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Britain > Cornwall > Boscastle

The only harbour for miles and notoriously difficult to enter


Village Centre
Museum of Witchcraft
Penally Point
Boscastle hit the news in 2004, when it was devastated by flash floods. Thankfully, the village has now been repaired and has reverted to its natural serenity. Boscastle is located in the valleys of the Valency and Jordan rivers and its harbour is a natural inlet, protected by stone harbour walls, built in 1584. It is the only significant harbour for 20 miles along the coast and is almost invisible from the sea. If boats do find the harbour, they must safety negotiate the notorious 's' shaped entrance before they gain safety and shelter in the harbour itself.

The 'S' shaped entrance into Boscastle Harbour
Photo Steve Daniels

Did You Know?

Photo Loz Flowers
The rocks on the northern side of the entrance to Boscastle harbour are known as the Devils Bellows. This is because when the wind and tide is right, the rocks throw a spout of spray across the harbour entrance!
As well as being a busy fishing harbour, Boscastle was once a small port, trading in slate, limestone, timber and coal. The difficult journey for cargo did not end when the ships had safely negotiated the harbour entrance, as the cargo then had to be hauled up the steep valley via horse and cart. It is no surprise that the advent of the railway during 20th century, put an end to trading via the sea from Boscastle!

The tea room at Boscastle Harbour, rebuilt after the 2004 flood
Photo Humphrey Bolton
Today, much of the land in and around Boscastle is owned by the National Trust, not to be missed are the cliffs at Penally Point, which guard the harbour, and Willapark to the south.

Penally Point
Photo Andrew Hackney
The village itself has a number of shops and many places to eat and drink. Within the village is the Museum of Witchcraft which houses the worlds largest collection of witchcraft artefacts. The museum has been located in Boscastle for 50 years and is one of Cornwall's most popular attractions.

Cottages in Boscastle
Photo Dietrich Krieger

Museum of Witchcraft Sign
Photo foshie
Visitor Information
Boscastle Visitor Centre, The Harbour, Boscastle, PL35 0HD. Tel: 01840 250 010
The Museum of Witchcraft is open daily, April to October, 10.30am to 6pm (11.30am on Sunday). Entry costs £4 for adults, £3 children. The Museum of Witchcraft, The Harbour, Boscastle, PL35 0HD. Tel: 01840 250111

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