Some nice Car Drives in Cornwall with Pictures
Great Car Drives (for the keen cyclists too) in Cornwall. Whether you are on holiday and fancy a day off the beach or just down for a weekend break Cornwall offers great car drives. Here are a few suggestions.
Cornwall Coast-The North Cliffs -Chapel Porth to Portreath to Gwithian to Hayle to St Ives Its well worth starting your excursion from Chapel Porth near St Agnes. If you are really keen walk the half mile along the cliff path to Wheal Coates and the Towanroath Shaft before setting off on your drive. Beginning the drive proper follows the winding Cornish Lanes south to Portreath. A hundred years and forty ago the village was a centre for the export of tin and copper ore to the smelters of South Wales. Remains of the Mineral Inclines can still be seen to this day. Leave Portreath via the B3301 sign posted to Hayle. This stretch of virtually sheer 250 foot high cliff provides numerous dramatic viewpoints, none more so than at the North Cliffs and Hells Mouth.
Continuing along the B3301 you reach the wide sweep of St Ives Bay, taking a short detour you come to Godrevy Point overlooking the Lighthouse on Godrevy Island. A good spot for a picnic. St Ives Bay contains many good beaches- Gwithian in the far North, then Hayle Towans overlooking the Hayle Estuary , Carbis Bay, and in St Ives Porthminster Beach. A 160 years Hayle was an important copper centre, later home to the Harveys of Hayle Foundry, witness Copperhouse and Foundry Square on the Main Street. Hayle also has some of the best 'proper ' cornish pasties for sale in Cornwall. Suitable refreshed take the old A30 west out of Hayle , take the A3074 to St Ives with its magnificent harbour and narrow streets. A fitting place to end a pleasant afternoon drive.
Bodmin Moor -Caradon Hill, the Hurlers and Golitha Falls to Jamaica Inn
Hardly a circular drive that is easy to follow, requiring good map reading skills, but giving much contrasting scenery so typical of inland Cornwall. From abandoned copper mines to waterfalls, to unspoilt villages on the Edge of the Moor
Penwith -St Ives to St Just to Lands End One of my favourites, an all day excursion taking in the whole of the Lands End Peninsula. Start from St Micheals Mount. Either walk or if the tide is in, and the ferries are operating catch the boat across to the Island. Take in the magnificent views back along the Coast as far as the Lizard on a clear day. Hopping back in the car head for cosmopolitan Penzance and the bustling fishing villages of Newlyn and Mousehole. If you are early enough you may see the Catch being unloaded and put to Auction. Both villages have lots of character. Heading West out of Mousehole take the B3315, making a short detours south to lovely Lamorna and Penberth Coves.
Hence onto the Minack Theatre. A good place to stop for lunch . Wonderful views across the Bay to Logan Rock,
and looking down onto Porthcurno Beach. It is then only a few miles to Lands End.
If you've never been there before Lands End is particularly awe inspiring, with the Longships Lighthouse a few miles off shore.
Just around the Headland is Sennen Cove with its thatched cottages and Blue Flag bathing beach.
Perranporth to St Ives
St Ives to Lands End
From Sennen take the Coast Road to St Ives, passing some of the most unique landscape in Britain. Small fields, backed by moorland, all tumbling down to the Atlantic Cliffs, dotted with the relics of over a hundred years of Mining. If you have time stop off to see the Geevor Mine Heritage Centre, and when open the Levant Beam Engine. Take a poor signed track from Botallack Village to look down onto the Crowns the most dramatically situated Engine Houses in Cornwall.
The North Coast Crantock to Bedruthan Near Newquay North Cornwall
Across the Gannel Estuary from Newquay is Crantock, an unspoilt village, with thatched cottages, a fitting place to begin an exploration of the North Cornish Coast. After an stroll around the village, take the Coast Road around Newquay heading North stopping to look down on the surf beaches of Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth. About 5 miles beyond Newquay take the left turn signed 'Pendarves'. Better known by the name of Bedruthan Steps. Huge pinnacles of wave lashed rocks far below towering cliffs. If you have the time, and the tide is out and sea calm its a nice walk along the beach, the steep climb back up the steps is also memorable.
Back in the car you soon reach yet more Cornwall beaches- Porthcothnan, Treyarnon, and the wide sweep of Constantine, Harlyn and Trevone Bays. Take the Toll Road out to Trevose Head jutting out into the Atlantic - with its lighthouse, and superb golf course with some of the best views of any course in Cornwall. Rejoin the B3276 to Padstow for an evening stroll around the Harbour, and something to eat and drink in one of the many inns and restaurants.
The National Trust in Cornwall
Today more than 40% of the County's Coastline is protected by the National Trust. There are 24 leaflets which feature detailed maps and are brimful of information on the history and wildlife, with superb line drawn illustrations . They cost between 60p and 90p each. They are available from National Trust shops, or for a full list of titles telephone the Cornwall Regional Office (01208) 74281. To explore without them would be to miss out.
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Page updated 2012