Wales (sorry a little blurry as we drove by).



Coastal Road Trip, Newport Wetlands, RSPB, East Usk Lighthouse
The north side of the estuary felt far more rural than the south.  After a few little dead-end detours, we finally made a stop near Uskmouth Power Station, for a short walk at the RSPB’s Newport Wetlands.   Although we didn’t see much bird-life today, we did see the East Usk Lighthouse peeping over the nature reserve.
Coastal Road Trip, Newport Wetlands, RSPB, Meadow
The afternoon sun briefly came out again, illuminating the wetland meadows.
Coastal Road Trip, Newport Transporter Bridge
As we crossed the River Usk, the unusual Newport Transporter Bridge came into view.  It was completed in 1906 based on a french design.  It solved the problem of crossing the fast Usk currents, enabled tall ships to pass under, and came in on budget.
Coastal Road Trip, Newport Transporter Bridge
The ‘ferry’ is cleverly suspended like a gondola from a high level boom, and can carry 6 cars and 120 people every 7.5 minutes.   OK that’s us geeked-out for the day 🙂


Tredegar House

Coastal Road Trip, Tredegar House, National Trust, Newport
Leaving Newport for Cardiff, we made our final National Trust country house stop at the Morgan family’s Tredegar House.  We have definitely squeezed every penny out of our National Trust membership on this coastal road trip 🙂  The volunteers were all in costume and the house was all decked out for Christmas inside, maybe a little too much.  It reminded us of our Christmas visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Florida a few years ago –  the decorations there were so OTT!



Coastal Road Trip, Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, Outside
Our final stop of the day and road-trip!  Back in Cardiff Bay, we had celebratory cappuccino and a wander around the Wales Millennium Centre (AKA Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru).  The impressive arts and entertainment venue that was completed in 2009.
Coastal Road Trip, Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, Inside, Stairwell
The centre’s sweeping staircase, one day we’ll have to come back for a performance.
Coastal Road Trip, Cardiff, Wales, Pierhead, Senedd, Julian, Jarno, Map, Completed Road-trip!
Yay!  We did it.  Back where we started 49-days ago!  That’s the entire British mainland coastal road trip completed.  What an amazing journey!  Go on, give it a go yourself… 🙂


Daily video









Day 48 – Bideford to Bridgwater

Almost there!  One day to go until we complete the circumference of mainland Britain.  Today we will continue along the north Devon coastline and into Somerset.


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Valley of Rocks, Lynton, Wringcliff Bay
White Lady in the Valley of Rocks near Lynton.


Westward Ho!

Coastal Road Trip, Westward Ho!, Beach, Devon, Julian, Jarno
We made our first stop of the day at Westward Ho! Beach, still looking a little sleepy. 😉   The unusual village name came from the local author Charles Kingsley’s book Westward Ho!
Coastal Road Trip, Westward Ho!, Beach, Big Pebbles
We don’t normally photograph pebbles, but these were lovely pebbles…. if you can call pebbles ‘lovely’?!



Coastal Road Trip, Appledore Quay, Churchfields Slipway, River Toridge, Taw Torridge Estuary
Overlooking the River Toridge at Appledore.  We briefly parked up on the Churchfields Slipway, but there was a parking attendant lurking around, so we moved on…



Coastal Road Trip, Bideford, River Torridge, Fishing Boats
Fishing boats moored at Bideford.
Coastal Road Trip, Bideford, River Torridge, Old Bideford Bridge
The medieval Bideford Long Bridge reflecting in the calm River Torridge.   The stone bridge is one of the longest of its age in the country.


Braunton Burrows

Coastal Road Trip, Braunton Burrows, Velator Quay, River Caen, Reflection, Boats, Sunbeam
More reflections, this time on the River Caen at Velator Quay near Braunton Burrows.
Coastal Road Trip, Braunton Burrows, Boundary Drain
Skirting around the flat fields and marshlands of Braunton Great Fields.  The area is Britian’s first Biosphere Reserve, designated by UNESCO.



Coastal Road Trip, Saunton Sands, Jarno, Sand Graffiti,, Day 48
Jarno busy with a little more sand-graffiti at Saunton Sands.
Coastal Road Trip, Saunton Sands, Surfers, Beach, Waves
There were plenty of surfers taking the day off from work….
Coastal Road Trip, Saunton Sands, Surfers, Beach, Waves, Aerial View, Croyd Road
…and as we left and drove around the headland to Croyde Bay we had a magnificent aerial view of all the surfers at Saunton Sands.



