Section 7. Port Isaac to Padstow - Cornwall Coast Path
Distance 12 miles - Grade Strenuous (9 miles) and Easy (3 miles) - What these grades mean.
Leaving Port Isaac you quickly come to Port Quinn, an abandoned settlement from the 1900’s, with derelict cottages still in evidence. Tales of a terrible storm at sea, a smuggling disaster, even a result of fishing on the Sabbath, no verifiable reason exists for the village that died, though a decline in fish stocks may be the more likely answer!
The remote Lundy Hole follows, a deep chasm left after the power of the sea demolished a cave roof. Locally it's said to be a terrible hole made by the devil as he jumped to avoid a comb flung at him by a frightened St Minver. Past the gothic folly at Doyden Pont to Pentire point where the extensive views of the Camel Estuary and the offshore Mouls rocks are said to be the best on the whole 630 mile South West Coast Path.
Right on the wild headland, don't miss the twin peaks of the Rumps where there is always the chance to spot grey seals or maybe even puffin. Outstanding remains of an Iron Age fort are protected here by ramparts and ditches at the base of this unusual fishtail shaped headland.
On into the Camel Estuary, passing the Bronze Age Barrow at Brea Hill and the chance to visit the little crooked spired church at St Endoc, burial place of John Betjeman, where the vicar had to enter via a skylight due to church being besieged by shifting sands.
Your coastal pilgrimage ends on the 600-year-old passenger ferry to Padstow crossing the Doom bar, a sandbank said to be cursed by a mermaid wounded by a fisherman who thought she was a seal.
As you reflect on your journey spare a thought for the 300 vessels sunk on the bank as well as the 3 lifeboats lost trying to save them.
Alight in the bustle of Padstow for an overnight stay in this cosmopolitan centre with plenty of options to celebrate, from eating out at Rick Steins to that time honoured favourite of fish and chips on the harbour wall.