Visiting the coastal village of Boscastle in Cornwall

Boscastle is a beautiful coastal village in the North of Cornwall. Once a bustling fishing and trading port, today Boscastle is a vibrant village that draws visitors because of its unique charm and scenic beauty.

Boscastle in Cornwall

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What to see and do in Boscastle?

Although a small village, there is ample to see and do in Boscastle and it makes for a great day trip destination. In addition to a number of scenic works in and around the village, Boscastle also has a quirky museum, a variety of independent shops and pretty little cafés and tearooms. Take a look below to see what you can do in Boscastle.

Enjoy the beauty of Boscastle Harbour

Set in a stunning location, Boscastle harbour is a natural harbour that is almost invisible from the sea. Because of its 'S' shaped entrance it is a sheltered haven for sailors and their crafts.

Boscastle harbour

Before the railway reached north Cornwall, Boscastle was a busy port for trade. Ships used to bring in goods from far and near. Once the railways arrived, Boscastle harbour became more of a base for pleasure vehicles and local fishermen.

You can walk down to the harbour and follow the marked footpath and it will lead you to the Lookout. You get some really wonderful views of the coastline from here.

Also, while at the harbour, don't miss the Devil's Bellows which is a blow-hole located under Penally Point.

The Devils Bellows in Boscastle

Visit the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

Cecil Williamson, a screenwriter and English Neopagan Warlock, established the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the 1960s.

The museum is home to the world's largest collection of witchcraft related artefacts and regalia and also tells the story of witchcraft and magic, as practised in the UK and around the world in the decades gone by.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle

Although a small museum, the collection at the museum includes over 3000 objects and 7000 books and continues to grow. In addition to the permanent displays, temporary exhibitions and events are also held at the museum.

Explore the South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path (SWCP) is the UK’s longest National Trail, making its way along 630 miles of pristine coastline from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset taking in the Devon and Cornwall coast along the way.

The South West Coast Path National Trail passes through Boscastle. If you head south from Boscastle along the SWCP, the path climbs up towards Tintagel. The route will take you past Boscastle Coastwatch Station, Grower Gut, Trevalga, Trethevy Cliffs, down into the gorgeous Rocky Valley, back up and around Benoath and Bossiney Cove, finally arriving at Tintagel Castle.

Tintagel Castle

The distance from Boscastle to Tintagel along the SWCP is around 5 miles. Depending on the amount of time you have on hand, you can do the entire walk or a part of it.

Cattle on the coast in Boscastle

Visit Pentargon Waterfall

If you head north from Boscastle, on the South West Coast Path, you will see some spectacular scenery along the way and the path will lead you to the 'hanging valley' of Pentargon. 

Pentargon Waterfall in Boscastle

At this point, the Pentargon Falls plunges down in a spectacular torrent to the shore below. The water drops around 37m (120ft) down and if you visit after heavy rainfall, the waterfall is even more stunning.

Pentargon Waterfall in Boscastle

There are viewing areas on either side of the falls, but be careful and do not go very close to the edge as a fall from this height can be fatal.

Grab a drink or snack at the Harbour Light Tea Garden

Just around the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is Harbour Light Tea Garden. The original building on that location dated back from the early 1800s and it was converted into a shop (known as the Pixie Shop) sometime in the 1950s. During the 2004 Boscastle flood, the Pixie Shop was very badly damaged. It was only in 2006 that the building was rebuilt retaining its unusually shaped roof and re-opened as the Harbour Light Tea Garden.

The Pixie House in Boscastle

Today, you can treat yourself to a light lunch, homemade cakes or Cornish cream tea at this venue. There is seating inside the beautifully restored building and if the weather is good, you can sit outside in the tea garden and enjoy the views along with the food.

Shop at Boscastle Pottery

Established in the 1960s by potter Roger Irving-Little, Boscastle Pottery is today run by him, his wife Nanette and son Tim. The pottery is a must-visit if you are heading to Boscastle as it is your chance to pick up unique handmade souvenirs and gifts.

Boscastle Pottery

The pottery stocks everything from bowls and teapots to pint mugs and wine goblets and even a range of ornamental pieces.

Boscastle Pottery

And if you are lucky, you can also see the potter working away at the potter's wheel, shaping the clay into beautiful pieces.

How to get to Boscastle?

Because of its location, Boscastle is best reached by car. The village is on the B3263, around 5 miles north of Camelford and 3 miles NE of Tintagel. There is ample parking at the Pay and Display Cobweb Carpark (2 Penally Hill, Boscastle PL35 0HG) which is just opposite Boscastle Pottery.

Cobweb Carpark in Boscastle

A car at your disposal means you can explore more of Cornwall and visit places that are not easily accessible by public transport. That is the main reason why I feel that it is best to explore Cornwall by car. If you don’t have your own car, you can click here to find and book rental cars.

If you are based in nearby Cornish towns, you can use the local bus service (Go Cornwall Bus) to get to Boscastle. Bus no 95 from Bude to Newquay travels via Boscastle as does Bus no 181 from Crackington Haven to Callywith College.

Alternatively, if you are based nearby and enjoy walking, then the South West Coast Path National Trail passes through the village.

Where to stay in Boscastle?

Boscastle makes for a great day trip destination but if you plan to make Boscastle your base while you explore this part of Cornwall then there are a number of accomodation options available. Here are some for your consideration.

Harbour Cottage

Boasting of a prime location in Boscastle, this cosy cottage has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with a shower, an equipped kitchen with a fridge and an oven and other amenities like TV, a washing machine and more. It is ideal for a couple and makes for a great base for exploring this corner of Cornwall.

Harbour Cottage | Boscastle, PL35 0AG
Click here to check the current prices and book your stay.

The Wellington Hotel

Located in the centre of Boscastle, the Wellington Hotel features an award-winning restaurant and real ale bar. With traditional decor, the rooms in the hotel each have a flat-screen TV/DVD player, a private bathroom with free toiletries and a selection of Fairtrade tea/coffee with Cornish biscuits. Free Wi-Fi and free parking are available.

The hotel offers different accommodation types - single rooms, twin rooms, double rooms, family suites and 1 & 2-bed apartments.

The Wellington Hotel | The Harbour, Boscastle, PL35 0AQ
Click here to check the current prices and book your stay.

Olde Carpenters Cottage

This lovely single-storey cottage can sleep four people. There is one double bedroom with en-suite shower, one twin together with a family bathroom, a kitchen with dining area and a separate sitting room. Outside there is a private patio with furniture and off-road parking for one car.

The location is amazing and the cottage has everything one could need to enjoy a comfortable holiday.

Olde Carpenters Cottage | The Harbour, Boscastle, PL35 0HD
Click here to check the current prices and book your stay.

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