Newquay Beauty Spots

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[[Image:SWW-Aerial-view.jpg|left|300px|Photo of aerial view of Newquay]]Newquay’s geology and the unequal erosion of its complex underlying rock formations has given the district a wonderful array of bays and headlands so that when following the coastline the walker is greeted by a different view at every turn. Here we have chosen just a few of the beauty spots that Newquay has to offer.

*[[The Gannel]]

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[[Image:KRgannel bridge.jpg|left|200px|Photo of Trevemper Bridge, The Gannel by Keith Riley]]The Gannel Estuary is a very special conservation area with salt marshes, mud flats and sand teeming with wildlife. The River Gannel is tidal, not suitable for swimming and avoid high tide if you want to walk around the estuary. Below is an extract taken from Ken Langmaid’s unpublished book written in the 60’s.

[[Image:KRgannel.jpg|right|300px|Photo of the Gannel River by Keith Riley]]””The peninsula on which Newquay stands is cut off from the land to the south by Gannel – a tidal estuary into which flows a smallish river. The tidal portion is navigable for 1.5 miles by rowing boats (when the tide is up), but to a large extent the channel is silted up with sand. In former days there was some commerce and shipbuilding carried on but now only a few pleasure craft are seen on its waters. There are two foot ferries, one from Trethellan and the other from Fernpit (on Pentire). Also two footbridges – at Trethellan and Ranley Point (near the boating lake) which are useable at low tide.”

”The first road bridge is at Trevemper where a mouldering example of a packhorse bridge may be seen above the main road bridge.”

”The Gannel is unlike any other Cornish estuary. It is on a much smaller scale than the Camel.Towards the mouth it becomes narrow and gorge-like with some enviably situated villas and hotels on the steep Pentire slopes. The other side of the valley has some nice grassy slopes, a few delightful groves of trees and tangles of undergrowth (brakes). Opposite Trethellan Farm with its camping site is the wooded Penpol Creek branching off southwards. It hides a farm, a tiny stream, a ruined limekiln, a quarry (where I used to catch newts) and the treasure ship Ada. This is a collection of curios from many parts of the world, on show to the public. (No longer here)”
[[Image:JF-Gannel-Cowslip-.jpg|left|300px|Photo of cowslips on Gannel by June Fullwood]]
”The keel of the old schooner Ada may be seen nearby, rotting in the mud. She was the last big ship to be brought into the Gannel. This took place some 60 years ago with the aid of a Spring tide and a torrent of nautical language. The presence of an ocean-going vessel in the estuary was an embarassment to the progressives who wanted to put a dam across the river mouth with the threefold purpose of providing Newquay with a large lake, a direct road to Crantock and the adjacent coastline, and electricity from tidal power. No doubt there was much to gain but it is questionable whether the gains would have counter-balanced the losses. If the Gannel had become a perpetual lake I should have missed the stretches of perfectly clean sand which are often the only sheltered sands in the district, the warm water pools, the saltings with their bird life and peculiar vegetation, the exciting rush of water as the sea fills the estuary with its cleansing flow. The Gannel is so evocative of things past that any change in its character would be an aesthetic loss.””

*[[Pentire Point East]]

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Ken Langmaid a Newquay born resident wrote:

[[Image:JF-Pentire-East-Heather.jpg|left|300px|Photo of heather on Pentire Point East by June Fullwood]] ”One of Newquays exhilarating points, stretching out for a mile or so into the Atlantic ocean between [[Fistral]] Bay and [[the Gannel]] mouth.There is a smooth trodden path leading invitingly to the extremity of the point which is a good place to watch the sunset. Other tracks follow the coastline more or less, but with two reservations, there is nothing to stop you wondering at will. These are the boundary wall of Lewennick Cove on the north and the gorse thickets on the south. The observant botanist will notice that the flora of Pentire is utterly unlike that of Towan Head, heather, thyme, and gorse being predominant. A band of hard grit outcrops on Pentire and has been quarried in the past. There are some barrows to be found here. There are some rocks off the point, the biggest being the Goose. A Canoist who visited this islet during a very low tide was rewarded by a record catch of huge eating crabs. Close against the southern flank of the point flows the Gannel, across which is [[Crantock]] Beach with its sandhills.”

