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International Women's Day 2022

If someone were to ask me to get involved with International Women's Day, I'd say yes before they'd even got the words out. So, when ACAI Outdoorwear asked if I'd be interested in hosting an International Women's Day Ramble on behalf of them down here in Cornwall, I snapped their hand off at the opportunity.

The majority of my ramblers will already know I have partnered up with ACAI Outdoorwear for approximately 12-months now - I reckon I'm one of their top fans too. I very rarely endorse products and brands unless I support their vision and mission wholeheartedly and will actively use or wear the products, but ACAI is a brand I support with bells and whistles on and wear their products almost daily. Keep reading to find out more about this fabulous brand, and what we got up to on the IWD22 ramble I organised in partnership with ACAI.


Who is ACAI?

Launched back in June 2021, ACAI Outdoorwear was brought to life by co-founder, Kasia...


“Our clothes are put through a rigorous 18- month testing process and it’s the cut of the cloth that’s our point of difference. The cut is shaped to fit the female form and create silhouettes that make the form flattering. We design our clothes to offer a variety of fits so the clothes are adjusted to different body shapes, and not vice versa. We embrace the diversity and uniqueness of each and every woman.”


Today ACAI has not only filled the void in the market for sustainable, performance-led outdoorwear for women but also built a community via campaigns I've been involved in, such as ‘Outdoorsing’; largely influenced by Kasia’s own experience of the outdoors and the positive impact it can have on wellbeing.

"We are on a mission to revolutionise all women’s experience outdoors. As the home of women’s outdoorwear - including the Original Outdoor Skinnies made by women for women - we put performance and style first as we strive towards a sustainable future for gear we hope you’ll love forever.


For too long, women’s outdoorwear has been limited by a ‘shrink and pink’ mentality which sees us pigeon-holed into a cookie-cutter narrative of who outdoorswomen are and what we want from our adventures. Instead, ACAI encourages you to embrace your individuality, strength and uniqueness. We have a passion for stylish and functional outdoorwear, which is matched only by our love for the outdoors."


I think that all but covers it but, if you'd like to find out more on this fabulous brand, check out their website here: ACAI Website


International Women's Day - Break the Bias

International Women's Day celebrates the cultural, political, and socio-economical achievements of women and girls. This year's theme for International Women’s day was “Break the Bias."


Breaking the bias is a sentiment that is deeply ingrained in the DNA of ACAI and resonates deeply with my hopes and aspirations for Cornish Ramblings. ACAI challenge the status quo of the outdoorwear market which, for years, has been dominated by mens' brands with little thought for the female form. ACAI co-founder, Kasia Bromley, has turned this on its head, creating a range with style, fit and performance at its core. I’m super proud to be a part of this wonderful community and brand.


“Imagine a gender-equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.”


International Women’s Day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975 and has since come to be celebrated in more than 80 countries worldwide.


IWD22 Ramble Route

Starting point: Chapel Porth National Trust

Miles: 6.1

Grade: Moderate

Dog-friendly beaches: Trevaunance Cove. (Chapel Porth has a seasonal ban)


When thinking of the perfect route to host the ACAI IWD22 ramble, I went with my obvious choice; Chapel Porth to Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes.


I get asked all the time which walk in Cornwall is top of my list, and although I struggle to answer because I am besotted with every corner of the county, I always know my answer will be Chapel Porth to St. Agnes. As soon as my boots hit that section of the Cornish coast, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I have miles of spectacular coastline to look forward to.


Parking at Chapel Porth can be tricky as it is a small car park that fills up quickly, so I always make sure to get there nice and early. The plus side of starting this walk early in the morning means you have more of the day to enjoy, especially once you get to Trevaunance Cove at St. Agnes. Here is the perfect pitstop for refuelling, finding a bench or sitting on the beach if the tide is out, and watching the world go by for a while.

This route really does leave you breathless; not just because of the slight clambers to the top of the coast path, but mainly because of those magnificent views which await you. The entire first half of this walk takes you along the coast and although the second half brings you a little inland, you will be rewarded with the return of the coast at the end as you make your way back to the car park.


Don’t forget to pop to the café at Chapel Porth for refreshments and if you’ve yet to try out their famous hedgehog ice cream, be sure to add this to your to-do list!


Our ACAI x Cornish Ramblings Ramble

I was overwhelmed with the response to this walk and opened it up to all genders even though it was a hike for International Women's Day. It was great to get such a mixture of people and in total, we were a healthy-sized group of 26.

Those who joined me on this ramble each received a whopping 20% discount code to spend with ACAI Outdoorwear, and from the discussions some of us had whilst we walked, a lot of my ramblers had already chosen what they were going to spend it on.


When I met everyone in the car park at 9:45am the sky was looking miserable and the rain was starting to spit down on us. However, this didn't stop the excitable chitchat. The majority of those who came along were new to Cornish Ramblings so after giving everyone the rundown of what to expect and making sure everyone felt welcomed to the group, we headed off across the car park and up the coast path, where the views opened out to a moody but glorious Chapel Porth.


As we trundled along the coast path, we reached Wheal Coates and the sun started to peek through the clouds. I pointed up at the sky like an excitable child when I saw a bit of blue poking through and knew this ramble was going to be glorious.

