The National Trust in keeping with its charitable aims manages significant sections of the coast path, giving unfettered public access to the coastal cliffs that rise like fortresses from the sea to provide some of England’s most spectacular scenery, and a safe refuge for a large percentage of Europe’s nesting sea birds.
The coastline itself is of course a natural landscape feature, with a flora and fauna that has evolved to take advantage of an environment that is constantly re-sculpted by the rhythm of the tide.
The coastline, however, forms only part of the story of the Cornish landscape, which is completed by a unique mosaic of terrestrial habitats made up of steep wooded valleys, heaths and grasslands that have developed over centuries in response to agricultural management, rather than natural forces.
Boscastle - A sheltered natural inlet with an unspoilt harbour village
There's more to Boscastle than a picturesque natural harbour and village.
The Elizabethan quay sits in an impressive amphitheatre of steep cliffs and is home to quaint stone-built cottages, shops and tearooms.
A 'blowhole' bursts through a fissure in the cliffs during the low tide.
Much of the land in and around Boscastle is owned by the Trust. Venture beyond the picture-postcard harbour and a cliff path takes you to the Willapark headland and an intriguing ex-folly, now used as a Coastwatch lookout.
Don't miss the cliffs of Penally Point, which guard the sinuous harbour entrance, while nearby walks around Forrabury Stitches offer a rare glimpse at a surviving farmed landscape showing ancient celtic strip fields.
If you wander further afield, the footpaths that wind through the lovely Valency Valley lead to the half-forgotten churches of Minster and St. Juliots - once made famous by Thomas Hardy.