Friday, 30 August 2013

Country Coastal Cornwall

As regular readers of this blog you may well be aware that I am a Cornish lassie who at 17, moved out of county to go to University.  By the time I had completed my degree I was priced out of the housing market and couldn't afford to return to the county.  We make regular trips back and I'm so grateful to my Mum for having an open home to welcome us to return to.

We're happily settled in Somerset now (still in the SW 'leg' of England) - but the beaches just don't match that of the Cornish coast.  All of my side of the family still live in Cornwall - and we were fortunate to stay with my mum for a whole week of the summer holidays.

Hubby had a fortnight off and we headed on down to make the most of the summer sunshine that we've been enjoying in the UK in recent weeks (how lush has it been to have consecutive days of sunshine?!)  Such a simple JoY!

Each day, we took a leisurely approach to breakfast (my pain management is so much more effective if I give the medicine time to work before tackling anything!).  Then we'd pack a big picnic and choose the part of the coastline we were headed for whilst supping our morning coffee.  We have the inside scoop as 'locals' - we know to avoid the big touristy sites - they're best out of season!! 

My favourite place St Ives is home to swarms of visitors at this time of year and it so detracts from the natural beauty you can enjoy out of season.  I also love the sometimes rolling often crashing waves of the north coast but due to the whole Rick Stein additional tourist effect on Padstow (and the local area) and the Boardmasters Surfing contest happening at Newquay, we avoided the North Coast on this visit. 

In my opinion, Cornwall is at it's best when you have an expanse of clean sand and bluey, turquoise sea - like here at Mevagissey:

So, amongst our various desires were rock-pooling ambitions, body boarding needs, a family meet with cousins to accommodate plus some all important beach combing (me and Ru) and skimming (Ben and little man).  I do think it's such a man thing to throw rocks into the sea for hours...

all the longer for us girlies to hunt for seaside treasures I guess!

On each day we were rewarded handsomely in our efforts.

Gyllnyvese near Falmouth is the best beach for rock pooling in my experience.  The sheer variety and abundance of sea life is amazing.  Little man absolutely loved fishing and after catching fish, crabs and shrimps he exclaimed "I'm a good little fisherman mummy aren't I?!'  As a little boy that needs lots of reassurance to boost his confidence this was quite a breakthrough and added immensely to my enjoyment.  When it comes to rockpooling, I revert to an excited childlike state.  My degree covered a good amount of marine biology and I do so enjoy the thrill of finding life in these little rock pools.  We often show other children our finds before returning them to the sea - they are often incredulous to see the star fish and feel them on their hands.  My littlies love to catch little crabs - the smallest nicknamed 'pea crabs' as they scuttle across their palms.

A small sea urchin and cushion star fish were amongst our haul.
We had 3 large buckets of crabs caught with a line and net off a local harbour wall - next time we'll take a normal bucket as they looked tightly packed by the end of our crabbing time!  Bacon is our bait of choice for crabs, and boy - do they love it!! 

We had over 17 after 2 hours of crabbing - each of us was successful in landing crabs of various sizes so all were happy. 

These again were returned to the sea - probably to be caught again by the growing crowd of tourists that had gathered after lunch!

On a misty, wet day we drove to St. Mawes and enjoyed fish and chips by the sea.  There was lots going on in the water and the photo doesn't do it justice - that's the mist for you, although it was still pleasant to be out in!  We pootled around the independent shops and watched the world go by.

And this beach had the most sea glass that I have seen at one time.  Such lovely worn, tactile pieces of days gone by...  I'll post about that another time (when I've got a decent photo!)

This plus swimming, visits to local parks, a Vintage Country Fayre...

...and meeting my gorgeous new niece Kaja (Cornish for Daisy) meant for a wonderful holiday.

What a fabulous break we had.  Relaxing days, long and happy. 

The worst part is always leaving to drive back up the motorway... it's always nice to be home but I do so wish we could make our home in Cornwall.  However, work opportunities and cost of housing eliminate that option.  So good to visit though - I'm proud of my Cornish heritage and it's so fab to see many posts across blog-land here and here writing of their enjoyment of their own holidays in Cornwall during August!!

Happy Days,

J9 x

Today I'm partying with:


  1. What a lovely post. Your photos are amazing. Such great colours and light. We live in the most beautiful country but sadly it often needs the sunshine to make us appreciate it. Looks like you had a fab time and your kids will treasure those lazy happy days in years to come.

    Best wishes,
    Penny x

    1. The sunshine does make such a difference. The summer has been made so wonderful with the sun shining! It makes for easy outdoor days! J9 x

  2. Oh my, this is a little bit of heaven on earth! And I have to tell you that I love the way English call their mothers mum. Just sounds so loving. What fantastic memories you are making for your children. I loved seeing the little creatures from the sea and Oh YUM crab is one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Both me and my kids are making memories. I love crab too but we didn't catch any to keep and eat - I save that for an eat out treat! And you are right - it is a little bit of heaven on earth - so important to realise and value these places! J9 x