Great Places in Cornwall: Crantock Beach

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Fish and chips is the food I associate with great days, the kind of days that end with long shadows, that have no routine or structure, days that unfold in happy unexpected ways. Saturday was one of those days, fish and chips as the sun set over the sea, was a fitting end to a pretty perfect day. The warmth of the wrapped food in laps, eating chips with greasy fingers. A day outside, plenty of fresh air, that makes a genuine hunger for stodgy food; golden battered fish, fat deep-fried chips and the sound of the ocean.

When September gives a warm sunny day it feels like an extra gift, a bonus before Autumn blows leaves into the gutter and the sky turns grey. A last chance for bare toes before winter boots. We started in welly boots on Saturday morning, for the walk across muddy fields from our campsite to the sea.

We were glamping at Trevella, a holiday park a mile or so in land from the Cornish Coast. Our home for the weekend was a safari tent, a sturdy, expansive canvas tent, with wooden floor, proper beds and electricity to power a basic kitchen. Upmarket camping, ever so glamping. Flicking a kettle on rather than fiddling with a stove, encourages endless cups of steaming tea and slow starts. The front of the tent gave way to a deck area, creating a small sun trap, to hurry seemed churlish.

Camping attire is not glamorous.

Camping attire is not glamorous.

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This wasn’t our first visit to Trevella and we knew the beauty of nearby Crantock beach and whatever the weather we would spend the day there. There is ample parking at the beach. We prefer to walk. From Trevella to Crantock is special, it navigates fields, a bridge and runs above the river Gannel until it opens to the sea and the stretch of Crantock beach lies before you.
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River Gannel to Crantock Beach, Cornwall

It’s a couple of miles and we stopped at the swings and then to watch birds on the river bed. There is a bridge crossing at low tide that delivers you up to Pentire and Newquay. At high tide take the ferry. Walk the steps up to the Fern Pit Cafe, marked by the red umbrellas in the top left of photo below, the hut at the bottom is the start of the steps. There are benches, should you need a rest on the way up.

Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach Fern Pit Ferry

Crantock Beach

Glorious Crantock Beach

Crantock beach has water sports, if that’s your thing, surfing, paddle boarding and the like. It is attended by Life Guards. There are dunes to run down, if you are a 7-year-old boy and that’s your thing. The sand is just the right consistency for great sand castles. Go crabbing off the rocks at low tide or fish for tiny shrimps in the pools on the beach. There are caves and coves to explore should you fancy a walk. It’s big enough for kite flying, if you are the Mr and that’s your thing. Or sit on the sand and watch the world go by, maybe get an ice cream from the hut on the beach, if you are me and that’s your thing. Maybe take a walk up to Crantock village for supplies from the store, they sell local bread, cheese, pasties. I can recommend Cornish Olives.

We spend the day on the beach, blessed with unexpected sunshine in bare feet, just doing ‘beach stuff’ as the mood took us.

Crantock Beach, Cornwall

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Kite Flying Crantock Beach, Cornwall

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The bloke that runs the tea and ice cream hut on Crantock beach (I wished I’d asked his name), recommended fish and chips from Francene’s on Chester Road in Newquay “cracking fish and chips” he said. I decided he looked like a man who knew. Which is how we ended up having the best fish and chips we’ve tasted in a long time on Lusty Gaze Beach in Newquay (what an amazing name for beach), as the sun slipped down behind the horizon and left the sky peachy orange. The bar on the beach was hosting a wedding and we sang along to their tunes; Wonder Wall, Brown Eye-ed Girl, until it got dark and the tide threatened to lap our toes. Reluctantly, we vacated our spot on a rock and called an end to a fantastic day.

Safari tents are made for slow starts, it is that extra bit of comfort, on Sunday we began at an even slower pace. A play in the adventure playground at Trevella, a walk around the fishing lake and visit to the Trevella’s eagle owl, Ollie, before heading home. 

Trevella is just small enough to feel friendly but big enough to support a cafe and two playgrounds. We were end of season, the camping fields were fairly empty except for groups of surfers.
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Cornwall has year round appeal and the caravans at Trevella were busy. There are plenty of local attractions, Eden Project, Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Screech Owl sanctuary, St Austell Brewery, aside from headland walks, empty beaches and pub lunches. App for Cornwall is a handy resource for all things Cornwall. Trevella is the perfect base to explore Cornwall and offers caravan, glamping and camping holidays from end March to end October.

Fishing Lake Trevella, Crantock Cornwall.

Fishing Lake Trevella

For more Trevella adventures seek out the #Cornwalladventure hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

Disclosure: We were invited to stay at Trevella the purposes of a review. All words and opinions are my own.

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