Day 21 – Kennack Sands to Porthoustock

Well I guess it had to happen some time! We had been in two minds whether to walk today as the forecast was not brilliant, but we took a chance – and this time it didn’t really pay off.

We started out in a fine mizzle and spent the walk getting wetter and wetter either from precipitation or very overgrown shrubbery along the path.

The light rain was behind us coming from the west as we walked east, so at least it wasn’t in our faces, but visibility was poor with leaden skies making for grey, dismal seas. But somehow or other it didn’t seem to really  matter and we didn’t allow it to dampen our spirits.

So at 9.55am we retraced steps we had taken at the end of our walk last time, cutting along the back of the beach at Kennack Sands, determined to make the best of things.

Given the conditions, there aren’t many photos from the day, but we managed to salvage a few highlights.

The first was this patch of gloriously scented honeysuckle.

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And once again someone had created this funny little character at Downas Cove – this time from a discarded buoy.

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Hilary counted 89 steps up to Beagles Point – and these had to have been made by a giant – they were huge strides – much too high and steep for our little legs, although we did manage to negotiate them.

For much of our walk today, someone had taken care to strim the path, although there were places where it hadn’t been done and we could really have done with it! We weren’t sure whether it is because this is a little used section of the coast path, with less footfall and therefore more overgrown in places. We certainly didn’t see many other walkers – I imagine they all had more sense than us, given the weather!

At about 11.45am we reached this tiny lookout at Black Head.

It has obviously been used as a proper coastguard lookout in its time, but now just acts as a shelter from the weather with some interesting tourist information plaques of the area.

We thought this pretty little sweet scented flower was meadowsweet – but later Hilary identified it as the common meadow rue which is very similar.

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I thought this avenue of foxgloves was worthy of a snap.

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The path around Chynallis Point was probably our trickiest yet. Because of the damp conditions the rocky uneven path became treacherous underfoot. The undergrowth made it even worse, because sometimes you couldn’t see where to step. I was really glad of my walking pole and the two of us had to really have our wits about us.

We reached Coverack at 12.20. After a brief respite from the rain, the weather came in again as we trudged through the town.

Coverack was certainly not looking its best, although a few hardy tourists were enjoying the local carrot cake as they overlooked the harbour.

Beyond Coverack it looked like there had been some gorse burning, or swaling. The charred stems stood out from the flourishing new growth.

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Although this sign was very obvious, the quarry does not look like it is currently being worked.

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The whole area is bleak and neglected. There is a new-ish perimeter fence to the quarry and it’s obvious they really don’t want you to stray off the path.

Although it is not being worked at the moment there have been unsuccessful moves afoot to re-open it as a superquarry. This link gives more information about the background : Dean Quarry

The only signs of life on the beach were these gulls , which did not expect to be disturbed anytime soon.

The whole place gave off an air of disuse and desertion. These great ugly silos lie empty.

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Leaving the quarry behind us we knew that we would soon be walking inland, as there is no right of way along the coast here. We decided to give the dogs a run around on the beach for a few moments, keeping an eye out for the path inland. Unfortunately we lost sight of the path completely and ended up rock climbing over stretches of the beach in a futile attempt to find another way up. Eventually we realised we would have to retrace our steps, but not before clambering around rather alarmingly on the great boulders at the far end of the beach at Godrevy Cove. Thankfully, coming from the other direction we spotted the way marker for our path and knew we were back on track.

Just a little further and we reached our destination at Porthoustock at 2.45pm, where we finished off with our selfie. Unfortunately Porthoustock has a similar air of abandonment about it to the quarry. Hopefully a better day would bring it to life.

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So with webbed feet and damp clothes we gathered ourselves together for home!

 

 

 

 

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Day 20 – Kynance Cove to Kennack Sands

We made a prompt start just before 10 am on a cool, windy, drizzly morning unlike any other that we had experienced on our walks. But the forecast was good so we were ever hopeful of improvements as we went along and we weren’t disappointed.

Once we managed to find our way back up and out of Kynance Cove from the car park we came across this curiously amusing bit of jetsam at Caerthillian Cove, which someone had obviously gathered up from the beach below :

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Pretty quickly the old Life Boat station in Polpeor Cove at the Lizard came in to view

DSCF4949and then we were at the Lizard within the hour before we knew it.

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This seemed a good spot for our selfie – but it was not the most successful – however it does put on record our reaching the most southerly gift shop in the UK! :

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There were a few visitors around despite the weather, but there had been reports of a breeding pair of Cornish Choughs spotted in the area, so that might have generated a bit of extra interest. We didn’t see them, but here’s an archive picture :

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They are well-known for their red legs and beak. And interestingly for me they feature on the emblem for the local primary school where I spent some years as a school governor.

Darite Primary School.

The path took us on past the lighthouse above Bumble Rock where there was a fantastic spread of yellow Charlock in the area, also known as wild mustard.

There is strong evidence in the area of the importance this part of Cornwall has played in the progress of telecommunications over the years.

