Porthleven to Praa Sands

By Issy Goode - 19:18

Whilst down in Cornwall visiting my family Michael and I decided to head down a partly-familar path along the coastline of my village, Porthleven. It's lovely to have such easy access to the beautiful Cornish coastline when I'm home and I never take advantage of it enough. 

We'd arranged to meet my parents in Marazion, about 10 miles away from the start point of the village, however, we decided to cut the walk short as I wasn't feeling too well, but nonetheless ended up in the equally stunning Praa Sands, a place I very rarely visited whilst living in Cornwall.

We walked from my house at the top of the village down past the harbour, past the Ship Inn and onto the coastal path. This part of the walk is a very familiar route to me so I didn't take any photographs on this occasion, but you can instead have a look at these ones I've taken from years gone by:
The walk continued along the stunning coastline but the path seemed to have moved away from the cliff edge since I'd last walked along it a few years ago. Having had some rather aggressive storms over the years, I was happy to follow the new path and avoid what had now become the road less travelled. 

Not only had the path moved ever so slightly, but on this day the weather had made itself known, leaving deep wide and extremely muddy puddles. The rain had been falling on and off for days, some days it had been no more than a drizzle but we failed to consider when deciding to go on this walk that the previous day had seen the worst heavy downpour of the week. This made for a difficult crossing along some parts of the path as we had only hiking boots on, and for this you most definitely needed wellies. Or, as one wetsuit cladded passerby said as he skipped merrily through the largest one, "you need a wetsuit to get through this" (the jammy bugger!). 

We considered turning back but instead opted for using the drier edges of the path and delicately shuffling ourselves along. At 6ft, this was much easier for Michael, but for myself at 5ft 3 with relatively short legs, this proved difficult. All I can say is, I'm glad I still have a little flexibility left in me. 

After delicately avoiding muddy puddles we continued. The walk was now coming to an area that I had visited much less, and after a steep climb we stopped at the top of the hill for a snack.
Post nibble we then trudged forth into the unknown - I hadn't made it this far before and I have to say it's such a shame I hadn't when it was right on my doorstep. 

Thinking it couldn't get much better than this, we came to a slope and below us were accessible Cornish mines. I'd always been able to see these when looking across to the coast from the village, but I hadn't realised how close they were to home, and I certainly hadn't known that they were in such good condition, especially after the storms which had broken through the harbours defences and smashed up numerous boats only a few years ago. 
We explored this area for a while and then continued on again, shortly coming across another Cornish mine sitting proudly on the hillside. We weren't far from our destination now and carrying on along the path Praa Sands shortly came into view. The long golden sand was glistening in the sun and there were plenty of walkers, surfers and sunbathers out and about. We had a choice at the next crossing to head down onto the beach or walk through the village and we chose the latter as we wanted a peak at some of the beautiful Grand Design-esque houses that were built along the hillside. The most beautiful house we passed honestly did look like something Kevin McCloud would have been proud of, with perfect glass walls either side that allowed for a view from the roadside straight down onto the beach. We avoided looking too nosey by not taking any photographs of the property, though it was stunning. 
We then headed back towards the beach walking through a park with beautiful marble memorial benches and down into the car park. We took a seat down on the beach until finding a table at the Sandbar and having a drink with my parents before heading back home. 

The walk was 5 1/4 miles in the end but due to the deep puddles that blocked our path and me feeling under the weather from the beginning it took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes with stops. Despite how long it took, it was a beautiful walk and it was nice to be surprised by the beauty of Cornwall once more. People don't often believe it, but when you live down there for so many years you just become accustomed to the scenery and even take it for granted a little, so it was wonderful to discover something new so close to home. 

It was nice also nice to not go a circular walk for once and come to the end and have my parents chauffeur us home!

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