Coastal Road Trip, Croyde Bay, Baggy Point, Beach
Around the headland Croyde Bay and views to Baggy Point.  A lovely crisp and fresh November morning.
Coastal Road Trip, Croyde Bay, Baggy Point, Beach, Surfers, National Trust
Yet more surfers in Croyde Bay, looking back from Baggy Point.
Coastal Road Trip, Croyde Bay, Baggy Point, Private House Drive
Looking through some house gates at Baggy Point, this was their driveway and view – pretty cool!



Coastal Road Trip, Woolacombe Beach, Morte Bay, Putsborough Beach, Baggy Point
After several country lane diversions which lead us on a long journey inland, we finally ended up back at the coast on the north side of Baggy Point at Woolacombe.  The beautiful wide open sands of Woolacombe Beach in Morte Bay.   The beach is considered one of the best in the world, often winning prizes.
Coastal Road Trip, Woolacombe Beach, Morte Bay, Barricane Beach, Grunta Beach, Morte Point
Then looking north from Woolacombe Beach, past Barricane Beach and Grunta Beach to Morte Point.



Coastal Road Trip, Ilfracombe, Landmark Theatre, Double Conical, Madonna's Bra
The unusual double conical design of Ilfracombe’s Landmark Theatre, also know by locals as Madonna’s Bra ; -)!
Coastal Road Trip, Ilfracombe, Damien Hirst, Verity, Bronze Sculpture, Back
Ilfracombe was full of surprises, including Damien Hirst’s Verity bronze sculpture on the harbour front.
Coastal Road Trip, Ilfracombe, Damien Hirst, Verity, Bronze Sculpture, Front
To be honest the picture doesn’t do justice to how huge and impressive the Verity statue really was.  We loved that a small town had embraced art like this.
Coastal Road Trip, Ilfracombe, Harbour, Boats, Quay
The more expected and traditional view of Ilfracombe Harbour.



Coastal Road Trip, Watermouth Castle, Stocks, Julian
Some dodgy looking character caught in Watermouth Castle’s stocks.
Coastal Road Trip, Watermouth Harbour, Yachts
Yachts below the castle in Watermouth Harbour.


Coombe Martin

Coastal Road Trip, Coombe Martin Beach, Bay
Coombe Martin Beach nestled in a narrow valley.   Random fact of the day – the village holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest street party!



Coastal Road Trip, Parracombe, St Petrock's Church
As we continued our journey east, we drove slightly inland stopping in the tiny village of Parracombe.  Winding our way through some of the smallest village lanes on our road-trip we finally found St Petrock’s Church up a muddy dirt track.
Coastal Road Trip, Parracombe, St Petrock's Church, Entrance
The calm and quaint church originally dated back 13th century.  In the late 19th century the poet John Ruskin helped save the church from demolition with a £10 donation.



Coastal Road Trip, Valley of Rocks, Lynton, The White Lady, Wringcliff Bay, Woody Bay
As we arrived in Lynton we first made a little detour through the Valley of Rocks.  Glorious views west from the Valley of Rocks past the White Lady towards Wringcliff Bay and Woody Bay….
Coastal Road Trip, Valley of Rocks, Lynton, SW Coast Path, Telescope, Bristol Channel
…. and north across the Bristol Channel from the South West Coast Path.



Coastal Road Trip, Lynmouth, Glen Lyn Gorge, West Lyn River
The West Lyn River gushing through Glen Lyn Gorge.  In 1890 Lynton & Lynmouth were one of the first places in the country to be powered by hydro-electric power (from the East Lyn River).
Coastal Road Trip, Lynmouth, Pub, Cottages, The Rising Sun, Inn, Thatched Roof
The local thatched-roofed pub built down Lynmouth’s steep hillside.
Coastal Road Trip, Lynmouth Bay, Foreland Point
Foreland Point across from Lynmouth’s seafront.


Foreland Point

Coastal Road Trip, Lynmouth Bay, Foreland Point, Countisbury Hill
Looking down on Foreland Point as we drove up Countisbury Hill.
Coastal Road Trip, Lynmouth Bay, Foreland Point, National Trust, Exmoor National Park
Views south across the rolling green Exmoor National Park from the National Trust’s Foreland Point.



Coastal Road Trip, Porlock, Porlock Manor Estate, Toll Road, Views to Porlock Weir & Hurlstone Point
Crossing from Devon into Somerset, we took another detour from the main road.   We winded down through the picturesque Porlock Manor Estate Toll Road overlooking Porlock Weir and Hurlstone Point.
Coastal Road Trip, Porlock, The Ship Inn, Hish Street. Thatched Roof
Another thatched-roofed pub as we reached Porlock.



Coastal Road Trip, Bossington, Horner Water, National Trust
Horner Water tumbling through woodland to Bossington Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Bossington, Allerford, Holnicote Estate, Cottages, Tall Chimneys
Tall chimneyed cottages lining the narrow lane from Bossington to Allerford on the Holnicote Estate.



Coastal Road Trip, Selworthy, National Trust, All Saints' Church, Holnicote Estate, Late Afternoon Sun
The warm glow of the late afternoon sun illuminated the All Saints’ Church in the tiny village of Selworthy.
Coastal Road Trip, Selworthy, National Trust, Cottages, Holnicote Estate, Late Afternoon Sun
Wow, this is how we imagined Somerset… and we were bang on.  Selworthy’s cream thatched cottages on the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate.
Coastal Road Trip, Selworthy Green, National Trust, Cottages, Holnicote Estate, Late Afternoon Sun
Selworthy Green, and so so quiet, again we were the only visitors as we wandered around.



Coastal Road Trip, Minehead Harbour, Sunset, Dusk
If you say Minehead to us, we think of Butlins (for the non-Brits – a holiday camp), but the view at dusk from the harbour couldn’t be more different…
Coastal Road Trip, Minehead, Sculpture, Sarah Ward, Made by Owen Cunningham, Start of South West Coast Path
The sculpture on Minehead’s seafront by Sarah Ward, marking the end (or start!) of the 630-mile South West Coast Path.


Blue Anchor

Coastal Road Trip, Blue Anchor Bay
The view across Blue Anchor Bay back to Minehead.



Coastal Road Trip, Watchet, Car-park Mural
After passing Dunster Castle, we made our final stop of the day at Watchet, where we found the harbour car-park surround by interesting street-art murals.   We then continued our journey via the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage (which was closed) to Bridgwater for the night.  Just one day to go until we complete our 49-day British Coastal Road Trip!!!


Daily video














Day 47 – Newquay to Bideford

It’s just three days to go before we complete our entire coastal road trip!  Today we are finishing off north Cornwall, driving alongside its famous golden sandy beaches, before we re-enter Devon as we drive towards Bideford.


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Hartland Quay, Sunset, Reflection on car bonnet
The sun setting as we headed down to Hartland Quay.


Holywell Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Holywell, Bay, Beach, National Trust, Shadow
Long shadows in the early morning sun.  We made our first stop of the day looping back from Newquay to the National Trust’s Holywell Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Holywell, Bay, Beach, National Trust, Penhale Point
Walking past the sand dunes towards Carter’s Rocks (AKA Gull Rocks) off Penhale Point.
Coastal Road Trip, Holywell, Bay, Beach, National Trust, Sunrise, Shells
Shells and their shadows scattered across Holywell Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Crantock Beach, National Trust, Cornwall, Gannel estuary, Rushy Green
The Gannel Estuary at Crantock Beach, beside Rushy Green.



Coastal Road Trip, Newquay, Fistral Beach, Towan Headland
So it was a morning full of beaches… next stop the famous Fistral Beach, a surfers paradise, but none out this morning – yet.
Coastal Road Trip, Newquay, Bay, Lusty Glaze Beach, Views back to Towan Headland
Views back across Newquay Bay from the cliffs above the curiously named Lusty Glaze Beach (The Times Beach of the Year 2017)…
Coastal Road Trip, Bedruthan Steps, Trevose Head, Newquay, Lusty Glaze Beach
…and the view north towards Bedruthan Steps and beyond to Trevose Head.


Watergate Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Watergate Bay, Beach, Cornwall, B3276
The wide open sands of Watergate Bay, as we headed along the scenic B3276 coastal road.
Coastal Road Trip, Newquay Airport, Plane, Overhead, Blue Sky, Watergate Bay
A small plane flying overhead into nearby Newquay Airport.


Mawgan Porth

Coastal Road Trip, Mawgan Porth, River Menalhyl, Cornwall
The River Menalhyl streaming down Mawgan Porth Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Bedruthan Steps, Cliffs, National Trust, Carnewas
Peering over the Carnewas cliffs at Bedruthan.
Coastal Road Trip, Bedruthan Steps, Carnewas, Pendarves Island, Queen Bess Rock, Diggory's Island, Park Head, Trevose Head Lighthouse
Dramatic views north past Pendarves Island, Queen Bess Rock, Diggory’s Island and Park Head.  In the distance you can just about make-out Trevose Head Lighthouse.


Treyarnon Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Treyarnon Bay, Beach, Padstow
Another beautiful empty beach west of Padstow at Treyarnon Bay.


