I am incredibly lucky to live on the best street in the best town in the best country in the world. At one end of my street I have a beach, and ten minutes’ walk in the other direction takes me to a town full of life, restaurants, people. My default walk – the one I always do if I can’t be bothered to think of another one – takes me out of my house, past some lovely buildings, then past the docks, then through some woodland, then past one beach and then another. It’s bloody brilliant.
I love the docks and the view over them towards Flushing. I love the noise, the industry, the reminder that Cornwall is not all tourism. There are old granite multi-storey edifices alongside modern, low-rise but vast pre-fabs. Telescopes dot the wide pavement above them as the view is just stupendous.
Shortly after by-passing the docks a footpath appears that plunges the walker into quite different territory. This is my favourite bit. It is a jumble of trees, shrubs, undergrowth designed to trip you up. The sea can be glimpsed through the branches. Half-way along there is a bench with many, many bunches of flowers on, and a poem. The bench is dedicated to a 17 year old girl who died this time last year at this spot. It is very moving.
Onwards through winding and muddy paths, brightness periodically giving way to gloom as the trees thicken, then to an old blockhouse which is something to do with Henry VIII but I can’t remember what. Then to Pendennis Head where an ice-cream van seems to be permanently open, even on a gloom morning mid-week in January. There are always lots of cars here; people parked up for a lunch break, Sunday drivers taking in the view. I imagine many an affair has been conducted here.
Turning right my walk is now fairly flat and with a fantastic view of the sea directly on my left. I pass Castle Beach and then Gyllyngvase Beach. At the cafe I turn right up the hill and then I’m home. It is almost exactly 3 miles and takes me about an hour if muddy, 50 mins if not.
Today was slightly different however. It was the first day back after Christmas for Rock Choir. And this is held in a hotel along the sea-front. So I decided to wrap my walk around my singing. I walked 2 miles of my usual route, warbled for an hour and half, had a cup of coffee and a natter with my friend Gill then walked the last mile home. It was all quite lovely.
It is 2 days to Weigh Day…