Saturday, 7 February 2009


Godrevy is the name of the northern most headland of Gwithian Bay, one of the most stunning Bays in Cornwall. It is also the name of the beach that lies in it's shadow, beloved or surfers. The bay stretches from this headland past the village of Gwithian, past acres of sand dunes, past the town of Hayle hidden behind a ridge of sand, to the wide expanse of the hayle estuary and the beautiful, but expensive village of Lelant. The bay contines past Carbis Bay and it's beach to St Ives and it's many tourists.

This quiet bay has been the home to much industry. The mining operations taking sand from the dunes. The explosives factory nestled in the dunes that prevented explosions spreading from building to building. Currently rows of caravans nestle in the dunes and glisten in the sun. Hayle has a harbour and has two parts, Copperhouse and Foundry. It was a haven of industry that has left behind a dead harbour. Carbis Bay was home to mining as well, as was much of Cornwall but unusually Carbis Bay supplied Uranium from it's Pitchblende ore and radioactive rocks can still be found in the mine tunnels leading from the beach. St Ives is the home of art in Cornwall with artists such as Barbara Hepworth making their home there as well as the Tate Modern. It's harbour still supports fishing boats but now there are as many tourist boat trips leaving it's shelter.

It has links with Cornwall's religious past as well. Holy wells, so common in Cornwall are found at Gwithian, Phillack (a small village by Hayle) and Lelant. At Lelant, the old Cornish pilgrammage route to St Michael's Mount begins. Many relics are found in the churches of this area including a plethora of cornish crosses at St Uny's in Lelant wich is believed to be built on the site of a Roman hill fort. There is an inscribed stone at Phillack as well.

I have been thinking a lot today and one thing I have come to realise through writing about Cornwall on this blog, is how much I love it. I love it's history and countryside and nature. I love the sea. This may sound obvious but F and I have often contemplated moving to lessen the distance to my family and increase the distance from his. My qualifications would be of more value elsewhere as well and chances are I would be able to pick up a decent job. I have finally realised though that although i want to move, I do not wish to leave....

Today F and I spent a companionable morning doing our own things in the same room before going to the Post Office where I learnt the rules of posting to Canada (customs stickers and return address in top left corner). I then used some free vouchers from the internet to save ten pounds on some new art supplies. We failed in our quest to buy bacon bites for lunch (squares of puff pastry folded over bacon and cheese) and instead bought crusty baps of a gargantuan size. On our return home we filled them with bacon and chipolatas and tomato ketchup before setting out for Godrevy.

We sat and admired the view across the bay while eating and drinking coffee. The sky was blue with clouds scudding across occasionally blocking the sun and bringing short and light showers. The wind was cold and reduced the temperature we felt to near freezing. It is hard to believe that right now Cornwall is an island cut off by snow and a mere 30 minutes drive would find us in treachorous conditions.

Godrevy has a lighthouse and I had promised my Mum some pictures of a lighthouse. We took quite a few. The lighthouse is now automated and sits perched on it's island. Living there in times gone by must have been pretty lonely. In a busy bay but often cut off from others.

Some of the cliff is unstable and fenced off. At one place you can see a whole section is waiting to slide into the sea which the fault it is moving on exposed. Only a fool would walk across. Below this headland, on the northern side, a seal breeding colony is to be found in the Summer. The next cove round is called Fisherman's Cove. The path down to it is hard to find and hugs the cliff in a way that would discourage many from going down. As expected the fishing is supposed to be pretty good. I once had an encounter with a seal on this beach as we watched each other for several long moments.

We walked the short circular route around the headland. At one point we found a bunch of flowers left on a bench, a memorial to someone whose ashes had been scattered? Later we noticed a flake of snow. Then another. We paused and discovered that the flakes were blowing in horizontally from the sea. Which cloud had spawned them was unclear as they could have been carried for miles across the sea.

Back at the car we drank more coffee as the sun began to slide nearer to the horizon and impart a soft orange to the sky. I saw a Robin in a bramble. It came to sit by our car and I tossed out my cake crumbs for it. It seemed quite happy, the wind ruffling it's feathers even in the shelter of the car. The pied wagtails didn't come quite so close and were a little more manic in moving around while the Robin just sat their and eyeballed me.

We talked about our life a little as it is now. We are both agreed that my blog has had a positive effect on our lives, more so on mine but definitely an effect on his too. As a result of my blog and desire to reconnect with my faith, we are getting out more, no matter the weather. At first he needed a little persuading but it didn't take long for both of us to remember how much we love this landscape we live in, how could we have forgotten?

1 comment:

  1. I love hearing about your whereabouts! And I wouldn't want to move from there either! It sounds like a lovely day...*sigh*