Constantine Bay

Coastal Road Trip, Constantine Bay, Chair Cove, Cornwall, South West Coast Path
The South West Coastal Path along Chair Cove, behind some rather expensive looking houses at Constantine Bay.  Some locals walking a dog stopped to talk to us, and asked if we were bankers!?… it seemed many locals were!



Coastal Road Trip, Harlyn Bay, Beach, Dog Walking, Padstow, Cornwall
We seemed to be the only people on Cornwall’s beaches this morning not walking a dog 😉



Coastal Road Trip, Padstow, Cornwall, Alley, Blue doors
A little alley in Padstow, AKA ‘Padstein’ after its famous local celebrity chef – Rick Stein.
Coastal Road Trip, Padstow, Harbour, Fishing Port
Small fishing boats lining the quay.  Quiet at this time of year, but heaving with tourists in the summer.
Coastal Road Trip, Padstow, River Camel, Rock
The coastal village of Rock, beyond the sandbank in the River Camel.  We will drive past Rock as we continue northeast, but as we had been last year, we won’t stop this time.



Coastal Road Trip, Polzeath, Padstow Bay, River Camel
Looping all the way around the River Camel, we made a brief stop to watch the surfers on Polzeath’s Beach.


Port Quin

Coastal Road Trip, Port Quin, National Trust, Inlet, Cottage, Fishing Port, Cornwall
Driving past The Rumps we stopped at the cosy Port Quin inlet, taken care of by the National Trust.


Port Isaac

Coastal Road Trip, Port Isaac, Julian, Jarno
Driving to Port Isaac we realised we were going to end up driving right through the tiny village.  We had remembered the lanes were really narrow from our trip here last year, so re-routed to park at the top of the village and walk down.
Coastal Road Trip, Port Isaac, Doc Martin, Fore Street
The TV series Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac.  To be honest we have never watched Doc Martin so weren’t as excited as some visitors….
Coastal Road Trip, Port Isaac, Varley Head
Choppy waters at the mouth of Port Isaac looking towards Varley Head.
Coastal Road Trip, Port Isaac, Port Isaac Bay, Treknow
Port Isaac Bay, with views northeast to Treknow.


St Teath

Coastal Road Trip, St Teath, Green Field, Farm Gate, Port Isaac Bay
Catching another glimpse of Port Isaac Bay over the fields near St Teath.



Coastal Road Trip, Tintagel Castle, Seagull, English Heritage
Wow, what a perfect day to visit.  Tintagel Castle is normally packed with tourists, today it was just us and a few seagulls.  So if you want to avoid the crowds come on a Monday afternoon in November 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Tintagel Castle, English Heritage, Cove
The remains of the 13th century castle perched on the jagged slate cliffs.
Coastal Road Trip, Tintagel Castle, Julian, Jarno, English Heritage
The castle had been built here by Earl Richard of Cornwall, believing it to be the birthplace of King Arthur.



Coastal Road Trip, Boscastle, River Valency, National Trust, National Trust, Flood
Boscastle had been devastated by the flooding of the River Valency in 2002, but has since been lovingly restored.
Coastal Road Trip, Boscastle, Valency Row, Cottages, Cobbled Lane, Cornwall
Fishing cottages down the cobbled Valency Row in Boscastle.



Coastal Road Trip, Widemouth Bay, Beach, Dizzard Point
Widemouth Beach, popular with surfers, with Dizzard Point in the distance.
Coastal Road Trip, Widemouth Bay, Beach, Blue Sky, White Clouds, Zip
The clouds were parting like a zip to reveal the blue sky above Widemouth Bay.



Coastal Road Trip, Bude, Beach Huts
At last!…. beach huts again on Summerleaze Beach at Bude, we had been missing beach huts on this stretch of coast.
Coastal Road Trip, Bude Canal, Haven, Lock
The entrance to the Bude Canal.  Started in the 1820s with the idea to link the English and Bristol Channels… however it didn’t get very far with the arrival of the railway later in the 19th century.
Coastal Road Trip, GCHQ Bude, Satellite Dishes
Leaving Bude and heading along the Hartland Cornwall Heritage Coast towards Morwenstow, the view was dominated by the satellite dishes at GCHQ Bude.



Coastal Road Trip, Morwenstow, Church, Church of St Morwenna and St John the Baptist, National Trust, Hawker's Hut, Most northernmost point of Cornwall
Before leaving Cornwall we stopped at Morwenstow, Cornwall’s northernmost point.  We had intended to walk to the Hawker’s Hut along the cliffs.  But a very muddy field was slowing our progress, we weren’t exactly sure we were on the right track, and light was fading fast.  So we made do with the Church of St Morwenna and St John the Baptist across the fields.


