Cornwall Coast Path - Hartland Quay to Bude

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Spekes Mill - North Devon
Spekes Mill - North Devon

This section of the path, strenuous but extremely rewarding, takes you across the border from Devon into Cornwall. In the course of just over fifteen miles you will pass what is perhaps the most dramatic waterfall on the whole trail, plunging to the beach at Speke's Mill, as well as countless ravines, coves and cliffs, before the path eases into the broad sandy beaches that lead into the historic town of Bude.

There is a large car park at Hartland Point, Devon's final, and suitably remote, outpost, from where it is three miles to Hartland Quay. A track leads from here around the back of St Catherine's Tor before climbing up and down the cliff that precedes the epic waterfall at Speke's Mill, a stunningly remote cove that features a sandy beach at low tide.

After Speke's Mill the path passes Embury Beacon, home to ancient Iron Age ramparts, before continuing to Marsland Mouth nature reserve at the Cornish border.

Just after the border you can head inland along an ancient 12th century way to the windswept hamlet of Morwenstow, formerly the haunt of ruthless wreckers and made famous by the eccentric, opium-smoking Parson Hawker, creator of the popular Harvest Festival.

Visit the 13th century Bush Inn, used as a resting place by monks as far back as 950 AD, or the Rectory Tea Rooms, one of the most remote places of refreshment in the entire country.

As you pick up the path again heading for Bude look out for the National Trust's smallest property, a crude hut built from driftwood by Parson Hawker as a refuge from which to watch for wrecked ships whilst writing poetry and smoking opium.

GCHQ CSO Morwenstow (GCHQ Bude)
GCHQ Morwenstow

Well over a hundred ships have been wrecked on the stretch of coastline between Morwenstow and Bude, a stretch characterised by immense cliffs and paths that zig-zag down into forgotten coves.

The gigantic satellite dishes at Cleave Camp are virtually the only reminder of the modern world until you reach the surfers that flock to the line of perfect sandy beaches that lead into Bude.