The Cape Shore
Heart’s Delight is the ideal starting point for a day-long adventure on the Cape Shore Drive. You can discover some of the most interesting people and places here—not to mention camera-friendly grazing goats and sheep—with a little help from your trusty Traveller’s Diary. The lush countryside is broken up by coastal communities, dotted with brightly painted houses, heritage churches and winding lanes. Fields of wild grasses, where ponies reside, are delineated by raw-wood picket fences.
The Irish settlers of Cape Shore coast came to southern Newfoundland to flee famine and oppression back home. They quickly transformed this area of rivers, wild flowers, barrens, lakes and hills into one of thriving farms and homesteads. The remoteness of the communities here has gone a long way to protecting the traditions of the mother country. The early settlers’ descendants have held onto their distinctive lilt and, to this day, enjoy a good old Irish sing-along.
The historic town of Placentia has a different flavour. It was Newfoundland’s ancient French capital, back when the English and French were slugging it out over North America. The English had their turn running the show later down the line, and there’s a little Basque and Portuguese influence in the mix too. You can discover all the twists and turns at Castle Hill National Historic Sight, or simply soak in the present-day vibe, like a local, by strolling along the boardwalk.
If you only stop the car once, let it be at Cape St Mary’s seabird sanctuary. Nesting on the cliffs, hovering in the sky and diving into the Atlantic Ocean here are over 60,000 razorbills, common murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, and double-crested and great cormorants. Bird Rock is prime real estate for the southernmost colony of northern gannets in North America. The whole place is alive with bird calls and the flapping of wings. Nature hikes do not get more animated than this.