Although we have been coming regularly to the Captain’s House for a decade, we haven’t seen that much of Cornwall. Falmouth – on and off the water – and surrounding coastline, has been the limit of our world. We have only ventured as far afield as the west cost of The Lizard peninsular for our favourite beaches, and Nare Head to the east.
On this trip we spent a few days on the Isle of Scilly, flying from Land’s End Airport. We arrived back at 10 am and decided to drive along the north coast. What a revelation! We discovered: Cape Cornwall’s wonderful views; Geevor Tin Mine Museum; and the charming village of Zennor that still sits comfortably in the 15th Century, apparently undisturbed by recent events. We returned to the present when we bumped into St Ives where, in search of a public toilet, we tripped over Porthgwidden Beach Café, a wonderful place with good food where the views made us feel like we were in California. From the window we looked past the Bay Watch crowd, across St Ives Bay to Towans Beach. (We explored all three miles of Towans a few days later in a Force 8 gale!)
Much of the journey between the airport and St Ives was through bleakly picturesque moorland that reached up to touch low stratus cloud, leading down to broad fields neatly separated by Cornish ‘hedges’, above precipitous cliffs. The ‘hedges’ – parallel stone walls filled with soil – are unique to Cornwall; some are said to be as old as the Pyramids.
Really wonderful and quite unexpected, for us at least.