A Virtual Day Tour of Cornwall’s Rugged North Coast


Experience Cornwall Tours

Hi, I’m Louise founder of Experience Cornwall Tours and your personal guide for today!

Here at Experience Cornwall Tours, we offer private guided tours to secret spots and must-see landmarks and attractions, talk about our extraordinary history and colourful culture, giving you a true experience of Cornwall.

Today I am going to take you on a virtual tour, exploring Cornwall’s rugged North coast, which happens to be the area where I grew up! Climb aboard, sit back, and enjoy your tour of Cornwall’s Rugged North Coast.  

09:30-  First stop – Wheal Coates

Wheal Coates is a site managed by the National Trust and has UNESCO world heritage status. The iconic Towanroath engine house sits proudly on the cliffs between St Agnes and Chapel Porth. Mining in Cornwall plays a huge part of our heritage, and at the peak of the industry employed over 30’000 people, including women and children. The shaft we explore here, goes 600ft down, where miners would extract rock containing tin ore for processing. It was a dangerous job and sadly many miners lost their lives through rock fall, flooded shafts, or arsenic poisoning. This mine ceased production in 1889, when the industry took a decline, which saw many Cornish miners take their skills abroad.

10:30 – St Agnes Beacon

A little walk from the National Trust car park, we take a short climb up to the summit of St Agnes Beacon. The 360-degree views from the top are stunning. You can see a long way up the coast and looking inland (On a clear day) you can see the highest peak in Cornwall, Brown Willy Tor on Bodmin Moor.

Wrap up warm though, it can get quite windy up here!

12.00 – Perranporth

This 3 miles stretch of golden sand is where I spent my childhood. Attending the local Surf Life Saving Club and eventually working as a RNLI beach lifeguard. This stretch of coast can be extremely dangerous, with strong rip currents due to shifting sand banks, so this beach is manned throughout the season by trained lifeguards.

We explore Droskyn cliffs and take the steep steps down to the beach to explore Chapel Rock, a tidal sea pool hidden from view. As a child, I loved playing in here with my bodyboard if the sea was too rough.

Perranporth is the landing place of Cornwall’s Patron Saint. The story says Saint Piran washed up on this beach at Perranporth after being discarded from Ireland by a jealous king, who tied him to mill stone and threw him into the ocean.

It was also the hometown of Winston Graham, who wrote the Poldark series, which has now been turned into a hit TV series twice. There is a memorial bench to be discovered in the dunes at Flat Rocks.

You can’t visit Perranporth without entering The Watering. This pub and music venue is fast becoming famous throughout the UK. We take lunch and a local beverage here, while looking out across the sand.

14.00 – Holywell Bay

Holywell bay is named after the Holy well that is hidden until low tide. The Victorians loved to visit here as it is said to have healing powers. It is a natural well, created by the minerals seeping through the rock and forming little pools of calcified minerals.

This beach has been used for many film locations, including James Bond and Poldark. Next time you watch ‘Die another day’, look out for the iconic rocks in the background, when Pierce Brosnan surfs a mammoth wave. Plenty of CGI was used here!

14:00 – Walk the SWCP to Penhale

You should not visit Cornwall without venturing out on the South West Coast Path. Its renowned as one of the spectacular coastal trails in the country.  Walking South you will first come across some strange buildings. This is Penhale army camp, were soldiers do their vigorous training, in the dunes and on the beach.

As you approach Penhale beach, you will come across a small heard of grazing Shetland, cross pedigree Dartmoor ponies. They are here to maintain the habitat for many species, especially the red legged and red billed Cornish Chough, which feeds on grubs and insects in the short heathland.

15.30 – Pentire Headland

Before we explore the town of Newquay, we drive to Pentire Headland. From here you have breath-taking views of Crantock beach and the river Gannel to your left, and to your right you will get views   of the coast heading all the way to Watergate bay.

There is a little ice cream hut here, so a great place to take a ‘pew with a view’ and enjoy the scenery, while eating some Cornish Ice cream.

15.30 – Newquay

Heading to Little Fistral car park, we visit the world-famous surfing beach of Fistral (the equivalent to Australians’ Bondi beach). Surfing is now embedded in Cornwall’s culture and Fistral is where to watch the pro’s at work.

Within the carpark sits the old lifeboat station and slip way, now no longer in use, it was moved to the shelter of the harbour which we visit next. Keeping the sea to your left, you will walk past Huer’s hut, an important link to our fishing heritage, before heading to the working harbour. If you have more time, explore the shops and bars on the main high street.

We hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of Cornwall’s Rugged North Coast.

We look forward to taking you on your next adventure soon.

If you would like to book your tour or get more information then please visit our website and we will be happy to help.

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