Cornwall Coastal Path – St Ives to Portreath

When – 15 February
Where – St Ives to Portreath
Distance – 17 miles
Home for the night – Portreath Arms, Portreath

The most important thing you need to know about today is that we walked 17 miles today. The second most important thing is that we saw seals. The third is that Portreath smells of sewage – something I hope, for the residents sake, is a temporary affliction… but which I suspect is permanent. Especially as the pub we’re staying at is served by chemical loos!

It was good walking today – mercifully almost free of those Cornish Coastal ups and downs that I’ve become familiar with (this is, after all, my third visit down here section walking the flipping thing). Also pretty free of other ‘Coasters’ – apart from a nice pair of older blokes who are section walking it and being picked up by their wives at the end of every day. They weren’t mucking around with water to keep them hydrated though – they were cracking open tins of Fosters! Not a huge surprise that the route wasn’t inundated I suppose; after all, it is February, it was bloody windy today and the Hayle area is not, in truth, the biggest scenic draw ever.

After a very pleasant day off in St Ives yesterday (Tate / Barbara Hepworth/ spa / cream tea / Muppet film – in that order) Annette, Tracy and I marched off into the distance, ready to put St Ives behind us and forge ever onwards in the vaguely eastern direction of our route. Except we never really did put St Ives behind us – even 17 miles later, standing on the top of the Carvannel Downs and looking down on Portreath, we could still see it! It’s a great town but…

Best bits from today were, in no particular order… The seals, as previously mentioned, which we spotted lolloping about on the beach in Mutton Cove – just by the lighthouse at Godrevy Point that was, apparently, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s book ‘To the Lighthouse’ (note to self: read some Virginia Woolf at some point in your life); leaving Hayle behind (sorry if you’re from there, but I think we both know it’s not the prettiest place in Cornwall); walking along the beach for aaaaaages from the Hayle Estuary to Magow Rocks – seriously blustery but it was great to see the cliffs close up, rather than just looking down at them; not having anything awful befall us at Hell’s Mouth and having a very nice dinner at The Basset Arms. Oh, and the whole walking 17 miles thing too, obviously.

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About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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