Wheal Coates

After Chapel Porth, the next noteworthy landmark is Wheal Coates. This iconic structure opened in 1802 and carried on as a working tin mine until 1889. It reopened briefly in 1911 but closed again two years later. I reckon this site is one of the most famous in Cornwall and certainly for its striking, almost complete, engine house. Towanroath Shaft engine house is definitely the most photographed engine house in my image reel and pops up on my Instagram feed on an almost daily basis.


Whichever angle you look at Wheal Coates from, you are sure to be wide-eyed. The engine house was responsible for keeping the water out of the shaft 600 feet below and is now part of the World Heritage Site.


Mining History

If you’re after some mining history and culture, St Agnes is steeped in the stuff. For about 400 years until the 1920s, the village of St Agnes was a mining community, surrounded by over 100 tin and copper mines. Along this coastline, you’ll find dramatic ruins and relics of engine houses perched right on the edge of these cliffs, including the iconic Towanroath.


St Agnes Head

During the months when the heathland is popping with colour against the crisp sky and bejewelled sea, there really is no other place I’d rather spend my spare time, than upon St Agnes Head. This entire stretch of coast nestles against a gargantuan expanse of blue and is a place I will usually gravitate to when in need of realigning.


If you’re lucky enough, you may spot the red-billed red-legged Chough - listen out for the ‘chee-ow’ call as they swoop the headlands and cliff tops. Springtime is the chough breeding season, but please be respectful of these iconic birds all year round.


If you need a new sunset spot, you’ll not be left shortchanged up on St Agnes Head. I’ve seen many a sunset along this stretch of the coast and have been left speechless and moved on all occasions. Bottlenose dolphins and porpoises are regularly seen from St Agnes Head too.


I recently took the group to this stretch of the coast for a ramble, here are a few images from that very windy adventure, with a blog to follow soon...


Trevaunance Cove

As we made our way along the coast towards Trevaunance, I had a moment of absolute pride and elation when listening to the chatter echoing behind me. As I look back and see the stream of multi-coloured bobble hats and coats following me, I still have to pinch myself that Cornish Ramblings exists. After six years, I still absolutely adore organising and leading walks for people across Cornwall, but it is the friendships that have been created and the passion for the outdoors that radiates from my ramblers that fuels me. I find nothing more exhilarating than hearing how much they enjoyed the walk, or how excited they are to come back and ramble with me again. Even when I bump into people not part of a ramble and see how eager they are to find out who we are, or that they've actually booked onto a future ramble and seeing us has made them look forward to it even more, makes it all worthwhile.

Trevaunance Cove was the perfect spot for us to use the facilities, have a break, and eat our snacks. Luckily, the seating area overlooking the beach was completely empty, so we used this as our pitstop and spent a good twenty minutes here taking it all in, whilst chatting amongst our newly created friendship groups. Trevaunance Cove is a lovely sandy cove with plenty of rockpools to the east. At low tide, remains from the old harbour can be explored on the western side of the beach and at low tide, you can walk across to Trevaunance's neighbour, Trevellas Porth.

Trevaunance Cove is a popular spot for families and surfers and has plenty to see and do in its vicinity. There is a beach shop, cafe and restaurant at Trevaunance, and a bit further up you will come across the Driftwood Spars pub - I definitely recommend popping in for a pint!

Trevaunance Cove is dog friendly all year round but they must be under control and on a lead.

There is lifeguard cover between May and September.


Polberro

Once everyone had refuelled and recharged at Trevaunance Cove, the next leg of the ramble took us inland. We clambered up the slipway out of Trevaunance and meandered up the surprisingly steep hill ahead of us until finally, reaching a sign at Little Orchard Village for the coast path that would take us up to Polberro.

Polberro Mine was said to produce the finest tin ore in Cornwall which also includes very pure tin, known locally as "diamond tin". By 1970 the mine was operating as one of the largest in Cornwall, with so much tin ore produced that there weren't enough packhorses in the St Agnes area available to carry it. (iWalk Cornwall)


Final Chapter

After rambling our way along paths, public byways and roads we finally reached the top entrance to Wheal Coates. Heading towards the chimneys and engine houses, it was wonderful to see Wheal Coates from a different angle from when we started. What I love most about this route is although it is circular and will eventually take you inland, ultimately you end up back on the coast path for the last chapter of your hike.

The final part of our walk took us along the top coast path adjacent to the lower paths we trekked along at the beginning of our walk. We also got to explore the site of Wheal Coates more and see Towanroath Engine house from above, which always makes me happy.


As we filtered back into the car park, I did as I always do and waited for everyone to pass me so I could say goodbye. I always feel such joy and pride as my ramblers bid me farewell with plenty of "see you next time", "I will definitely be back", and "I absolutely loved it, thank you." As they wave me goodbye and head towards their cars, smiles planted across their faces, I love to see ramblers exchanging numbers and planning to meet up with their new rambling buddies. I for one know how special it is to meet someone on a ramble for it is where I met my best friend Tanya just over a year ago when she finally plucked up the courage to come along and join us! We have been inseparable since and she is now my second in command on pretty much every ramble I organise.


Thank You...


Thank you to everyone who joined me on this incredible walk to celebrate International Women's Day 2022. Here’s to strong women:

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them.

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” Maya Angelou



 

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