Hartland Quay

Coastal Road Trip, Hartland Quay, Sunset, Reflection on car bonnet
On the way to Bideford, we made our final stop of the day at Hartland Quay.  As we drove down the coastal track the sunset reflected beautifully off the car bonnet.  Originally we had planned to also stop further along the coast at Clovelly, but it seems it was probably closed, and it would have been dark by then anyway.  Oh well, we will leave Clovelly for another trip!


Daily video

Day 46 – Helston to Newquay

We will be driving just over one-hundred miles today as we head along the south coast of Cornwall to Land’s End, and back up the north coast towards Newquay.  The weather has improved from yesterday’s miserable effort – yay!


Photo of the day

Coastal Road Trip, Porthcurno, Beach, Turquoise Sea, Sunshine, Blue Sky, Cornwall
The stunning Porthcurno Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Portleven, West side of The Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, Sea spray
After leaving our base for the night at Helston, we drove straight down to the coast at Portleven to take in the early morning views back down the west side of the the Lizard Peninsula.
Coastal Road Trip, Portleven, Harbour, The Ship Inn, Breakwater, Cornwall
Portleven Harbour was just waking up on this early Sunday morning.



Coastal Road Trip, Rinsey Cove, Wheal Prosper, National Trust, Tin, Copper, Mine,
At Rinsey Cove we walked down to Wheal Prosper, an old engine house that was used to pump water out of undersea copper and tin mines.  Even the National Trust car park had been built above an old mine shaft.
Coastal Road Trip, Rinsey, Cove, Head, Mount's Bay, View to Mousehole, House on cliffs
Wow, what a position for a house.  Perched on Rinsey Head with magnificent views across Mount’s Bay to Mousehole, Black Rock and Lamorna.


Marazion and St Michael’s Mount

Coastal Road Trip, St Michael's Mount, National Trust, Ferry Boat, View from Marazion
St Michael’s Mount across Mount’s Bay came into view as we drove towards Marazion.   Over the years the original Abbey on the island was absorbed into a fort, then later a grand house built by the St Aubyn family.  When we have time we would like to go back and take the ferry across to explore the small island properly.



Coastal Road Trip, Penzance, Egyptian House, Chapel Street
Penzance was a curious town, and like Falmouth yesterday, it was larger than we had expected.  Walking down Chapel street we came across the unusual Egyptian House.
Coastal Road Trip, Penzance, Chapel Street, Pirate on the roof, Admiral Benbow Inn
Further down the road there was a Cornish pirate on the roof of the local pub (Admiral Benbow Inn).
Coastal Road Trip, Penzance, St Mary the Virgin Church, Palm Trees
Cutting down to the harbour, tall palm trees surrounded St Mary the Virgin Church.
Coastal Road Trip, Penzance, Jubilee Outdoor Bathing Pool
The very smart and newly renovated Penzance Jubilee Outdoor Bathing Pool.  Remind us, where are we again?  It looked like the Mediterranean not Cornwall…
Coastal Road Trip, Penzance, Pirates, Mural. The Bridge Bar, Waterside Meadery
More pirates at the next pub!



Coastal Road Trip, Newlyn South Pier Lighthouse, Harbour, Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commission
The Newlyn South Pier Lighthouse at the entrance to Newlyn harbour, just southwest of Penzance.   The harbour is home to the largest fishing fleet in Britain.



Coastal Road Trip, Mousehole, Rockpool, Cafe, Orange bunting
Yes, you read right, there is a place called Mousehole.  What a cool name, though it is actually pronounced ‘Mowzall’.  We stopped by the Rockpool Cafe to look at the views across Mount’s Bay….
Coastal Road Trip, Mousehole, Cornwall, Mount's Bay
…. and south to the granite cottages overlooking Mousehole’s harbour front.   We then set-off to wind our way through its narrow Cornish lanes.



Coastal Road Trip, Lamorna, Valley, B3315, Trout Stream, Cove, Lane, Trees
Continuing on towards Land’s End, we drove alongside a trout stream, through the beautifully wooded Lamorna Valley, down to Lamorna Cove.
Coastal Road Trip, Lamorna Cove, Quay, Waste tips, Cottages, Granite Quarry, London Thames Embankment,
Waste from the cove’s 19th and early 20th century granite quarries was precariously heaped down the hillside.  The cottages looked a little to close to those huge boulders for comfort.  The quarries had been used to provide granite to build London’s Thames Embankment.
Coastal Road Trip, Lamorna Cove, Quay, Storm Damage, Carn Dhu, Black Rock. Mount's Bay
The view out past Black Rock to Mount’s Bay.  Wandering around the quay, we noticed this sign on the way back to the car… bit late.
Coastal Road Trip, Lamorna Cove, Quay, Clear Water
The cove’s waters were crystal clear.
Coastal Road Trip, Lamorna Cove Cafe, Closed Sign, see you in 2018
No chance of having our morning coffee here, the Lamorna Cove Cafe was closed until next year.



