Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gurnard's Head to Botallack (Oct 1st)

We were up at 6.30, making a quick porridge for breakfast, setting off for the bus station at about 7.30. Other than the main road which we had to cross, it was still and quiet, and a beautiful morning :-) Penzance sunrise

There were only fishermen, workmen and some early morning swimmers out...

Mount's Bay Sunrise

... and bus drivers of course! We had the same driver as yesterday, Steve, and picked up the same children for school, it was interesting watching their dynamic! We were dropped off near Gurnard's Head, and walked out onto the coast path, picking up where the path was open again.
Treen Cove
This cove was once the site of a pilchard business, (called a 'seine' - 3 boats, 2 nets and a fish cellar where the pilchards were processed) and more tin mining. I thought it was a lovely spot.

From here we walked out on to Gurnard's Head with its cliff castle and remains of round houses a rugged little headland that is bigger than it looks!Gurnard's Head

The path is mostly cliff walking from here with only a couple of coves, lots of scrambling over granite boulders and along narrow tracks, demanding on the body again!

New bridge

This bridge had been re-made after the storm damage, there were tracks from the diggers etc, it must have been difficult work as access was very tricky.

Porthmeor Cove - I liked the X!

The path leads on to Bosigran which is a one of the best climbing cliffs in Cornwall. The next picture I've included because it gives an good idea of how steep the cliffs are, the path you can see wending its way half way down the cliff on the far side was NOT the one we took!

When I was at college, I came here. It was the first time I had ever abseiled and I was scared stiff, as the sea was crashing far below, but I was in safe hands.

Bosigran Cliff

You can see a couple standing on the cliff top! I didn't climb all the way up there, just the pink coloured section!

Whirl Pool

The path was very tricky and uneven and a real scramble in places, we caught glimpses of a beach up ahead and I decided I hadn't paddled at all yet on the walk, so I would do it here, despite the challenge of drying feet and getting back into my boots etc!! I was so hot and tired, and the white sand and turquoise sea was so inviting :-)

Portheras Cove

You knew there was going to be a 'however' didn't you? As we descended the path, there was this notice...

... I could hardly believe it... and the sand was SO inviting...Portheras Cove

Tim had visited this beach years ago and it had just been boulders and stones,

the depth of sand was amazing, and the stream cut into it as we watched... beautiful :-)
I hope you enjoy this video.

After Portheras we walked on to Pendeen Watch,

Pendeen Watch

where there is another lighthouse, and sat and had some food, before walking on to Botallack via Geevor and Lelant Mines. We looked out for choughs but to no avail, by now we were very tired and were glad to stop.

Lelant Mine
We caught the bus into St Just, went for a hot chocolate, tea and carrot cake - very nice.

About to go and make my Chrstmas cake ...

... it's in the oven, :-) so just time to finish off this entry...

After catching bus back to Penzance and a shower in the Youth Hostel before the school kids got back, we returned to The Alverne for another lovely meal. We plumped for a starter and a pud for Tim, a frangipane which was so delicious he also wanted to skip down the road!

Tim's pud

The restaurant had a lovely welcoming atmosphere and a lounge area where you could sit by the fire - my pic does not do it justice.

We'd walked about 9 or so miles on the coast, but it had been a hard path, for me harder than yesterdays which Tim had found difficult. Parts were scrambling over boulders etc, but the final section had been on the gravel roads of the tin mines, and they make your legs ache! We had been blessed with wonderful weather again and were beginning to look a little tanned!


  1. Looks like a wonderful section! We enjoyed walking around the Lelant/Botallack area a couple of years ago. And we did see choughs at the Botallack engine houses!

  2. Really lovely descrption. I remember going on a holiday to Penzance. many years ago and we had to do a soap sculpture. I did a little model of a tin mine, and was really pleased with it as arts and crafts are not really my strong point as you know..Meriel

  3. Oh my, I can't believe I somehow missed this one, and the food too!! o_0

    We miss you!