The continuation of the bright weather tempted us out again to link up our recent walk to Gunwalloe to one we had done earlier from the Lizard. The sun was shining brightly and the light wind came at us across the land from the east.
This was a really lovely walk along some pretty remote stretches of coast where we saw few people. The going was easy: fresh bouncy turf with heathland on our landward side. The sea was calm and as clear and blue as one could wish.
The first delight was Kynance Cove: little more than a narrow spit of sandy beach linking a large rock to the mainland. Balanced precariously at the bottom of the cliff is a small and popular cafe. It is hardly surprising that the cove is so popular when it can look as beautiful as it did for us.
We could not dally to enjoy the sight and headed onward across the cliff and down a steep drop to Soap cove. This is a long narrow inlet where the tide was turning over in a desultory fashion and we could easily imagine a small boat running contraband ashore. Or had we been watching too much Poldark again?
Climbing up the other side deserved a reward and we sat down, to admire the stunning view, wondering why we should bother to carry on. But we did.
Predannack airfield was to our right and we found ourselves sharing the peace and solitude with a helicopter which was doing circuits and bumps over the airfield, or possibly keeping a watchful eye over us should we be contemplating some illicit activities.
In the distance loomed a distinctly un-Cornish sight. We are more accustomed to cows, barns and the occasional farm. The vegetation, accustomed to the prevailing salt-laden winds, could raise itself only a few feet above the land. Windyridge Farm, perched just back from the cliff seemed aptly-named.
Rounding Predannack Head, we came upon Mullion island which provides some slight protection to the little harbour. This led to a discussion as to when a rock becomes an island. If it involves the ability to live on it then Mullion island certainly qualifies although it would be a brave soul who chose to do so.
The going, by now, had the air of a National Trust-cared for estate with stepping stones and helpful advice on signs. We were clearly approaching civilisation again.
The drop down into the cove was steep but the charm of the cove is considerable and we sat eating our lunch, admiring the recent repair of the harbour wall, watching visitors walking to the end, looking over and re-tracing their steps. It would be good to say that the building work being done to the cottages was as historically acceptable. Sadly, we felt that they might be being altered to the detriment of the natural charm of the little cove. It remains to be seen.
The climb out of Mullion cove was steep and took us up to a large white building which, inevitably, was a hotel: the Mullion Cove hotel. Large blocks such as this were built all along the coast in the days before planning conditions which would not allow them today.
This was a tough part of the walk, involving several descents – which are the easy part – and then steep ups. The first one was the descent below the ‘large white’ Polurrian hotel, down a set of steps which became spine-shuddering as much as anything because of the large drop entailed with each one. We walked them in the opposite direction later in the day and quietly cursed their creator who clearly had longer legs than us.
Throughout the walk we had been enjoying the wonderful flowers which were shining with all their might. The thrift was in luxuriant flower, creating great carpets of bouncy vegetation which invited relaxation.
As we approached the top of Angrouse hill, we could see a large monument on its crest. This was Poldhu where Marconi carried out his famous experiments which culminated in the message to America and then to the South Atlantic. A humble field alongside the path was where the aerial had been erected. I looked at the mobile phone in my pocket which seemed a far cry from those early days, just over 100 years ago, when he achieved so much pioneering work from this remote Cornish cliff.
In front of us was another large white building, presumably once a hotel but now converted into a care home: another home for old people to look at an empty sea in an inaccessible place.
Crossing Poldhu cove was easier on the legs and we soon found ourselves looking down on our destination: the much photographed little church of Gunwalloe which we had visited a few weeks before. Touching the church closed the loop and meant that we could claim to have completed the Lizard to Porthleven stretch. It deserved an ice cream before we set out to find our car.
We had walked over 8 miles in a just under 4 hours.