From Newquay Harbour the town has spread inland and along the coastline northwards, but the River Gannel has at least contained the expansion southwards.
On the opposite side of the river is the small and attractive village of Crantock, which because of its access to the nearby beach can become busy at peak times, but the good news for people who enjoy a more natural environment is that the National Trust (NT) has been able to purchase significant parts of the estuary and southern coastline, including the headland at West Pentire.
Whilst many are drawn to the beach at Crantock, some venture a bit further along the minor road to West Pentire where the Bowgie Inn offers some exceptional views from its pub garden and access to an easy wander around the peninsula.
The views take in the Gannel and the headland of Pentire Point East opposite, and it might not come as any great surprise to learn that the mouth of the estuary has another headland on the West Pentire side called Pentire Point West.
Pentire Point West lies on the South-West Coast path, but even if you’re not an avid long distance walker (which I’m not) then it still provides a smashing little walk around the headland at any time of the year, but particularly in early summer.
The NT have been managing these fields in a way that has turned them into a magical wildflower paradise.
Come here in June/July and you will witness a riot of colour.
154 species have been recorded, most of which I’ve never heard of, but you don’t need to be a botanist to recognise a poppy, and there’s thousands of them here. Mixed in with the Corn Marigolds they put on a magnificent display.
It’s possible to walk in amongst the wildflowers, but it goes without saying that you need to use common sense when doing so, and as you would expect, all these flowers attract a healthy variety of birds and insects as well.
To get to West Pentire you will need to circumnavigate the Gannel unless you take the passenger ferry from East Pentire (Summer only).
In recent times, Newquay has gained a reputation as a destination for youngsters – and there’s nothing wrong with that of course – but if you prefer wildflower days in West Pentire rather than wild disco nights in Newquay then take a trip across the Gannel to see North Cornwall in a completely different light.