Things to do


Leisure activities and attractions near to Boscastle in Cornwall

Boscastle is set in the centre of some of Europe’s most dramatic rugged coastline. It is often used as a location for television or film.

Sir Richard Grenvillle, the former High Sheriff of Cornwall, built the picturesque harbour at Boscastle in the middle of the 1500s.

The harbour flourished in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as road traffic was nearly impossible due to the state of the unmade roads.

Today a few local fisherman and pleasure craft use the harbour, and you can go out on one of the boats to try your luck at catching Mackerel!

Much of the harbour, the Valency Valley and the coastline are owned and managed by the National Trust, and are rated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, or AONB.

Boscastle Harbour
Boscastle Harbour

Forrabury Common on the cliff above the harbour, the woodland leading up to Minster Church and the churchyard are classified as ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’, because of their diverse range of flora and fauna.

Some of the cottages built at the same time as the harbour can still be seen in the older parts of Boscastle today. The old castle mound, which is all that remains of Bottreaux Castle, built in 1100 AD, can be visited.

There are many walks that can be taken to explore this area, one of which is the path which goes along the side of the Valency river to St Juliot’s Church.

It was at this church that Thomas Hardy first met Emma, the sister of the vicar’s wife, who was to become Hardy’s first wife.

14th Century cottages in Boscastle
14th Century cottages in Boscastle

As you walk along the path you can see a wide variety of wild flowers and birds, and if you are quiet enough
you may be lucky and also spot deer, badgers, foxes and rabbits.

With its spectacular views, a walk along the coastal path is always worthwhile. You could be lucky enough to see seals, dolphins and basking sharks, or a peregrine falcon riding the air currents above you.

In the centre of Boscastle you can browse through the Craft Centre, the antique and gift shops, the Witch’s Museum, and eat out in the plentiful restaurants.

Alternatively, visit one of the 3 Pubs, which are the centre of Boscastle’s nightlife and feature music ranging from folk at the Welly, where you are welcome to join in, to jazz and rock playing 2 to 3 nights per week at the Cobweb or Napoleon.

The Cliff Path
The Cliff Path

Other nearby attractions include:

  • Highcliff – at 731ft, the highest cliff in Cornwall, with marvellous views and sunsets
  • Rocky Valley, with its Neolithic carvings
  • King Arthur’s Castle at Tintagel
  • Bossiney Cove – another sandy beach with a waterfall, caves and rockpools
  • St Nectan’s Glen with its 60ft high waterfall
  • Crackington or Trebarwith’s sandy beaches – ideal for surfing, swimming or exploring the rock pools
Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle

Activities available nearby:

  • Water-skiing or sailing at Rock, on the Camel estuary
  • Horse riding, coarse fishing, rock climbing, golfing,kayaking.
  • Discovering the wild rugged scenery of Bodmin Moor
  • Exploring the South-West Coastal Path
  • Hiring bikes to explore the Camel Trail between Bodmin and Padstow, where TV chef Rick Stein has his famous restaurant
Bude canal
Bude canal

Trips further afield:

  • The Eden Project
  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan
  • National Trust properties and gardens
  • The Tate Gallery at St lves

All of these and many others are about an hour’s drive away, and the whole of Cornwall and Devon are easily accessible for a day out.

National Trust Lanhydrock House and Garden
National Trust Lanhydrock House and Garden

You can also visit Boscastle for a relaxing holiday outside of the main season:

  • In spring, snowdrops, primroses, and bluebells carpet the hedgerows and woodlands
  • In autumn the days are often warm and sunny
  • In winter the Atlantic waves breaking are a magnificent sight
  • Enjoy a drink or meal in front of a log-fire, in a friendly local Inn

All of these and the many other attractions make Boscastle, and these holiday cottages, an ideal centre for your holiday.

Stunning South West coastpath
Stunning South West coastpath