At the end of last year when the kids returned to school I suddenly had an opportunity for some time to myself. This was always somehow going to manifest itself into photography, but on my birthday my wife bought me the ‘AA 50 Walks in Cornwall’ book. And so now I had a window of opportunity between school drop off and pick up to get out with the camera, and exploring new areas of Cornwall was an exciting prospect.
As we work our way through week four of the ‘stay at home’ guidance I find myself looking back at these times and wondering when they might be able to happen again. This was brought home even more this morning as I was watching ‘kernowshots’ on Instagram doing stories of his morning walk/run around Falmouth and the Helford area. If like me you love the coast then you should definitely check out his work and daily stories. Whilst I am incredibly jealous, I’m also grateful for this glimpse into a part of Cornwall I am so fond of. The coast is definitely something I am missing deeply through these challenging times.
I was spoilt by my first walk from the book. I chose it out of some familiarity having visited Helford before but also some excitement of exploring areas of the coast path that I had not before. I wasn’t disappointed. Immediately a love of the book was established and I couldn’t wait to do more of the walks. The walk was ’34 A Helford Estuary Circuit’ which you can read about here and see some more images. The following image of a bench on the coast path looking back towards Falmouth Bay was one of my favourites.
Next up was ’27 Prussia Cove and Mount’s Bay.’ Again this wasn’t necessarily an area I wasn’t familiar with but I knew it would cover some new ground, and whilst low cloud was present for much of the walk and the big camera stayed in the bag I was treated to some lovely light on Perranuthnoe beach. The following iPhone shot is still one of my favourites.
A few weeks passed before the next opportunity arose, and this time instead of heading to the coast I completed ’14 Through Bishop’s Wood.’ I’ve always struggled with woodland photography and finding order out of chaos, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable walk, and the following image is again still one of my favourites. I’m fortunate that these walks have not only provided some exercise, exploration of Cornwall but some photos I’m proud of as well.
Shortly after Bishop’s wood came a walk closer to home around St. Agnes. Again the walk would cover familiar ground but I was excited to cover St. Agnes beacon for the first time. I still don’t know to this day why in all my years in Cornwall I have not explored the beacon. I managed to dodge some pretty sharp showers on the walk and the wind on the beacon itself was pretty strong! I did manage to hold still enough to capture the following panorama from the beacon looking along the coast towards Perranporth.
December brought a visit to Bedruthan Steps. The lack of people at such a popular place took me by surprise, and ironically I guess it is very similar to how it would be today as people stay at home. The sun was shining that day, but I remember being in awe of the big clean waves rolling into the coast. I love Cornwall when it is dramatic like this.
The last two walks I did from the book I never got around to writing about, they just never seemed to be the time or desire. ’37 By the Fal Estuary’ took me to some beautiful spots. The weather wasn’t particularly conducive to great photography but I did manage the following image of a boat resting by Mylor Churchtown.
’31 Cadgwith and the Serpentine Route’ was the last walk I did from the book back in February. I never did capture any big boy camera shots, just some phone shots. However I definitely found some inspiration on the walk and some locations to return to when the conditions are right. Poltesco as featured in the following image was a particular highlight.
It is difficult to think about missing out on these walks at the moment. As I do my exercise walks close to home and see the gorse in full bloom or the pink campion starting to flower I’m reminded just how good the coast might be looking at the moment. On top of this we have had an incredible spell of settled weather, perfect for completing these walks. Fingers crossed some restrictions maybe relaxed soon, but in the mean time stay home and stay safe folks.