More colour today! There were daffodils everywhere – on top of walls, in gardens, in hedgerows, on the road side and in fields. And daffodils in the woods too – it was quite a woody walk today. Continue reading →
I went out for coffee this morning (thank you Ms D and Ms S!) and had a lovely lemon poppy seed cake full of a raspberry pink sauce, with raspberries on top. Then I went to the fabric shop and bought some rich red cottons in two different shades – I couldn’t make up my mind which one to have – anyway you can never have too much fabric! At home I sat in the yellow conservatory and looked out at the yellow daffodils in the garden.
I’m not usually a yellow person, but I seem to quite like it lately – as long as I don’t have to wear it! Continue reading →
Today it’s raining! Never mind, we’ve had a good tramp around The Lizard with our waterproofs on.
It feels like a long way because its so uppy and downy (yes, those are real words), and then you find you’ve only done 5 miles which is a bit of a let down. Still, every little helps.
Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)
Achieved so far: 213 miles (Target 200)
Achieved this week: 12.3 miles
The Lizard circular via Church Cove, Lizard Point and Old Lizard Head (5.3 miles)
Today we are followed all around the most southerly part of the Lizard Peninsula by the haunting sound of the Lizard Lighthouse foghorn, bellowing out it’s sonorous warning every 30 seconds. We plan to walk around the headland starting at Lizard village; it’s raining and foggy and it feels like winter all over again.
Leaving the village, strangely silent and dreary in the fog, we head for Church Cove with its charming thatched cottages and pretty gardens, and then turn right to climb up the steep hill and along the coast path towards Kilcobben Cove and the Lizard Lifeboat Station. A look behind us and across the cliffs, reveals the path to Cadgwith that we walked last week. Ahead, the grassy cliff tops and rugged coastline are hazy in the fog, although for a very brief while the foghorn stops and we wonder if the skies are clearing.
The Lizard Lifeboat Station sits 140 feet down at the bottom of the cliff in Kilcobben Cove. When the boat needs to be launched the crew must run down more than 200 steep steps from the car park and visitor centre at the top to the boathouse itself.
As we reach the top of the hill and walk past the Lifeboat Station a group of seven or eight cormorants fly across the water in tight formation – a ‘swim’ of cormorants. As we walk on we see many more, some huddled on rocks and others flying solo around the cliffs. We soon reach Bass Point, the site of the Coastguard Station with the Lloyds Signal Station sitting behind it. The signal station was opened in 1872 and sent and received messages by flag, to and from ships passing the point. It was of limited use on days like today however, and when another company set up its own station next door there was, predictably, lots of confusion for shipping. Common sense eventually prevailed and the offices were amalgamated in 1875. By 1877 more than 1000 ships a month were using the services of the signal station. The building is now owned by the National Trust and privately leased as residential accommodation.
The foghorn continues as we make our way down over the cliffs at Housel Bay and back up the other side, towards the lighthouse itself, which is signalling its warning by a flashing white light every 3 seconds. The Lizard Lighthouse is the most southerly on land in Britain and has a checkered history, originally established in 1619 amid much official opposition, as it was thought that it would guide enemies and pirates to land. Sir John Killigrew eventually erected the lighthouse at his own expense but the cost of maintaining it nearly bankrupted him.
Passing the lighthouse we make our way down over the hill, past some National Trust workers precariously perched on the cliff edge mending fences, and into Polpeor Cafe for a cup of tea. The views from the cafe are fantastic and even though its foggy we can see the gulls and cormorants perched on the rocks in the sea. As we watch, a small trawler makes its way between the rocks, rising on the choppy waves and then crashing down until it seems as if it may disappear underwater at any minute. The whole cafe is mesmerised as we watch its progress until, having safely navigated the point it disappears from view.
Onward for us across Lizard Point and the climb upwards towards Kynance Cove. As we make our way up the steps and across the cliffs we keep an eye out for the pair of ravens that we saw last time I was walking this way with Ms B. They’re not around today however. Instead, we’re excited to see…..a pair of choughs! Pecking around in the grass just ahead of us, with their long red downcurved bills and their purply black plumage, they stay long enough for us to take a good look with the binoculars before sensing our presence and taking flight down over the cliffs. I am well-chuffed (haha!!).
The excitement keeps us going on up the hill and across the marshy grass at Caerthillian Cove. Here we turn inland and cross a couple of stiles and a field before climbing on to the drystone wall which supports the track back into Lizard Village, accompanied all the way by the bellowing foghorn.
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major:
I hope you’re all having a productive week. Its been busy in this neck of the woods, but I’ve recovered my mojo and Mr RR and I managed to fit in a walk around Loe Pool this morning before returning to Porthleven in time for a lovely lunch with our good friends Mr and Mrs S, who are down from Suffolk on holiday (Happy Birthday Mr S!!).
