We crossed the county border into Cornwall and arrived in Bude to what seemed like a campsite sent from heaven. After five days of slopping through mud at Somersault Festival, we welcomed the rolling clifftop fields of long grass with wide open arms. A storm was brewing, as we discovered from the blustery gusts of air surging over the hedge from the sea below and whipping over the canvas of our small tent. It all seemed very exciting and adventurous, to be camping at the bottom of a field, on a sea-facing cliff that was soon to be exposed to tempestuous winds.
That is, until our tent pole snapped. After a stressful few hours of driving around Bude looking for spare tent parts, we settled down for the night, praying that the gaffer-taped pole holding the tent together above our heads would hold out through the storm.
Relieved to wake up warm and dry, we jumped in the car and headed down the coast to Widemouth Bay for an afternoon surf session. Although it’s a great beach to surf on, the tide comes in quickly and can wash you up on some pretty nasty rocks! Due to a combination of dumpy waves, a board that was too small and a strong current, I had had enough of being battered by the breakers and stormed out of the sea in a huff. By this point my mood could only be improved by food, so when I saw the stacked sandwiches and delectable cakes in the Trelawny Tearoom, the sore memories of my disappointing surf session disappeared. Having demolished the remainder of the cafés tropical cake, we went for a blustery walk along the clifftop coastal path, watching the waves roll into the shore.
On the drive down to our next stop, we stopped off at Crackington Haven, a beach cove that our Wild Guide said had a famous Mermaid Pool. The tide was high when we arrived so we couldn’t climb over the rocks that hid the pool, but we did manage to scramble down the cliff on the left of the beach and admire the beautiful scenery.
We also passed through Tintagel along the way, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. After eating our Pengenna pasties too quickly, we decided to take a look at the walk down to Tintagel Castle and the famous sea caves that lie below, steeped in wizardry myth. But having assessed the length of the hilly path leading down to the 13th century castle, and the amount of pasty in our stomachs, we decided to give our legs a rest. We found Charlie’s instead, a small café selling artisan goods like chocolate, tea, chutney and cider. After filling up on tasty treats, we set off on the next leg of our journey.