Polzeath, Rock, Daymer Bay
- North Cornwall
Polzeath Rock and
Rock could hardly be less appropriately named as its popularity is largely due to the long stretches of find sandy beaches washed by the tidal waters of the Camel estuary. Rightly acclaimed as one of the major watersports centres in Cornwall, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing and rowing are all activities which can be carried on in the relatively calm waters of the estuary.
Rock Sailing & Water Ski Club are situated on the Quay at Rock and there is a thriving sailing school and ski school both operating from further along the beach near the pontoon; boats can be hired for all water sports, as well as for fishing and bird watching. The Black Tor ferry runs from Rock to Padstow all year round during daylight hours and there is a Water Taxi available for late night "revellers". With the increase in water activities, the RNLI have now stationed a "D" Class lifeboat on the Ferry beach, providing cover in case of emergencies. The renowned St Enodoc Golf Club has two challenging courses to offer and there is scenic walking country over coastal and inland routes.
Daymer Bay & Trebetherick have a huge appeal to all, from the young to the not so young. This is Betjeman country and unquestionably "special" - peaceful, exhilarating and magnificent, with wide open spaces in which to be at one with nature.
St Enodoc Church, once buried in the sand, is within walking distance of the beach at Daymer and is now the final resting place of Sir John Betjeman. As Polzeath is to surfers, Daymer Bay is to windsurfers - for the waves rolling up the estuary and for the calmer waters off Rock - yet there is enormous appeal too for small children with buckets and spades and "spuddling" in the rock pools. There is golf to be enjoyed at nearby St Enodoc and Roserrow and the coastal footpath between Polzeath and St Enodoc is suitable for wheelchair users - a rare chance for the less fortunate to be able to appreciate the stunning scenery of the head-lands and estuary.
Polzeath has a magnificent surfing beach known to be one of Cornwall's finest - a surfer's paradise - and there is the breathtaking scenery of the cliffs from Pentire to Port Quin offering wonderful walking country. The vast Atlantic rollers pound this safe beach making ideal sport for surfers and has a vast expanse of sand ideal for children. As well as all the usual facilities, there is a centre for a Voluntary Marine Wildlife Area initiated by North Cornwall Heritage Coast and Countryside Service, who also promote an under-standing of the area through walks, talks and beach events.
The Camel Estuary, with its contrasts of remote, rugged landscape, long stretches of sandy beaches and mild climate, is rightly claimed as one of, if not the major attraction on the North Cornish coast. The tidal waters of the estuary stretch from the mouth of the estuary some five miles south towards Wadebridge and up to a mile wide between Rock and Padstow. This large inland area of calmer waters is protected from the Atlantic ocean by Stepper Point, Pentire and a sand bar at the mouth of the estuary, giving ideal conditions for all varieties of water sports.
Pleasure, fishing and bird watching trips are available from Rock and Padstow. There is a wide variety of bird life along the coast towards The Rumps with an abundance of water fowl, seabirds both resident and migratory, and the magical clowns of the sea, the puffins. Gannets and cormorants can be seen fishing, grey seals and occasionally dolphins may be spotted in the bay. The birdlife around the estuary is especially good with the Walmsley Sanctuary nearby at Amble - over 40 acres of bird sanctuary, migratory home to at least 90 species, as well as an abundance of other wildlife. Good fishing is found on the estuary for rod and line from the beach while sea fishing for mackerel, pollack and shark is also very popular.
The National Trust land at Pentire is an extensive carpet of wild flowers, at its best in the Spring. Guided walks help visitors explore and enjoy the rich network of footpaths with the most spectacular scenery and there are also circular walk leaflets for those who prefer to "go it alone".
For the more energetic, tennis and squash courts are available for hire while pony trekking, cycle hire and a choice of challenging golf courses, including St Enodoc, are within easy reach. The Camel Trail, running along the route the railway took, goes alongside the estuary from Padstow, through Wadebridge, Grogley Halt to the upper reaches of the Camel at Wenford and Bodmin - a cycle route that has become a model for others to follow.