Saturday, 12 July 2014

Penzance to Lamorna Cove (South West Coast Path 60)

We turned right out of our B&B and walked along the Western Promenade with the wide expanse of Mount's Bay to our left. After a shortish time we are forced away from the promenade because the sea wall is being repaired, reconstructed even. More damage from the February storms no doubt.

We follow the road into Newlyn and admire the 1894 art gallery, above.  It was designed by James Hicks for the Newlyn School of Art. The brass panels depict birds, mammal, reptiles and fish.

We were now able to rejoin the coast path proper at this dramatic statue of 2007 by Tom Leaper. It is a monument to fisherman lost at sea. The building works can be seen behind the statue while St Mary's church and the Penzance Lido are in the background.

Newlyn was once a fishing village and artists colony, but now it is an unglamorous commercial fishing port, one of the largest in the country. As we climb the road out of it there is an interesting view back across the bay to Penzance. The lighthouse at Newlyn harbour mouth can be seen to the left. It seems appropriate that fishing is a major leisure activity. 

We follow the path past Penlee Point to come down to Mousehole. We are surprised to find a sandy beach at the back of the small harbour, with families enjoying themselves among the hawsers.

In the village we are struck by the 14th century Keigwin House. Apparently Lord Keigwin was killed in a raid by the Spanish in 1595. It is the oldest house in the village, although the porch on its four granite posts dates from about 1700 according to Pevsner.

It is a steep climb out of Mousehole, but there is a great view looking back.

The next section is much more unspoilt, with a very rocky path and some steep climbs and descents. This is a view back across Mounts Bay. St Michael's Mount can be seen on the horizon.

It was good butterfly territory and we saw many Gatekeepers as well as Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, three species of White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Large Skipper; twelve species in all.

At Carn Du point the not very inspiring Lamorna Cove came into view. The pretty name turns out to be misleading.

Looking back, the rocky headland of Carn Du was quite imposing.

Conditions: warm and sunny.

Grading: Moderate to Mousehole and Strenuous thereafter.

Distance: 5.6 miles (distance now covered 362.2 miles.

Map: Explorer 102 (Land's End).

Rating: four stars.

No comments: