Saturday 18 June 2016
Porthleven to Lizard
It wasn’t raining when I got up, but it definitely wasn’t sunny either; a grey day. I started with breakfast in a cafe before heading out of Porthleven.
The tide was out and that meant there was a very long stretch of beach all the way from Porthleven to Gunwalloe. In the middle is Loe Bar, a bank of sand that separates the sea from The Loe, a large lake.
Around Halzephron Cliff I dropped down to Church Cove, a small beach with a church tucked into a little headland. This was St Winaloes, the Church of the Storms.
There were lots of children out surfing at Church cove and Poldhu Cove; it looked like some sort of weekend lessons, rather like weekend football practice for inland kids.
Just on top of the cliff here, near the nursing home with the best views, was a column commemorating the “Famous Poldhu Wireless Station” that stood on this cliff between 1900 and 1933. It was erected by Marconi and transmitted the first wireless telegraph signals across the Atlantic, received in St John’s, Newfoundland, in December 1901.
Next stop was Mullion Cove, a sheltered little harbour that seemed to be protected by cliffs all around, both onshore and offshore thanks to Henscath and Mullion Island. It had a National Trust air about it – quiet. The sea was a beautiful green and the gulls were crying. I stopped for a cream tea.
Walking across the high point of the day, Predannack Head, I could see all the way across Mount’s Bay to Gwennap Head.
Kynance Cove was stunning. I arrived about an hour before high tide and there were lots of people crowding the small sandy beach, the cafe and in the sea. A very popular place.
I could have done with a swim myself but a) it was too crowded, and b) I was close to the campsite. Unfortunately, not close enough to want to walk back there once I’d pitched my tent!
I think I walked into a hippy commune that doubles as a campsite. What a place. All higgledy-piggledy with shacks containing various facilities, murals and artwork everywhere, areas to sit (communally of course). The owners (one woman, two men and a baby) found me a small pitch, over a little carved, wooden bridge next to the field with the alpacas and chickens (although chickens and ducks were roaming everywhere).
The sun had come out! I pitched quickly, donned my swimming costume and walked down the road to Lizard Point. I had made it to the most Southern point of mainland Britain. Hurrah.
Lizard Point was quite busy so I didn’t hang around but walked East along the coast path, past the lighthouse, to Housel Bay. Here was a great spot for a swim. The sand was covered because it was high tide and I saw no one. I had a wonderful swim in the clear water.
My camping neighbours were Gary and Steve, two more SW Coast Path walkers who had started alone as we’re now walking together. I had seen them on the campsite at Porthleven last night and so we got chatting and went for dinner together in the pub. They were good company.
Back at the campsite, the fire pit was smoking and there was a band playing. In fact there were lots of fires going, people drinking and enjoying music, feral kids running round at 10pm. I half expected to be offered some whacky backy, but I wasn’t. Instead I retired to bed to the strains of “Jolene”.