Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Chapel Porth to Holywell (South West Coast Path 71)

Chapel Porth

We set out from the delightful cove at Chapel Porth and headed uphill. The forecast had been bad, but the sky was pretty clear and there was a great view back towards Godrevy lighthouse and St Ives, with a little sandy cove in the foreground. 

Soon we saw again the tin mining buildings we spotted yesterday. 

As we approached the area of St Agnes Head I attempted one last picture of the massive sweep of coast back to St Ives.

Round the corner from St Agnes Head, Newdowns Head concealed our first destination, Trevaunce Cove. 

This was in fact not very pretty, but we stopped for a restorative drink and then climbed up to the high plateau above. The view back was more appealing.

We descended to Cross Combe, another mining area, and encountered a party who had caught the bus from Perranporth who enquired after the route, having first checked if we had been that way before. We pointed out the acorn symbol and yellow arrows used as direction signs, but they looked a little unprepared. We think the steep climb up from the Combe may have deterred them.

This led to another high level plateau, with Perranporth Airfield inland of us. We saw what looked like air raid shelters and guessed that it probably dated from the Second World War and Wikipedia confirmed that this was right - it was a Spitfire base. It is still in use for gliding and small planes.

Further on I admired some lovely rock formations.

We were now in another former mining area and looking down we seemed to see copper deposits. 

The next phase of the walk was rather depressing: the remnants of mines and quarries abandoned without a care. Cigga Head was especially desolate.

Soon however we approached Perranporth and could admire its two sections of beach split by high dunes because the tide was in.

As we got nearer to the town we were charmed by this structure, which turned out to be the Millenium Sundial.

We had originally intended to finish here, but for various reasons we decided we would continue on to Holywell, four or so miles further on. After a break for refreshments, we headed off across the sand to reach and then climb the high dunes. The view back was wonderful.

The dunes here were both surprisingly high and far-reaching. When we finally reached the other side, the view ahead was simply magnificent.

We now walked along the beach for well over a mile, noting that the stones seemed to become smaller as we progressed.

At the end we climbed up more, higher, dunes and enjoyed a great view back. After Ligger Point, we thought we were nearly there as Penhale Point came into view. But gradually it became clear that we would have to circumnavigate an army training camp before we could reach Holywell. This we duly did.

Conditions: mild and quite bright.

Grading: Moderate.

Map: Explorer 104 (Redruth and St Agnes).

Distance: 11.4 miles (distance traveled now 431.7 miles. Now under 200 miles to go!).

Rating: four stars. A sort of averaging out of the wonderful and the grim.

No comments: