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Walking the South West Coastal Path, Part 2: Go wild on the coastal path with @walkingwithlauren

A jaunt around the Cornish coast is suitable for every season. Making the most of our recent storm watching stay (don't worry, we're hoping for this to return in 2024), we invited nature-lovers, photographers, and couple, Lauren and Alex, to join us at Lewinnick Lodge this January.

But, as summer days draw closer, the rugged coastline will be complimented with turquoise waters and days spent on the warm sands. The only thing we can say is, don't forget the suncream!

Eager to explore the rugged coastline just moments from the Lodge with a scenic Cornwall coastal walk, we sent Lauren and Alex on a stomp around the South West Coastal Path. Taking a route from Crantock to Holywell Bay, they captured the highlights of the walk, not only with their eyes, but with their camera, too.

Follow the blog for a summary of the route, and a visual journey of the wild Cornish coastline they experienced along the way.

All photography in this journal entry is credited to Bowden’s Photography.

Starting off at Crantock

A wide, sweeping vista with endless sand dunes and smooth rolling waves, Crantock acts as the starting point of this route.

Park up at Crantock beach in the dedicated National Trust car park and stomp straight onto the coastal path, which is clearly signed from the parking area.

If you’re here for a more leisurely stroll and want to take things slow…take a walk down to the edge of the water and take a look at what you can see. Crantock’s views are far reaching, so take a minute to notice any unruly waves or wildlife that may catch your eye.

Follow along the coastal path

The walk lends itself to easy route following as there is little map reading necessary. Simply follow the way markers of the coastal path, which will lead you ocean-side along to Polly Joke. Stop off along the way to take in the seascape, follow a stormy cloud, or take a deep breath of fresh sea air.

Stop off at Polly Joke beach

Sheltered amongst the North coast’s rugged cliffs, Polly Joke is a favourite amongst families and couples alike. Pack a picnic and settle down for a while on the white sands, or maybe stop off for a dip in this narrow bay’s waters (we view this as an essential addition to any Cornwall coastal path walk). Beware though, this beach is not covered by lifeguards, so take extra caution when taking a sea swim.

To the back edge of the cove there is a small footbridge crossing a stream that runs into the ocean; the walking routes surrounding this beach make it popular for hikers who can’t resist its beauty.

Spot some wildlife amongst the cliffs

As you follow on from Polly Joke, keep a close eye on the coves that you pass along your way. Along the path, you may stumble across a colony of seals sleeping peacefully in a small cove between Polly Joke and Holywell Bay. If you find these beauties, take a quiet moment to appreciate them in their natural habitat, without disturbing their slumbers with loud noises or getting too close.

Note: Lauren and Alex used a professional lens to capture the seals in all their beauty, without having to step too close to the cliff edge and leaving the seals undisturbed.

Wind up at Holywell Bay

Continuing along the coastal path, you’ll find yourself amongst high sand dunes and far reaching sea views; a sure sign that you’ve reached Holywell Bay. An iconic filming location for the Poldark TV series, you’ll truly feel like you’re taken back in time when you reach this breathtaking vista of a beach.

Wander down onto the sands and just take a moment to appreciate where you are. Holywell Bay often hosts surfers due to its wide expanse and space to catch a rolling wave, as well as dog-walkers and families who just want to enjoy the sand and views. What else would you expect from a coastal walk in Cornwall?

Make your way back home

At this point of the walk you can loop back around to Crantock, whether it be back the way you came, or by taking a slightly shorter route through West Pentire.

If you find your legs are a little weary by this point, you can catch the 85 bus from outside Treguth Inn at Holywell Bay, which will take you directly to Newquay. Or, speak to the Lewinnick Lodge host who will happily arrange a taxi to collect you at your chosen time.

Don’t forget! Make sure to book a table at the Lodge for a hearty feast upon return from your adventures.

To be able to plan our whole day start to finish from just stepping out the door and straight onto the coastal path really was right up our street! The walk itself was filled with ample scenic spots, perfect for us as photographers but as keen walkers it covered a great distance. Our highlight of the walk was definitely the hidden gem of the seal cove nestled not far from Polly Joke and Holywell Bay! – Lauren (@walkingwithlauren)

All photography by Alex Bowden Photography