Run to the hills - adventures in our bracing isles
To Porthcurno & beyond
Porthcurno - or the Bay of Cornwall, has to be one of the most stunning places in the UK, it's certainly one of my favourites writes Cherry Williams.
This small village gives way to the prettiest bay with turquoise seas. It's consistently named in the top ten of Cornish beaches, recommended in the Good Beach Guide and number two in the Telegraph's UK beaches.
The sand is crystalline white, the cliffs an oasis of natural wildflowers, the beach shelves quite sharply into the sea for a fabulous plunge and triffid like gunnera guard the sandy trek from the village – it is a magical place.
Extraordinary too, for this is where girl with gumption, Rowena Cade, designed and built the Minack Theatre. A tremendous feat of engineering and passion. To watch a production here with the clear night sky above you, wrapped in a blanket (its open air), hot chocolate and pasty in hand is the stuff dreams are made of.
It sits proudly above the bay, jutting out from the headland making the most of the natural shape and movement in the cliff. To make the journey up not so bothersome (it is very steep) our Rowena had a trick or two up her sleeve and from the beach there are charming balconies and secret stone steps leading upwards. And it is so worth the climb to stand above the bay, looking out to Logan’s Rock. There is also a pretty garden and fabulous café with jaw dropping views.
Porthcurno has another notable claim to fame – it was the very centre of submarine telegraph communications, able to receive thousands of communications a day. A training college was set-up and the buildings are now in the hands of the excellent Telegraph museum, which is well worth a visit. You may have to trust us on this one – it really is interesting!
We love Lamorna Cove, it’s got quite the racy literary and arty history and to this day there is a thriving artistic community.
The drive down to the cove is through a lush wooded valley which feels like an adventure and the cove is pretty. The sea is often calm and I’ve taken a kayak out to see the resident seal who bobs along happily at a distance with swimmers and kayakers alike. A joyful experience.
The café at the cove is also excellent and you can watch the painters as they take in the view.
Penzance with all its amenities and ferry to the Scilly Islands is close to hand, as is Sennen Cove, perfect for surfers and with an award winning restaurant with the most spectacular views.
The low down
We stayed at Seascape through Cornish Cottage Holidays. which is a perfect little bolt-hole for two. Self catering is a great option - a top tip is to visit Newlyn on the outskirts of Penzance. You can still buy the fishermen’s catch of the day, come back and barbeque it in the little garden of the property. Idyllic.