Coastal Road Trip, Porthcurno, The Minack Theatre, Open Air, Rowena Cade, Blue Sea
The truly spectacular open-air Minack Theatre at Porthcurno, with its stunning turquoise sea backdrop.  The brainchild of Rowena Cade, who started building the theatre with her gardener in the early 1930s, a true inspiration.  The entry fee also included access to a small but interesting exhibition telling the theatre’s story.
Coastal Road Trip, Porthcurno, The Minack Theatre, Tiered Seating, Stage, Cornwall
The theatre really was the highlight of our day.  We would love to come back in season and join the 80,000 people that enjoy a performance here every year.
Coastal Road Trip, Porthcurno, Beach, Turquoise Sea, Sunshine, Blue Sky, Cornwall
Porthcurno Beach, next to the Minack Theatre, was equally impressive.  The golden sand and the turquoise sea were glowing in the midday sun.


Land’s End

Coastal Road Trip, Land's End, Sign post, Julian, Jarno
Finally we reached Land’s End, the most westerly point of mainland England and Cornwall.  Land’s End should be 838 miles by road from the most northeasterly point of mainland Britain, John o’ Groats.  However, after leaving John o’ Groats on day 24, we traveled the long way around! 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Lands End, Longships Lighthouse, Waves crashing on rocks, Carn Bras
The rather brutal looking Longships Lighthouse, just off Land’s End on Carn Bras.
Coastal Road Trip, Lands End, Waves crashing on rocks
Waves crashing over the rocky coastline surrounding Land’s End.
Coastal Road Trip, Lands End, Whitsand Bay, Cape Cornwall
We had great views north from Land’s End across the rather choppy Whitsand Bay to Cape Cornwall.



Coastal Road Trip, Pendeen, Levant Mine, National Trust, Chiney, Beam Engine
Driving north along Whitsand Bay, we arrived at Pendeen and the National Trust’s Levant Mine.  Like Wheal Prosper this morning, these were the remains of engine houses that pumped water from the undersea copper and tin mines.
Coastal Road Trip, Pendeen, Levant Mine, National Trust, Beam Engine, Tin, Copper, Mine
The National Trust had restored many of the buildings, and the site contains the only remaining and operating Cornish beam steam engine in the world.
Coastal Road Trip, Pendeen Watch Lighthouse, Levant Mine, Cornwall
From the Levant Mine we could also see Pendeen Watch Lighthouse, looking out across Cornwall’s northwestern peninsula.  Though it was tricky to get a good shot, as it was so windy.


Carn Galver

Coastal Road Trip, Carn Galver, B3306, Zennor
As we passed another National Trust mine at Carn Galver, the coastal road started to feel more barren and windswept.



Coastal Road Trip, Zennor, St Senara's Church
St Senara’s Church in the small village of Zennor.  Alphabetically, Zennor is the last parish in Britain…. random fact of the day! 😉
Coastal Road Trip, Zennor to St Ives, B3306, Road, Treveal, Atlantic Ocean
Continuing along the B3306 towards St Ives we had sweeping views past Treveal to the Atlantic Ocean.


St Ives

Coastal Road Trip, St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Nicholas Chapel
Arriving in St Ives, we made our first stop at Porthmeor Beach looking towards St Nicholas Chapel on the headland.
Coastal Road Trip, St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, Rocks, Waves Crashing, Southwest Coastal Path
Waves were crashing against the rocks below the Southwest Coastal Path.
Coastal Road Trip, St Ives, Sea Spray, Behind Porthmeor and Tate, Barnoon graveyard cemetery
Salty sea spray filled the the afternoon air behind Porthmeor Beach and the Tate St Ives.
Coastal Road Trip, St Ives New Lighthouse, St Ives, Harbour Beach, Smeatons Pier
As we left the town we looked back at the Harbour Beach and the St Ives New Lighthouse at the end of  Smeatons Pier.  We had seen its identical twin lighthouse yesterday morning at Mevagissey…. who would have know this trip would lead to a deeper lighthouse interest and knowledge! 😉



Coastal Road Trip, Gwithian Beach, St Ives Bay, Sunset, Kite-surfers
Looking back across St Ives Bay and kite-surfers enjoying the breeze at Gwithian Beach.
Coastal Road Trip, Gwithian Beach, St Ives Bay, Windy, Julian, Jarno
We look a bit cold at windy Gwithian Beach!
Coastal Road Trip, Godrevy Lighthouse, Island, Point, Gwithian Beach, St Ives Bay
Godrevy Island and its lighthouse, northeast along Gwithian Beach.


