Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven at low tide
Crackington Haven at low tide
Trails in rockpools
Trails in rockpools
Coastline near Crackington Haven
Coastline at Crackington

Until the nineteenth century, Crackington Haven was a small port, importing limestone and coal and exporting local produce such as slate. When the railways reached the district in 1893, the beach could be reached more easily (from Otterham Station) and became popular with holidaymakers.

As the tide falls, the pebble beach gives way to a large sandy beach. It is west-facing and consequently quite popular for surfing when the tide is out, but care must be taken of the rocks on either side. The rocky ridges along the left side of the beach trap seawater, forming rockpools which support a range of shorelife.

The beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the Summer so it's one of the safer places to go with young children north of Boscastle as long as you go at low tide when it's sandy and stay between the flags. Crackington Haven faces west so the surf is best when there's an easterly wind around low tide when the beach is less steep.

Along the left side of the beach there is a wave-cut rock plaform which contains lots of rockpools, formed in the cracks that the sea has worn between the upended rock layers. These contain a lot of wildlife including crabs, blennies, anemonies and a bonsai forest of different seaweeds. The molluscs are particularly artistic, making maze patterns in the dusting of sand within some of the rockpools.

The tourist information centre in Tintagel has a leaflet (costing 60p) for a 4 mile (steep) circular walk around Crackington which has lots of information about the history of the area.

Weather forecast

Current surf conditions

Directions from Tintagel

Turn right onto the B3263; follow road to T junction; Turn left at T junction signposted Camelford; go straight across offset crossroads and over Slaughterbridge; Turn left at t-junction onto A39.

Walks to Crackington Haven

Photos of Crackington Haven on Flickr

More info