Dramatic cliff faces on the South West Coast Path Walk from Port Isaac to Rock
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Port Isaac to Rock: Walk the South West Coast Path

Rock formation at Polzeath beach on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Rock formation at Polzeath beach

Distance: 12 miles

Severity: Severe then easy

Time it took us: 6hrs 24 mins

Steps: 28,664

If you feel the need to blow away the cobwebs the last seven hideous months have left us with then try walking Port Isaac to Rock in a 51mph wind. Trust me, it does the trick. The wind was relentless from start to finish and always against us, never behind us egging us on, making every mile feel like three.

The village of Port Isaac were the ITV drama Doc Martin is filmed on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Port Isaac where ITV's Doc Martin is filmed

Parking up in the main car park above Port Isaac we wandered down into the quaint working fishing village with its tiny streets and chocolate-box, picture postcard cottages. This is the home of the Fishermen’s Friends and, if you’re an avid follower of Doc Martin, there may be a few streets you recognise.

waves crash on the rocks on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Waves crashing against the rocks

We all know by now what follows a steep descent, yes, a climb upwards along the road until you hit grassy headland and rejoining the Path before dropping down into Pine Haven.

Indy enjoys the views on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Indy enjoying the views

From here it’s a bit of a tough stretch to Port Quin but the scenery is sensational. A zig-zag path across to Varley Head then we (read here, I) opt for the optional inland diversion to cut out the  ‘cliff edge’.

Lundy Hole on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Lundy Hole

The relentless wind combined with my ridiculous fear of falling off a cliff won the vote today! Unfortunately inland route, means pasture, which leads to my other ridiculous fear, cows. This lot though seemed fine, and stayed lying down as we (read not me) confidently swept past.

dramatic coastline on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock

Next it was down into the inlet of Port Quin and out of the wind, for a second or two. Then to Lundy Bay and past Lundy Hole before a steady climb to Carnweather Point. Walk through the gate at the top and make sure you look right on the other side for a spectacular view of where you’ve come from. Stunning.

Indy gets lost in the bracken on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Indy enjoys a dig

Grassy fields lead us to The Rumps – sticky out bits on the headland and we again cut across rather than daring the route around, for Bill’s sanity more than anything.

The Rumps on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Looking back at 'The Rumps'

Finally, Polzeath comes into view and we cut across the extremely windy beach with Lifeguard flags almost rigid in the wind, foamy pools after angry white waves and surfers battling to control their boards as they walk back to land.

Overlooking Polzeath beach on The South West Coast Path walk from Port Isaac to Rock
Rolling white waves ride in to Polzeath beach

Then, the last couple of miles to Rock seemed never ending, over sand dunes, then more sand dunes, past a golf course, and finally, finally, Rock car park comes into view – and my car. And a seat. Thank the Lord.

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Cornwall Tourism Award 2020 / 2021Gwelmor - Cornwall Tourism Awards - Bronze 2019/20Gwelmor - Cornwall Tourism Awards - Commended 2019/20