Walking the Kelseys

On a sunny and showery Monday in June my son and I headed for West Pentire to seek out the wild flower meadows there, in particular the poppies and corn marigolds. We were not disappointed. Parking the car near the Bowgie Inn, we set off to walk over the headlands to Holywell beach though due to storm clouds arriving we cut the walk short and took an alternative route back to the car and a well earned G&T at the pub (well I did, he was the designated driver πŸ™‚ )

We set off to walk around Pentire Point West with its amazing views northwards towards Newquay and Trevose Head. You can just about make out the lighthouse on the far left of the image below.

What we weren’t expecting was the sheer contrast of bright yellow rapeseed against the blue sea and sky. Well, blue for the moment anyway.

On the other hand I had anticipated in seeing poppies and I was pleased to see that I wasn’t too late this year.

But they of course deserved their own post. I was on the hunt for different views and flowers on the way to Polly Joke beach and to introducing my son to this part of Cornwall. The views were amazing even though we were a little concerned over the black clouds in the distance. Modest benches dot the scenery here and entice you to sit and stare a while. Contemplate and wonder.

…and contemplate

Across the beach we could make out the pathways on Kelsey Head that we were aiming for. First though, a walk on the beach was required, even though the tide was making its way in. We spied a narrow track from the beach leading up to the Head.

Though getting up was a bit of a clamber for me. A nearby stream created a damp patch for a spread of wild Iris pseudacorus, the yellow flag iris. Bird’s foot trefoil was also in abundance. And up on the top we were greeted by a carpet of Sea Pinks (Armeria maritima) as well as an increasingly blustery wind bringing those clouds even closer.

The Kelseys are an interesting ancient area consisting of three enclosures that were important enough to be shown on the first edition one inch Ordnance Survey map (c1809); fields are not usually represented. The inner walls are of considerable height and built like the corn ditches of Dartmoor – a near vertical wall on one side and a gently sloping bank on the other.Β  At Kelsey Head itself a low bank and shallow ditch of a cliff castle can be seen. From the top looking back towards Crantock the wild poppy and corn marigold fields could easily be seen beyond the beach.

Although our intention had been to continue to Holywell (below) we decided to cut the walk short and head back over the Kelseys to join the path from Cuthbert Common to Polly Joke. We followed one of the enclosure walls part way along and then found a track through to the common. However we soon realised that we were heading in the wrong direction as we were getting further away from the barn that marked our destination so we cut across the Β sandy grassland and down to the lane below which brought us out close to the stream that flows into Polly Joke beach.

(Above) Wild flowers on the route

Sea campion (or the coastal equivalent of bladder campion), Knapweed, Cow Parsley, Ox-eye daisies and wild primroses were among some of the flowers in this lime rich soil. The primroses had long finished though so I have another excuse to visit this area next spring.

Back at Polly Joke the rain started, but fortunately for us (as we were not wearing wet weather clothing) it soon passed, though leaving behind a much greyer sky than had been two hours previously. Up the steep hill, with a short sit on another well placed bench, we turned into the field edges to photograph more of the poppies.

Next time we will try and get to Holywell beach and if the tide is low, try and locate the actual Holy well that gives it its name.

Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. Chloris says:

    What a fabulous walk, with amazing views and wild flowers. Loved this post Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The coastal path being as it is (often steep and slippery with loose stones) I can’t manage a lot of it, but where it is more path-like I enjoy walking next to the sea. The wild flowers are always a bonus.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Absolutely glorious photos, Jude! I tried to comment on a couple, but no luck! 😦 Why the name Polly Joke, I wonder? Doesn’t look very funny to me, rather beautiful, in fact. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Funny how swiftly the weather can change. I love that one looking up Polly Joke with the poppies in the background. Thanks, hon! Special memories with your son.

    1. Heyjude says:

      If you go to the post about the beach you will read about the name, Cornish for Jackdaw! I think you can only comment on photos in a gallery, not individuals, or maybe I don’t have commenting on. I thought you’d like this one, blue skies, sea and wild flowers. Could almost be the Algarve πŸ˜‹

      1. restlessjo says:

        The Holywell beach post? Couldn’t see it! Have a lovely lunch πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Last Portuguese lesson this afternoon then summer break to forget it all πŸ™‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          Haha… yes, you will need to practice. Are the lessons free?

        2. restlessjo says:

          Nope. We have to pay for the pain πŸ˜‚ xx

  3. Tish Farrell says:

    What a show the wild flowers (and not so wild) put on for you, and all against that unbelievable blue.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oops! First reply was meant for Jo, but I was using my phone and that is never a good thing! The wild flowers were lovely to see though not as many as last year (other than the poppies and corn marigolds that I missed), maybe last year’s heat had something to do with it. And even the rape seed looked magnificent against the blue.

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        I realised you were talking to Jo πŸ™‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          Well, yes you would, given we both know you do not live in the Algarve. 🀣 And neither do I, though the thought is very tempting.

        2. Tish Farrell says:

          It is a tempting thought – the Algarve.

  4. beetleypete says:

    I see so much of the yellow oil seed rape around here, it was a delight to see so many poppies in one place. Great scenery, Jude.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      The yellow and blue go together so well, though rape seed usually makes me sneeze! It has such a distinctive smell.

      1. beetleypete says:

        It smells like wee, and does make me sneeze too. πŸ™‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’d say musty, but I’m not getting too close!

  5. Fabulous photos! So glad you weren’t too late to see the Poppies – maybe we will catch them yet…… πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely area even if the poppies have finished. best go before the schools break up!

  6. Joanne Sisco says:

    What a gorgeous walk, Jude!! This is the kind of walk I probably wouldn’t get far because I’d be stopping so often to take photos and simply gawk at the scenery {happy sigh}. Cornwall in June, you say? Must add it to the someday adventure list!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have to admit it takes me a while to do a walk as I am always stopping to photograph the flowers. But simple pleasures are to be enjoyed.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        I couldn’t agree more!

  7. Su Leslie says:

    Those blues!! Gorgeous photos Jude. Looks like a great walk. Thank you for sharing. πŸ˜€

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am so glad I discovered this little beach, it is so undeveloped here and the views are amazing. I imagine in summer it is not quite so quiet though as it isn’t far from Newquay!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        πŸ˜€ most of my beach time is outside of summer because I can’t abide the crowds.

  8. Such beauty at your fingertips is nearly unimaginable.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well, I do have to make the effort of driving there, but there are equally beautiful places a little closer. I am somewhat lazy in going out and about as when the sun is shining I am often happy just pootling in the garden.

  9. What a stunning walk with all those flowers. I love the rapeseed; it gives such a glow to fields. And the poppies shouting to be seen! We saw a lot of rapeseed fields in Tuscany and loved them. Of course you have the sea here, which makes them doubly pretty. And the Sea Pinks! What a wonderful day, Jude! πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was a great day Cathy, more so with the company of my son. I don’t spend enough time with my adult children, they have their own busy lives to lead, so any time with them is a joy.

      1. I’m so happy that you had a nice time with your son, Jude. We don’t have enough time these days with our adult children, do we? I’m looking forward to seeing my eldest in Colorado in September, and traveling to South Carolina with my daughter in November. And of course, our youngest is currently living with us, and so far, all is going well. πŸ™‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          I am glad that things are on the up with A. And that you have time with your other kids. I guess mine have their own families to worry about πŸ™‚

        2. I’m so thankful that things are going well for now, Jude, and I just hope every day that they keep going well. My adult children don’t have families of their own yet, but they have a lot going on. One is so far away that it’s hard to see him often.

        3. Heyjude says:

          I know that one from my eldest being in Australia, but actually I probably have more contact with him than the one who lives closest to me!

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Just lovely to be able to take in all those views and the wildflowers. I’ve commented before about how stunning it is where you live, and this post confirms it. There’s something special about a field of poppies…

    1. Heyjude says:

      This is a lovely area in which to walk, unlike nearby Newquay it is undeveloped around this headland which I prefer.

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