Godrevy-Portreath Heritage Coast

Coastal Road Trip, Hell's Mouth, Navax Point, Godrevy-Portreath Heritage Coast, National Trust
Driving along the cliff tops towards Portreath we stopped to peer over the edge of Hell’s Mouth towards Navax Point.
Coastal Road Trip, North Cliffs, St Agnes Head, Godrevy-Portreath Heritage Coast, National Trust
Then a little further along the coastal road, the red North Cliffs seemed to be crumbling away.  You can just make out St Agnes Head in the distance.
Coastal Road Trip, North Cliffs, Sun Rays, Clouds, Godrevy-Portreath Heritage Coast
Looking behind us, golden sun-rays were bursting through the cloudy late afternoon sky.



Porthtowan, Beach, Village, Cornwall
Continuing our journey towards Newquay, we made a quick stop to look down on Porthtowan Beach.


Chapel Porth

Coastal Road Trip, Chapel Porth Beach, Pebbles, National Trust, Cornwall
The National Trust Chapel Porth Beach was nestled into a cosy quiet cove just south of St Agnes Head.



Coastal Road Trip, Perranporth Beach, The Watering Hole, Dusk
The sunlight had almost gone by the time we reached Perranporth Beach, hence a slightly grainy picture!  But the Watering Hole cafe lit up on the beach looked quite inviting.  Newquay was our next stop for the night.


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Day 45 – St Austell to Helston

Today we will be driving down to the most southerly point of mainland Britain, having already visited the most westerly, northerly and easterly points earlier on this trip!  The unpredictable British weather has generally been kind to us along our journey, but today will be very wet…


Photo of the day

Coatal Road Trip, Cadgwith, Cove, Yellow Fishing Boat, FH26
Fishing boats at Cadgwith Cove.



Coastal Road Trip, Pentewan, St Austell River
After leaving St Austell we followed the St Austell River to Pentewan.  We were going to get soaking wet if we had walked to the beach, so made do with visiting the village set-back from the seafront.
Coastal Road Trip, B3273, Pentewan to Mevagissey, Rainy, Green fields, Valley, SW Coastal Path
Leaving Pentewan heading to Mevagissey with views over the rolling fields to the coast.



CCoastal Road Trip, Mevagissey, Cornwall, Harbour, Red Fishing Boat, Resolute
Mevagissey was still slowly waking up on this rainy Saturday morning.  Everyone else had clearly decided it was better to stay in bed.
Coastal Road Trip, Mevagissey, Cornwall, Harbour, View, Raining
Mevagissey still has a working fishing harbour, but it was very quiet this morning.


Gorran Haven

Coastal Road Trip, Gorran Haven, Church Street, Narrow Street
We had just driven down the crazy narrow Church Street into Gorran Haven.
Coastal Road Trip, Gorran Haven, Beach, Stream, Cornwall
A stream tumbling down Gorran Haven Beach.



Coastal Road Trip, Porthluney, Caerhays Beach, Estate, Castle
A few paddle-boarders were testing the waves at Porthluney Beach, at the foot of the Caerhays Estate.



Coastal Road Trip, Portloe, Cottages, Cornwall
Portloe was a really cosy coastal village.  It had a lovely genuine feel to it.
Coastal Road Trip, Portloe, Harbour, Julian, Jarno
The small boat slipway nestled into the valley.
Coastal Road Trip, Portloe, 3 Maidens Boat, Lugger, Harbour, Cornwall
A rather rocky looking entrance to the tiny harbour.



Coastal Road Trip, Pendower Beach, Gerrans Bay, Rain, National Trust, The Roseland Heritage Coast
As we arrived at the National Trust Pendower Beach the heavens opened and it absolutely poured with rain.  After a while we made a quick dash for the beach with our umbrellas, and through the rain manged to catch views across Gerrans Bay.


St Mawes

Coastal Road Trip, St Mawes, Tredenham Road, Roseland Peninsula
We then continued our journey down the Roseland Peninsula to St Mawes.
Coastal Road Trip, St Mawes, Castle, English Heritage, Roseland Peninsula
We had visited St Mawes and the castle last year with Julian’s parents, so we just made a brief stop in the small town.  However, we still managed enough time to squeeze in a morning coffee and sausage roll from the famous local Curtis bakery.
Coastal Road Trip, St Mawes, Harbour, Ferry
The passenger ferry to Falmouth in St Mawes Harbour.


