St Ives Holiday - June 2014
Sixteen of us enjoyed a week of glorious sunshine, with one showery day on Friday. We learned not to trust the forecast; two of our party spending time down a mine, while the sun shone brightly above. Most of us stayed at the Treloyhan Manor Hotel, which offered fantastic views of the sea and delicious meals. The coastline here is beautiful with many wild flowers.
Day one: We set off as one party, walking westwards from St. Ives.
A party walked to Gurnard's Head. It was a strenuous walk for the first day but there is nothing like being broken in. We were pleased to see a pub at the end; an unexpected pleasure. We travelled back on a vintage bus, made in Sheffield in 1963.
B group found a cafe at Porthmeor beach and Peter suggested we stop for drinks (still in St. Ives but, well, we were on holiday - but we discovered later that A party were also in a cafe just yards away). We lunched at Carn Naun Point and saw dolphins at Economy Cove. We ended at Zennor, either in the Tinners Arms or the tea room. After a very nice meal, some of us watched the sunset while others went to the pub.
Day two: A Party returned by open-top bus to Gurnard's Head. Two of us, Rob and I, shed our inhibitions and some clothes and had a swim at Portheras Cove; it was a little bit cold. Hilary received more of a paddle than she expected, due to a large wave. We passed Pendeen Watch (Lighthouse). We walked through Geevor tin mines, stopping for tea at the café.
At the start of the B walk, Peter led the group to the tea room in Zennor village, to which we had returned by bus. Lunch was at Gurnard's Head where some walked out to the Head, the rest of us enjoyed an idyllic spot looking down into a cove, very quiet until a helicopter turned up. Lovely coastline here, including a clapper-type bridge. Anxious not to miss the 2-hourly bus, we had to fight our way through a hugely overgrown footpath to get to the bus stop on time at Morvah.
In the evening we exercised our minds with a quick picture quiz.
Day three: Do as you like day. Five visited St. Michael's Mount and two went to Penzance. Colin went as far as Bodmin. The rest of us did various things such as town tour, swimming and having a cream tea.
In the evening, five us went to the Minack Theatre, a fantastic place carved from rock overlooking the sea. We saw a farce, The Frightened Lady. It was very good.
Day four: Back on the vintage bus. A party returned to Geevor tin mines. Due to a long journey, we began our walk at 11.30, after a coffee to get us going. Along the way, we came across a BBC film set, for the new series of Poldark. Anyone remember it in the 70s? After tea at Sennen Cove we continued to Land's End for the customary photographs. Most of the outlets had closed but we managed to grab a bite to eat before returning on the vintage bus.
The total distance walked by A party on the first 3 days, from St Ives to Land's End, was 24 miles.
Colin lead the B's today. The bus took us back to Morvah and we continued to Portheras Cove, but unlike the A's on Monday, we did not rush into the sea there apart from Colin having a paddle. We continued along Pendeen Cliff, to our lunch stop at Levant Mine. Industrial landscape around here with old brick chimneys and disused mine shafts. We found the National Trust tea bar which was very welcome. Like the A's, we also stumbled across the Poldark film crew. Our day ended at St. Just.
Day five: The A party caught the bus to Porthcurno. After refreshment at the Telegraph museum we began our walk. We walked to Mousehole, stopping for lunch on a rocky beach at St Loy's Cove and an ice-cream stop at Lamorna Cove. One of the best walks of the week, though hard going. Distance - 8 miles
Meanwhile the B's, led by Chris today, caught the bus to St Just and joined the coastal path at Cape Cornwall, which most of us climbed. We had lunch at Maen Dower. Not so hilly around here so we were able to get some mileage done. At Sennen Cove we walked along the beach and watched the surfers. From here, we could look back and see Cape Cornwall in the distance, it felt very satisfying. Chris took our photo with Land's End in the background. We then continued to Land's End. Our evening entertainment was a baby picture quiz, set by Aline. It was quite difficult.
Day six: We left as one party by bus to Connor Downs. One of the footpaths was so overgrown we had to turn back, and split into two parties, making our way by road and through the dunes around St Ives Bay. We stopped at a pub at Griggs Quay (back of Hayle Estuary) and were joined by B party. We carried on, along the coast, ending with a paddle in the sea and tea. Distance - 11 miles.
Day seven: We all began our journey home. Six of us travelled first class due to a shortage of carriages, and passed the time playing Scrabble.
A wonderful week; thank you, Peter, for organising this holiday. Thanks also to Greg, Peter, Colin & Chris for leading the walks, and to Aline and Chris R for arranging the quizzes in the evening.
Chris R (A Walker) & Diana (B Walker).