Nestled in the secluded, peaceful Valency Valley, by the sea, sits bewitching Boscastle. It is not difficult to fall under the village’s spell.
The 2004 flood put previously undiscovered Boscastle on the map, where previously most people had headed for Tintagel instead. It also brought the community together and is now a beautiful – and safe – spot to visit. However, it has retained its magic and its receptiveness to the supernatural/New Age vibe, rather like a mini-Glastonbury.
The A30 is the dual carriageway from the M5 to Bodmin, with the Atlantic Highway A39 connecting Bude, Camelford, Wadebridge and Padstow. Alternatively, opt for the A39 to Bude at Junction 27 on the M5 and then head out on the A39. Boscastle is about 20 minutes from Bude by car, or there is a frequent Stagecoach 595 bus.
If you’re driving to North Cornwall in a plug-in electric vehicle, see our list of charging locations here.
Trains are more difficult, as public transport takes just under 2 hours, with a change and a walk.
View looking out to sea through the fjord-like entrance to the harbour and village at Boscastle, Cornwall. ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey
The harbour at Boscastle, Cornwall. ©National Trust Images Hugh Mothersole
Bustling Boscastle has a number of good eating options. Personal recommendations include the haunted (by, among others, Thomas Hardy and his wife, no less) Wellington Hotel highly-rated for customer service and food (a French woman was overheard praising the moules for the quality and overall taste. The mezze is also well worth trying).
If seafood is your thing, head to The Rocket Store. Its small blackboard menu changes daily depending on what fresh produce is available. They only use local suppliers, and serve fresh seafood from their boat and meat from their nearby farm.
For sheer quirkiness and British eccentricity, the Cobweb Inn is a wonderful example of a traditional Freehouse with great pub food and choice of ales. The perfect place to stop if you have walked from Crackington Haven.
The National Trust café is good for coffee, cake or a pasty down by the harbour and has an attractive shop.
Just up the steep hill is Boscastle Farm Shop with its home-baked frittatas, quiche, scones, sausage rolls and pasties, etc., as well as great customer service (note parking can sometimes be difficult sometimes as it is always busy and popular with locals as well as visitors).
Full of charm and history, making Boscastle a popular choice for a Cornish getaway.