Covered some ground over the past two days: almost 40 miles around the whole of the crooked southwestern finger at the very tip of England.
Yesterday we left subtropical Lamorna Cove to continue our scramble over a highly-rocky path westward. Tough going when the going got overgrown and bog-mud ugly. Past the stumpy Tater-du lighthouse and over the massive boulders at St. Loy, known locally as the dinosaur egg beach for obvious reasons. Slow progress through the gorse and nettles.
We passed through Porthcurno and the Minack Theatre set within the cliff as the Path got a little more friendly in terms of mud levels and walkability. Delayed and diverted a tad by a Poldark film crew in and around Porthgwarra. Swashbuckling actors on horses spotted on the headlands. Buzzards circling ahead (the British raptor rather than the American carrion version).
The scenery and vistas on the approach to Land’s End are worth the hype. Mill Bay, the Enys Dodnan Arch, etc. looking majestic in the autumnal sunshine. Views of distant Scilly Isles, and nearby Longships. Land’s End, the southwestern extreme of mainland Britain, itself was the sudden, but expected throng shocker with its weird mix of ugly, overpriced food, theme park vibe, and gangs of miserable tourists. We dropped down to the more sedate Sennan Cove, turning the corner to head north along and above the beaches towards Cape Cornwall, the chunk of land that marks the tidal-current split between the English Channel and the Atlantic proper.
This morning we trekked out to and up atop Cape Cornwall, walked past the ruins of a tiny medieval chapel, St. Helen’s Oratory, and then wandered north via Kenidjack, Botallack, and Levant. The tin mining strip this. A post-industrial landscape of old mining buildings, chimneys and dangerous-looking odl shafts. Streaks of multicoloured, oxidised metal waste on the sides of the cliffs. Rubble and remnants of stone buildings scattered throughout.
Thence to Pendeen Watch, the bright white lighthouse, before heading to the village of Pendeen. From there a long, winding, hill-rolling run to St. Ives and Carbis Bay. St. Ives crazy busy with visitors on a Tuesday afternoon. Beaches looking pristine and well sandy.