Crackington Haven – Tintagel.
Today’s plan was simple – enjoy a good early breakfast, climb the high hills over to Boscastle where I’d lunch in a cafe and then enjoy the afternoon’s stroll into Tintagel. Somehow I staggered into my hotel at 6pm.
Onwards up to the highest cliff in Cornwall where the only bench for a rest and the best view was occupied by a lady. She happily shared it and we exchanged conversations far and wide. She was walking to Boscastle where she had left her car. Not wanting to interrupt her day I wandered on but as I was always stopping to admire the views and take pictures we kept passing each other.
A little further and she was taking lunch, she warned me about some steep sections before Boscastle but I continued expecting an early lunch. She knew something I didn’t. It was a beautiful day and there was lots to see and yes lots of climbing. The feral goats on Beeny Cliff appeared on schedule ready for their photo opportunity. More than one ascent of 200 steps had me puffing.
Eventually I dropped into Boscastle. What a shock, packed with tourists and gift shops. The cafes by the quay were all full so I walked into the village and found a less twee place who did me beans on toast.
Leaving about 3pm I met up with the lady again as she walked out of the port to collect her car, she wished me well for the ‘short’ stretch into Tintagel. Motto, Always listen to the locals. I missed out the diversion to Willapark headland with its white lookout post. Valley streams were crossed on footbridges, steps climbed and rocky sea stacks seen. Ahead was the headland at Tintagel, the castle I could see was a hotel not the famous ruins.
Passing a prominent caravan site I started meeting people walking back from a day in Tintagel they had varying estimates of the distance I had to go. First into the steep attractive Rocky Valley with its stream heading to the sea and then another dip with steps, I never seemed to get closer. Perhaps I should have taken a short cut into the village but I found myself back on the beach under Tintagel Head. The castle grounds were closing for the day, all was Arthurian but there is little to substantiate the claims but who cares in the pursuit of commercial tourism.
A trail up to the village and I was installed in a room in the appropriately named The Cornishman. It was soon dark, there are no easy days on the SW path.