|Day 5 – April 8||Perranporth to Newquay|
|Weather: Sunny and warm||B&B: St. Bernards Guest House (£34)|
|Departed: 09:15 Arrived: 15:00||Walked: 4h 15m Rested: 1 hr 30m|
|Distance Today: 12.2 mi / 19.6 km||Total Distance: 67.0 mi / 107.8 km|
|% Complete: ~ 6.08%||Pint of the Day: Sharp Doom Bar|
|GPS Track for: Day 5|
When you dream about walking in the countryside you dream about doing it on a day like today. The weather was magnificent. The wind was replaced with a gentle breeze and the jacket was stowed away – it was short-sleeve weather for sure.
I left my b&b in Perranporth at 9:15am and walked the first 2 miles on the beautiful sandy beach that lies to the north. It was almost deserted except for a handful of surfers and a few families taking advantage of the summer-like weather.
I rejoined the South West Coast Path where several signs warned hikers to stick to the footpath or risk getting shot. The path was crossing MOD property and they went to great lengths to ensure everyone was aware of where they should and shouldn’t be (accidentally blowing up a rambler leads to bad press and a lot of paperwork). The training area stretched for quite a distance and eventually I passed Penhale Camp just before the town of Holywell.
There’s another great beach, albeit smaller, at Holywell and another series of massive sand dunes. This time I picked a pretty good line through the dunes and regained the SWCP without much trouble. The next few miles were exceptionally nice as the path was wide, green and gently undulating – and the views were stunning. As I rounded one point my destination for the day, Newquay, came into view. I knew I would reach the town by early afternoon so I decided to find a spot to rest and soak up the views.
After a brief siesta I was back on the trail and followed it as it wound around yet another sandy beach, this one filling up with surfers and kids with buckets and shovels in hand. A mile or so on I decided to cut inland towards the village of Crantock where there was rumored to be a good little pub called The Old Albion. My old cricket team was called Albion so I really had no choice but to make the diversion. The old village is very picturesque and includes a collection of thatched cottages and an old Parish Church. Despite it being such a small village I had a hard time finding the Old Albion Inn. It was like a game of hide and seek but one I tired of fairly quickly as I was parched and needed my pint-sized energy drink. Eventually the pub jumped out from behind another pub … very cunning of it to hide directly behind the Cornishman Inn … it was the last place I thought to look.
After all that effort it turned out to be pretty average. A nice looking building and a couple of real ales on offer but not particularly friendly or inviting. With my thirst quenched I headed off towards Newquay, only a few miles away. The walk included some beautiful pastures, a babbling brook, a ford, an estuary, and an ancient footbridge. The SWCP then followed the estuary around the edge of Newquay to Trenance Road where I hiked up to my accommodation for the night.
St. Bernard’s is a fantastic little guest house and includes all the mod cons … they even have iPod docking stations in the rooms! Ironically I’m having trouble with their free wireless connection. I’m connected but bandwidth is really, really slow. I might have to go out in search of somewhere else with a faster connection.
This is my second visit to Newquay, the first being 27 years ago when I was a fuzzy-faced hosteler. I don’t remember much about the town other than we rented mopeds and had fun driving around Cornwall.