Thursday June 13: Day 2 Porthleven to Marazion

Today 11 miles, cumulative 26.7 miles, cream teas 1

It was raining when I got up so a slow start, leaving the Harbour Inn about 09:30. Good plan, it stopped raining shortly after and, apart from a shower at lunchtime, it stayed dry. It was up and down cliffs most of the day but the gradients were less steep, although I still ascended over 1000ft

The path goes round the harbour where there are market huts. Those that know me are aware I like puns and this took my fancy

On the cliff top I passed a memorial cross to all the sailors that had been shipwrecked and died off the South Cornish coast. This cross also commemorates the change in the law allowing sailors to be buried in the nearest consecrated ground. Before the passing of the “Grylls Act” in 1808 any body washed ashore was buried in a grave on the seashore. Thomas Gryll was a local resident who protested against this and the Act made the Parish where the body was found be responsible for it to be buried in consecrated ground.

There are several crosses along the coast. I passed one yesterday dedicated to the 120 men who died when HMS Arden ran aground on the Loe bank. A local resident was so affected by this disaster he went on to invent the rocket distress flare which has saved countless lives since.

Terrific cliff scenery again. In the first image you can see gulls perched on a knife edge rocky ridge. The second picture shows the view back to Lizard point

A little further I saw my first evidence of the old tin mining industry.

This was Wheal Trewavas. Most tin mines follow vertical strata of ore, which is why there were so many mines in Cornwall. This one followed a seam of copper and tin under the sea bed which I think was unusual. I wondered whether the Cornish mines might start up again if we move to electric cars and the demand for copper increases. (On my return to Manchester  I read that a company is looking into the economic viability of re-opening Cornish mines). While switch to electricity will be good for global warming there will be an environmental cost due to a massive increase in demand for various metals.

A bit further on was the single chimney of Wheal Prosper. This was a short-lived mine that failed. It then achieved fame in the 21st century by featuring in Poldark.

I then descended to Praa Sands where I had a pasty for lunch. A true Cornish pasty is crimped around the edge, not on top.

My route took me over Prussia Cove. This used to be the home of the notorious Carter family who were smugglers in the 18th Century. A certain Harry Carter self-styled himself the King of Prussia from which the cove takes its name.

I got a bit lost here as there are a lot of private drives. The signage of the SW coast path has been good until now, but there were none to be seen. I would have been all right if I had a 1:25 000 map but it wasn’t clear on my Landranger. Of course all you geeks with your Garmins would have been fine. Anyway, after a detour I had a well deserved cream tea followed by an easy 2 miles into Marazion.

Wednesday June 12: Day 1 Lizard to Porthleven

Today 15.7 miles total 15.7 miles total pints 3 still no cream teas!

First of all my thanks to Robin and Michelle for a wonderful B and B. The old bakery in lizard village. Really comfy room and top notch breakfast.

Very tiring first day, this is the furthest I have walked in a day for a while. It was also a rollercoaster day with 1396 ascent and slightly more descent. At least the rain kept off and it brightened up a bit during the afternoon.

I started by heading to the most southerly point (of mainland Britain), about a mile south of my B and B. A poor attempt at a selfie:

But the view was nice

I then turned northwest (easy navigation, keep the sea on the left) and headed over steep cliffs towards Kynance cove. On the way I saw 3 seals swimming just offshore. The cove is guarded by 3 rock formations: lion rock which seemed a fanciful name until I was past the cove when it did look like a lion sitting with its back to me

And asparagus island and gulf rock (why?)

The route got a bit less rugged after Mullion cove

I continued over the cliffs and came to the Marconi monument. This marks the first transatlantic wireless broadcast from the shore near here to a boat ( containing Marconi) in the south Atlantic.

Although still up and down the going was easier now although the path has been rerouted in several places due to cliff falls. I came to Church cove, named after the church of St Winwaloe, also named the Church of Storms as it has been damaged several times over the centuries by storms. The bell tower is separate and built into the cliff

Nearly there now, continuing along the low cliffs above Porthleven sands. Two thirds of the way along the beach there is a sand bar separating the Loe from the sea.

Legend has it that Excalibur was thrown into the Loe after the death of King Arthur. Following another low cliff top, I arrived in Porthleven and the Harbour inn where I enjoyed a crab linguini with a glass of wine.

Tuesday June 11: Day 0 travel

Miles walked 0, pints beer 2, cream teas 0.

Not much to say. A long train and bus journey, everything on time. Had a good view of the August leg from the train . If the weather is nice there should be good views from the Cotswold escarpment.

When I planned the trip I imagined getting here and feasting on fish and chips sitting on the beach on a sunny evening. Instead there was heavy cloud and a strong northerly wind but at least the south west has avoided the torrential rain that hit the rest of England today. Either it’s the beer or the cloud is thinning out now. Unfortunately I think wet weather gear will feature high on the list for tomorrow.

Nice fish and chips and a couple of pints of well kept St Austell Proper Job IPA in the “Top House” pub in Lizard. Fish depends on what was caught; today it was hake. Pub Recommended if you are down here.

Cream teas: I must remember it is jam before cream in Cornwall and cream first in Devon.