Monday, September 26

walking around Cornwall

When we were in Cornwall over the summer we did a lot of coastal walking. I think I inherited my love of coastal walks from my mum - we both love being by the sea, up high on the cliffs. It's a lovely contrast from the compact craziness that is city living. When you're up on the Cornish cliffs you feel very free.

I thought I'd share some of the places where we walked, in case it inspires you to take a walking holiday of your own!




1. Lizard Point
The village of The Lizard is a bit rundown and shanty-esque, with lots of tacky souvenir shops. But it's a good base for walking. Lizard Point is the most southerly point on mainland Great Britain, which apparently makes it a big tourist destination - there were coach parties from random places like the Czech Republic visiting!

2. Housel Bay
We passed Housel Bay on our travels. There's a huge hotel on the clifftop - with a tempting restaurant/bar - and a scramble down to the actual bay, which I thought looked lovely, all secretive and tucked away. So quiet and peaceful.

3. The Devil's Frying Pan
When I was small I used to look at this name on the map and wonder what on earth it could be, hoping it was an actual giant frying pan. No such luck, but it's scenic nonetheless. By this time we'd walked quite far and Cadgwith - with its promises of pasties for lunch - was just around the corner.

4. Cadgwith
Cadgwith is gorgeous, lots of colourful cottages sat perilously on steep little roads that lead in and out of the bay. There's a real community spirit in such a small fishing village. A village shop that sold hot pasties, a local inn, an art gallery up a ladder, and lots of bright fishing boats, all surrounded by the dark wild cliffs and the Atlantic ocean.

5. Mullion Cove
Similar to Cadgwith - a tiny, sweet little fishing village, so misty and atmospheric when we were there. I climbed up one of the cliffs to the side - it was covered in that bouncy grass that's super comfortable to lie on, like laying on a bed. I want to live in that little sea hut - imagine being in there during the depths of winter...

6. Poldhu
Poldhu is a quite isolated sandy beach with not too many buildings/shops/touristy places so you can really get away from it all. It's brilliant for low level rock climbing - well, rock scampering is a better description. We saw it in the mist and it was beautiful, but I think it'd be beautiful in bright sunshine too.

7. Porthleven
The best things about Porthleven were the crazy waves - which apparently get so big they go over the church sometimes, and it makes the BBC news - and this amazing little art shop/gallery called Albatross Art which you can see here and is full of lovely nautical prints and things.

8. Duckpool
It's not actually on the Lizard, but Duckpool is a family favourite. It's my mum's favourite ever view and I can see why. We've been a few times and it's largely unspoilt, although each year it seems busier. The tough climb either side is worth it for the views - on a clear day you can see the north Cornish coastline stretching away for miles. The beach is nice and sandy too.

This makes me want to visit the Lizard during winter:
"The rocks and cliffs of the coastline offer shelter to the tiny fishing villages huddled into their coves, looking now much as they did centuries ago. Small cottages, thatched and whitewashed, cluster around tiny harbours. Colourful fishing boats, pulled up on the beach, bear testimony to the fact that these small communities still depend largely on the sea for their livelihood. Winter is a quiet time here. The fishermen’s choirs sing in their local pubs, and the harbours are decorated with lights and lanterns for Christmas."

So that's Cornwall in a hasty blog post. Parts are a bit rundown, a bit old-fashioned, but there are cool arty parts too and everywhere has a wild beauty to it.

If you like walking, nice views and delicious pasties then why haven't you visited yet?!

On a totally different note...can anybody recommend any good DSLRs? I'm a bit of a novice, but I want to invest in one that will last me a good few years! Canon or Nikon?! Any help would be muchos appreciated!

Monday, September 5

St Ives: the beautiful blues

Too many have waxed lyrical about the light in St Ives, but it's sort of understandable. There's an unearthly beauty about it. The light has a very ethereal quality which seems to affect blue shades in particular. I mean, if you happen to be by the seaside on a clear day then blue is already a magical colour, but in St Ives it's different. Blue is all kind of radiant and crazy and you can't stop looking at it.

Other than its beautiful blues, I was left feeling slightly disappointed by St Ives. It was a place I'd built too much excitement out of - I had it in my mind like it was some kind of halo of British beach towns. Sea, sand, beautiful blue light, full of art and artists - what's not to like? Well if you've read about my weekend trip to Weymouth in June, then you'll understand what I mean when I say St Ives is teetering on the edge of slipping the same way. There's one too many seedy shopfronts in a beach town that's meant to be upmarket and arty. Ok, there are some pretty lanes and cottages, and an amazing bakery round every corner, plus a few interesting little shops, but on the whole? Almost a bit...underwhelming. I can't quite believe I'm saying this about St Ives - maybe I set my standards too high!

And I shouldn't really complain about crowds because what did we expect, visiting in August, but neverthless. I still prefer the unknown, wilder beaches of Cornwall and Devon.

But back to the blue light, because it was so light and bright and nautical and, well, blue.
Here are my blue shots:

When I was taking the penultimate picture, a guy behind me peered at my camera screen, introduced himself as a local artist and complimented me on my 'arty' shot!

Who's been to St Ives, and liked it? Am I being too fussy?