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Storm Who?

During the months of January and February 2020, it seemed every weekend there was the threat of another storm for us to not look forward to. First, we had Storm Brendan, then it was Storm Ciara and recently, Storm Dennis. Although I enjoy a good thunderstorm now and then, having to cancel or postpone a ramble because of the weather leaves me frustrated and disappointed. But when you’re booked to head up onto Bodmin Moor, and the winds are set to be over 70mph, I do need to make the safe decision of postponing.

Luckily, on Saturday 22 February, there were no storms booked and so I could look forward to another Cornish Ramble. This time I took the group from the wonderful Cornish town of Penzance to the picturesque fishing village of Newlyn.

This ramble was another shorter walk that consisted of only 4-miles. However, if you’re after an easier walk that still packs a punch for your eyes, then look no further. This circular walk has glorious views and a darling little village for you to gape at in joy.

Starting at the Wharfside car park, you will make your way along the pavement towards the weighbridge office and along the cobbled passageway towards the Jubilee Sea Pool. Opened in 1935 to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V, the pool is built on an area of rocks that had once been a traditional swimming spot. Designed to cope with storm waves (thankfully!) this pool was once borrowed and used as a gun battery during WW2. After various openings and closings of the pool, it was finally restored and reopened in 2016 and is now heated by geothermal energy. If you look behind the sea pool, you will also get a brilliant view of the stunning St. Michaels Mount, a tidal island in Mounts Bay.

Walking past the sea pool you will come to the beginning of the Penzance Promenade. Thanks to the storms, the seawall had taken a bit of a battering recently and so some of the prom had been closed off for safety. However, we could still get sight of the fantastic views and as we continued along this long and straight walkway, it gave us a chance to chat amongst ourselves and be thankful that the weather had turned out dry for us.

We reached an open area on the prom that meant we could get down onto the beach, which Purdy loved and proceeded to go skittering down the incredibly slippery stone steps and straight into the seaweed filled water. The group was smaller this time around with only 8 of us to navigate. But sometimes having a smaller group means you get to spend more time talking to each person. Wandering across the beach, chatting to the group and laughing at Purdy running around on the sand, I do sometimes have to remind myself how lucky I am to have such a beautiful home county where there is so much on offer, right on my doorstep. It’s easy to take it for granted.

As we reached the end of the beach and headed back up onto the pavement, we finally made our way around to the edge of Newlyn village. Here you will spot the Newlyn Art Gallery, which opened up in 1895 as an exhibition space for the Newlyn School of Art. On reaching Newlyn, this is a good spot to go off and do a little exploring – don’t forget to visit the harbour which has Cornwall’s largest fishing fleet.

Once exploring is completed, we carefully crossed the road and made our way uphill (the only part of the walk which leaves you a little out of breath) and past the gate of Lafrouda. Eventually you will reach Penlee Park, also home to Penlee Gallery and Museum which if open, is definitely worth a look around. Penlee House was originally built in 1865 and was sold to the council in 1946 so that the gardens could be used as a WW2 memorial and the house used as a museum.

The great thing about this route is that even though you may have left the views of the sea behind, you can still find beauty within the more built up areas; such as Penlee and Morrab Gardens. Morrab Gardens has plenty of space for families and kids to run about, couples to take leisurely ambles hand in hand around the winding paths, and groups of young people to hang out in clumps on the grass.

On leaving Morrab Gardens, the rest of the walk is then just a short distance to the car park. A short but fulfilling 4-miles.

‘When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.’ Haruki Murakami

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