'Glorious sunshine all weekend in Cornwall!' according to the the beaming weatherman, so throw a few essentials in an overnight bag and head west to catch the final walk of our Walk West Cornwall festival tomorrow. The 8-mile walk (which doesn't start til 11am so you can have a leisurely breakfast too) heads over the spectacular Lizard headland and includes a visit to the Lizard Wireless Station where Marconi received the first radio signal.
Walkers have had a fabulous week at Walk West Cornwall 2017 - and Gill, our super-fit Property Manager, can vouch for that. Here's her account of Wednesday's adventure, which followed a circular route over five or six miles from the fishing village of Mousehole to Lamorna Cove:
With walking boots freshly bees-waxed and sunglasses at the ready, my companion and I set off down to Mousehole early on the morning of 15th June, trusting that the Met Office had got it right and that the mizzle would clear and the sun come out for another glorious day.
The further west we drove, the sun appeared and we knew our rain packs would not be needed, but our water bottles would! Our guide Wanda appeared, all tanned, long-legged and looking very fit and eight of us (plus small dog Bella) set off, at the appointed time of 10.30am.
Down to the boulder-strewn beach we went, watching the sun dance and twinkle off the turquoise sea, and along to Mousehole’s ancient little harbour. The harbour was made famous by the legend of the Mousehole cat and the bravery of local fisherman Tom Bawcock who, as the story goes, went out to fish because weeks of storms had left the villagers starving. His cat went with him and purred and sang to the storm until all was calm. Tom came back with enough mackerel to feed everyone and saved the day – all immortalised in Antonia Barber’s lovely little children’s book.
We wound our way through narrow streets, flanked with sturdy cottages whose granite walls once echoed to the boots of smugglers and the 16th century Spanish raiders who set the little town on fire in July 1595 – only Squire Keigwin’s house remained, believed to originate from the 14th century.
We passed the cottage of Dolly Pentreath, one of the last speakers of the Cornish language as her native tongue, who died around the 1770s, and on up the hill to pick up the Coast Path.
Fishing and mining were the two main industries for centuries in these parts, and under our feet tunnels wound under the sea bed where 18th and 19th Cornish miners worked unbelievably hard and dangerously in search of tin and copper.
The Coast Path gave us a lovely mix of stunning views and leafy glades as we climbed up and down its stony length flanked with wildflowers and untouched wildlife habitats, on round the Carn Du headland and down to the little cove of Lamorna. This little cove has been the haunt of many famous artists and writers – Samuel John 'Lamorna' Birch lived here many years; his studio is now a sweet little cottage.
Lunch was enjoyed whilst sitting and looking over the cove, which hasn’t changed much for decades, and then we were back over field footpaths to Mousehole and a welcome pot of tea at the stunningly positioned little Rockpool Café.
Join us for tomorrow's guided walk, or stay at a west Cornwall cottage at any time of year and experience the beauty of the region as it changes with the season. Invest in an OS map and retrace Gill's footsteps around the coast from Mousehole to Lamorna - the unspoiled scenery is spectacular. Available now is The Old Farmhouse, which sleeps 5 and is perfect for Coast Path walks, or unpack tomorrow at John Stackhouse Apartment, part of a clifftop castle which accommodates four above secret cove beaches.