The walk from St Agnes’ Head to Perranporth is spectacularly beautiful. As I set off along the cliffs, I could see the rocks below were pockmarked with caves. This is a wonderland for divers.
It is difficult to describe the drama of St Agnes.
I walk round a curve in the coast and see a fold in the rocks. This is Trevaunance Cove. Under towering cliffs, their sides slashed by recent rock falls, lies a small strip of beach, edged by beach huts and cafés. Waves roll in, line after line of swelling water, and the sea is crowded with surf boards. Perched high above is an industrial landscape, dotted with the smooth-sided mounds of quarried material and punctuated by chimneys.
I wonder what crime the boys were committing, until I realise they are having fun. As I watch, more boarders paddle out to enjoy the dubious pleasure of being hosed down.
I intended to stop for lunch in St Agnes, but the missing part of my map has disrupted my schedule and I’m worrying about getting to Perranporth in time to catch the last bus back to Portreath. And just look at the size of those cliffs ahead! I decide to skip lunch and press on.
The walk up out of Trevaunance Cove is as tough as I feared. At the top there is a weird track, very rough underfoot and with slippery stones. I walk on the grass verge as much as I can. At the end of the track is an iron gate a sign – “The Motor Cycling Club”. That must be an old sign, I think. Nobody could race cars here anymore.
Later I discover they really do race cars along this track, as demonstrated in this Youtube video, filmed in 2013.
This area is called Blue Hills. I look back down at St Agnes and regret not having more time to spend in this amazing place.
Below another tiny cove nestles among spectacular cliffs. This is Trevellas Porth and is even more beautiful than cove I have just left behind.
I walk down and spend some time wandering around on the tiny paths that thread across the far slopes. Trevellas Porth is a popular spot and I am not the only person walking up and down these steep places.
The coast is indented with tiny coves and pock-marked with numerous caves. The water is blue and clear.
This area was mined for tin and copper, with arsenic produced as a byproduct. Looking down at the tumbled stones you can see blue colouration.
Eventually I come to a place where the landscape is open wasteland, pitted with the remains of old quarries, exposed rocks, ruined buildings – evidence of what was once a thriving industry. This is Cligga Head.
Ahead I can see the cliffs fall away and there is a large stretch of sandy beach, sweeping around a wide bay. I know I am looking at Perran Beach with the dunes of Penhale Sands behind. Perranporth is hidden around the corner.
I leave the ruins behind and follow the path along the slope. It is clearly marked and the route is scenic but it seems to go on for ever. I thought I was nearly there! I walk so fast I am almost jogging.
Finally I see Perranporth ahead. The beach looks busy. There are some wonderful rock formations on this side of the bay.
It is just past four o’clock and I need to find the bus stop. But I spend a few minutes gazing at the view and anticipating tomorrow’s walk along the sands. It will make a change from cliff walking and I am looking forward to it already.
It turns out I have misread the bus timetable – again! The next bus is due at 17:26, not 16:26. I have an hour to spare. I have a late lunch in a nearby café – and munch my way through a most enormous cream tea.
Then I sit in a pretty park next to the bus shelter and wait for the next bus to arrive.
Miles walked today= 12
Miles in total= 1,237