Spring arrives in North Cornwall well ahead the rest of the UK, making it an ideal time to explore the area on foot. With so much to see and average holiday rental prices a lot lower than at peak seasons, March is a perfect time of year to get away for a refreshing break, with or without your four legged friend.
Throughout the winter, the Atlantic Ocean and English Channel along more than 400 miles of coastline surrounding Cornwall, act like a giant night-storage heater, keeping the winter mild and giving the snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells an early start.
We are delighted to collaborate with iWalk Cornwall to bring you these excellent walking guides to help you appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area on foot. Use their fantastic iPhone/Android app to download a favourite walk for only £1.99. Each walk not only gives you detailed directions, photos and local information at the moment you need them, it follows where you are on the walk using GPS to warn you if you wander off route!
iWalk Cornwall contains over 200 circular routes developed and much enjoyed by locals.
Roughly two-thirds of the way through March, the equinox alignment of the sun and moon causes one of the largest tides of the year. The very low spring tide is a perfect time to forage for mussels, exposing shells that are normally hidden beneath the surf.
Mussels should only be harvested when there is an “r” in the month as the plankton hoovered-up by mussels from May-August can include species which can cause stomach upsets. So take advantage and pick your own!
Along with our popular local walking guides, we have two new circular walks for you to try in March, which are perfect if you are staying in one of our Port Isaac properties. Both walks pass beaches with plenty of mussels, so why not try to cook up a tasty beachside Moules Mariniere or add some to a Seafood Paella when you get home. During March, wild garlic also begins to carpet some of the woodland and is a perfect companion for any mussel dishes, as is a chilled glass of award-winning white wine from Camel Valley Vineyard.
Distance 2.9 Miles
Start & Finish Port Quin National Trust Car Park PL29 3SU
Difficulty level Moderate
Starting at Port Quin, the route follows the edge of the natural harbour to the folly at Doyden Point. From there the path passes the mineshafts that were once used to extract antimony, on its way to Trevan Point which is now grazed by Dartmoor Ponies. The path then descends to the beaches of Epphaven Cove and Lundy Bay. The return to Port Quin begins beside the collapsed cave and crosses fields via Portreath Bee Centre to join a small lane to Port Quin.
Dogs There are seasonal dog restrictions at Port Quin, Epphaven and Lundy Bay
Pubs Stop off along the way at: Carters Café & Bar at The Porteath Bee Centre or head back to Port Isaac for a post walk pub visit to:
Distance 5.4 Miles
Start & Finish Trebarwith Strand Council Car Park PL34 0HB
Difficulty level Moderate
The walk passes the rugged coast of Port Isaac Bay from Trebarwith Strand to St Materiana's church on Glebe Cliff and then to Tintagel Castle. The route turns into Tintagel from Barras Nose, passing the impressive Victorian Castle Hotel, the mediaeval Old Post Office and King Arthur's Great Halls before returning via Treknow - one of the oldest slate quarrying villages in North Cornwall.
Dogs Trebarwith Strand and Tintagel are dog-friendly all year round
Pubs At the end of your walk make a pit stop at either of these pubs:
On these short walks no specialist gear is required, but we do advise a pair of sturdy walking shoes along with a good waterproof coat. Cornish springtime is typically around 8°C, but the weather can be quite changeable, so you’ll probably need a couple of layers too. On particularly cold days, bring a hat and gloves, but we also suggest some sun cream and a pair of sunglasses as you never know when the sun will appear. Pack snacks and plenty of water along with a sturdy bag to store your mussels in for the journey home!
John Bray Cornish Holdays have over 307 self-catering cottages to choose from in Rock, Daymer Bay, Polzeath & Port Isaac. Book a cottage in nearby Port Isaac here.