As shortest day approaches inevitably there are days when it really doesn’t seem to get truly light at all. Winter can bring us gloomy numpty days of dull half light and moody shadows but Cornwall has the perfect antidote to these days – an escape to the sea. Walk along the sea shore as white rimmed waves dissolve at your feet amongst fleeting scats of foam and you will feel invigorated and renewed. On the beach the light is magnified as it bounces off of the water, the gulls’ wheal overhead in their eternal dance with the breeze shrieking their defiance to the waves and more importantly for us the gift of negative ions to lift the mood and soothe the soul.
Take a winter walk beside the sea
There is nothing like the breath of the sea in the tang of salt water to blow the Christmas cobwebs away and a walk on the beach is the perfect antidote to the buzz of the commercial Christmas where we even rate the Christmas ads (John Lewis this year – really? I was looking forward to the premier of that one although my all time favourite has to be the oppositions Mog!)
So back to the sea it is, to follow the scatter of seaweed along the tide and maybe pick up just a little of the plastic brought back in silent reproach to rest on the sands amongst the tumble of weed – personally I always see this as my thank you to the beach for the heady escape it offers.
The awesome science (and I did look it up!) of negative ions
The tangy scent of the sea is produced by dimethyl sulphide gas and just breathing it can help to improve sleep. This blissful air is laden with negative hydrogen ions in the sea spray that improves our ability to absorb oxygen and balance serotonin (the feel good hormone) This was the good news: – The Telegraph’s Be beside the seaside offers an expansive article about the health benefits of seaside rambles
The leavening news about global warming can be found here in Oceanus magazine under the climate gas you’ve never heard of
(Oh I do love to research these blogs!)
Three awesome Beach walks to try in West Cornwall
Marazion to Penzance
The honeyed arc of sands that frames St Michael’s Mount is right on our doorstep at Ednovean Farm, stretching invitingly from Marazion to Penzance around Mounts bay. The sands lead away from Marazion, firm and crisp imprinted by the rivulets of the departing tide and dotted with tiny casts of rag worms. There is usually a scatter a fishermen digging for bait on the shore punctuating these walks or kite surfers passing with dizzying perfection on the sea. Glance up across the bay and the sturdy outline of Penzance and the further fishing villages of Newlyn and Mousehole come ever nearer or look back to the Mount receding like the fairy tale castle it is.
Should you need a firmer surface suitable for disability access, there is a path above the coastal stoop that runs for two miles from just below the disused Marazion station all the way into Penzance.
The Godolphin Arms can’t claim to be a beach café but the terrace reaches out to touch the sea and the causeway to St Michael’s Mount stretches below the windows.
The Copper Spoon Forge further into Marazion walking up hill beyond the church so beautiful lit for Christmas now, to this bright and breezy vegetarian café beside the alley leading to the harbour landing stage for Mount visitors.
Lelant to St Ives
St Ives bay is glorious filled with golden sand with a special quality to the light that is breathtaking.
Lelant is flanked by the RSPB preserve in the heart of the estuary and this walk is flanked by wooded slopes where the little single track train can just be glimpsed creeping through the trees towards the former artist colony of St Ives all framed within the magnificent sweep of St Ives bay.
Again there is a path between dunes and sea running above the beach and it was from here that today’s photos were taken.
There is not a lot of options between The Badger Inn at Lelant until Carbis Bay and then the Porthminster beach cafe but beyond that St Ives really has this covered in spades!
Godrevy through Hayle Towans
The three miles of perfect sands is a surfer’s Mecca yet well supplied with car parks and beach cafes set amongst the dunes of Hayle Towans reached after driving through the slightly less ambitious locality of Hayle. The Towans are divided into bite sized pieces Hayle Towans, Mexico Towans and Black cliff beach but I tend to choose Godrevy at the far end, with the famous lighthouse mirroring its twin set in St Ives to start my walk.
Perfect sands backed by unspoilt dunes stretch away to a sandy landscape laced with black clad surfers bounding towards the waves. And what waves there are here in winter – mountainous affairs that are a joy to the surfers but makes me glad to be walking along the safety of the beach!
Christmas antidote or winter tonic the sea has it all
So chose a beach to walk and let the exhilarating winds from the sea lift your spirits and calm your soul before choosing a cosy warm café maybe with an entire menu devoted to the making of hot chocolate amongst other things!