Tregardock to Tregardock Beach Short Walk
- Distance:1.25 miles
- Walk grade:Moderate
- Start from:Tregardock
- Recommended footwear:walking boots or wellies
- Views over Port Isaac Bay
- Tregardock Beach
- Park on the edge of the road near the farm
In much of Cornwall, many of the place names are based on words from the Celtic language. The following prefixes are common:
- Tre - settlement or homestead
- Lan - originally monastery but later used for an enclosure or church (this has been replaced with "St" in a number of cases)
- Nans - valley (occasionally corrupted to "Lan" e.g. Lanteglos)
- Pen - hill or headland
- Pol - pond, lake or well, also cove or creek
- Fenter - spring
- Take the track next to the barn
- Follow it through a gate and down into a field
- You can walk along the left edge of the field to save walking down the gully which is often a stream
- Go through another gate and head straight ahead, ignoring the coast path that crosses the path
- Head between the hills where the path starts to zig-zig down towards the beach
- Once you reach a bench you can descend to the beach
Tregardock beach is about a mile along the coast from Trebarwith Strand, in the direction of Port Isaac and is reached via a public footpath that crosses the coast path to reach the farm at Tregardock. There is no beach at high tide at Tregardock. As the tide goes out, several small beaches merge into a long stretch of sand. A waterfall plummets from the cliffs at the back of the beach and there are some caves within the cliffs. The largest part of the beach is on the left and this gets cut off as the tide rises, so check the tide times carefully and don't get stranded when the tide comes in!
- Follow the yellow arrows painted on the rocks
Rockpool fishing is quite a popular childhood pass-time as a number of species can be lured out from hiding places by a limpet tied on a piece of cotton (leave a trailing end as if anything swallows the limpet, very gently pulling both ends of the cotton will cause it to release the cotton-tied limpet from its gullet). If you are intending to put the creatures into a bucket: ensure it is large, filled with fresh seawater and kept in the shade; ideally place in a couple of rocks for the creatures to hide under; do not leave them in there more than a couple of hours or they will exhaust their oxygen supply; ensure you release them into one of the rockpools from which you caught them, preferably a large one (carefully removing any rocks from your bucket first to avoid squashing them). Species you're likely to encounter are:
- Blennies which are fish about 5-10cm long, often found hiding under rock ledges. They can change their colour from sandy to black within a couple of minutes in order to match their surroundings. They have strong, sharp teeth for crunching barnacles and will bite if provoked.
- Shore crabs and sometimes edible crabs which can also sometimes be found hiding under rocks (carefully replace any rocks you lift up). Shore crabs have a fairly narrow shell which is almost as deep as it is wide. They vary in colour from green through brown to red (the redder individuals are apparently stronger and more aggressive). Edible crabs have a much wider shell which resembles a Cornish Pasty and are always a red-brown colour. Both have powerful claws so fingers should be kept well clear.
- Shrimps and prawns - do you know the difference? Prawns are semi-transparent whereas shrimps are sandy coloured and generally bury themselves in sand.
- Tread carefully as you approach the bottom (avoid stepping on any slippery seaweed)
Limpets wander around grazing on algae when the tide is in, but always return to the same parking spot as the tide recedes, gradually creating a depression in the rock at this point. In coastal communities it was traditional to gather limpets, mussels and winkles before Lent. The practice was known as "goin' a triggin'" and the gathered shellfish was known as "Trigg meat". The shells of limpets were known as "Croggans".
For more information see this page on Tregardock Beach.