Cornish favourites: Just Back from West Penwith

This post is probably my all time favourite. There was just something about this holiday which filled me with hope and joy. I finally understood where I wanted to be. It was also the holiday which resulted in us buying our Cornish house. And as I sit here in my upstairs bedroom / writing room almost three years later looking out to the Trink hill, the dairy cows in the pasture, white clouds scudding by and the scream of passing seabirds, I know we made the right move.

West Penwith is the far western part of Cornwall. The toe of England, the bit that weather forecasters always put their arm across, the extreme south-west which gets battered by the Atlantic storms. Where Land’s End lies. And mermaids.

Draw a line from Hayle to Marazion and this is West Penwith.

We transferred to Bojewyan, slightly north of Pendeen on Friday 5 June from Penzance. Initially we’d only booked for a one week holiday/house-hunting trip, but at the last minute I managed to find an extension. I was looking forward to exploring the coastline in this wild region of West Penwith. It has a very different character to the rest of Cornwall; it feels almost like an island. Remote villages and hamlets are strung along one of the most beautiful roads in the land  between St Just and St Ives. Travelling by road is slow, tractors, trucks, German campervans, French motorhomes, sharp bends, drystone granite walls, abandoned tin mines, carns, views across the patchwork arable fields, bleak moorland, gravel lay-bys barely big enough to fit two cars in to, a maze of hidden lanes and paths and tiny trout streams trickling down to the aquamarine coloured coast.

Visit original post: June 2015 to read more about this wonderful region with many more photographs, and if you have a place that calls to you then why not share it with Cathy on her new website. She’d love to hear about it.

37 Comments

  1. restlessjo says:

    It’s good to know that you are content, and settled, Jude, and that it’s all worked out. Nothing to do now but enjoy it all and watch those lambkins frolic. Happy Springtime! 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      If only we got some of your Algarve weather, it would be perfect Jo.

      1. restlessjo says:

        It wouldn’t look so green and beautiful though, now would it? 🙂 🙂

        1. Sue says:

          Wise ŵords, Jo….

  2. beetleypete says:

    I looked back at this one, with fond memories of your excitement at choosing your location, and making the big decision to move there for good.
    Away from the crowds in the tourist season, there is no doubt that you made the right choice.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  3. I love hearing how this place spoke to you in such a way that you decided to make it your home, Jude. It’s funny, I just finished reading an Irish book, “the all of it,” by Jeannette Haien, where the character, Enda, fell in love with a particular part of the Irish coast in the same way. It’s funny to read this after just finishing this book last night. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cathy. I have linked the original post to your challenge, hope that’s OK. There is much more about it on the original including photos.

      1. Thanks so much, Jude. I’ll be thrilled to include it. I’ll go visit it now, and link it to my new post which will publish tomorrow at 8 a.m. my time. Can’t wait to read it all, as I loved your short summary. 🙂

    2. Dina says:

      Thank you for your book recommendation, Cathy. That’s exactly the right book for my Irish friend in Germany and I want to read it too. 🙂

      1. Hi Dina, Have you heard of this book before? I’d never heard of it until I was in Ann Patchett’s Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville. She found the book in a tiny old bookstore and decided to give it a second life. She wrote a foreward to it and it was a staff recommendation. I hope you enjoy it. I liked it, but I did find the Irish English a little difficult to read. 🙂

        1. Dina says:

          No, I have never heard of it before. I have spent some time in Ireland 🇮🇪 and they do have a twist on the language sometimes 😊

        2. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it, Dina. It’s a very short read. 🙂

  4. Sue says:

    Ah wonderful! And by the sound of it, ‘elf and safety have largely left those abandoned mines alone?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Some have fences around them (Alice does), but there are many that you can wander around, watching your footing of course.

      1. Sue says:

        Reminiscent of the 1970s, when we wandered about

  5. We can see why you were drawn to that part of Cornwall. Is must be good to know that you made the right decision.

    1. Heyjude says:

      One problem is that it IS a long way from anywhere and we probably will have to move again closer to amenities. But for now we will enjoy the countryside views.

      1. Dina says:

        That sounds like our neighbours in Norfolk, Jude. They are very happy to live in Cley, to have left the big city behind them, but very soon, they want to move closer to amenities. In this case, it’s probably Sheringham.
        Living on the edge, without a doctor/dentist, a supermarket, shops and cinema is one thing – we’re awaiting our online shopping delivery in half hour ;-), but it is also far to go anywhere. Living in Cornwall you are even further away , that’s a small comfort for me, 😉 but that’s the price for living in an area of such outstanding natural beauty. You are lucky to call this precious corner of England and Cornwall your home and most important of all, to feel at home, to have made the right move to be where your heart is at home is a bliss.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Thank you Dina. It truly is a wonderful region. At least now we are living down here it will be easier to go house hunting when we feel we need to move.

      2. Oh I hope you don’t have to move too soon – you’ve got that garden to get licked into shape. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I don’t think that ever happens with a garden. They just keep on evolving!

  6. Anne Guy says:

    I know the West Penwith area well my late father lived for 32 years on the side of Trencrom Hill just down from Cripplesease. Glad you found somewhere to settle in this beautiful part of the country

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a very peaceful part of the region away from the madding crowds 🙂

  7. Ali says:

    It is wonderful to live in a place you love. Cornwall is gorgeous.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I try not to live in places I don’t like, but there have been a few!

  8. What could be better than to be where you want to be? I’m happy for you.

    Your mention of Penzance brought to mind Gilbert and Sullivan. Your mention of St. Ives brought to mind the old riddle:

    As I was going to St. Ives,
    I met a man with seven wives,
    Each wife had seven sacks,
    Each sack had seven cats,
    Each cat had seven kits:
    Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
    How many were there going to St. Ives?

    1. Heyjude says:

      That’s actually written on the outside of the museum in St Ives. I must have a photo somewhere. And it is a great riddle 🙂

  9. Anabel Marsh says:

    Nice to reread your old post from the perspective of it now neung your home.

  10. Su Leslie says:

    It’s so lovely reading about your quest for a “forever” home (even if it won’t necessarily be one), especially given that we’re embarking on the same quest. Thanks for re-posting Jude; perfect timing 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Finding the right place is one thing, finding the right house is a nightmare! We were about to give up after this visit if we didn’t find something, and even then it took almost a year to secure the sale so we almost gave up then too. It is a long way from family too.

      1. Su Leslie says:

        That’s what’s kept us here for so long. But at the moment, it feels like we have a window of time where we can be more flexible and hopefully that will help. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I wish you good luck.

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