south west coast path hiking roseanna sunley

Five days into my 21-day adventure, and with one stop successfully checked off the list (Devizes, Wiltshire), I was now heading towards the tip of the UK’s southwest peninsula.

Previous reads:

  1. My UK South Coast Circular Camping Adventure
  2. Camping at Devizes, Wiltshire (Part 2)

Veryan is a civil parish village in Cornwall and was one of the destinations I was most looking forward to visiting.

I’d heard such wonderful things about Cornwall, and it’s a popular spot for holidaymakers and stay-cationers thanks to its incredible scenery.

The site

I had booked a grass-only pitch for 4 nights at the Veryan Camping and Caravanning Club Site from the 16th-20th of April 2021.

As always, I noted a special request to be pitched as far out of the way as possible, and the staff went above and beyond to fulfill my request.

They gave me my own field!

camping tent set up roseanna sunley

Well, it technically wasn’t all mine, but they had mown it specially and no other tent-dwellers were booked in. However, I still stayed within a designated area just in case any other happy campers did arrive.

The only downside to having my special request answered was that I was too far away to access the main site wifi, and even though my phone said it had 4G connection, it never acted like it!

However, I was totally ok with this. Having a peaceful and private pitch meant more to me than wifi. And on the odd occasion where I needed to access my emails or update my Instagram, I just wandered down to the main site and sat on the grass with Winston (my dog) for a few moments whilst I scrolled.

Overall, the Veryan campsite was very tranquil (even if you didn’t have your own field), as was the surrounding area and villages, however, it wasn’t as manicured as my last campsite at Devizes, but it was still reasonable and more than adequate.

I would happily stay there again.

The South West Coast Path

The whole point of coming down to cornwall was to walk part of the South West Coast Path.

south west coastal path signpost roseanna sunley walking hiking

This trail starts at Minehead in Somerset and follows the coastline through Exmoor, North Devon, Cornwall, South Devon, and Dorset, before finally terminating at Poole Harbour.

From start to finish, the whole path is 630-miles long.

south west coast path roseanna sunley

Obviously, I didn’t have enough time to walk the whole trail, but I still intended to enjoy as much of it as I could whilst I was there.

On the first day, Winston and I walked from the campsite to the village of Portloe (about 2-miles), and then walked west to Carne Beach following the coastal path (about 5-miles).

dog hiking south west coastal path roseanna sunley

Although 5-miles is not a long distance, it took much longer for us to complete it than I expected.

It’s a far cry from an easy and flat walk; it’s a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs, but this is what makes the landscape so dramatic and beautiful.

Around every corner, at the top of every ascent, and at the bottom of every descent, was another amazing view! I had to stop so many times to capture a photo or record a video (another reason why it took us a long time to walk it), however, as much as I tried, none of them convey the blueness of the water or the ruggedness of the cliffs.

Multiply the beauty in my photos by fifteen and you’ll get a better idea of what the views were like.

I got lost – shocker!

You would think that it would be very difficult to take a wrong turn when following a path alongside the coast. Well, I have many talents, and taking wrong turns is definitely one of them!

I thought that I was following the correct path but then it started to fade. The next thing I knew, we were clambering over rocks with a rather steep drop on the left-hand side.

Scratch that – it was more like we were rock climbing!!

It wasn’t until things got a bit ropy and dangerous that I realized we were no longer following a national trail, so, we turned back and rock climbed ourselves off the cliff.

Even after re-traipsing our steps, I could not see where we had gone wrong. Each trail led us back to the same cliff, but that couldn’t possibly be the right way.

At that moment, we were at the bottom of a large grass hill and I had a feeling that the path we were meant to be on was above us. So, up we went.

…and when I say up, I mean up!

My legs were burning and I was breathing as though I smoked 40-a-day! All the time I was praying there was a track at the top, otherwise, the climb would have been for nothing.

Thankfully, my prayers were answered, and after taking a few moments to catch my strength back, we continued on the trail.

walking south west coast path with dog winston roseanna sunley

Carne Beach

After a 7-mile hike, lots of photos and videos, a spot of rock-climbing and hill-walking, we finally made it to Carne Beach.

It was hot day, and when Winston noticed the open water, he ran straight to it. I followed behind and after taking my boots and socks off, we both enjoyed a paddle in the clear water.

(Note that dogs are allowed on Carne Beach but must be kept on leads from the 1st May. Luckily, we visited in April so didn’t have to follow this rule.)

I had packed a picnic, so we enjoyed some food and had an overall lovely time.

Playing on this beach was one of the highlights of my whole trip. I’m not sure if it’s because it was indeed a very nice beach, or because we had hiked a fair distance in warm weather in order to get there.

Whatever the reason, I have very fond memories.

carne beach cornwall dog roseanna sunley

Once playtime was over, we had to make our way back to the campsite.

My original plan was to head back via the South West Coast Path as things often look different when walking in the opposite direction.

However, we had clocked up about 10-miles at this point, and going back via the coastal path would be at least another 7-mile of ups and downs and uneven ground. So, instead, we opted to go back via the quiet country roads, which was only 3-miles and it was flat.

R&R

After a busy day exploring, and once we had refueled back at the campsite, Winston and I laid down on the airbed for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Usually, I’d have to zip up the tent doors for privacy and to help block out the sounds of people chatting, along with motorhomes and bicycles going past, but since I was in a field on my own, I could leave them open and it was heaven.

tent camping resting roseanna sunley

I laid there completely still with my eyes closed.

Winston was asleep next to me. I could feel a gentle breeze slowly move across my face along with the warm sun coming through the tent and I could hear the birds outside.

This was relaxation like no other!!

Tent life

For our second day, we had a day off from exploring and stayed on the campsite.

Winston is 9-years old now (his breed has a life expectancy of 12-years) and it’s clear that he can’t go all guns blazing all day and every day like he use to back in his younger days.

I had hiked 13-miles the previous the day, and since Winston was off-lead the majority of the time, I’m sure he clocked up at least twice that distance.

So, a tent day was in order!

Winston lounged around sleeping and relaxing and I was able to catch up on some work and reading.

The temperatures were now increasing (thankfully!!) and the nights had gone from -2ºC and rose to anywhere between 3ºC and 6ºC, making sleeping a lot more comfortable. The daytime temperatures were now reaching 12ºC which was significantly improving my outdoor cold shower experiences.

All-in-all, it felt like bikini weather compared to previous days.

More exploring

For our last day, we again walked from the campsite to Portloe, but this time walked east along the path

Again, we walked about 10-miles (5 miles out and 5 miles back) following the coastal path.

village south west coastal path roseanna sunley

The weather wasn’t as sunny as the previous days. The skies weren’t as clear and the water wasn’t as blue, but it was still relatively warm and breezy. Overall, good weather to be hiking in as you don’t get too hot and sweaty.

dog on south west coast path roseanna sunley

Again, we were faced with ups and downs, rugged cliffs, and dramatic views, with numerous photo and video opportunities.

Onward…

That about wraps up my time camping at Veryan and completes the second stop (out of five) of My UK South Coast Circular Camping Adventure.

It was now time to pack it all away, drive another 3.5hours, and re-pitch again in Verwood, Dorset.

camping packed van roseanna sunley

I would be trading beaches for woodland.

Stay tuned. The adventure continues…

Roseanna x

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Roseanna
Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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