Having reached a crossroads in my life I am choosing to step off the treadmill that is my busy life and take time out to travel. On October 5th 2017 I set off with my Springer Poppy in our motorhome (subsequently swapped for a caravan) ‘freedombird’ initially to explore the remote beauty of the UK coastline and then – well let’s see……
A very wild night and through most of the day but a bit of sun around and dry.
Note to self don’t try to put the pop top roof down in high winds with the side door open! You need two pairs of hands and as per, Poppydog is no help – as fast as I was pulling the sides in whilst holding the roof down (actually swinging off it at times) the wind was blowing the sides back out! I did eventually manage to do it and then about 5 minutes later realised what an idiot!! Still we live and learn.
Initially we drove and parked up in Treen, planning a fairly long walk along the coastal path to Lamorna Cove, but on looking again at the map with no real circular route back, I realised this was possibly a tad ambitious. Instead we wandered down across farmland to Penberth Cove.
A completely stony or should I say rocky, as not even suitable for Poppydog to run around on, cove at the bottom of a sleepy hollow valley. The footpath disappearing up the steep cliff to our left did not endear me to the idea of progressing any further along the coastal path.
Instead we wandered up the valley. Nicely sheltered from the wind with a vibrant stream running through and a few houses (for once they looked to be homes as opposed to holiday lets) nestling in rather exotic gardens, it was a very pleasant walk. We passed this rather impressively decorated tree adorned with a multitude of different shaped, size and colour of fisherman’s buoy.
So after barely a couple of miles we are back at the van, next stop the Merry Maidens….
Yup a pretty impressive standing circle. From here a string of footpaths across farmland eventually leads us down into Lamorna – another leafy valley. We had to deal with a couple of path closures which prevented us from going via Tater-du Lighthouse (another day maybe?) but eventually made our way down the steep incline into Lamorna.
The sea was pretty rough but a nice bit of sand was still exposed inside the harbour wall, though no longer in the weak sunshine.
We enjoyed the solitude with the crashing waves our only soundtrack, as there was hardly a soul about.
Soon enough, with a last look back, it was time for us to begin the gentler but quite long route back up to where we had left the van, under the watchful eye of the Merry Maidens.
I’m glad we did this in two hits as we still managed to cover 7 miles and we are ready for food and putting our feet up!
A mostly grey day today and becoming increasingly windy though importantly, remaining dry.
Provisions are required, so a quick trip into Penzance first and then we followed the road around Newlyn to find a convenient spot to park up in a lay-by on the coastal road. After an initial attempt to use the concrete path just above the rocks failed as it has been washed away in parts and is no longer passable we rejoined the footpath which runs along the road above the shoreline, affording glimpses across Mounts Bay.
Shortly we passed the former Penlee Lifeboat Station and it’s memorial garden, standing proud as a memorial to the Lifeboat Solomon Browne and all its crew who were lost in outrageous seas on 19th Dec 1981 attempting to rescue the crew and passengers of the Union Star. The lifeboat crew had successfully rescued 4 people before both boats, the lifeboat crew (8) and remaining 8 crew and passengers of the Union Star were lost. The current Penlee Lifeboat is located in the safety of Newlyn Harbour.
About half a mile later we arrive in Mousehole a pretty cluster of cottages running down a valley and around the infamous harbour (the Christmas Lights display draws people from all over).
Wandering through the narrow cluttered streets of white washed cottages the coastal path steeply works its way back up onto the cliff tops giving the occasional glimpse back down onto the harbour.
At the top of the hill the path narrows and is enclosed either side by hedgerow which though providing welcome relief from the increasing breeze, unfortunately makes for a bit of a dull walk.
Unsurprisingly we didn’t meet many other walkers and after a mile or so we chose Penzer Point and it’s gap in the hedgerow to be our half way marker and set off back the way we came.
Some cloud around but still plenty of sunshine. Today we have a little gap in our journey along the coastal path to fill, so we ventured off in the van and found a handy lay-by on the Porthgwarra road. There is actually a good sized car park down in Porthgwarra but the access road is long and very narrow and I decided not to risk it in the van. Quite by chance I had ended up parking right by the entrance to the footpath which took us over farmland and eventually down to Nanjizal – ideal.
We then clambered up the steps to the top of the cliff heading south. The higher we got the more stunning this bay looked with a fabulous white sand bank visible and in some places just breaking the low tide. the white buildings at Land’s End just visible on the skyline.
Once we had got our breath back the path levelled out following the rock strewn cliff tops for a couple of miles. The sun was shining and the sea our turquoise ever present companion – all is well.
Soon in the distance we could see the Lookout Station on Gwennap Head, tucked away beyond which, according to Mr OS (Ordnance Survey App), sits Porthgwarra.
We rounded the headland passing the two way marks (navigational) wandering how fab it would be to walk this walk when the heather is in bloom – when is that?
The path here becomes quite narrow and steep as we gradually wended our way down into Porthgwarra – with a little sneak preview over the cliff edge….
Oh my word, what a fabulous little cove – the only thing is you want it all to yourself, well I do anyway!
How fab is this little archway as an alternative access to the beach, probably safer too as the slip was very steep.
As well as the car park there is a decent little cafe garden, though I chose to enjoy my pasty on the beach whilst Poppydog had her daily wallow.
To think I was in two minds whether to come here – what an absolute gem and beauty of a 6 mile circular walk.
PS although the walk back up to the van was long and steep and we had to keep squidging up to the hedge to let cars past, I’m glad I didn’t take the van right down. It is doable but I don’t want to scratch my lovely new paintwork!
From where to where you ask? Ok so from the campsite to a little spot a few miles up the coast. We don’t leave the site until early afternoon as it keeps on spotting with rain but as it appears to be brightening up, we decide to complete the section of coastal path from Gwynver northwards to Porth Nanven (Dinosaur Eggs Beach).
Firstly we wander across the fields and down the steps to Gwynver Beach which is surprisingly busy with surfers (all I can say is they must be mad keen to lumber their boards all the way down and of course back up again to this fab beach).
It is too busy for Poppydog to ‘off road’ but she does still get the chance for a runaround and essentially a splash about in a rock pool….
At the north end of the beach we pick up the coastal path which ambles along just above the shoreline over rocks and through heather strewn grassland. I would imagine this is an even prettier walk during the early summer and sprinkled with wild flowers.
The sun occasionally pops out to join us and we meet the odd walker but mostly we have the rough path to our selves.
In the distance we can see Cape Cornwall and decide to cut inland from the next valley rather than continue all the way to Porth Nanven as we certainly seem to have arrived at Dinosaur egg country!!
At the bottom of the valley is a nice stream for Poppydog to wallow in for a bit and then we sat just above the shoreline just enjoying the sun for a while, before venturing up the valley to Nanjulian.
Our journey home took us through the tiny hamlet of Nanjulian, past the little airstrip of Land’s End Airport and finally over farmland to site – a nice 6.5 mile circular walk.
A little bit more cloud around today but still a lovely day for a walk. We parked the van at the top of Sennen in a lay-by and wandered down onto the beach – it really is as beautiful as it looks….
The village, though now sprawling way up the hill with some rather fabulous glass studded houses is still essentially a cluster of higgledy piggledy small whitewashed terraced cottages, though sadly many of them now appear to be holiday lets. The small sandy harbour behind the newish Lifeboat Station is testament to a small thriving fishing fleet.
We then began to climb up out of the village, along the coastal path towards Land’s End.
Up on the top the footpath is quite wide and certainly well used, though at this time of year you can still enjoy the feeling of being the only soul out there and of course the coastline here is ruggedly beautiful.
As ever Land’s End itself was milling with people so we didn’t linger, just long enough to watch a pod of dolphins dancing around the bay (not close enough to take a decent photo) and to take this photo to prove we have been!
And then moved along to enjoy the spectacular Armed Knight natural arch with Longships Lighthouse in the distance.
Much quieter now the coastal path continues to meander along the cliff top.
After a mile or so and around another headland we get our first distant glimpse of Nanjizal or Mill Bay….
Too pretty to miss…
A series of caves in the making….
The tide is rapidly coming in but you can still imagine what this stunning cove would be like on a hot summers day with the tide out – miles from anywhere but probably rarely empty.
Well worth the walk….
From here we followed a steep path up out of the valley and a series of farmland footpaths back to where we had left the van in Sennen a good 7 mile circular walk.
And a cheeky poser shot in Sennen upper car park on our way back to site.