”Where the river reaches the sea at low tide mark is Salt Cove which contains the most beautiful and least known cavern in the Newquay district. It has three entrances, one at each end and a hidden one leading into the side. None of the entrances is obvious, the side one least of all, although this is the best way to get in. The cave is floored with boulders but sufficient light penetrates to make them negotiable. The view through the seaward end of the cave is enchanting:waves of brilliant emerald or deepest malachite thunder into the entrance, each retreating amidst a hiss of spray. In the wall of the cave there is a hole which one can crawl through at low tide. It communicates with a second cave parralel to the first, which in its turn has side chambers leading off at right angles. this veritable labyrinth is so unexpected and out of the way and at the same time so ravishingly beautiful that I can never enter it without being overcome by the ‘Desert Island’ feeling.”

Written by Ken Langmaid in the 1960’s

*[[Towan Head]]

[[Image:KRTowan-Head.jpg|left|400px|Photo of Towan Head by Keith Riley]]

Ken Langmaid a Newquay-born resident wrote:

”Newquay’s chief headland and most interesting physical feature. It projects in a northwesterly direction giving protection to the harbour and bay and providing a magnificent open space for the walker. Towan Head reveals its charms mainly to the explorer on foot. The high ground near the Atlantic Hotel is known as the Beacon. Here is the War Memorial built over a demolished Coast guard lookout. As might be expected from its prominent position, the view from this spot is very extensive. It will be seen that the headland actually consists of two distinct parts – the Beacon sloping down to the cliffs and coves,and the Towan Head itself which is joined on by a narrow neck of land. This neck of land is in fact cut through at one point,and the cutting crossed by a little bridge. Beyond this again a cave pierces from one side to the other and at high tide the sea washes through so that Towan Head is very nearly an island. (a geuine peninsula or presqu’isle).”
”Let us now start at the harbour and explore the coastline in detail. Beyond the North Quay is the Active Promenade and shelter on the site of one of Newquay’s old fish cellars. The little cove beyond with the ruins of Good Intent Fish Cellar above has a natural arch and many traces of the former industry in the shape of iron rings in the rocks, cuttings and breakwater. Here is a good place for mussels, while remains of marine organisms from Devonian times can be found as fossils in the calcareous shales. The next tiny cove has steps and a jetty at its mouth. Pleasure boats make use of this landing place when conditions are suitable. Fly Promenade which comes next is the chief resort of anglers. All this part of the coast is much frequented too by skin divers. The steps make access to deep water easy.”

”The cliffs and slopes behind here as well as in the Harbour itself are beautifully decorated with wild flowers in summer, especially red and white valerian. A couple of varieties flourish here too, namely Senecio Cineraria with its handsome grey foliage and Mathilda Imcana (Stock). The wallflower has established itself in the cliffs, making up a remarkable assemblage of plants.”

”Steps ascend to the grassy slopes of the Headland below the Atlantic Hotel. A couple of hundred yards farther on a right angle bend in the coastline brings the walker to a dramatic stop by a sheer cliff and a magnificent array of jagged rocks. Just above this point is the ancient Huer’s House, whitewashed regularly every year and just as regularly bloackened by the names of sightseers by the end of each season. The climb to the roof up some very narrow steps provides a minor thrill to the young at heart.”

”A little way past the Huer’s hut it is possible to descend the cliff to a rock platform which is enlivened by some deep pools, one in particular – Mow Granite – being very lovely indeed.”

[[Image:Postcard-teacaverns.jpg|left|300px|”Old Postcard image of the Tea caverns]]
”The next object of interest is the little cove and series of caves know as the Tea Caverns. They can be reached at low tide by descending a zigzag cliff path which tends to be slippery. At the bottom one has to clamber over the debris of a former cliff fall. The first cave is beyond the ridge on the right. Its entrance contains some large pools which have to be negotiated first. Going in the opposite direction to the left one passes through a natural arch to reach a second tiny cove. The cave on the left has a floor of beautifully polished pebbles.Immediately ahead is the third cave – a creeping hole, narrow, floored with sand, usually with a pool halfway through. Having paddled through in complete darkness one reveals with thankfulness a third cove. Again there is a cave straight ahead which penetrates a considerable distance. Seaward there is a cliff face and 20 feet or so up it can be seen a little hole. A finger-tip climb gets you up there but caution is needed now for the tunnel connects with the roof of the creeping hole. This tunnel continues in the opposite wall of the creeping hole and I have read that there used to be a access by means of a plank. I once saw a boy climb to this second tunnel by hanging on to the roof of the big cave – but I doubt whether many visitors will want to attempt that nightmarish feat.”

