Cornish favourites: Neolithic period

Walking through the fields in West Penwith looking for Chûn Quoit was how we spent one day of our Cornish holiday three years ago. There is something about a quoit/dolmen that intrigues me and on reaching one  I feel a sense of peace and history that stretches back to (3500-2500 BC).  What would this place have looked like…

Cornish favourites: Levant Mine

If you are interested in the Cornish mines and specifically the ruins, but not keen on going underground (Geevor) or walking on steep cliffs (Botallack / Wheal Coates / Rinsey) then Levant is the place for you.  Its main attraction is that it has the world’s only Cornish beam engine still operated by steam on…

Cornish favourites: Penlee Memorial Garden

The parkland surrounding Penlee House in Penzance was initially planted by J.R. Branwell and included many rare species from all around the world. The family were friendly with the Dorien Smiths who still live at Tresco Abbey, on Tresco, Isles of Scilly. Apart from the informal and formal gardens, there were also kitchen and flower…

Cornish favourites: Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

“Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic’, wrote Barbara Hepworth. ‘Here was a studio, a yard and garden where I could work in open air and space.” I’m not going to say much about this place as I think you will enjoy reading my impressions of this garden following my visit in 2015. View…

Cornish favourites: Morrab Gardens

In the heart of Penzance, only a stone’s throw from the sea, lies a secluded garden which has been looked after by the Council since it was bought in 1888. When the park opened in 1889, the Gardeners’ Chronicle wrote: “One of its features is a Palm-grove, where tourists may fancy themselves in the tropics…

Cornish favourites: Minack Theatre

In the far west of Cornwall, not many miles from Land’s End, the western most part of mainland Britain, is a most unusual place. The Minack is a unique open-air theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean. In 1929, local drama enthusiasts put on an out-door performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a…

Cornish favourites: St Just in Penwith

St Just in Penwith is the furthest westerly town in England. Surrounded by moorland and only a mile or so from the Celtic Sea, it is a thriving town, though no longer the boom town it once was in the heyday of the mining industry. There are several independent shops including a butcher and a…

Cornish favourites: Cot Valley

If you like walking you can reach the Cot Valley (Porth Nanven) by walking along the south coastal path from Cape Cornwall over Carn Gloose where you will find the remains of the Ballowall Barrow, a unique Bronze Age tomb had a long and complex history as a sacred site. The barrow was excavated (and…

Cornish favourites: Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall is the only Cape in England and is so-called because until the 19th century it was thought to overlook the meeting of the English Channel and St George’s Channel (they actually meet at Gwennap Head, near Land’s End). A climb up the Cape headland to the stack offers panoramic views of Lands End,…

Cornish favourites: a lighthouse

The last shore station on the north coast of west Cornwall before reaching Land’s End, Pendeen lighthouse stands atop sheer cliffs on a headland below the village of Pendeen, between St Just and St Ives. Pendeen Watch lighthouse has been guiding ships through this area for over a hundred years, its fairly squat white tower measuring 17 metres. Leave the car…