The Lizard Wireless Station …

… is closely followed by the LLoyds Signal Station

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A little further on and we were welcomed by the National Coastwatch (NCI) lookout at Bass Point. NCI Bass Point was the first lookout started over 20 years ago where volunteers keep a watch on our coastlines. Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline.There are now about 50 NCI stations dotted around the coasts of England and Wales.

Tony was on watch at NCI Bass Point and made us very welcome – giving us a brief tour of the lookout and explaining some of their responsibilities. NCI Bass Point is a single-manned station and is always looking for new volunteers.

On the way towards Church Cove this fanciful house name caught our eye…

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..with a huge display of pink Valarian surrounding the property..

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..and a small memorial to the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh in 2004.

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Kilcobben Cove below Church Cove is now home to the new Lifeboat Station covering the Lizard.

I love the idea of protecting the environment for glow worms..

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The coastline here is just beautiful. We both felt that it is one of the prettiest stretches along our way.

Just before we dropped down into Cadgwith we passed ‘The Devil’s Frying-pan’. This amazing natural arch which looks like it is only accessible by sea.

DSCF4977Cadgwith is a lovely little thriving fishing village; fairly unique in being home to so many thatched cottages so close to the sea, which make the whole place really quaint. We were seeing it at its best as, by now the sun was fully out and the place was buzzing. This photo definitely does not do it justice.

DSCF4978After enjoying some more scrumptious Kelly’s ice cream we pushed on for the last mile or so. Just beyond Cadgwith is this tiny little deserted coastguard station which until very recently operated as an outpost to NCI Bass Point.

We reached our destination at Kennack Sands at about 2.45pm. It’s a bit of a hidden gem. It has lovely golden sands and all the facilities. About 8 miles covered today, not our longest by any means but thoroughly enjoyable.

 

 

Day 19 – Loe Bar to Kynance Cove

We made a good start from the car park at Loe Bar setting off at about 10am. Loe Bar was looking spectacular on this fine, dry, sunny late spring Bank Holiday Monday morning.

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Just above Loe Bar is this monument to those lost in the sinking of HMS Anson.

Our walk today was punctuated with numerous late spring flowering wild flowers. But what was more striking than anything were the blankets of Thrift in full bloom at every stage of our walk. We make an attempt at reproducing its beauty in our photos.

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Along the way we also came across this pretty flower which we struggled to identify. A fellow walker speculated that it might be wild carrot.

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We came across this rather strange looking sculpture at Gunwalloe. There were no obvious signs of the reason for it, but it was intriguing nonetheless. I speculated that it might be of a seal, but I don’t think Hilary was convinced!

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Hilary spotted this curious looking moth with striking black wings and white markings, above Halzephron Cove. We still have not been able to identify it.

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And nearby was this little patch of Scarlett Pimpernel.

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This pretty little church lies hidden right on the beach – St Winwaloe – at the aptly named Church Cove.

And just a little further along at Poldhu Cove these beautiful yellow flag irises were growing wild on the edge of the stream.

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If you’ve got to live in a retirement home, you could do a lot worse than this one on Poldhu Point! What a spot!

The sea today was really sparkly with classic turquoise blue colour reflecting the bright sunshine. This had drawn out the walkers, so we had more company than on some previous occasions.

Above Men-y-Grib was this home made memorial…

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… and just a little further along was this much more substantial one marking the contribution this area made to the telecommunications we take for granted today.

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Just before dropping down to Mullion Cove we saw this lovely show of the Hottentot Fig flower we learnt about on a previous walk.

Mullion Cove is much smaller than I had imagined,

but at at last we were able to enjoy some scrumptious local ice cream and decided to celebrate with our selfie (plus a shot taken by another kind-hearted walker also enjoying the break!)

Mullion Island lies just below the cliffs beyond the cove

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and at Predannack Head the National Trust have thoughtfully positioned this helpful waymarker:

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so we knew we were making good time as it was 1.30pm and we only had 2.5 miles to go!

Hidden away nearby, this discreet plaque marks the generosity of the Collins Family :

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At Soapy Cove the sea was looking particularly gorgeous and I often wish I was closer to the shore and could take a quick dip – it looks so inviting! I’m not sure Hilary would be so keen!

As Kynance Cove came in to view at about 2.30pm we could see the attraction of the spot. On this beautiful sunny afternoon there was a mass of holiday-makers on the beaches and lots of activity coming and going from the cafe and the car park at the top of the hill.

The only downside was that a local small bridge has been declared unsafe and cordoned off, so everyone had to scramble, with some difficulty, up and down some very slippery, smooth, rocky steps to get across to the path back up to the car park. I hope the council fixes it soon before someone has a nasty accident on those rocks.

We reached the car park at 3.15pm to discover that the car was now covered in some sort of saharan dust! It was pretty windy at the top there and the unfinished surface had been blowing around all day covering everything around it! Ho-hum.

Another successful walk – around 9 miles and we’ll surely make the Lizard next time – so we really will have turned a corner then.