There is a foot ferry that crosses the Gannel, known as the Crantock Ferry, or the Gannel Ferry, or the Fern Pit Ferry. This foot ferry operates during the summer months, May to September. While the tide is out, the River Gannel can be crossed further along via wooden bridges, but once the tide is in it’s deep and fast flowing, so the ferry operates to take people across to the base of the cliffs on East Pentire.
Once landed at the small boathouse, there’s a small shop that sells live lobsters and crabs, caught by their own fishing boat “Zarvanand”. The shop also sells buckets, spades, windbreaks and similar beach paraphernalia!
Fresh Crabs & Lobsters for Sale:
You can order crabs or lobsters, in person or by telephone, and they’ll even cook them for you, given at least one hour’s notice – perfect to pick up on your way to the beach, for your beach picnic, it’ll cost you just £5-6 for a crab large enough for two people, they are priced by weight and you can buy your crab live or cooked! Also available are lobsters, live or cooked – a whole cooked lobster for two people will cost £16-17.
Rising from the boathouse are steps to the gardens of the Fern Pit Cafe on Riverside Crescent, Newquay. You can use the steps to get to Newquay if you’re walking; stopping at the Fern Pit Cafe for a light bite, cream tea or to enjoy the view is optional and the path leads straight out onto Riverside Avenue. Note: The steps are only open to the public 10am-6pm from May-September.
The bungalow that is Fern Pit Cafe was built in 1910 and if you’re approaching along Riverside Avenue it looks like any other residential building, but there is a sign outside on the driveway. With the cafe behind you, turn left to walk round the East Pentire Headland, or turn right to head into Newquay.
With over 100 steps to the top, being uneven and narrow, they’re not recommended if you’ve got a buggy or struggle with steps.
Fernpit Cafe Website: http://www.fernpit.co.uk/
If you’re spending the day at the Gannel, or on Crantock Beach, before you set up camp look around you to see where the sand is completely dry, or damp – when the tide turns the whole area floods and the water’s fast running, so if you don’t want to move as the tide comes in make sure you pick a dry spot!
Gannel Ferry Prices:
The 2017 prices for the Gannel Ferry are £1.20 for an adult, children under 16 are 60p, infants under 4 and bikes/dogs/prams are free.
If the tide is out you can walk across the bridge for free – there is only a charge to use the small ferry, no charge at all if you simply want to walk across at low tide, or wade across at mid tide.
Image © Gannel Ferry, bob jones