Crackington Haven

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 50°44′40″N 4°38′16″W / 50.74454°N 4.63774°W / 50.74454; -4.63774

Crackington Haven viewed from Penkenna Point looking south in 2003
Crackington Haven seen across the beach in 2005
Penkenna Point in 2005 showing the folded strata of the rock

Crackington Haven (Cornish: Porthkragen,[1] meaning "cove of the little crag") is a coastal village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is in the civil parish of St Gennys at grid reference SX140972 at the head of a cove on the Atlantic coast. The village is seven miles (11 km) south-southwest of Bude and four miles (7 km) north-northeast of Boscastle.[2]

Middle Crackington and Higher Crackington are associated settlements. They are situated on the hill southeast of Crackington Haven, half-a-mile and one mile distant respectively.

Crackington Haven is popular with campers, walkers and geology students. The surrounding cliffs are well known for their visible folded sedimentary rock formations. The village gives its name to the Crackington formation, a sequence of Carboniferous sandstones and grey shales.[3]

The village has a small shop, two tea rooms and a pub called the Coombe Barton Inn in a building which was originally the house of the manager of a local slate quarry.

Crackington Haven has a stony foreshore but a sandy beach is revealed at low water. There are toilet facilities near the beach and lifeguard cover in the summer.

Immediately north of the beach is Pencarrow Point and a few hundred yards south is Cambeak headland. One mile south of Crackington Haven, High Cliff rises to 735 feet (224 m) with a sheer drop to the rocky foreshore.[4] It is Cornwall's highest cliff and is also classified as southern Britain's highest sheer-drop cliff (Great Hangman in Devon has a cliff face of 820 feet (250 m).[5]

Crackington Haven lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.


Until the nineteenth century, Crackington Haven was a small port similar to many others on the north coast of Cornwall. Limestone and coal were imported and slate and other local produce were exported. After the railways reached the district in 1893 the village could be reached more easily (from the North Cornwall Railway station at Otterham) so holidaymaking became more common.

Crackington Haven was badly affected in 2004 by the flood that damaged several other villages, including Boscastle. The road bridge across the stream, several homes and pub were damaged by floodwater. (See also Boscastle flood of 2004)


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 190 Bude & Clovelly ISBN 978-0-319-23145-6
  3. ^ [1] Dartmoor National Park Authority information sheet
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 190 Bude & Clovelly ISBN 978-0-319-23145-6
  5. ^ Richards, Mark (1974) Walking the North Cornwall Coastal Footpath. Gloucester: Thornhill Press ISBN 0-904110-12-5

External links[edit]

Media related to Crackington Haven at Wikimedia Commons