The North Coast of Cornwall is fully
exposed to the prevailing weather and the North Atlantic
swells. It does have amazing coastal scenery with
innumerable coves, inlets, caves, waterfalls, reefs,
offshore islands and stacks. From the sea kayakers
perspective the coast is wild and committing. The
climate is warm but strong winds from the south west and
the Atlantic swell are a constant concern.
The trip from Boscastle to Daymer Bay on the Camel
Estuary is exceptionally scenic. The sea was calm and we
knew that we could get into Port Isaac for a break en
Boscastle harbour is a drowned river gorge.
Boscastle used to be a busy port
handling the ores mined hereabouts. Boscastle was
flooded in 2004 but there are few signs of that now.
There are many caves to explore.
At this time of year after rainfall
there is plenty of fresh water falling down the cliffs
making spectacular waterfalls.
There are many spectacular rock
formations – this is Ladies Window.
Tintagel Head with the vast King Arthur
Castle Hotel on the top of the cliff is a notable
The headland has seen a millennia of
occupation and the remnants of the past can be clearly
seen. Tintagel has historical importance and pottery
from the sixth century has been found here. However,
many visitors today are interested in the Arthurian
associations. It’s always busy and very nice to view it
from the sea without becoming embroiled too closely in
We paddled on down the coast passing between Gull Rock
and Trebarwith Strand.
Trebarwith was a busy quarry port before the tourists
came. Another 8km of cliffs to paddle along before
reaching Port Isaac.
Port Isaac is a fishing village. The
drama Doc Martin is filmed here. In Tudor times it was a
pilchard fishing port. The inshore lifeboat is housed
inside the old fish cellars.
Port Isaac was busy with visitors. We had a welcome
break from the kayaks and feasted on pasties, ice cream
We still had a long way to go so we
paddled straight across Port Quin Bay. On a more
leisurely paddle there is plenty to explore along the
coast here. However we made a beeline for The Mouls
which is an offshore island at The Rumps headland. There
were plenty of Auks (Puffins live here) at the Mouls and
the tide was running quite hard which made for an
interesting few minutes as we rounded the island and
headed for the Rumps.
Rumps point is the site of Cornwall’s
finest Iron Age cliff castle and from the water we could
clearly see ramparts and ditches constructed to keep out
We continued under massive, impressive cliffs to Pentire
Point where once again we encountered some tidal
movement but with so little swell this was not a problem
and we headed into Padstow Bay for the last few
kilometres before reaching our get out at Daymer Bay.
28km in perfect paddling conditions.