Day 14 – Back on the Road at Last – Cape Cornwall to Lands End

At last we are back on the road – well, path! – after a 4 month break. It felt so good. We had been in two minds whether to give it a go because although the weather forecast suggested it would be dry, it was threatening very low temperatures and we knew we would need to wrap up warm.

Having left one of the cars at Lands End we started off from Cape Cornwall at about 10.15. It was clear and dry and not as cold as we had been expecting.

There were a few bird watchers looking out for a white billed diver… apparently it was spotted in the area that day, although we didn’t see any.

white billed diver

Cape Cornwall is so pretty. This little collection of fishing dingys and lobster pots were nearby as we started out – a happy reminder of the location.

The Brisons lie about 1 mile off the coast of Cape Cornwall and were clearly visible out at sea, for most of our walk that day.

In addition we often looked back to see if we could see the NCI lookout at Cape Cornwall. But most of the time it remained hidden on the other side of the headland facing away from our vantage point. All we could glimpse from our walk was the restored mining chimney on top of the cape.

Cape Cornwall is a particularly pretty spot on the Coast Path, so it was a joyful time continuing our walk. A mine shaft just off the path is beautifully protected by a Cornish wall.

The first landmark we came across was the picturesque remote Cot Valley. The photos don’t really do it justice. It was the only part of today’s walk which took us inland to cross the Cot stream which runs alongside the road down to Porth Nanvean cove.

Visible on the far side are the leats which used to serve the mining area, although they are not well maintained and are not so easy to identify close up.

There is a small road and car park giving access to this beautiful spot.

We caught our first siting of spring flowering along the way with this three cornered leek. In fact we could smell it and knew it must be in the area.

This natural cave was hidden in the hillside above Gribba Point.

We came across this novel solution to a missing kissing gate. This pallet was an adequate makeshift alternative.

The streams we crossed were fast flowing and clear – this one at Maen Dower was filled following the recent winter rains. Very different from most of our crossings last summer.

On our way to Aire Point we saw this massive lump of weather-worn granite which was the first of many striking rock formations we saw today. They all seemed to feature the familiar ‘creases’ with precariously balanced rocks and narrow crevices.

There were frequent signs of rock falls and in many places the path had been re-routed away from the unstable cliff edge.

We came across this lush patch of Samphire which will look dramatic when it flowers. We remembered that we caught the end of its flowering season last autumn on our earlier walks.

Between Gribba Point and Maen Dower we came across clever use of the existing rock profiles which offer beautiful natural resting places.

And here we saw a thoughtful yellow waymark arrow carved into the rock, just visible in the photo. In places the path has been reinforced with beautiful slabs of granite, similar to these steps.

The following are examples of the fantastic rock formations formed from weathered granite with natural fissures – mostly on the stretch between the Cot Valley and Aire Point just before we dropped down on to Whitesand Bay.

On Whitesand Bay we found this motley collection of flotsam and jetsam. Shame about the wellies – they were really sturdy and had lots of wear left in them!Hera we are practicing our selfies with the shore behind us …..

……and then the same spot with the sea behind us.

I recognised the beautiful beach as being the one at the base of the drop down from Trevedra Farm where Mike & I have spent many fun caravanning holidays in the past. I don’t think we knew it was Whitesand Bay at the time. But the beach has changed in shape, probably from the winter storms over the last few years. These boulders have been nearly covered by the sand and then the fast flowing stream has started to cut its path through them revealing this unusual effect.

Another sign of spring on our walk – a patch of primroses.

The sunlight cast this glorious glow onto the sands at Sennan Cove.

We came across this immaculately maintained Morris Traveller parked up at Sennan.

Apparently it was one owner since new – and much loved. The passenger had learnt to drive in it over 50 years ago!

A couple of examples of the variety of waymarks we came across. There had been so many changes to the route due to unstable cliffs and rock falls, it was vital that the paths were well marked.

Just above Sennan the National Trust have restored this – ex Coastguard lookout.

Cliffs in this area have been used by the marines for training for years, as this plaque explains and climbers were in evidence.

P1010619

Looking back at the National Trust ex-Coastguard lookout above Sennan Cove.

Just before reaching lands end. More extraordinary rock formations.

And we made it – Lands End

Lands End was a bit bleak and we struggled to find any refreshments. Most places were closed. Luckily the Do’nut man was open so we replenished our energy levels with a scrumptious bag of freshly made doughnuts.

This was probably our shortest walk at 6.45 miles, but it was a fascinating stretch and it felt so good to be back on our way.

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