The Camel Estuary, Rock to Port Isaac

This beautiful coastline with its contrasting remote rugged landscape, long stretches of sandy beaches and mild climate is rightly claimed as one of, if not, the major attraction on Cornwall's Atlantic coast. The tidal waters of the estuary stretch from its mouth near Padstow and Rock, to several miles south of Wadebridge. This large inland area of calm waters is protected from the Atlantic Ocean and provides ideal conditions for all water sports including; surfing, malibu and bodyboarding. The area is perfect for small children who can happily play on the many sandy beaches and explore the numerous rock pools in comparative safety.

Rock

The village of Rock could hardly be less appropriately named, famous for the long stretches of fine sandy beaches and clear blue water.

Sand at Rock looking towards Padstow
Sandy beaches at Rock

Rock is renowned as one of the major water-sport centres in Cornwall - sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing and rowing are all activities which can be carried out in the relatively calm waters of the estuary.

The pontoon at Rock
The pontoon at Rock

Excellent food can be found in the many restaurants of the village from the double Michelin Star Nathan Outlaw in Rock to the cafes and pubs, as well as the fresh local produce available from the bakery, butcher, fish shop, delicatessen and general store.

The Sailing Club, founded in 1938, is situated on the Quay at Rock. Amenities include; bar, an excellent galley and showers. Organised racing takes place every day from mid July to early September, and on most Sundays from May to October. The Camel School of Sailing provides tuition for beginners or those wishing to brush up on their sailing, in a selection of dinghies. The Estuary provides ideal conditions for all levels of windsurfing experience with the Camel Ski School providing instruction for water skiing for the novice, in a clearly defined area, and for the expert, facilities are located at the pontoon. Also provided is a tender service to the moorings.

The famous St. Enodoc Golf Course situated on the banks of the Camel estuary is reputed to be one of the best in the West of England. Two 18-hole courses provide magnificent views across the estuary with a resident professional available if required. There are several other golf courses in the area including; Roserrow Golf & Country Club near Polzeath, at Camelford (Bowood Park), and at St. Kew (9 holes - Pay & Play).

The Black Tor ferry runs from Rock to Padstow all year (times displayed on harbour board), and in the evening a water taxi is available which specialises in taking people to Padstow restaurants such as Rick Stein's (saving the drive to Padstow). Local fishermen offer trips for sea fishing from Padstow or Rock, with mackerel and pollock being the main catch. Excellent pleasure trips are run from Padstow in powerboats or on the larger Jubilee Queen which tours local bays and islands. The Camel Trail, once the route of the old railway line, is a must for cyclists. It runs alongside the estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge and on to the upper reaches of the River Camel at Bodmin, bikes to suit all ages can be hired locally.

Porthilly Cove is just around the corner from the Sailing Club at Rock and is home to the historic church of St. Michael's.

Porthilly cove

On the outskirts of Rock village is Pityme - a hamlet with a cluster of houses that includes the Pityme Inn. Next is Tredrizzick - a tiny secluded village leading to St. Minver - a pretty village nestling around the St. Menefreda Church and home of the Fourways Inn. Just beyond St. Minver and Tregwarmond Mill is Chapel Amble, home to the Walmsley Sanctuary, providing over 40 acres of bird sanctuary, and is the migratory home to at least 90 species of birds.

Click here for a full list of self catering holiday cottages in Rock.

Daymer Bay

Daymer Bay and the village of Trebetherick were both loved by Sir John Betjeman and are unquestionably special. With a huge appeal to both the young and not so young, Daymer Bay has recently been voted one of the best beaches in the world! St. Enodoc Church, once buried in the sand, is within comfortable walking distance of Daymer Bay and is the resting place of Sir John Betjeman.

Porthilly cove

Daymer Bay holds great appeal for wind surfers and is enormous fun too for small children wanting to fish in the many rock pools or simply play in the sand with their buckets and spades.

A view of the beach at Daymer Bay
A view of the beach at Daymer Bay
Windsurfing in the estuary
Windsurfing in the estuary
A view over the Daymer Bay
View over Daymer Bay from Brea Hill

Click here for a full list of self catering holiday cottages in Daymer Bay

Up from the coast path as it runs from Daymer Bay is The Greenaway, nestling between Polzeath and Trebetherick. There are a number of pubs, restaurants and village stores all offering a wide variety of fresh quality produce. From its clifftop, Greenaway offers spectacular panoramic views, its beach and small cove are popular for its many rock pools.

Polzeath Beach

Polzeath beach is a large expanse of beautiful sand that is ideal for surfers and beach enthusiasts alike and is bordered by rock-pools. It is acclaimed as one of the best surfing beaches in the country. Polzeath itself is a small village with a number of small retail establishments, cafes and restaurants.

Surfing at Polzeath
Polzeath Beach

From Polzeath, the coastal path skirts New Polzeath high on the cliffs overlooking Hayle Bay, offering properties with easy access to the beach and many with splendid views of the coastline. The path continues up through the area of outstanding beauty that is the National Trust land at Pentire to Pentire Point. In the springtime it is an extensive carpet of wild flowers, with its network of footpaths giving stunning views of the Atlantic. There is a wide variety of bird life all along the coast towards 'The Rumps', where gannets and cormorants can be seen fishing, and occasionally grey seals and dolphins have been sighted. Dogs are not permitted on Polzeath Beach between Easter and the October half term. However there are many dog walks in Polzeath that are even better than going on the beach, Pentire all along the cliffs over-looking the bay truly wonderful (Dogs are allowed on Daymer and Rock beaches all year round).

Click here for a full list of self catering holiday cottages in Polzeath.

Port Isaac

Past Port Quin (the backdrop to many a film and the television series including Poldark, Saving Grace & Doc Martin) and on to Port Isaac. One of the treasures of Cornwall, Port Isaac is a beautiful fishing village nestling in a steep sided valley and retains its charm by remaining unchanged from its days of fishing, slate export and smuggling in the previous century.

Port Isaac from the air

An abundance of small fisherman's cottages are complimented by larger cliff-top retreats, all with easy access to the numerous restaurants and shops found in the village. The secluded sandy harbour provides an abundance of rock pools to explore as the tide retreats. Only ten minutes drive away are the beaches of Polzeath, Daymer and Rock, all perfect for romantic and family holidays alike. The coastal path (with some parts being wheelchair accessible) continues along past the neighbouring Port Gaverne, to Trebarwith and on to Tintagel Castle, home to the legendary King Arthur.

Click here for a full list of self catering holiday cottages in Port Isaac.

An Ideal Spot

All of our 280 self-catering properties are located between Rock and Port Isaac (a distance of 4.6 miles as the crow flies), an area that includes Polzeath and Daymer Bay.

Quality accommodation together with excellent on the spot facilities makes this part of North Cornwall a truly relaxing holiday whatever the time of year.

A View of the beach at Polzeath
A View of the beach at Polzeath
Fishing boats in Port Isaac
Fishing boats in Port Isaac
View across the harbour
View across the harbour