51. Perranporth to Newquay

Looking back at Perranporth

The second day of my late Spring trip to North Cornwall. I get the early morning bus to Perranporth from Newquay. It is a beautiful sunny day with little wind as I stride out over Perrin Beach and the long stretch of Penhale Sands which has just been “combed” which seems to be quite common on Cornwall’s beaches. One purpose of this practice could be to bury the detritus from the previous days use.

Radio antenna at Penhale Point
The Gannel estuary
Wooden bridge over The Gannel
Fistral Beach, Newquay

The dune system is quite high here with a good covering of grass. I join the jogging fraternity on their early morning exercise, perhaps not in speed but in direction. I descend back down to the beach as I go over an headland restricted by the tide. The next mile or so is pure beach walking. Eventually I climb up and over the next headland and round the MOD Penhale camp. I pass around a fascinating array of circles which look something to do with radar or radio antennas. I drop down into another secluded beach, Holwell Beach. The crowds are just arriving as I pass through the dune system and onto my next headland. Before I know I am descending to another smaller beach, which has a small group of bathers, facing into the surf as it rolls onto the beach. As I pass around Porth Joke, I move around a small headland Newquay comes into view, although I still have a way go yet. I must also cross the River Gannel. I descend down to Crantock Beach and join the many people who have set up their camp for the day on the beach. I am looking for the Fern Pit bridge which will take me across to Pentire, the western bit of Newquay. I do not see the bridge at Fern Pit because it appears it is only erected in tye tourist high season. I carry on further upstream following the Gannel. The tide is well out as I approach the foot bridge, which is exposed at low tide, at Penpol Creek. Between me and the bridge is a small channel, so it is a case of boots and socks off and paddle through. I put my boots back on and cross the wooden duckboards that form the bridge and make my way through Pentire towards Fistral Beach. I follow the SWCP into Newquay, which is heaving with tourists and surfers alike. I head along the main road towards Tolcarne Beach, where my hotel was the previous night. The walk has taken a very short 3.5hrs.

Distance today = 12.5 miles
Total distance =   743.5 miles



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