”The connection of these caves with smuggling is so often taken for granted but it would be nice if more evidence could be found to back up the legends. The fact that all the cliffs hereabouts are seamed with silver-lead seems to point to mining rather than smuggling. However it is probable that both trades were carried on simultaneously.”

”Just beyond here a track descends to one of the many rocky platforms which provide such ideal perches for anglers. The submerged Seal Hole gurgles nearby and air sighs out of tiny holes in the rock, but it is long since seal music was heard hereabouts.”

”The old Lifeboat House lies ahead on a narrow neck of land. The slipway – which is the steepest in the country – rusts away. When Newquay had a lifeboat here, the launching was one of the great attractions of the district, but alas that excitement is a thing of the past. The boat used to sail around to Towan beach where it was hoisted to a massive carriage and hauled across the sand and up the steep hill by a powerful team of galloping carthorses; then back through the town with the crew still aboard, the envy of all eyes in their red smuggler hats. The rocks at the base of the slipway contain some good crab-holes from which I have extracted many a tasty supper.”

”The bay between the Lifeboat Slip and the Huer’s House is called the Gazzle. Nowadays the shore can only be reached at isolated points but an old picture in my possesion shows the waves breaking in one beautiful unbroken sweep on a long sandy beach. It is interesting to speculate whether further changes to the coastline might eventually restore this long lost beach to Newquay.”

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[[Welcome to NewquayMap.co.uk|Home]], [[Beaches]], [[Beauty Spots]], [[Beach Safety]], [[RNLI]], [[Beaches]], [[Fistral]], [[Little Fistral]], [[Tolcarne]], [[Towan]], [[Great Western]], [[Crantock]], [[West Pentire]], [[Polly Joke]], [[Whipsiderry]], [[Porth]], [[Watergate Bay]], [[Holywell]], [[Mawgan Porth]], [[Lusty Glaze]], [[Harbour|The Harbour]], [[Beacon cove]], [[Spy cove]], [[Nun cove]], [[The Gannel]], [[Pentire Point East]], [[Towan Head]], [[Trenance]]

[[Trenance]]

[[Image:KRTrenance_Boating_Lake.jpg|left|300px|Photo of Trenance Boating Lake by Keith Riley]]Bordering the River Gannel, Trenance Gardens, in Trenance Valley, with its display of subtropical plants, winding paths,lakes and streams offers a relaxing place to unwind, just a short walk from the town centre. Open to the south, and screened from northerly winds, the gardens flourish with exotic trees, plants and shrubs, making it an ideal haven for a leisurely stroll.[[Image:KRTrenanceViaduct.jpg|left|300px|Photo of Trenance Viaduct by Keith Riley
]]The lakes are a sanctuary to hundreds of wildfowl eager to be fed with your stale bread and the boating lake provides leisurely entertainment if you fancy messing about on the water.

The Trenance Valley is crossed by a fine viaduct, and just below is Newquay Zoo and Trenance Leisure Park offering a range of activities.

The River Gannel, a protected tidal estuary flows nearby, a haven for wildlife.

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[[Welcome to NewquayMap.co.uk|Home]], [[Beaches]], [[Beauty Spots]], [[Beach Safety]], [[RNLI]], [[Beaches]], [[Fistral]], [[Little Fistral]], [[Tolcarne]], [[Towan]], [[Great Western]], [[Crantock]], [[West Pentire]], [[Polly Joke]], [[Whipsiderry]], [[Porth]], [[Watergate Bay]], [[Holywell]], [[Mawgan Porth]], [[Lusty Glaze]], [[Harbour|The Harbour]], [[Beacon cove]], [[Spy cove]], [[Nun cove]], [[The Gannel]], [[Pentire Point East]], [[Towan Head]], [[Trenance]]