Anyone who has strolled along the short undulating clifftop coast path between Widemouth Bay and Bude could be forgiven for expecting the same easy-going amble on the stretch to Crackington Haven. They would therefore be (as we were) woefully ill-prepared for unforgiving heights, vertiginous drops and deceptive distances (surely it must be over the next hill?) that the walk actually brings. From Seascape it is 3-4 hours (depending on your fitness level) of strenuous effort, and yet on a clear day it is rewarded with stunning views across the bay and up to Hartland Point in the north, down to Tintagel and beyond in the south. Taking in stretches of ancient woodland, hidden valleys and ancient settlements the walk offers unrivalled vistas which cannot be accessed except on foot.
If you’re up for the challenge (and it’s worth it) then wear stout footwear, take plenty of water (and if your walking companion is as much of a sugar devotee as mine enough sweets to keep them quiet!) and a camera to record the view.
Crackington Haven itself is a small village tucked away among sharply rising cliffs, but boasting two good cafes, a pub and a small shop. The Haven serves delicious sandwiches, pasties and cream teas, while The Cabin likewise has its own range of pasties and uses locally-sourced ingredients, all very welcome after a walk of nearly seven miles!
The 595 bus that runs between Wadebridge and Bude stops beside the beach at Crackington and just round the corner from Widemouth Manor Hotel above Black Rock beach. At the time of writing, the last weekday bus to Widemouth leaves Crackington at 16.47, but if you can only face the coast path in one direction it is worth double-checking the time-table before you set out.