A Blog from the valve and pipeline man at Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd. If you have visited our Blog page you will see Blogs covering many assorted products and subject matter. For a change in direction I have decided to cover a particularly enjoyable walk done on my recent visit to what is my favourite English County, Cornwall; and North Cornwall in particular. For those who know me and are reading this you will already be aware of my passion for the North Cornish Coast around the village of Port Isaac.
For this reason, I thought I would share this experience and hope it explains my delight at visiting this beautiful area of England. Imagine a sunny morning on the rugged Cornish coast, a little windy but nothing that would cause a problem. The sea reflects the early morning sun, sunlight distorted by the movement of the waves; the weather is fine, the forecast looks good for the entire day. So, the decision is made to walk from Port Isaac to Port Quin in the Civil Parish of St Endellion and of course back again.
Valve and Pipeline Man Cliff to Cliff
On this occasion we are staying for the first time at the top of the village of Port Isaac in a cottage adjacent to the Famous Nathan Outlaw Restaurant and the lesser known Angry Anchovy. To get to the beginning of the cliff path we want for this walk, a walk from one side of Port Isaac to the other is required. For those that follow Doc Martin you will recognise the route through Port Wenn, down the steep hill, past fisherman’s cottages and Cornish Cream Tea establishments. For those that aren’t aware a Cornish Cream Tea unlike the fake version from Devon has Jam underneath; with Cornish Clotted Cream on top of a freshly baked scone.
Just before you reach the harbour the door of the Golden Lion tempts as you walk past; but the reward is at the end of the walk, a pint of Proper Job IPA (must be said in a Cornish Accent). We past the door of the Golden Lion and as you round the slight bend the harbour front comes into view, fresh crab or sweet fudge; whichever takes your fancy are available. In our case we ventured into what is sometimes Mrs Tishell’s Chemist but today is a lovely establishment selling fudge in every flavour possible. Two bags of fudge later we are climbing out of the village, past the Port Isaac Pottery shop towards the Doc’s house.
A steep narrow road winds its way to the top of the opposite side of the village and past more cottages; all of course available as holiday lets. Till you reach the beginning of the cliff path that takes you to one of the most used points to photograph this stunning Cornish crab fishing port. Once you have managed to wrestle your partner away from snapping this view on her iPhone it’s on to the open cliff path and the beginning of one of our favourite Cornish walks.
Valve and Pipeline Man Steps up
The beginning of this walk is what pulls at you to do it in the first place, green grass right to the cliff edge and views difficult to find anywhere else in the UK. Looking back the village of Port Isaac begins to disappear and when you look forward a bend in the path hides the next phase of this marvellous walk. As you leave the green field behind a wider track greets you; leading some into a false sense of security on what’s ahead of them. The track winds down to a wooden bridge and the first cove following Port Isaac and definite photo opportunity. Where my lovely wife is concerned this usually means a selfie and probably not the first.
Crossing a little wooden bridge brings you to a fork in the path, to the right a path that gives a view of the previously mentioned cove and to the left the way forward. Now the way forward is a formidable flight of steps cut into the steep climb; which I believe number over a hundred. The first time we did this walk now over five years ago both myself and my wife were considerably heavier than we are now. I have to say that first attempt was torture on the limbs, but on this occasion, it felt a great deal easier.
Valve and Pipeline Man atop of Gulls Soaring
Once reached, the top of the steps leads via a path adjacent to yet more green fields to probably one of the most beautiful resting points on this journey. The cliffs in the near distance are the first stop on this walk and today as it is so often; lunch awaits. Once reached, close by a stile can be seen, which allows access to the cliff top and the view of a cove only assessible by climbers and boats. The conveniently located rock outcrops make excellent seating to enjoy the views and some lunchtime sandwiches and snacks.
What makes this place so special is the fact you can stand adjacent to the cliff, not to close and watch the Gulls soar below you. Floating on the air, oblivious of your presence and making no attempt to steal our food. Food and water taken in, time to continue the walk to Port Quin; back over the stile to the coastal path. For those that are not aware this walk is part of the 630 miles of the South West Coastal path. The Path begins at Minehead in Somerset, then via Devon and Cornwall finishes at Poole Harbour in Dorset.
Valve and Pipeline Man to Port Quin
If you speak to the locals in Port Isaac and ask them what I will find at Port Quin; they will laughingly reply a water tap. The water tap is the first thing you will find as you come into the village down the steps from the cliff path. Port Quin is owned by the National Trust and since our first walk here many have been refurbished and are available as holiday lets. This quiet cove, which was once a fishing village but a huge storm in the 19th Century is reputed to have wiped out the entire fishing fleet; and forced the villagers to abandon their homes.
Above Port Quin on the opposite cliff to the one you arrive on from Port Isaac is aptly named Doyden Castle. This beautiful building was built in 1830 on Doyden Point by a Cornish businessman by the name of Samuel Symons; many Doc Martin fans will recognise it as the place Mrs Tishell took Martin and Louisa’s baby son James at the end of series five. The perfectly preserved harbour at Port Quin is a lovely place to rest tired limbs, but at present you will only find food and refreshments there in the Summer Months; although the water tap is there for you to refill your water bottle if required.
Valve and Pipeline Man returning to Port Isaac
Once you have taken in the views of Port Quin, it is time for the return journey, returning to the coastal path from the village is clearly marked. But before you leave this tranquil place you will see a bench on the cliff. If you are feeling fit, walk to the area below the path and there you will find great photo opportunities. Including the rugged coastline and Port Quin looking into the harbour.
Returning to Port Isaac allows you the opportunity to repeat the views enjoyed on the way and probably some you may have missed; the trip is around a 7-mile return if you follow all the coastal path. There is a short cut along the way but if you take this, you will miss some breath-taking views of the stunning Cornish coastline. From the cliff tops Port Isaac can be seen in the distance and before we reach our destination, it will disappear from our sight for a while.
The dreaded steps that were so difficult to climb on the journey out are no less daunting on the return journey; they can still make you knees ache, especially if like me you are over fifty. Once the bottom of the biggest flight of cliff steps is complete though, journey’s end is almost there. The track following this brings us to the beginning of the cliff that overlooks Port Isaac and occasionally the curiosity of some local cows. Then you are back at the top of the village and if you are me, looking forward to a pint of good Cornish Ale in the excellent Golden Lion.
Valve and Pipeline Man a Rest in the Golden Lion
A walk down the hill, passed the Doc’s house again with the usual fans ignoring the private property warning; and standing on the steps for photo opportunities. I can’t say much as I have done the same thing in the past and before you reach Doc Martin’s surgery you will also pass what was briefly the Bert Large restaurant on the left-hand side.
Once you reach the base of the hill the harbour in view and today the tide was out, the beach was full of activity. Couples walking their dogs on the sand, families enjoying the sea and warm March weather. The short walk from the Harbour to the Golden Lion complete and the warm friendly staff give a real Cornish welcome. We no longer have a dog but this like many pubs locally welcome well-behaved dogs, who are often welcomed with a dog biscuit.
For myself the valve and pipeline man and my wife Beryl a pint of Cornish ale each is ordered; in this case a Tribute and Cousin Jack is today’s choice. Then through the doors opposite the bar to the balcony overlooking the harbour and a chance to rest tired limbs and watch the world go by.
Valve and Pipeline Man and the Beauty of Cornwall
Our favourite walk is done for another year, although later in the week we went in the opposite direction out through Port Gaverne and on the path to Tintagel. This walk is not for the faint hearted, especially following wet weather, strong legs and a good pair of walking boots required here.
For me the valve and pipeline man, a title that even applies when I am on holiday as I can never escape my mobile phone. As we looked across at the Church on the cliff just outside Tintagel my phone rang with a customer looking for product information. Events like this bother my partner but my belief is you can never escape your work completely in the industry I choose to work in.
The work I do allows for stunning holidays in a place that I believe is the most beautiful County in England, Cornwall. A place of rugged beauty and hidden treasures; North Cornwall for me with so many places to visit on your feet or in the car is a place to enjoy great scenery, good food and excellent ale. Whether you love cliff walks or beautiful beaches, you will find them here; and remember not all Cornish Folk think we are all Emmet’s. Thank you for taking the time to read my latest Blog and I hope that I will be able to share more of my outside work activities in the future and if we can be of any assistance please contact the Valve and Pipeline Man.