Zennor to Lelant Saltings 14.5.17

My room in the pub at Zennor has a window looking out over the village church – I decide to go and take a look inside before setting out. Nowadays, village churches are often locked but I am lucky here – the door is wide open.

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It is a pretty little church with an impressive selection of prayer cushions – here are a few…….

And in the side chapel stands a small bench, one end of which is ornately carved in the shape of a mermaid to celebrate the local legend.

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It is said that two voices can be heard singing down in the cove from time to time………..

Anyway, setting off from Zennor Head I turn right in the direction of St. Ives but coming up out of the cove, the path seems to disappear.

IMG_3171Heading in the general direction I find myself having to scramble over piles of large rocks which although fun to begin with, soon starts to worry me a little.

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Eventually a semblance of a narrow path starts to emerge but then takes me upwards and around a sharp corner where I cannot see any way forward than up a steep bank of rocks reminiscent of the initial ascents on a Scottish mountain…….surely not?

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With relief I notice that the path winds tightly round the next bend and downwards which makes it difficult to see at first……phew…….

From here it is a tough ride up and down small rocky coves. I walk down and up Tregerthen Cliff, rewarded by a wonderful view across to Mussel Point.

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From Mussel Point there are four more points to conquer: Carn Naun, Pen Enys, Hor and Clodgy. I am wilting a little, so after crossing this sweet granite slab bridge I rest a while.

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Just before Hellesvoor Cliff the wonderful people of the National Trust have constructed a solid boardwalk for a short stretch – this makes a change from the narrow stony paths I have been walking on.

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………………and later, some large stones have been laid to take me across boggy ground as I  near the beaches of St.Ives.

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When Damian and I were here two years ago in January, I remember looking west up at the cliffs above Porthmeor Beach thinking next time I see them I will be coming from a different direction – didn’t think it would take this long but that’s life.

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So down I go, thrown suddenly into the noise and bustle of a busy seaside resort on a sunny day.

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It’s all a bit overwhelming after hours of peaceful walking, so after revisiting the cafe in which we had cream teas on that very wet day two years ago, I walk quickly through the town and out the other side.

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………………but not before a difficult navigation through the crowds of the annual Food Fair   held on the beach in front of the station.

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Music from an Ed Sheeran acolyte drifts up from the beach and follows me as I head up beside the railway line, up above the beautiful deserted beach at Carbis Bay.

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Round the headland I can see another golden strip – Port Kidney Sands but I cannot walk on the beach all the way so I take some steps up on to the cliff path again.

 

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The path above the beach is narrow with some steep drops down but some lucky person has found a ledge to build on. In the garden of the house is a perfectly formed wooden wagon – imagine waking up to that view everyday!

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This is a beach to rival any I have seen – including those in Australia (sorry Susan).

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By this time I am beginning to yearn for signs that I am nearing my destination but the path just seems to go on and on. It doesn’t help either that I am now struggling through an area of sand dunes where one step forward means two steps back and I’m away from the cooling sea breeze of late afternoon.

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Finally, I return to the water – not the sea but the south bank of the Hayle River. This cannot be crossed so I am forced to walk on a tarmac road, a little inland from the estuary until I reach Lelant Station where I am hoping against hope I can get a train back into St. Ives.

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In my muddled exhausted state I press the wrong button on the information stand and get a rude awakening in the form of a stern voice asking me whether I need an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade. Realising my mistake I apologise profusely – the woman’s voice at the other end is not amused.

There is no train going anywhere I want to go but I am directed down the road to the station at Lelant Saltings where the loveliest, friendliest station master I have ever had the pleasure to meet, sets me right. I have 10 minutes before the little train arrives to take me back to St. Ives and my bed. It has been a long walk.

Distance: 13 miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Zennor to Lelant Saltings 14.5.17

  1. What a beautiful walk. Loved the mermaid legend . You are right about that beach, gorgeous. Glad the railway man was kind. X

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