Overview and History
Boscastle is a small town on the North Coast of Cornwall with a harbour protected by 2 stone walls built in 1584. It is the only harbour for 20 miles and once was active exporting slate and other local produce and importing Limestone and coal. The harbour is still unspoilt today and the town is a beautiful little place to explore the Cornish coast. There is access to the coast path from Boscastle and a lot of the land surrounding the harbour is owned and protected by the National Trust. Today the main trade in Boscastle is tourism. One of the most famous things about Boscastle in recent times is the floods that took place in 2004. The floods were devastating to the village and the property all around it. People were trapped on roofs and in cars as the excessive rainfall turned roads into rivers and washed away family homes, cars and even the visitors centre of the town. Air rescues took place using helicopters and amazingly there were no fatalities. The village has worked hard to survive from this and rebuild their homes and today they have succeeded. Boscastle is a delightful example of an old Cornish harbour town and is well positioned on the Cornish coast if you are staying in or around Bude or Tintagel.
Driving to Boscastle is fine as there is a car park which holds 240 cars, this is open 24 hours so you can use it whenever you like. There is very limited parking on the roads so do plan to use the car park when you visit with a car. There is also a bus that goes through the town and stops in Boscastle so you can visit by bus too.
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Boscastle. There are many holiday homes which offer that quaint Cornish cottage vibe as well as some more homes with a modern twist. There are also hotels and some bed and breakfasts in the area. Some are within walking distance of the village and harbour but others a little bit more remote, but this may just be exactly what you are after from your Cornish retreat.
Boscastle beach sits in the village on the harbour and is a great day out for the whole family. It is not a large beach but you have the harbour there to explore and you will see boats. You also have the village right there with amenities such as toilets and food and drink and a local shop for supplies. Tintagel Havens beach and Merlin’s cove are just 3 miles away from Boscastle and this is a great day out. This dog friendly beach is amazing once you get down to it. There is a waterfall and a cave to explore and it is a lovely place to swim and explore the sandy beach. It is slightly difficult to get down to the beach though so please be aware if you have small children or people with limited movement. Trebarwith Strand Beach is easier to get to and is around 4 miles from Boscastle, this beach has a long stretch of golden sand and is dog friendly. This would be the best place if you wanted to try any water sports asd there is a lifeguard service here at peak times. This is a brilliant place to take the family.
Of course one of the main attractions of Boscastle is the harbour and the beach. You can have a beach day down there or you can simply walk around and explore the harbour. There is also access to the coastal walking paths and National Trust land around which is beautiful and popular for hiking or dog walking but please take care and keep dogs on leads if you are walking around the coasts. Boscsastle also has a witch museum which is very popular with the locals and tourists. The Museum of Witchcraft is down by the harbour and has the largest collection of Witchcraft related artifacts in the world. You can learn about healing, fortune telling and a whole lot more and also find out about modern witches and what festivals they celebrate throughout the year. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Close to Boscastle you also have St Nectans Glen which is less than 2 miles away. This 60ft waterfall is just gorgeous and provides some perfect stunning backdrops for any photos you may want to take. The pool of water beneath it is magical and there is even a meditation room. Just 3 miles away you also have Tintagel Castle, one of the most famous places in Cornwall as this is where the legend of King Arthur was born. This is a must see if you are in this area of Cornwall, its beautiful, dramatic and steeped in history.
Food and Drink
There is quite a lot of variety in Boscastle for food and drink considering it is only a small village. You can choose whether you would like traditional Cornish pub food, like in the Napoleon Inn and the Cobweb Inn where you can have either lunch or dinner. The National Trust cafe, the Toby Jug Cafe, the Harbour Light Tea Room and the Boscastle farm shop all provide more lunch and snacks and all with a view. You can also get the world famous Cornish pasty from the bakery in Boscastle of course. The Riverside restaurant will provide more of a fine dining experience using fresh local produce. Annually in September Boscastle has a food, arts and crafts festival so please be aware if you are booking around this time. It is a great way to see all the local produce and art that Boscastle has to offer.