St Just in Roseland

Coastal Road Trip, St Just in Roseland, St Just's Church, Lych Gate
St Just’s Church tower peeping above the trees through the church lych gate.
Coastal Road Trip, St Just in Roseland, St Just's Church
The 13th century St Just’s Church in a charming wooded valley overlooking Carrick Roads.
Coastal Road Trip, St Just in Roseland, St Just's Church, Messages on Tree, Holy Well
Exploring the church grounds.
Coastal Road Trip, St Just in Roseland, St Just's Church, Nave, Interior, Altar
The church was quite compact inside, it felt almost chapel like.


King Harry Ferry

Coastal Road Trip, King Harry Ferry, Philleigh to Feock, River Fal
Avoiding a long trip north via Truro, we cut across the River Fal from Philleigh to Feock on the King Harry Ferry.
Coastal Road Trip, King Harry Ferry, Philleigh to Feock, River Fal, Captain, Dummy
The ferry captain kept watch as we crossed the river.
Coastal Road Trip, River Fal, Nederland Reefer, Ship
A surprisingly large Dutch ship was anchored in the River Fal.



Coastal Road Trip, Trelissick, National Trust, Julian, Jarno, Channals Creek, River Fal
Exploring the National Trust Trelissick grounds, looking down to Channals Creek and the River Fal.  Still raining!



Coastal Road Trip, Falmouth, The Wheel House, Carrick Roads
We made our next stop at Falmouth, which was much larger and busier than we had been expecting.  It actually made quite a nice change from the quiet fishing villages.  We discovered the port is the busiest in Cornwall.
Coastal Road Trip, Falmouth, Beach Huts, Discovery Quay
Yay!  Finally we found some ‘beach huts’ in Cornwall at Falmouth’s Discovery Quay.
Coastal Road Trip, Falmouth, Falmouth Custom House Quay
Falmouth’s Custom House Quay, with Flushing and Carrick Roads through the drizzle in the background.



Coastal Road Trip, Pendennis Head, St Anthony Lighthouse
From Pendennis Head we could just about see across to St Anthony Lighthouse south of St Mawes.


Gyllyngvase Beach

Coastal Road Trip, Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth Bay
Gyllyngvase Beach just south of Falmouth, overlooking Falmouth Bay.



Coastal Road Trip, Gweek, Helford River, Boats
As we continued our journey south to the Lizard peninsula we crossed over the Helford River at Gweek.



Coastal Road Trip, Goonhilly Earth Station, Satellite Dish, Goonhilly Downs National Nature Reserve
The satellite dishes at Goonhilly Earth Station suddenly appeared on the horizon, so we made a quick stop at the nearby Goonhilly Downs National Nature Reserve to take a closer look.



Coastal Road Trip, Coverack, Beach, Cove, Lowland Point
Coverack Beach and Cove with views over to Lowland Point.  The small village was still recovering from a flash flood that had damaged property and the sea wall earlier in the year.



Coastal Road Trip, Cadgwith, Cove, Yellow Fishing Boat, FH26
A sunshine yellow fishing boat adding a bit of colour to this grey day.
Coastal Road Trip, Cadgwith, Cove, Crab, Shack, Crows Nest
Cadgwith Cove felt like another cozy and authentic Cornish village.
Coastal Road Trip, Cadgwith, Cove, Narrow Street, New Road, Inn, The Old Cellars
Cottages nestled around the narrow streets.


The Lizard

Coastal Road Trip, The Lizard, Sign Post, Heritage Centre
Finally we made it to The Lizard.
Coastal Road Trip, The Lizard, Lighthouse
The Lizard Lighthouse, dating back to 1752, sitting above the lighthouse keeper cottages.
Coatal Road Trip, Lizard Point, National Trust, Most Southerly Point of Mainland Britain
Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain.
Coastal Road Trip, The Lizard, Julian, Jarno
On day 17 of our coastal road trip we visited the most westerly point of mainland Britain at Ardnamurchan.  On day 24 we visited the most northerly point at Dunnet Head.  On day 35 we reached the most easterly point at Ness Point.  Then today (day 45) we finally reached the most southerly point at Lizard Point!
Coastal Road Trip, Lizard Point, Most Southerly Point of Mainland Britain
And it was so quiet, just us and another couple.  Hint, to miss the crowds visit on a cold rainy late Saturday afternoon in November!  So that was our final stop of the day before we drove back up the western side of the Lizard peninsula to Helston for the night.


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