I’ve always wanted to visit the Polly Joke Poppies in Newquay. Ever since moving back to Cornwall 2 years ago, it’s been on my adventure bucket list. The wildflower fields bloom between May and June and I’ve been looking forward to it all year. I decided to take the dogs on a trip to Polly Joke to check out this agricultural phenomenon for ourselves.
Polly Joke lies on the West Pentire Headland, just south east of Newquay. The beach is dog friendly all year round and there’s a beautiful walk from Polly Joke to Crantock to explore, another of our favourite beaches! The poppies bloom in the fields above Polly Joke and they’re easily accessible from the West Pentire car park. It’s only a few pounds to park for the whole day. However the car park only accepts coins, so remember to bring change! It also gets very busy in high season, especially when the Polly Joke poppies are out!
You’ll be able to see the poppies as soon as you park, however if you walk down the track to the right of the car park, you’ll find your way into the fields. West Pentire is managed by the National Trust and the surrounding fields are cultivated as a nature reserve to help endangered species of flora and fauna thrive. Fields are split into two, half is left to fallow while the other is used to grow barley. These traditional farming methods are non-intensive and the land is not commercially farmed.
With 3 eager spaniels in tow, we decided to head straight to Polly Joke beach to let off some steam. We’d visit the poppy fields properly on our way back, when hopefully the dogs would be calmer – oh a girl can dream! The beach is a short, downhill walk from the car park with breathtaking coastal views across the headland. Polly Joke is a great place to visit with your dog, it’s fairly secluded and at low tide it’s huge. Woody loves sprinting through the sand and quenching his thirst in the nearby stream.
We’ve been looking after our 4th foster dog, Snoop, these past few weeks and he’s been loving his holiday in Cornwall. He particularly enjoyed swimming at Polly Joke and even found a lost tennis ball to play with (his idea of heaven!) Hen was his usual crazy self, rolling around in the sand like a lunatic. The dogs had a great time playing at the beach before heading back onto the coast path to explore some more.
Generally, I like to follow the RNLI’s advice and keep my dogs on lead whenever we’re on the coast path. Hen’s blind and we’ve had a couple of close shaves with steep drops recently, so I don’t trust him to be off lead. As we all know, Woody loves to run off on his own and I don’t trust him near cliffs either! I always think it’s better to be safe than sorry, though juggling 3 pulling spaniels is quite a challenge!
We headed back up to the poppy fields. Fortunately there were no livestock when we visited, however I have seen sheep near the beach before. Again, this is why it’s so important to keep your dogs on lead on the coast path. You never know when you might stumble into a livestock field. We visited during the week in term-time, so understandably it was very quiet. It can be busy at weekends and evenings, particularly now the wild flowers are in full bloom.
Understandably, dogs have to be kept on their leads around the Polly Joke poppies and marigolds. There are plenty of paths around the fields, so there’s no need to trample on the flowers. While dogs are great pollinators (trust me, the amount of seeds I’m removing from Woody’s fur on a daily basis proves it!) it’s important to respect this incredible spectacle and preserve it for others to enjoy. There are still plenty of great photo opportunities on the main path!
Have you visited the Polly Joke poppies before? Where’s your favourite beach in Newquay?
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