Cornish pirates once held sway with a reign of terror here in Widemouth Bay. The 14th century was a particularly turbulent time, with groups of robbers and pirates at each others’ throats. Even the local vicar in the nearby village of Poundstock was embroiled in one of the gangs, a fact which resulted in a grisly end when he was murdered by a band of intruders to his church just after Christmas 1357. His ghost is rumoured to haunt the area still. Smuggling was also rife, helped along by the numerous isolated inlets and coves in the area.
All these nefarious activities are forgotten today, as Widemouth Bay proves a magnet for beachgoers, surfers and walkers alike. There is plenty of interest on the beach itself, with a mix of wide stretches of sand, interesting rock formations and rock pools. On a sunny day it is worth lingering into the evening, as the sunsets here are legendary. Bathers should take care as the tide comes in very quickly; in the summer there are lifeguards on duty. For water sports enthusiasts, as well as the obligatory surfing, there is sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. The beach is backed by a village of low-slung buildings with a small selection of shops, cafes and holiday accommodation.
Map of the area.
|Photo by Rob Noble, via Wikimedia Commons|