Day 4, St. Agnes to Newquay.
The campsite at St Agnes was delightfully situated, a small flat field 300 feet up just off the coastal footpath. It was immediately at the end of the runway of a small airfield but mist rendered it inoperational while I was there. I had the tent section of the site to myself as was often the case through March.
The morning started very misty-but dry
The walk began along a very eerie section of the coastal footpath. There was much evidence of mining, the path ran along very steep, exposed sections of the cliffs, and as here some parts were quite desolate. All cloaked in mist at 9 in the morning.
It was brighter as I approached Perranporth. This is the view of surfers I described in my Day 4 blog on 12 March. What a long time ago that seems now (but looking at this photo and my maps brings it all vividly back).
After a pot of tea I set off across Perranporth Beach, 3 1/2 m of firm flat sand and hardly a soul:
And 5 min later the sun came out! It was shortly after this that I made my first attempt at sending a gps location to some of my friends. Sue subsequently told me it placed me well out to sea.
By the afternoon I was approaching Newquay. Fortunately the tide was out so I could use the tidal footbridge over the R. Gannel this saving me 2 m walking inland to cross the river. It had become misty again.
I decided to walk to the West of the town to buy a gas canister and save me looking for it the following day. I then had 40 min retracing my steps to my hotel in the East of the town. The next day I passed the shop as I left for the next stage!
Day 5, Newquay to “Old Macdonald’s Farm”, near Treburrick.
My blog described the difficulty in finding the right way out of Newquay, but once I manged this I had splendid coastal scenery. The farmland was also richer with a mixture of arable and dairy farming. The day remained a little misty but the cliffs were consistently dramatic.
In the afternoon I passed above the “Bedruthan Steps”, said to have been used by a mythological giant, Bedruthan, as stepping stones along the beach.
I also met a change in pattern of stone walls. This herringbone pattern is characteristic of North Cornwall and is locally known as “Curzy Way”.
Day 6 (14 March) to Padstow and Wadebridge
This was my first really sunny day. I was away a little after 8 am. Here is the tent, everything else packed in the rucksack.
I used public footpaths marked on the map to cut a corner and save road walking. To the credit of the local authority and local farmers , they were all well marked and stiles properly maintained. This must have been a very old bridge, it took me over a stream flowing down to Porthcothan. At the time I thought it apt to call it “The Bridge to John O’Groats”.
It was very sunny by the time I got to Padstow and made for a hot walk along the River Camel estuary and onto Wadebridge. The photos show the estuary looking back to Padstow and a hovercraft that had just come from a nature reserve a little upstream.
Wadebridge is not a big town but I was quite struck by how noisy the traffic was and I had to take great care to quickly become streetwise and learn to look out for fast-moving vehicles.