I arrived at Boscastle on the day the flood defense scheme was officially opened – 4 years after the devastating floods. I’ve continued to visit the village since the flood and up to now it has still looked scared; The scaring has mostly healed and south of the lower Bridge – the location is a nice as ever. North however, I can’t help thinking that Boscastle has lost something.
Firstly the new Bridge; I understand why a new bridge was needed and I understand the thinking behind replacing it with with something that is obviously new, but, sorry, I don’t like it. It would have been much better to have used modern technology to span the widened river, but clad in stone so it looked much more like the bridge it replaced.
Next the Pixie Cottage. This was a quaint little cottage and before the floods, a gift shop. The replacement looks more like a chapel, with the new window at the gable end and the low undulating roof has been replaced with a high and pretty characterless effort. It’s also now a rather boring Tea Room.
But further back, is where the real heart has been ripped out and the villain – the National Trust. I am a supporter of the Trust but, I think they have lost the plot when it comes to Boscastle.
Their presence used to be confined to a quaint little shack, set back from the river, selling the usual gifts and guides. In the new Boscastle, they have gone for total domination instead. We now have a rather unspectacular National Trust Visitor Centre, A large National Trust Shop, and they are in the process of converting the last gift shop into a National Trust Cafe. The only outlet of any merit that remains is the Museum of Witchcraft (which speaks volumes about the rest of the harbour).
Fortunately further back things get better and it’s great that the Cobweb Inn remains pretty much unchanged, selling great beer and serving good food. Their Crab Sandwich is always good.