Places to visit
There are many wonderful places to visit within walking distance or by a short drive from Port Gaverne through Cornwall’s delightful countryside. Here is just a small sample of places within easy reach.
Port Isaac (Cornish: Porthusek) is a working fishing village. Its nearest town is Wadebridge, 10 miles away. The village has been used as the setting for a number of films and TV programs. The 1981 BBC drama serial The Nightmare Man was filmed in and around the village, which doubled for a Scottish island and it was a location for the film of Oscar and Lucinda. Saving Grace, a comedy film, was made in and around the village. The local village hall has been decorated by the team of DIY SOS and in October 2005 the village was again used for the backdrop to the TV production of Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers. Several series of ITV’s Doc Martin have been filmed here using ‘Portwenn’ as the fictional name for the village.
The village is also home to the sea shanty singers, “the Fisherman’s Friends”, performing on Friday evenings in summer on The Platt in the old harbour other committments permitting. The singers are made up of local residents, including the author of the Gully books, Jon Cleave, and the crab and lobstermen of the village. The Fishermen’s Friends have performed all over the UK including the Royal Albert Hall and have appeared on the popular TV quiz show Eggheads. The village has an RNLI lifeboat station with a class D inshore lifeboat as well as several pubs, restaurants and shops.
Port Quin is a tranquil cove situated just a couple of miles south of Port Gaverne that evokes images of the past. It can be reached along the stunning cliff walk from Port Isaac as well as by road. Port Quin was abandoned on two occasions, once when the pilchards failed and once when all the resident fishermen were drowned during a storm at sea in the19th century. The women of the village were unable to continue without their men folk so Port Quin was left deserted, with the fishermen’s cottages falling into disrepair. You can still see the fish cellars there today together with a number of National Trust properties and a few private dwellings. The headland on the south side of Port Quin is known as Doyden Point where you will find Doyden Castle, which was built in 1830 as a retreat for a local businessman. Now it is owned by the National Trust, together with nearby Doyden House. Port Quin was the location for the TV series Poldark (1975-77).
Polzeath beach is a large expanse of beautiful sand which is bordered by rock-pools. It is acclaimed to be one of the best surfing beaches in the country. Polzeath itself is a small village with a number of small retail establishments, cafes and restaurants.
Only ten minutes drive from the beaches of Polzeath, Daymer and Rock, it is perfect for romantic and family holidays alike.
Daymer Bay has in the past been voted one of the best beaches in the world! St. Enodoc Church, once buried in the sand, is within comfortable walking distance of Daymer Bay and is the final resting place of the once poet laureate Sir John Betjeman. Daymer Bay is great for wind surfers with the waves rolling up the estuary. There is enormous fun too for small children with buckets and spades and fishing in the rock pools.
Padstow is on the south side of the Camel estuary opposite Rock and about 15 miles by road from Port Gaverne. A ferry runs from Rock to Padstow all year and ‘after hours’ a water taxi is available which specialises in taking people to and from Padstow’s restaurants such as Rick Stein’s famous Seafood Restuarant. Padstow has a thriving fleet of inshore fishing vessels fishing mainly for lobsters and crabs. These boats and leisure craft are now the main users of the harbour. Local fishermen offer trips for sea fishing from Padstow or Rock with mackerel and pollack being the main catch. Excellent pleasure trips are run from Padstow in power boats or the larger Jubilee Queen which tours local bays and islands. Prideaux Place on the edge of Padstow where the Prideaux family have lived from the time when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne is well worth a visit.
Boscastle village lies within the parish of Forrabury and Minster on the North Cornish Coast 14 miles south from Bude and 5 miles from Tintagel and is one of the few remaining unspoilt harbour villages in Cornwall. Designated an Area of Outstanding beauty, the National Trust own and care for the beautiful medieval harbour and surrounding coastline. The small harbour now hosts a number of little fishing boats but was once a hive of activity with trade taking place between Wales, Bristol and the south of England. In 2004 Boscastle together with Crackington Haven, just up the coast, were devastated by terrible floods which were the worst in local memory. The village has been rebuilt and is now as beautiful as ever.
Trebarwith is just south of Tintagel along the coast and can be reached by road or on foot along the coast path from Port Gaverne. Trebarwith has a fine golden sandy beach with Gull rock just offshore making a most picturesque view from the village. If you walk to Trebarwith by the coast path you will be treated to the most wonderful views of Port Isaac Bay and the old cliff quarry workings that are part of the history of this area. The surfing here at Trebarwith can be good and the swimmers and youngsters with bucket and spade will find plenty to occupy them. Lifeguards are present in season.
Lands End although 65 miles from Port Gaverne is probably the best known place to most visitors to Cornwall. It is the most westerly point in mainland Britain, and the most visited outdoor tourist attraction in Cornwall. Lots for all the family to see and do. Lands End has rugged wave lashed cliffs and stunning views with the Longships Lighthouse and Wolf Rock offshore, the Isles of Scilly in the distance and 2500 miles away across the Atlantic Ocean is America.