Rich in mysticism and history, Boscastle’s sleepy demeanour belies its legendary past. The landscape here has a dramatic feel. Surrounded by mossy woodlands and secluded waterfalls, the village follows the path of a narrow river through the valley and between two mighty headlands that frame the ocean. Boscastle’s shoreline isn’t one of sweeping sands, but children can still dip their toes where the river flows into the sea, and at low tide a small beach is revealed.
The village is in the heart of miles of rambling woodland and blossoming wildflower. Valency Valley nearby has links to Thomas Hardy and the call of woodpeckers, jays and chaffinches can be heard through the rustling leaves. A slow walk from Boscastle Harbour leads to Pentargon Waterfall, a place filled with an air of magic as the witch’s museum can be visited nearby. Likewise, St Nectan’s glen is a haven for wildlife and the subject of many a whispered tales about fairies, piskies and spirits.
Drive further afield towards Tintagel, a seaside village famous for its castle, rugged coastline, and rocky valley.
Boscastle does cake and light lunches to a (cream) tea. The wonky-roofed Harbour Light Tea Garden is hard to miss, or shelter in the National Trust cafe and sun-trap courtyard. Something more substantial? The Wellington Hotel’s restaurant is a good spot come evening – they do a good curry night too – or watch the river below from Riverside Restaurant.
Dogs are very welcome along this stretch of Cornish coastline. Sniff out the sights and smells of Boscastle river and harbour, or hit the 630-mile stretch of The South West Coast path – all of it dog friendly – to visit the other neighbouring beaches which are open to dogs all-year round.
Boscastle’s main village amenities line the flat and level stretch all the way to the harbour, making wheelchair access easy. Disabled and public toilets are located near the pay and display car park in the centre of the village, as are disabled parking spaces.