This stretch of the North Cornwall coast was a favourite of the late Poet Laureat Sir John Betjeman, who used to holiday in the area with his family. In fact one of his poems, Greenaway, describes the coast between Polzeath and Daymer Bay, waxing lyrical about “this turfy mile, these clumps of sea-pink withered brown”, about how “mighty rollers mount to cast small coal and seaweed on the shore” and “spurting far as it can reach the shooting surf comes hissing round...”. A short walk from the bay is a low-slung granite church with a tower shaped like a slightly crooked witch’s hat. This is St Enodoc Church, where Sir John is buried, and which used to be buried in sand.
Rock lies opposite Padstow at the mouth of the Camel Estuary, and is reckoned to be one of the most expensive locations in the country for real estate, so much so that it has been nicknamed ‘Kensington-on-Sea’. A certain TV chef recently bought a property there for a cool 4.4 million, and proceeded to upset the neighbours with plans to demolish the property, dating from the 1920s, and replace it with a larger one. Rock’s illustrious visitors include film stars and royalty, and earlier this year it was reported that the resort could be forced to close its beach to swimmers because of the sheer concentration of yachts and other pleasure boats filling the waters. Ah well, us ordinary mortals will be happy to leave the beach to the rich and famous, plenty of others to choose from along this stretch of coast.
At the mouth of the estuary, and visible from Daymer Bay, is a sandbank called Doom Bar, so called because of the danger it presents to shipping. Sharp's Brewery, based in Rock, has named one of its most popular ales after this coastal feature.
Map of the area.
|Daymer Bay. Photo by Nilfanion, via Wikimedia Commons|