There is a little bit of pure Cornish magic about visiting Sennen Cove again – it starts from the moment when the car turns off the main road and the view down to the village is revealed with the stark lifeboat slipway in counterpoint to the dream-like visage of pale golden sands cocooned between a perfect blue sea and sky.
After a long winter, the February heat wave gave rise to nothing but joy upon visiting the sea again.
The reality of the dangers of the stormy seas and the child like joy of walking the sea-shore are always close by in Cornwall and in Sennen the beautiful beach and lifeboat station sit cheek by jowl for the twin faces of the sea.
Our visit to Sennen
The tide was retreating across the impossibly pale sands as we arrived, with rhythmical lines of surf coasting across the bay. We could do nothing but find Sennen Beach irresistible again, as the sands stretched away full of promises for a day wandering the seashore but first we wanted to walk up through the village towards the harbour and slipway that had beckoned so tantalizingly to us from the road above.
The lifeboat station
As we walked passed the slip we could only feel admiration for the men who plunge out into the darkest nights of winter storms.
The lifeboat station was open when we arrived with the present lifeboat gleaming in the boat house surrounded by plaques for the long years of service that Sennen cove has seen – a history that started back in 1853 when the first boat house was built.
Searching for Diana White
We were interested in the Diana White, a Rother class lifeboat who served from 1973 to 1991 as we have a portrait hanging in the dining room of Diana White painted by Wetherby. We understood that she gave the lifeboat to Sennen but alas Google hasn’t given up a shred of evidence to support this as yet.
A harbour is always fascinating to explore, piled with lobster pots and ropes, with boats pulled up out of the water amongst a cluster of thatched cottages so we lingered for a little before walking back passed the cafes and ice cream parlours to the beach.
February on Sennen Beach
The beach was just a beautiful as I remembered it to be, with a fair breeze running down the length that caused us to find shelter amongst the rocks for our picnic and this time we remembered a comforting flask of “Beach tea” and a good book. Perfect for an afternoon spent wave watching as the seas grew and fell in a distinct rhythm and occasionally a sea bird would dive straight as an arrow in the maelstrom to resurface happily bobbing with its catch as contented as it would be on a boating lake.
Finally replete we retreated back to the car to watch the sea tumbling to the shore trailing effervescent clouds of spray forming tiny rainbows in their wake and just thrill at the sight of blue seas and skies over pale sands after the long winter days.