Exploring Rock, Cornwall: what to see and do

Date Posted: 23 Aug 2023

Are you heading for a holiday in Rock, Cornwall, and looking for curious ways to explore this Cornish village?

Rock is regarded as one of Cornwall’s most exclusive seaside resorts, often being referred to as “Britain’s Saint-Tropez” and continues to attract many visitors, including famous faces.

Like many Cornish hotspots, the beach in Rock is often the top priority for those on holiday. However, there are many things to do near Rock besides a day at the beach. Here we’ve put together some of our favourite ways to discover the best bits of Rock.

Golf in Rock

Rock is often applauded for its calm waters and stunning scenery, but when it comes to golfing in Cornwall, Rock’s St Enodoc Golf Club is highly regarded for its excellence. Overlooking the Camel Estuary with Padstow on the far side, and the Atlantic to the north. The location is on the high sand dunes, making it an idea spot not only for golf but for sea views too. The golf club has two of the finest links golf courses in the county.

Rock Beach

The fabulous Rock beach is perfect for children, paddling, and beach games, thanks to its tranquil waters. Dog owners will be pleased to learn that dogs are allowed all-year round on Rock beach, which provides a brilliant stretch for long walks on the golden sand, backed by dunes and the prestigious St Enodoc Golf Club.

The water here tends to be sheltered, clear and safe, although there are currents and many enjoying on-the-water activities. The next beach on is Daymer Bay which is another sandy, sheltered and dog-friendly beach.

Rock history and places of interest

History lovers will enjoy learning all about significant times gone by and visiting places of interest on their Rock holiday. One of Rock’s most poignant places of history is St Enodoc Church, a quaint chapel building which can be traced back to the 12th century. Once mainly buried in sand, writer Sir John Betjeman, who is buried in the churchyard, was inspired by St Enodoc to write his poem Seaside Golf.

Rock is home to the treacherous but protective Doom Bar sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary. Where the water meets the sea, keep your eyes peeled for breaking waves where you would not expect.  Careful navigation is required here by sailors.

There are many myths attached to the Doom Bar. One is of a mermaid who fell in love with a local man and attempted to lure him below the waves. The man escaped by shooting her, so she cursed the harbour with the ‘bar of doom’ from Hawker’s Cove to Trebetherick Bay. This hazard to sailors also tells a tale by Enys Tregarthen who tells of a young man who went to shoot seals at Hawker’s Cove but instead found a beautiful young woman. He asked her to marry him but when she refused, he shot her, only later realising she was a mermaid. So much Cornish mythology, poems and songs colours this historic area.

The Doom Bar is also local brewery Sharp’s Brewery’s inspiration for its moreish amber ale you’ll see in many pubs and restaurants in Cornwall, aptly named Doom Bar.

Wildlife in Rock

The inland section of the Camel Estuary is an Area of Natural Beauty meaning that the area has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value.

The special area is home to many wading birds with their distinctive long bills used for foraging. You’ll find a list of the birds of the Camel Estuary, here.

In Rock you’re also not far from the Cornish Bird of Prey Centre, which is a non-profitmaking rescue centre, passionate about caring for its animals and birds. Just over 20-minute drive, why not try a falconry experience while visiting?

If sea life is more your thing, then a popular Rock activity is a Wavehunters boat trip; operating from both Padstow and Rock, its sea safaris are known to spot seals, dolphins, porpoises, whales, puffins and even the occasional whale.

Annual events in Rock

Every year in July, Rock plays host to Rock Oyster Festival a celebration of fabulous food, sweet music. Taking place at the stunning Dinham House just outside of Rock, the festival is spearheaded by Jack Stein and friends. Making a fabulous edition to a holiday in Rock, this unique setting makes for a brilliant festival. Each year the Oyster Stage is graced with tunes from musical greatness, while the Chef Tipis showcases work from Michelin-starred chefs, alfresco dining, and cooking demonstrations all weekend, served up by some of Cornwall’s best restaurants and chefs.

Categories: Things to do

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