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Autumn a season of joys and consolations

Bronze Autumn Bracken frames a view across the sea to St Michael's Mount

St Michael’s Mount from the coastal footpath around Mounts bay

Autumn days brings those glorious days of bright sunshine and cool clear air, days of racing waves trailing plumes of vapour and the thoughts of cosy warm suppers tucked beside the ancient inglenook of a pub high on the moors.

The country lanes are filled with tawny leaves drifting underfoot, the high warm banks dressed in russet bracken now with rich red berries spangling the hedgerows occasionally I meet the occasional walkers clasping an Ordnance Survey map in lanes softly enveloped by autumn at its best.

The changing pace of life of the autumn has finally given us a chance to purge the debris generated by “The Beast from the East with bonfires sending lazy plumes of smoke up into the air.

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Away down to Lamorna

Harbour wall and shletering landscape - lamorna cove

The harbour at Lamorna – notice the winter storm damage that sent granite blocks tumbling to the sands

“Away down to Lamorna” is chorus of a famous Cornish song and I had forgotten just how beautiful Lamorna Valley was, until we drove down through the valley to the harbour again this week.

The tinge of autumn was yet to touch the luscious green of the all enveloping trees in this sheltered valley and summer lingered on for a perfect late autumn day.

We had planned a lunch at the Lamorna Wink before a visit to Chygurno Gardens on one of its last open days before the winter. As the season slips from summer to autumn we’ve already revisited several gardens this year – gardens that we first visited when planning our own gardens and we previously visited the terraced Gardens of Chygurno back in about 2000 just as the first Tree Ferns were planted.

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Cooling Sea breezes in the heat wave

Waves breaking on sandy beach - perranuthnoe in the heatwave

Perranuthnoe’s sandy beach flanked by smaller coves

The sea has never seemed bluer than this month as the heat wave changed our lives to a Mediterranean rhythm, as day after day of endless sunshine spread before us.  We abandoned work in the afternoons to settle at the seas edge below the red baked clay cliffs of one the little coves that flank the sand of around Perranuthnoe Beach. The tranquil rhythm of the waves slipping idly on to the beach and slight breeze from the sea has been blissful this month in Cornwall with the delicious promise of a swim in the evenings in the mirror calm waters.

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Godolphin from Bluebell woods to hill

Drifts of BluebellsI’ve watched the bluebells spring up around the country lanes of Cornwall this week and I spotted the first House Martin, back from its long migration to Africa. These twin augers were enough for me to feel spring was at its peek and summer fast approaching and I knew it was time to visit the fabulous swathes of bluebells in the National Trust’s Godolphin estates ancient woodlands and maybe climb to the summit of Godolphin hill to see the landscape of West Penwith stretched panoramically below me.

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Explore Penzance – Stanary town and harbour

Penzance street scene - explore PenzanceMention Penzance and “The Pirates of Penzance” comes to mind and for sure the Barbary Pirates were still snatching the good citizens of Penzance well into the seventeenth Century, yet explore the solid town of Penzance today and you will find a solid matron of a town, rising above the harbour. Penzance is more of solid, middle of the road, type of dowager, compared to the fashionable thirty something of St Ives but explore and you will find a rewarding companion in the sleepy granite streets, still echoing with memories a whisper of the Medieval town, the seafaring pirates and smugglers and the solid dignity of a former stannary town shaped by the Cornish Tin Industry.
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Three winter walks with wonderful memories

romantic heart shaped sandbank below Logan Rock winter walksToday I’d like to share three of our favourite walks with you – just snaps and impressions but wonderful memories that I’ve treasured over the years.

When a fabulously bright and sunny day dawns in wintertime, the Cornish have a special name for it: – “A day lent from summer” and those balmy sun filled days are perfect for walking in Cornwall and of course making wonderful memories along the way.

Over the years we’ve walked the coastal footpath around the peninsular from Perranuthnoe to Land’ End and then around to St Ives in easy stages and they were a powerful tool in making the winter seem shorter and now, looking back through our albums storing memories to treasure for a lifetime.

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Porthminster beach in winter

figure on the tide line - looking down on Porthminster Beach in winterThe perfect arc of golden sands of Porthminster beach marks the true gateway to St Ives just below the railway station and a short stroll from the bustling harbour.

As a popular beach, the soft sands of Porthminster have a charming back drop of manicured sub tropical gardens that in turn give way to the wooded slopes that artfully concealing the little railway that ferries visitors along the edge of the bay from Lelant Saltings to St Ives.

Porthminster beach is a smaller, more intimate beach than the Carbis Bay Beach that we visited just before Christmas but with same stunning views across St Ives Bay to the famous Godrevy lighthouse immortalised in  Virginia Wolfe’s book “To the Lighthouse”

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Mousehole Christmas Lights – the twelfth night

.Christmas lights in Mousehole harbourEach year the villagers of the beautiful old harbour village of Mousehole in the far west of Cornwall, haul the boats from the harbour to fill the waters with floating  pontoons of Christmas lights, dresses the ancient granite walls and welcoming the world to their tiny coastal community. Fund raising for the event will have started in the summer months and now for a few brief weeks they embody the spirit of Christmas.

The glowing Christmas nights of Mousehole have shone across Mounts bay to us each night and last night was the final night –  the twelfth day of Christmas. The final twelfth night of Christmas would be our last opportunity (until this December of course) to visit the famous Mousehole lights that feature all of the traditional Christmas symbols of songs and folk lore before they are finally switched off to mark the end of Christmas. For us, as the crowds subsided, the twelfth and final night it is the perfect night to reflect, to watch the lights rippling across the sea in the harbour and experience the atmosphere of Mousehole at its best.

The glowing Christmas nights of Mousehole have shone across Mounts bay to us each night and last night was the final night –  the twelfth day of Christmas.

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Rosamunde Pilcher a Cornish Icon

Rosamunde Pilcher's Cornwall of romantic beaches, windswept cliffs and hearts in the sandRosamunde Pilcher is something of a Cornish icon these days, bringing the fans of her books and films to the south west every summer to soak up some of that special “Pilcheresque” atmosphere. Throughout the winter in Germany the tranquil days of a Cornish summer have been translated into the setting for the Pilcher films leading to the expression that Sunday night is “Pilcher night” or as one of our German bed and Breakfast guest put it “you can sometimes see the same film three times in one year” I gathered his wife was a big fan!

We were thrilled last year when scenes for “Fast Noch Verheiratet” were filmed here at Ednovean Farm and we had the chance to meet some of the cast and crew at work. Our heroine’s bedroom was the Pink bedroom complete with its hand carved four poster bed although she magically walked out through the Blue Bedroom’s French doors, to stand on the terrace gazing at St Michael’s Mount

 

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Carbis Bay Beach of powder puff sands

powdery white snads meet blue seas and skies - Carbis BayWe explored Carbis Bay beach this week, with its powder puff sands and charming views over the expanse St Ives Bay, just as autumn fades towards winter and reassuring out of season.

Carbis bay beach is one of the busy summer beaches that lay close to St Ives and it helps to create the fabulous setting of turquoise seas and golden sands that makes up St Ives Bay – officially one of the most beautiful in the world. So on a November day this week we stole a day from summer to explore this enchanting spot of silky smooth sand with a summer destination pedigree.

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