Crantock lies just the other side of the Pentire Peninsula from Newquay, but it feels worlds away from its raucous neighbour. The beach is at the mouth of the River Gannel on the south side of the peninsula. A short walk from the village brings you out onto the South West Coastal Path, from where there is a lovely view of the bay, with Goose Island just offshore, presumably named for its shape, which resembles a goose’s head. Crantock village is named after the 6th century Saint Carantoc, and the parish church also bears his name. There are stained glass windows in the church telling the story of the saint, and there are also some particularly fine wood carvings.
The beach at Holywell Bay is a vast golden swathe backed by sand dunes, with a stream running down and rock pools. The view out to sea from here takes in a distinctive pair of rocks called Gull Rocks, particularly lovely when silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset. Holywell village has a range of facilities including parking, and for golfers there is an 18-hole golf course just outside the village. Anyone who has seen the film Summer In February about a group of artists based in Lamorna near Penzance will remember the horseriding scenes, with the characters galloping along a fabulous beach. The beach at Holywell Bay was the one used for the filming, even though the action was supposed to be be taking place much further west. See my sister blog Britain On Page and Screen for more details on the filming locations. Walkers making their way along the coastal path between Crantock and Holywell Bay will happen upon the oddly named Porth Joke, a small sandy cove wedged between two headlands, also known as Polly Joke. The name comes from the Cornish Pol Lejouack, which means Jackdaw Cove.
Live streaming webcam view of Crantock Bay.
Map of the area.
|Crantock Beach with Goose Island. Photo by Nilfanion, via Wikimedia Commons|