Crackington Haven

Views from Crackington Haven, North Cornwall

The small coastal village of Crackington Haven in North Cornwall has great wildlife and geology, found amidst beautiful scenery.

It began life as a small port importing limestone and coal for the lime kiln and exporting slate from small, local quarries. Traces of a donkey path going down to Strangle Beach where sand, stone and slate were collected can still be seen.
In 1836, plans were drawn up to create a development called Port Victoria, with grand ideas for a 12 acre harbour and docks, a new town and a rail link to Launceston. As is evident today, the scheme didn't materialise.


Crackington Haven is a fascinating place for its geology and has even had a geological phenomena named after it; the Crackington Formation, a fractured shale that's been bent and contorted by the Earth's movements millions of years ago.
The cliffs to the north and south of Crackington, particularly at St Gennys and Rusey, have interesting geological exposures, and the best example of strata folded into dramatic zig-zags is at Milook. Where the rock meets the sea the waves are winning the battle; landslips are common, and the cliff slopes are angled with ledges and platforms which tell of past slippages.


The rich vegetation on the cliff tops and slopes provide habitats for several species of birds, including linnet, whitethroat, meadow pipet, skylark, dunnock and stonechat, as well as larger birds such as jackdaws, magpies and kestrels.
The steep sided valleys in the summer months are home to a variety of butterflies, including red admiral, ringlet, gatekeeper, meadow brown and the small pearl bordered fritillary.
Out to sea, Atlantic grey seals and occasionally bottle-nosed dolphins and basking sharks make this area their home.

Other interesting features include

  • The remote Dizzard Forest to the north of Crackington. Watch our short video (below) about Dizzard Forest.
  • One mile south of Crackington is High Cliff, Cornwall's highest cliff standing at 735ft (223m) high.
  • The stone and slate farmhouse of Trevigue dates from the 16th century, with a number of more recent alterations. It continues to be a working farm, that has won awards for nature conservation, but has also diversified into the hospitality trade.