We’ve made the most of the balmy autumn days to explore some of the pretty coves and villages and made a visit to The Lizard on a beautiful autumn day to seek out the intriguingly named Gunwalloe Cove and Dollar Cove that are separated by the romantically named “The church of Storms” before travelling on to the popular beach of Poldhu just around the point.
Following the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to The Lizard
This AONB (the area of outstanding natural beauty) has the same protection as a national park. The area includes the Helford River. The Lizard Peninsular as well as the coastline all the way through Perranuthnoe to St Michael’s Mount near Penzance.
I had another reason to visit too because the ley lines cross at Gunwalloe, just as they do at St Michael’s Mount. And so it has a very special place in local heritage.
Stop the car! There is a wonderful view…
The deceptively beautiful view belays the fact that Loe bar has been notorious over the centuries for ship wrecks.
There is ample National Trust car parking at Gunwalloe (and loos) supervised by the dog from the local farm.
Gunwalloe Church Cove and Dollar coves
As we set off along the lane we were torn between exploring the Church of Storms or Dollar Cove en route. (Dollar cove so called because Spanish bullion was said to have been washed up there) but rumbling tummies and the warm sunshine won and we walked on to Gunwalloe beach where the carefully tended Mullion golf course dips down almost to the dunes. The hillside above us was alive with earnest golfers, busy about their business on immaculate turf but a quick skip over the stream brought us on the sand.
Gunwalloe a location for Poldark filming
You may think that Gunwalloe Cove is vaguely familiar? The fictional wreck of the Queen Charlotte was filmed here. How evocative to use this cove with the long history of shipwrecks in the treacherous waters of cornish storms.
Dollar Cove or Jangye Ryn
Dollar Cove was so named when in 1669 the Spanish ship San Salvador was lost nearby. She was said to be carrying two tonnes of silver and to this day coins are rumoured to be still be washed up after fierce storms.
This cove is much stonier than the previous sandy beach but charming and sheltered none the less. Alas there were no coins to be found there that day and so after a few moments we walked on over the cliff to enjoy the views back over the cove and the fine undulation in the cliffs strata before finally turning for home
Poldhu Cove is a short (ish) and beautiful walk around the headland or a lengthy drive back to the cross roads and around via Mullion to visit with extensive car parking just across road from the beach. Cross the road on the bend with care and then saunter through the sand dunes to this very popular beach with a buzzy little surfing café artfully concealed amongst the Marram grasses.
The afternoon was drawing to a close as we arrived with a mackerel sky overhead but he sun still sparkled on the water and a promise of summer still hung in the air.
Poldhu is famous as the location for the first wireless signal sent from here by Marconi in 1901. Why not visit the Marconi centre to see the site of the first transatlantic signal?
A winter update – a snap of Poldhu Cove
Winter in Cornwall brings racing tides tumbling towards the once tranquil sandy beaches of summer. They are more challenging in the wind but so worth the effort to see the full beauty of the Cornish coastline.
The church of Storms
This is one of the oldest churches in the area, originally founded by the Breton missionary Winwaloe. The tranquil white washed interior and warm burnished wooden pews make for an intriguing yet serene interior. The light streamed in through the seaward facing windows as we tiptoed around.
Look out for the rood screen made from wood salvaged from the wreck of the St Anthony of Brisbane. She sank en route to Flanders on the 15th of January 1526. The wreck, which predates the Mary Rose, has been located by marine archaeologist in Gunwalloe Fishing Cove
Have you heard of ley lines or energy Leys?
I hadn’t either until an American guest came to stay with us because we were near to a Ley line! And so I had another reason to visit “The church of storms” because the ley lines cross at Gunwalloe as they do at St Michael’s Mount.
Ley lines are earth energy lines and tend to pass through places of cultural significance. They usually follow the main aisle of churches although at St Michael’s Mount one passes through the “Blue drawing room” (but was The Lady chapel in earlier times).
I did invest in a book and map about Ley lines written by a local dowser Hamish Miller. It was lent to a guest in 2003 and never seen agian! I can still remember Hamish personally delivering the signed copy that I had ordered for Charles’s birthday though. The book is still in print though available from The Penwith Press http://www.penwithpress.co.uk/earth-energy-leylines Maybe I’ll buy another copy!
Our autumn spent exploring the unspoilt beaches of Cornwall
Gunwalloe Poldhu and Dollar Coves have made a great finish to our autumn exploring the sandy beaches of Cornwall. One of my personal favourites has to be Portheras and Boat Cove for sheer unadulterated beauty. Kennegy for is contrasting appeal and local history beside Prussia Cove. Our walk along the spectacular Godrevy and Gwinear beach will stay in my memory for a long time. Porth Chapel for a blissful sunday afternoon and Risney at high tide for moments lent from a busy day. And we even found time to walk down to the local beach in Perranuthnoe!