Can you believe we’re almost at the end of week 9!
Today we went back to Cadgwith. Having had a short walk here earlier in the week (read about it here) we had promised ourselves a return visit to explore further afield. I’ve got some interesting local history and industrial archaeology for you this time (no….don’t go away, it is interesting!)
Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)
Achieved so far: 196.4 miles (Target 180 miles)
Achieved this week: 19.8 miles
Cadgwith circular via Ruan Minor and Poltesco (4.4 miles)
We started today with a hop over the stile leading to an enclosure protecting a Holy Well. This little listed building sits in the corner of a field and is dedicated to St Ruan, a 6th century Cornish saint, a bishop, and patron saint of Tavistock.
What a lovely walk Mr RR and I had today! Can you believe that on Tuesday there was hail and sleet and freezing winds….and today the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the sea was deep, deep greeny blue….aaah wonderful. We almost didn’t really need coats.
We didn’t go far from home, but we hadn’t explored this area before, not sure why not, its very beautiful, around the mouth of the Helford River with views across Falmouth Bay. I think we’ll be going back again.
This walk came from Classic Walks, Cornwall (3rd ed). I’m always wary of walks from walk books, they can easily lead you astray while you look in vain for the ‘white cottage on the left’ which is now blue, or the ‘metal gate’ which is now wooden. Paths, especially on the coast, can be diverted as the cliff erodes and new paths may have appeared since the book was published. Today we took the Ordnance Survey map with us – just in case – but for the most part the walk was just as it says on the tin!
Anyway, I’m off to do some secret stitching…..enjoy reading.
Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)
Achieved so far: 192 miles (target 180 miles)
Achieved this week: 15.4 miles
Porthallow circular via Gillan and Nare Point (4.9 miles)
At the little fishing hamlet of Porthallow, which sits on the coast just around the corner from the Helford River, there is a large stone sign letting us know that this is the mid point of the South West Coast Path from Minehead to Poole. The stone has, carved into it, names of birds and flowers that can be found hereabouts. Across the bay we can see container ships at anchor awaiting entrance to Falmouth Docks. The sun is shining, the sea is calm and the day is perfect for walking.
We set off through the hamlet, heading inland and crossing a little stream before making our way up the tree lined valley. There is, of course, mud! Lots of it! But boards walks have been provided over the worst parts and as we climb upwards we’re able to take our eyes from our feet to admire the view. There is birdsong all around us and we soon see a robin and a pair of blue tits.
Across a couple of babbling brooks and stone stiles before, eventually we join the road which will take us through hedges and rolling countryside to a track leading downhill to Gillan Harbour.
On the way, we pass through a farmyard and catch sight of these cute calves in the barn. They’re quite curious about us and not at all shy, but even so, we turn off the flash on the camera so we don’t startle them.
The track descends along a path, presumably once the drive to a large house as there is a carved gatepost at one point and it is lined with elegant beech trees, the floor littered with the remains of beech nuts, much prized by wood mice and grey squirrels, though we see neither of these.
Across the valley, on our left, an elegant art deco style house sits high on the hillside, no doubt with stunning views over the harbour and Falmouth Bay, which is ahead of us as we carry on down the muddy hill.
This is such a pretty place, so quiet and still. Across the water we can see five egrets on the shoreline. The collective noun for egrets is so disappointing that I considered not repeating it here, but my conscience won’t let me get away with that…….a heronry of egrets (it’s almost plagiarism isn’t it?). Moving quickly on…….
The little stone quay is owned by the National Trust and there is also the remnant of a Bronze Age settlement here, called The Herra.
We’re now on the South West Coast Path and need only to follow this back to our starting point. The path is of course muddy, with some steepish climbs and stiles to navigate, but the views along the coastline in front of us and out across Falmouth Bay towards the Roseland Peninsula are worth every step of it.
Along the way we see stonechats,bluetits, a meadow pipit and a long tailed tit. Down on the water’s edge are cormorants and a pair of Shelduck sitting amidst the gulls. After a short time, we stop to remove a layer of clothing, before ploughing on to Nare Point where there is, what must be, the Coastguard Station with the best views in all of Cornwall.
And then, after one very steep climb, we can see Porthallow in the distance, surprisingly far away. It doesn’t take us long, however, to tramp along the remainder of this muddy path and down over the hill. Just on the edge of the hamlet, right by the water’s edge, is the most delightful garden, beautifully landscaped, making you want to sit right there and drink in the view.
Not for us, sadly. We’re back at the car and removing muddy boots again!
Associated Artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major: