What to do in Cornwall when it rains!

It is safe to say that there are few places that I would rather be than Cornwall in the sunshine but what about those days when the heavens open? Here are my thoughts on what is best to do in Cornwall when its raining:

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Alone on Strangles Beach

Strangles is a pretty ominous name for anything.  And it appears that this darkly beautiful beach, on arguably the most dramatic part of Cornwall’s northern coast, gets it’s name for equally ominous reasons.  The dangerous currents and jagged rocks that surround Strangles make this a particularly treacherous part of our coastline.

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There is a much repeated local adage about the ruthless nature of this stretch of water:

“From Pentire Point to Hartland Light,

A watery grave by day or by night”

and Strangles beach lies right inside this danger zone, not far from the more picturesquely named Crackington Haven. Continue reading

Butney Bank

On the last day of 2016 I thought I would Reblog my first ever post on here. One of the highlights of my year has been creating and writing this blog, so to all those who read, comment and follow I truly appreciate it! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2017!

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20160109_141122 (2)My mother is always reminding me that lichen is a sign of clean air. So now every time I see a tree or boulder which is green with the bushy little parasite her words come back to me. I stick out my chin and take in a deep lung full of the good stuff.

Towards the further most tip of Butney Bank, where on a cold winter’s day the thick fonds of the ferns are the colour of orchre, there is an ancient oak tree. It’s isolation, out on the strip of land in the middle of a tidal creek, means that it has grown into a perfect and rather splendid dome. The whole of this tree, from the tips of it’s bare canopy to the thick roots pushing into the muddy ground, is bright green.

20160109_143754 (3)The matty coating of the lichen is soft and fuzzy, negating its barks true purpose…

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Zennor Quoit: Take a walk with me

Driving out of Zennor village towards St Ives there is a house known as the Eagles Nest perched on a crag looking out to sea.  It was in the valley below this house that D H Lawrence spent 1915 writing Women in Love and just opposite its white painted gate there is a track leading out across the downs.  This is the start of our walk.

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Just over the brow of the hill there is a pull-in on the right with space for a car.  The view from here towards the coast is across some of the oldest farmed land in the world. The field systems are pre-historic.  Leave your wheels, walk back and take that track uphill . . .

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This is one of those paths that feels timeless, like it has always been there and I imagine all the footsteps before mine.  Don’t forget to look back behind you to the sea, Lawrence said it was always peacock-coloured and I hope it is for you. Oh try not to stand on the violets . . .

 

Keep the rocky hill-top on your left . . .

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When the track bears right there is a footpath off to the left hugging a low wall . . . take it and look for the ruin on the hill ahead . . .

20160503_190340Beside these ruined walls, maybe an old barn or cottage I’m not sure, there will be a path striking out right across the downs, follow and look for a silhouette on the skyline . . .

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When I am here I am often completely alone and the landscape seems empty too, just those silent rocky outcrops, the wind in the grass and on this particular day a distance Cuckoo . . .

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Your destination is the impressive Zennor Quoit, a Neolithic burial chamber.  It’s enormous capstone, which weighs around 12 tons, slid off sometime in the 19th century but William Borlase sketched it for us in 1769 . . .

This wonderful historical site seems to stand alone on the Amalveor Downs, solid, mysterious but there are signs of ancient people everywhere here, numerous barrows and hut circles lie hidden in the bracken.  We are never quite alone in the landscape.

This walk isn’t difficult, although the tracks are uneven and not signposted, it takes me about 20mins to the quoit.  Longer when I am breathing in the stunning views. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

For more try: Monumental Minerals or Butney Bank