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West Country Itinerary days 1-5 Print E-mail

Boscastle - Tintagel Castle - St Nectan's Glen Hermitage and Waterfall - The Museum of Witchcraft - Rocky Valley - the Hurlers - the Cheesewring - Trevethy Quoit


Day One

From London we will drive to Boscastle in North Cornwall where we will be based for the first five nights of the tour. With a lovely little medieval harbour and quaint houses, Boscastle is a very pretty fishing village steeped in history and associated with writers and artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and beauty.  It is one of the few remaining unspoilt harbour villages in Cornwall and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Home to the Museum of Witchcraft, it boasts a variety of pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as a collection of shops devoted to “new age” and pagan themes  

Day Two 

We will have the morning free in Boscastle and then make the short drive to Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur.  We will spend the afternoon at the spectacularly located Tintagel Castle.  The Castle sits on the clifftops at one end of the village and has Celtic foundations and Norman ruins.  At low tide, it is possible to walk down to Merlin's Cave on the beach below.  There will also be ample time to wander the village, visit ancient Tintagel parish church with its pre-Christian burial mounds or just relax and take in the breathtaking scenery of the Atlantic coastline.

Day Three 

After breakfast, we will drive the short distance to a medieval chapel and holy well dedicated to the patron saint of Cornwall, St Pieran.  From the chapel we will follow a stream walking through beautiful ancient woodlands to St Nectan's Glen and Waterfall.  The stunningly beautiful 60ft waterfall is at the head of the valley and has been described as amongst the ten most important spiritual sites in the UK.  Above the waterfall is the site of an old hermitage where legend has it St Nectan built his shrine in 500AD.  There are hundreds of votives (the Cornish call them clouties) hanging in trees by the waterfall and you may wish to leave your own votive in this very special place.  We will have morning tea at the teahouse by the shrine before returning to Boscastle for lunch.

After lunch, we will visit the Museum of Witchcraft, one of Cornwall's most popular museums.  It houses the world's largest collection of witchcraft related artifacts and regalia and takes visitors on a journey exploring witchcraft throughout the ages.  There are a huge number of spells, charms and magical items on display as well as exhibits showing the story of Cornish wise women and cunning men who served as healers, therapists and counsellors.  Ritual tools such as chalices, athames and swords are on display including some that belonged to the "King of the Witches", Alex Sanders, and a ritual sword made by Gerald Gardner.  Grisly reminders of the terrible treatment once suffered by witches are also represented with torture shackles and iron waistbands.

Day Four

We will have the day free in Boscastle.  Boscastle village and the surrounding countryside has many beautiful attractions.  You may choose to do a coastal clifftop walk, walk through the oak forest of Valency Valley to beautiful Minster Church or explore the old village.  For those who are fans of the television series, Doc Martin, arrangements can be made for you to visit the lovely coastal village of Port Isaac where the show is made and only a 20 minute drive south of Boscastle.

Day Five

 A very short drive from Tintagel, we will visit Rocky Valley which has a lovely walking track following a stream to the sea.  Two labyrinths are carved into the rock of the cliff face by the path and many believe them to be Bronze Age carvings, about 3,500 years old.

We will then visit the Hurlers, three great Bronze Age stone circles located on Bodmin Moor where people have lived for the last 10,500 years.  Perhaps once part of an important processional way, the Hurlers are situated in a remarkable ritual landscape of stone circles, stone rows, standing stones, cists and cairns.  On a ridge to the north of the circles is the striking natural granite formation known as the Cheesewring.  Weather permitting, we will walk across the moor and climb the tor to the Cheesewring and the nearby impressive ruins of a Bronze Age settlement.  We will also visit the 5,500 year old Trevethy Quoit, the ancient remains of a chamber tomb regarded as the finest surviving dolmen in Cornwall and one of the most impressive in Britain. 






Boscastle Harbour

Tintagel Castle

The Waterfall

Museum of Witchcraft

Rocky Valley

Trevethy Quoit