A small village with a lot of history, Boscastle is a beautiful spot to book your luxury holiday home in Cornwall. Our curated collection of handpicked self-catering holiday cottages and luxury holiday homes will inspire your Cornish holiday.
We will help you find your perfect Boscastle holiday let, for your holiday on the north coast of Cornwall. A self-catering cottage in Boscastle is great for exploring all of Cornwall and will leave you with many happy memories for years to come.
If you want magic and romance, Boscastle is the perfect place for you. Commune with nature in our carefully chosen cabins, beautifully situated for you to visit this unspoilt Cornish harbour village. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the medieval harbour and coastline are cherished by the National Trust, while inland, a stream leads to hidden churches, such as St Juliot’s with its literary Thomas Hardy links.
Hardy was incredibly inspired by Boscastle, and you can see why he would wander the coast and country paths penning poetry and falling in love. With perfect sunsets, and easy access to the South West Coast Path, this picturesque village sheltered within the wooded Valency Valley offers hills to climb and views to behold.
Boscastle is a truly Cornish secret, for before the Boscastle floods of 2004, people occasionally happened upon it when visiting nearby Tintagel. Now, the village is on the map and revitalised, so you can easily spend a day here, skimming stones, eating ice creams, and exploring from the river to the sea.
Vibrant, yet traditional, Boscastle houses a bakery, fine eateries and shops for you to enjoy, all close to the unrivalled rugged coastline, with its outstanding scenic quality. The village is home to the unmissable Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, the only one of its kind. Situated in a whitewashed cottage full of fascinating artefacts and eye-opening social history, this independent museum is a special place, well worth a visit. Meanwhile, if you enjoy magic and mystery, The Wellington Hotel is said to be one of Britain’s most haunted places, perhaps because their visitors loved it so much they never left!
Dining out is a pleasure in Boscastle. Check out the Boscastle Farm Shop up the hill from the village, beloved by locals, and The Napoleon Inn (‘the Nap’), in the upper part of the village and one of the oldest pubs in the area.
One of the loveliest things you can do in Boscastle is to visit the harbour, which has a high stone wall hewn from the cliff face. From your seat here, daydream a little, relax, imagining the schooners of old as you watch the waves. In secluded and inspirational spots above the harbour, you may be lucky enough to catch the Boscastle blowhole (known as The Devil’s Bellows) which booms across the water when the conditions are right.
Nearby places to explore include Arthurian Tintagel, with its Castle. You can now try out its footbridge which connects mainland to headland without a strenuous walk. A spot rich in bird and wildlife, is Crackington Haven, also close by. Take a walk to see the 60ft waterfall at St Nectan’s Glen, reputedly home to mischievous pixies, said to shower their blessings on the local countryside. You don’t believe in pixies? Well, this enchanting, spiritually uplifting glen may change your mind. Meanwhile, Trebarwith Strand helps you to connect with nature via its rugged heritage coastline accessed over rocks, uncovered at low tide.
It was, sadly, the floods of 2004 which brought beautiful Boscastle to people’s attention, but it was a busy, bustling place long before that, and is well worth visiting.
Tucked between high cliffs, it was once the only safe harbour for miles along the treacherous North Cornwall coast, originating from medieval times. A hundred years ago it was still a busy port for traders visiting from South Wales, Bristol and even Canada (for timber) when ketches and schooners were a common sight. They had to be helped in to the harbour by ‘hobblers’, boats manned by eight oarsmen who towed them in. Locals here did not have an easy life.
In 2004, in a flash flood, a huge surge of water rushed through the village. The wall of waves destroyed four buildings, sent cars into the harbour and required 100 people to be airlifted to safety. Fifty-eight properties were flooded. No lives were lost, amazingly. The events are recalled in a photographic/video exhibition in the National Trust building, which also houses a shop and a cafe.
Don’t let the flood tale put you off. Huge amounts of work have been done, which means beautiful Boscastle is now well and truly on the map – and safe once again.
The River Valency has been widened and lowered, the car park raised with a new permeable surface, and the river braided through channels to slow the water flow. Add to that a new culvert, and three gauges on the river this fantastic work enabled Boscastle to withstand anything like that happening again. The flood is now a part of Boscastle’s history so it is important to remember it; indeed, it adds to the fascination of the place, as a tale to tell always does.
Now, the harbour is a much more tranquil spot, though with its own blow hole which at times can make a loud bang. Penally Point blows at the harbour entrance either side of low tide if the conditions are right. Away from the harbour are cliffs leading to the wooded Valency Valley for a lovely circular walk.
In the village itself, there are attractive whitewashed cottages, the unique and much-loved Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (some say Boscastle has a supernatural feel to it) and several gift shops, including a Pottery with goods made on the premises. Much of the land is owned by the National Trust, with a truly spectacular coastline to enjoy. There are wonderful views from the harbour/headland. The 7-mile coast path walk between Boscastle and Crackington Haven is strenuous but a firm favourite with walkers.
For refreshments, the Cobweb Inn dating from the 1700s, is the first stop you meet if you walk into the village. Just up the road from the Cobweb Inn is the locally-loved Boscastle Farm Shop for lovely lunches. Other options include the 2 AA rosette Wellington Hotel, or The Riverside which welcomes walkers.
Just outside Boscastle, past the farm shop, you will find the turn off to St Juliot’s Church. Don’t miss it. Hidden away, it has Thomas Hardy connections, for he worked (as an architect) on its renovation and doing so, fell in love with a local girl, Emma Gifford. Alas, it was not a happy coupling, but his story, “A Pair of Blue Eyes” describes all the valleys and cliffs up to High Cliff (731 ft), the highest in Cornwall. It all adds to the Boscastle’s romance.
Boscastle, which has been described by some visitors as a ‘spiritual home’ is a truly unique village, with many saying it has a calming feel, a special atmosphere, a sense of ‘otherness’ but it is also a warm and welcoming place, well worth your time.
In a nutshell: