A walk from Carn Galver Mine to Porthmeor Cove, oh and a little detour…..

A damp start, but as forecast, it soon perked up and developed into a lovely sunny afternoon. The forecast for tomorrow and much of the week is horrible so we have decided to head home for a few days – yes I’m afraid we are becoming fair weather campers!! However we are not losing a day so we head just beyond Morvah and park up at Carn Galver Mine. Now I could quite happily have set up camp and stayed here for the afternoon but Poppydog has other ideas….

We follow the footpath which closely resembles a stream down towards the sea and join up with the coastal path just above Porthmoina Cove. Access to the cove looks to tricky for us and the tide is quite high, so we continue along the footpath heading eastwards (towards St Ives).

I found the going fairly tough, I think partly as it comes at the end of nearly a fortnight of clambering up and down the coastal path. It is one of those stretches were you need to watch your feet as the path scrambles over rocks and slithers into muddy patches. After about a mile we are looking down over Porthmeor Cove, with patches of turquoise water, hinting at lovely white sand beneath.

Unfortunately here again access was too tricky for us to contemplate alone, though we did enjoy a brief rest sat in the sunshine just above the cove – the tide is still too high for the sand to be exposed but the promise is certainly there.

Porthmeor Cove

Now it is time for us to hike back up the hill and over grazing land to the van with a little look through the window when we get there.

Room with a view…

As the afternoon is still lovely, on the way back home we pop down to Perranuthnoe as a treat for a proper beach walk and to enjoy the rest of the sunshine.

There are a few other like minded people around so Poppydog has to stay on her lead, but still she can run, play ball and have a splash about.

As for me, well I can just take it easy and take photos of the sun behind the clouds…

A great day and we’re home and unpacked in time for tea….

Home for tea

From Pendeen to Portheras Cove…..

A pretty miserable day by anyone’s standards but needs must and all that. To be fair the rain had more or less stopped but visibility was still pretty awful as we drove and parked up in Pendeen. From the village we took the lighthouse road part way before cutting across farmland down to the coastal path. The sea still looks pretty majestic even shrouded with low lying grey cloud.

Very soon we were rewarded with a glimpse of the beautiful sandy Portheras Cove.

Wow, I certainly wasn’t expecting this. Access is the only possible from the coastal path with a reasonable walk from any possible car parking, probably at least a mile. The last bit was a scramble over rocks so doable for most and may I add, well worth the effort.

We almost had the beach to ourselves, just one other couple (enjoying a swim!). So at the far end Poppydog was given her freedom.

She just loves to splash around in rock pools and skitter over the larger rocks in pursuit of something or anything, in this case she had to make do with seaweed as I had left her ball behind.

After a while as a few more folk were arriving, we decided to make our way back up off the beach and follow the coastal path back to take a look at Pendeen Lighthouse.

Before getting there, out of curiosity we followed a footpath down Boat Cove (not labelled on the map but the coastal path waymarker indicated it as such). What a little gem – another beautiful cove – very small but as long as you don’t have to share it ideal!

Boat Cove

We meandered back onto the coastal path and soon arrived at the Lighthouse.

From here we headed inland taking a look along the coast towards Cape Cornwall – this is Tin Mining country (or was) with both Geevor and Levant Mines in the distance.

The weather is closing in again on us fast, so we step up our pace along the Lighthouse road which after a mile or so takes us back to the car. A shortish 4 mile walk today and just in time as the heavens opened as we reached the van.

From Caerthillian around Lizard Point to Bass Point….

A rather unpleasant day, mostly mizzly and with quite a brisk breeze, though at times it showed promise, the sun didn’t manage to break through. Undeterred we parked up on the village green and wandered down towards Caerthillian Cove. Visibility is not good but we love the natural ruggedness of the stretch of coastline, looking north towards Kynance…

Heading south towards the Lizard, there is plenty of grassland for Poppydog to enjoy a run about but a tad too close to the edges of these treacherous cliffs to ‘off road’.

A bit further along the path Lizard Point comes into view, with the Lighthouse just visible up on top….

As always it is quite busy with visitors and indeed Polpeor Cafe boasting probably the best sea views anywhere in the world is doing a roaring trade (albeit with considerably less tables than usual) and from past experience I would highly recommend a sit down and bite to eat whilst you enjoy the views.

It is all a bit too busy for us here so after a quick peak down at Polpeor Cove and the old lifeboat station and spotting a couple of seals bobbing about in the waves, we moved on.

Along the path a bit, past the footpath up to the car park, as the numbers of people about cleared dramatically, we took a moment to look across Polbream Cove (not accessible) at the point with its random collection of buildings seemingly perched along it’s rocky spine.

We continue along the coastal path and enjoy our first glimpse of Housel Bay…

A beautiful white sandy cove (only at low tide) with typically turquoise seas (when the sun shines!).

Housel is accessed down very steep stone steps and a serious clamber over large rocks at the bottom which usually keeps the crowds away. It is also quite tricky for dogs to get on and off the beach and as the tide was half in we decided to leave it for another day.

The steps run down through this steep valley….

Back up the other side of the valley looking back down on the cove with the Lighthouse visible in the distance.

Further along the coastal path we pass Lloyd’s Signal Station (now a rather luxurious holiday home) and around Bass Point before taking an inland turn back into Lizard village. One of the beauties of living in Lizard village (which we did for 5 years) is that it is a bit like a bicycle wheel with many spokes of footpaths leading out on to the coastal path all the way round.

Along the coastal path from Kynance to Caerthillian Cove….

A lovely sunny day with a welcoming cooling breeze as we wandered along inland from Lizard village across Kynance Downs. This stretch is mostly along the cliff tops affording spectacular views down onto Kynance….

and then Pentreath….

Back when we first moved here (2005) this was our go to beach, as it is off the beaten track, quite tricky to get down onto and with no facilities it was only really ever used by a few locals and with the tides out the lovely long stretch of greyish sand was never remotely busy. However winter storms a few years later put paid to anything resembling safe access and now apart from the odd brave surfer most of us just gaze down upon it with longing!

A bit closer to Lizard lies Caerthillian Cove a mostly rocky little inlet, hardly ever enjoyed by anyone (apart from from above) and unbeknownst to most, at low tide you can sneak around the corner onto the lush sands of Pentreath. That is to say you used to be able to and I shall certainly give it a go next time the sun is up and the tides are right and report back.

For today however we scrambled down and cooled off in the abundant rock pools and marvelled at the crashing waves beyond.

It never ceases to amaze me the difference between the invariably choppy West Coast and the usual calmness of the East Coast, yet here, they are only a few miles apart – knowing this and imagining the turbulence where east meets west you would never consider it a good idea to swim off Lizard Point!

We ended this shortish 3 mile circuit back on the village green (Lizard) where we had left the car – barely 2 miles from home but not a pleasurable walk along the main Lizard – Helston road.

The fast road home …..

Well it won’t be a true reflection of my journey if I don’t record my experience of being ‘grounded’.

Having realised that my days were numbered I had already concluded that the right thing to do was head back down to Cornwall (where I ‘live’ when not travelling around the UK and more importantly where I am registered under a GP) and planned to make the long journey home on Wednesday.

However Mr Johnson put us into lockdown at 8.30 on Monday evening and so after watching this extraordinary announcement, a moment of shocked reflection on the enormity of the worldwide situation and a little bit of packing, I tried to get an early night (though I can’t say that I slept well with all that was buzzing around my head!).

We got up early (for us) on Tuesday and started to prepare for the long journey ahead. By 9.30, I was enjoying my first and last cuppa of the day with Poppydog walked and fed and the van pretty much ready to hitch and go, as I idly watched the Site Wardens wandering from unit to unit advising us that the site would be closing with immediate effect and we needed to be on our way as soon as possible!

How surreal and eerily silent this all feels!

As any of you that follow my blog, will be aware, I rarely travel more than 50 or 60 miles, as we potter slowly around the UK coast, so the thought of the 420 miles ahead of us was rather daunting! I have to say that in my rather fanciful imagination I was expecting road blocks and all to confront me on my way! And at least a row of tanks to greet me on the Cornish border!

As it turned out of course, no such drama, a lovely calm sunny day and incredibly quiet roads – so much so that at one roundabout I actually forgot I was towing, my apologies to the car driver that I ever so slightly cut up! It took us 8.5 hours including just the one half hour stop around Bristol.

Poppydog was brilliant with not a murmur all the way. We snuck into our little holiday home site where we have a small chalet just as the sun dropped below the horizon and were tucked up in bed asleep within the hour!