• Start: OS grid ref SX176993
  • End: OS grid ref SX176993
  • Country: England
  • County: Cornwall
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Crackington Haven
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 190
  • Difficulty: Medium
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With its clean air and sea views, the north coast of Cornwall is an excellent area to explore on foot. This walk takes in the area from Dizzard Point to Crackington Haven

With its clean air and sea views, the north coast of Cornwall is an excellent area to explore on foot. This walk takes in the area from Dizzard Point to Crackington Haven

This beautiful walk covers some of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that runs from just below Bude some 30 miles to Pentire Point overlooking the Camel Estuary. It takes in some of the cliffs near Crackington Haven where the grey/brown rocks seem to be piled in folded layers. Originating (on the equator!) some 325 million years ago, and compressed into the folds after the last Ice Age these (mostly) carboniferous rocks are so important geologically that they are known worldwide as the Crackington Formation.
Although Cornwall is renowned for its tin and, to a lesser extent, copper mines, it is interesting to note that zinc, silver, lead and even wolfram (the ore of the hardest of all metals, tungsten) were once mined in this area.
The walk begins near Dizzard Woods a thick blanket of sessile oak trees which are stunted by the force of the Atlantic winds. The woodland is of international biological importance because of the many rare lichens and mosses thriving here owing to the exceptionally clean air of the North Cornwall coast. Dizzard Woods is one of the few remnants (another is on Dartmoor) of the prehistoric oak forest that once covered the whole of Britain. The walk also takes in the 13th-century church at St Gennys that is the last resting place of shipwrecked mariners (and perhaps a few smugglers).
The highest part of the walk is reached quite soon after the start, reaching over 500ft (150m) above sea level with cliffs plunging down to the sea at Dizzard Point. The return section of the route takes you inland through fields, past ancient farmsteads, along quiet lanes and through a section of fine deciduous woodland.

1 Start the walk from the lay-by just past the house Atlantic View and before Cancleave on the minor road from Dizzard to Millook (turn left off the A39 at Wainhouse Corner). The short footpath comes out onto the South West Coast Path. Turn left (west) and follow this down into a wooded valley. Cross the bridge and there is a steep climb along the edge of Bynorth Cliff until you reach the trig marker on Dizzard Point (164 metres). Dizzard Woods flank the cliffs.
The view north looks across Widemouth Bay to Bude. On a clear day you can see Lundy Island, the seas around form the UKs first Marine Conservation Area.

2 Descending, the path crosses a stile then follows the cliff edge to Chipman Point. Below is a stream and small, pretty waterfall. Another climb, and from the top you can see the tower of St Gennys church to your left. Descend to Cleave, a tiny settlement of cottages. A further mile and a half of coastal ups and downs takes you around Pencannow Point (from here look further south to the prosaically named High Cliff the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall at 735ft/224m) and into Crackington Haven, although just before the point is a (signed) footpath left to the church.

3 Whichever route you take youll come down onto the road above Crackington Haven. For refreshments head downhill (there is a post office, a good caf and a nice pub), or turn left and climb to the Methodist church then turn left to Coxford. At the bottom of the hill take the footpath to your left across the footbridge and climb north-east to a gate in a wall. Follow the boundary hedge to reach a walled lane.
To the left in a field are the remains of the medieval village of Tresmorn (it boasted unusual turf-walled houses) though there is little to see except Lower Tresmorn farmhouse dating from the same era. To continue the walk, turn right and carry on along the lane to reach the road at Higher Crannow.

4 Turn left and continue for about a quarter of a mile. Then turn right on the footpath to Trengayor and continue through the farmyard and along a track. At the end of the track the footpath turns left into the woodland. Cross a stream and follow the footpath to a T-junction. Turn right then left at the house known as The Den.

5 Walk through the woods to another cottage, but just before you reach it cross the footbridge on your left. A narrow footpath follows a small stream uphill to a gate. Continue until a stile takes you onto the road and the lay-by at the start of the walk.

This walk was kindly supplied by Cornwall AONB, which comprises one single protected area, divided into 12 parts. These make up some of the best of Cornwalls coastland, moorland, farmland woodland, streams, creeks and estuaries and covers an area of 958 sq km or 370 sq miles more than a quarter of the countys countryside. For further information contact 01872 322350,


Start: OS grid ref SX176993
Distance: 8 miles (12.9km)
Time: Allow 3-4 hours
Map: OS Landranger 190
Public transport: Western Greyhound 595 bus service runs between Bude and Crackington Haven and on to Boscastle
Refreshments: Crackington Haven

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