17th – 20th August – Crackington Haven, Cornwall
I know that I said it was in Devon in a previous post, but I had misunderstood the information, I went with my friend to her family gathering in Devon before going onto to Cornwall the next day. Just to clear that up.
Crackington Haven turned out to be one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. It’s a tiny, and I mean tiny, village on the coast with a little beach and two cafes. And that’s about it. It’s surrounded by fields and hills and it’s quiet and it smells like the sea. It is perfect, and something about it just gets under your skin. We arrived in a cold gust of wind and rain, but found shelter in a tiny cafe called the Cabin Cafe, but all the regulars (my friend’s family go there often) just call it Andrea’s after the owner. She makes the most amazing ‘special hot chocolate’ ever. It’s got all the toppings – cream, sprinkles, chocolate dust and marshmellows, and no one accepts that it probably just tastes so good because we’re always so cold when we drink it. We were camping at a place five minutes up a hill called the Coxford Meadow campsite. It was a small site, but really lovely. We had a girls’ tent, which took a while to put up and was pretty freezing at night – mainly for me, not really being used to English cold weather yet.
It was announced that we were going to go to the beach, to body board…in the ocean…in England. At first I sort of thought it might be a joke, or maybe hoped that it might be, because the sea is cold in Africa in the summer. This is English sea. This not meant to be swam in. Seriously. There was a bit of hesitation to start with because the waves weren’t looking too good but then we all did squeeze our way into wetsuits and brave the rocky sea bed and ice cold waves. I have never been so cold in my entire life, oh my goodness. It was pretty fun though, and I wasn’t really too worried about anything except the rocks until I was told to watch out for the Weaver (or Weever – as some websites say) Fish, because when you step on them they sting, and it hurts, a lot. Oh, great, nothing to worry about now! One of our party did get stung by one of these fish, but thankfully the only thing my feet touched were some tendrils of epically gross seaweed. We had the most amazing pizzas at Andrea’s that night, to warm us up. Mine was piled high with roasted vegetables and feta – so filling and so amazing. I also had some cider that I was introduced to by the Crackington crew, called Thatcher’s Gold – I’m now quite a fan.
The next two days we spent at Widdemouth Bay, for better waves and a bigger beach. It was a beautiful beach, backed by huge layered rock cliffs (which I should probably know the name of from geography class, but I don’t). It too had loads of rocks but a lot more sand as well. We spent hours in the sun and the sea and blew bubbles with the younger ones, and taught the littlest one how to fly a kite. We played boules in the sand, and took a million pictures of the waves. The rocks completely battered our feet, and the waves were mostly way too strong for anyone to get too far out, but we froze to death trying to catch waves anyway. We had a million packets of sandy crisps and ice creams and sandwiches, and I had so much fun. I was told that I had to come back next year, and I’m putting it in writing that if I can afford it, I so definitely would do it again. The dark cold nights and awkward changing in towels on the beach is the smallest price to pay for an amazing holiday. Thank you to the families that took me and made me feel so welcome, I miss ‘Cracky’ already.