Going Coastal – Cornwall

Going Coastal – Cornwall

Whilst on holiday in May we took the opportunity to explore the wonderful coastline of the South West. Our first taste of the beauty of the coastline was in the town of Marazion when we visited St. Michael’s Mount (post here) and then again the next day when we went to the Minack Theatre (again, post here).

Our first full day on the coast was the following day, where we decided to try and take in 3 coastal spots in one day, as part of a trip down memory lane for my husband and a day of exploration for myself. Our first stop of the day was the tiny village of Sennen and Sennen Cove. This beautiful little village and gorgeous bit of coastline is almost at the very bottom tip of Cornwall and that’s exactly why we went there. Unlike the crowded and busy car parks at near by Lands End, Sennen is a peaceful alternative only a mile or so around the bay. By no means unknown, it’s a well worn path between the two, this was a great alternative to the extortionate prices of going to Lands End itself and you’re able to walk the coast path to the famous landmark instead, which is exactly what we did.

Although windy, the sun was out and the walk was truly beautiful. It took us about half an hour to walk the mile because a) I’m slow and b) the terrain isn’t easy going (it’s not awful, but it gets a bit rocky and a bit steep in places). We stopped pretty regularly too, to take photos and take in the amazing scenery around us, it was absolutely glorious! On making it to Lands End itself, we stopped for a drink and an ice cream and the obligatory Lands End signpost photo. It’s a shame that there is so much there, it’s not just a fun place to go for a picture with a sign, it’s got all sorts of shops full of tat and stuff that makes it feel like more of a weird theme park. A shame but I guess what lots of people want. I know I sound like a snob, I am well aware, but I like places for their natural beauty and intrigue, not because there’s a Wallace and Gromit experience there… (I also love Wallace and Gromit but it just seemed really out of place!).

As we headed back we admired the scenery once more and drank in the beauty around us. It really was stunning. We approached Sennen again and headed back down into the little village. We found a hut selling proper Cornish pasties and had an early lunch sitting on the sea wall looking out over the beach. We headed back to the car, past the Lifeboat Station which was open for us to have a little nosey round and we picked up a few bits from the RNLI shop too. We then had a look round a lovely little art gallery selling all sorts of pieces from a range of local artists before getting back on the road to our next stop.

Our next stop was The Lizard. It’s a part of Cornwall that my husband spent quite a lot of time exploring as a child and he was so excited to go back. Again, the weather held and the sky was a beautiful blue against the bright blue waters. I had no idea the sea could look so blue in the UK! We walked down from the car park, through the gorse/moorland terrain at the top of the cliffs and down towards the Lizard Point. Where Lands End is the most westerly point, The Lizard is the most southerly. It was whilst we were heading down to the point that we saw a seal bobbing around in the cove below! I then attempted to get a photo by lining up my phone camera and my binoculars.

I was mildly successful but at that point I really wished I still had a working digital camera! Anyway, it was lovely to be able to watch the seal playing in the waves in the afternoon sun. We then continued round the headland a bit down to the cove the other side to explore a bit further and then headed back up to the tea rooms and information hut near the point. Aidan had what he rated afterwards ‘the best cream tea of the holiday’ and I ate the biggest meringue I’ve seen in my life! It was great!

All the while, I was on the look out for Choughs. These illusive birds are a member of the corvid family that live on the coast and are easily identified by their bright red beaks. There are very few left in the UK and the Lizard does have breeding pairs, although we were told by one of the guides they breed on the opposite side of the lighthouse from where the hut is and therefore tend to be over that way. My luck was out that day but hopefully I’ll be able to return and see them again in the future.

It’s true to say we were on a bit of a whistlestop tour on this day, as we knew our time in Cornwall was limited and there was lots we wanted to cram in. It was a bit of a shame we didn’t go for a longer walk in one place but on the plus side, I’m quite unfit at the moment so the shorter walks were probably for the best. Our final stop for the day was Kynance Cove. Famed for its beautiful waters, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular spot. The advantage of being on holiday in the off-season was that although it was by no means empty, it was a lot quieter than I imagine it would be in the Summer Holidays!

We scrambled down the paths to the beach and enjoyed exploring the beautiful cove. Aidan climbed a big rock and gave me a mild heart attack and I returned the favour by trying to see how far I could get around to the smaller cove across the rocks, timing my steps between the waves. I was acutely aware of the waves and the fact the tide was on the way in though and ensured I didn’t go so far I thought I’d get cut off. I would like to go back there at another time though and go round into the smaller cove when the tide is out. I enjoyed watching the waves crashing on the rocks around the cove and took a little video of it which I put on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago.

We had a great time exploring the cove and a less than great time walking back up the steep path to the car park! Again, time was limited but it was for good reasons, as we headed off to the north coast for the evening to meet my cousins for a lovely dinner at the Tap House in St. Agnes. Overall, it was an excellent day of exploring some of the prettiest coastal scenery I’ve ever had the pleasure to see.

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