This evening, I chose to venture out to Hartland Quay. An overcast sky was cause for concern as it usually leads to an uninteresting image. As I got closer to the location, things got a little better but that's when the rain started to pour down. The rain was persistent so I got nothing more than a few phone pics but, let me tell you, what an incredible place it is... Even in the rain!
Hartland Quay is all the way in Devon but, from Wadebridge, I had to quite simply stay on the A39 for most of the journey. This is one of my favourite roads to drive on. It's not very scenic, but it is fun. For a really exciting route, you could take the coastal road from Crackington Haven to Bude but you'll have to allow at least an extra 40 minutes.
My satnav only took me as far as the town of Hartland, so I mostly guessed the rest of the way through Stroke and to the Quay itself, but that was easy enough. Interestingly, my satnav took me a different route on the way home, so you might find it quicker to take a left at the West Country Inn on the A39 and follow the signs to the Quay. That way, you'll completely cut out the town of Hartland.
At the Quay, I found lots of free parking thanks to the hotel. The pub also offers food and drink with an extraordinary view. When I arrived, I was amazed by the jagged rocks, rough ocean and very stormy conditions. Still, I had no choice but to get out of the car and wonder around. I made my way past the hotel, down the old slipway and finally to the beach. It was there that I found an incredible rock archway, amazing, patterned cliffs and a playground of smooth rocks to stumble across. The thousands of sea snails also seemed to like the rocks.
After a little bit of exploring and a short walk around, I noticed the rock formations at the shoreline. I love this area of coastline for the pronounced lines in the rocks - making it perfect for landscape photography. As I moved further across the beach, I started to recognise the rocks out to sea. They slowly became the iconic shape I had seen in the photos that attracted me to this place.
In the distance to the right side of the beach was another rock formation that I liked the look of. To me, it looked like a thumb! If the tide were a bit higher, it might've made for a cool photo.
As I turned around to head home, I heard some loud crashing and suddenly became fearful of a rockslide. To think about the power the rocks would have tumbling down the tremendous cliffs was truly scary. Thankfully, the noise was nothing more than a few small rocks falling to the ground from the roof of a cave. I noticed that there were a few small caves along the beach but, after that experience, there was no chance I was going inside one.