After a fantastic week of sunshine, Olivia and I popped to Chapel Porth beach on Friday morning!
For one of our classic weekly walk, we decided to explore the North Coast a bit instead of our usual Helford river/Fal hangouts. I haven’t been to Chapel Porth beach in years, probably since I was around 11 or 12; we’d come hear a lot in my childhood and play in the waves, eating croque monsieurs and Hedgehog icecreams for lunch from the cafe!
We visited at low tide and it was beautiful; starting out slightly cloudy, but the sun soon came out and provided us with some summer warmth. The wind has been really low over the past few days, so the sea was fairly calm and the rock pools undisturbed.
(^ She is such a babe, amiright?)
The whole coast around St. Agnes, Porthtowan, Portreath and Godrevy is fast becoming my favourite, which is strange because I’ve pretty much lived here all my life, and yet I seem to have only been truly appreciating it over the past couple of months.
Funny thing is, I used to HATE going to Chapel Porth as a kid. I always had a picture in my mind of it being really overcast there, due to the high cliffs either side. And yes, at certain times of day, those cliffs DO cast a shadow over part of the beach, but I don’t know why I made such a big deal out of it!
It’s still a bloody beautiful beach, and the cafe is amazing too, so there’s that.
We also went for a quick stroll up the cliffs, which gives you a beautiful view of the beach and the stunning engine houses too.
The whole place reminds of going to Bolster Day every year, which – if you don’t know what it is/have never heard of it before – is quite difficult to explain! I found this out when I tried to explain it to Olivia…
It’s a Cornish legend where a giant (named Bolster – who is recreated as a 28ft puppet and paraded through St. Agnes on ‘Bolster day’ each year) used to terrorise the area to eat children (yep this is a family friendly event), until Agnes (who was later sainted… ergo, St. Agnes was borne) came along and asked the giant to prove how much he loved her by filling a hole with his blood, which evidently killed him.*
It’s a pretty bloody story, but it is re-enacted every year on May bank holiday, upon Chapel Porth cliffs after the procession through the town. They perform the play on one side of the cliff bank, and viewers watch sat on the other side, booing and hissing at all the right moments of course.
It’s a strange one to explain – but we used to go nearly every year as kids and I actually really enjoyed it! I’ll have to remember to go next year :)
At the top of the cliffs there’s also an epic viewpoint which (if daring enough) you can climb on and get panoramic views of the North coast, but just make sure your balance is feeling good that day!
I can’t believe how nice the weather turned out for us! The light was perfect and we even felt warm enough for a quick paddle. There were a few jelly fish about though, looking pretty in the sand but not so pretty underfoot!
I’m excited to head back to Chapel Porth for a lunch sometime soon and truly relive the experience through all the senses ;)
*Shout out to Sara B for correcting my recount of the story – I’d totally forgotten about Agnes in the ending!
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