Sunday, 21 June 2015

Rock to Port Quin (South West Coast Path 77)

Padstow seen from Rock

We are back on the Coast Path and we start out from Rock by looking across the Camel towards Padstow. Almost immediately there is a fine view out along the estuary 

We follow a path along the back of the beach through dunes, where there are great number of Pyramidal Orchids.  We round Daymer Bay to reach the large sandy beach at Polzeath (pronounced Polzeth). There is some wonderfully stratified rock at the edge of this large sandy beach, clearly popular with surfers. 

After a short break for refreshments, we walk along the right side of the large beach ...

 ... and then head past New Polzeath to spot this lovely art nouveau influenced house, Medla,  overlooking a small bay.

We follow a path along the grassy headland towards Pentire Head, passing a sheltered area where we see lots of Small Heath butterflies and the odd Meadow Brown. The views from Pentire Head are stupendous: back to Polzeath …

…. and across Padstow Bay.

Rounding Pentire Head we soon come on Ramps Head, which seems to have a strong resemblance to a Stegosaurus (the darker of the humps is in fact a small offshore island, The Mouls). In this area we started to see Painted Lady butterflies in some numbers.

Passing behind Ramps Head brings us into Port Quin Bay and as the coast bends there is a view ahead to Kellan Head. Port Quin is in an inlet off this section of coast, but we can't tell which. 

At Carnweather Point there is a fantastic view back. The exciting thing was over to the left you can see right across the base of Pentire Point to the mouth of the Camel and the Daymark tower on the opposite bank. 

We pass behind Lundy Cove and then the delightful, but inaccessible, Epphaven Cove.

And soon we can see Doyden Castleon a hill in the centre, which we know is right by Port Quin.

Finally, we approach and then climb up to see Doyden Castle. It is basically square with bay windows on two sides. This "especially picturesque folly" (Pevsner) was built by Samuel Simms, a Wadebridge merchant, as a pleasure house. It is now a National Trust holiday cottage.

It is now clear that Port Quin lies some way up an inlet with an almost fjord-like character and the grassy path on the right led us to a road which led down to the port.

Conditions: Quite warm and sunny after the initial cloud cleared.

Grading: Moderate.

Map: Explorer 106 (Newquay & Padstow).

Distance: 8.6 miles. Distance now covered 472.2 miles.

Rating: Four and a half stars.

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