Wednesday was a ‘play day’ out with my friend, and this week she took me on a mystery tour. At least, it turned into a mystery tour because at some point we took a wrong turn … but it was an interesting diversion into the depths of the Cornish countryside. We made our way by the ford at St John’s Lake – an SSSI and a tidal ford, although timing isn’t too crucial as it is accessible soon after high tide. I made a note to return one day with DH and a spotting scope … it’s a haven for wildlife and waders.

Our target was Penlee Battery, another SSSI, and our aim was to walk to Rame Head and back … not so very far, but sufficient to get some exercise and as an excuse for a pub lunch afterwards. It was a beautiful day … warm and sunny (not too warm). There were berries along the way to pick and eat, a church to explore (St Germanus, Rame) and the most amazing views.

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So a couple of days later, on DH’s day off, we returned with the girls for a picnic. Only this time we parked at the Rame Head end and walked the other way, along past Penlee Battery and down to Queen Adelaide’s Grotto. We weren’t so impressed with the Grotto (!) so continued on down and discovered a cove, accessible by steps alongside what must once have been a landing stage. At low tide, there is a small beach, and caverns in the rocks behind. Perfect!


The cove at low tide, overlookied by the Old Signal House

We had a great time … exploring the caves, skimming stones and searching rock pools. We found anemones, shrimp, crab and a huge variety of seaweeds. We clambered over rocks into otherwise inaccessible inlets … well, DH did …

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We had the place to ourselves. It was completely untouched, the sand undisturbed until we arrived, and all traces of our presence would be eliminated by the next tide. It was a magical place, even the girls stopped bickering while we were there!

Of course, we had to walk back again … the view of Rame Head was just as impressive as the first time I’d seen it, although rather different because of the different light on an overcast day. DH took the time to explore the church at Rame, just as we had on the Wednesday … and we’ll be back again before long, perhaps this time spending some time at St John’s Lake on the way.

The only question is, why haven’t we been before?!


Below the grotto on Penlee point looking towards Plymouth Sound
by Philip Mitchell (British, 1814-1896)