St. Michael’s Way, Cornwall.

30 08 2016

One of the many walks we do in Cornwall is a short and very pretty coastal path from Carbis Bay to Lelant. When the tide is low, you can walk back on the huge expanse of sand at Porth Kidney. This year was memorable for watching Gannets diving into the sea in huge numbers.

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Looking across PorthKidney beach to Carbis Bay and St Ives.

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Looking down over Porth Kidney near Lelant. Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance.

It feels such a familiar area that I rarely look at a map but after one such walk, I noticed a QR code on a footpath sign. I pointed my mobile at it which then linked to  http://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/  It listed 3 walks, one of which I hadn’t tried before with some interesting info about the area, including a reference to St. Michael’s Way. This is a 12 mile, coast to coast pilgrim path that is believed to have been used by pilgrims travelling from Ireland on their way to the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela, North West Spain.

Well I’d been looking for a challenging and scenic run but this was right our doorstep! I travelled to Penzance and along to St Michael’s Mount where the trail begins. The path splits at the start and rejoins, then  follows a single path to Lelant. I have to say it was such a fabulous run. In terms of a challenge it is more than your average half marathon and I think all but the most hardy fell runner will need to walk at some point but I was able to run most of it and take in the views. I would strongly advise taking an OS map because the route’s scallop symbol isn’t always visible and you’re left guessing the route – as I did on occasion. There was a comic moment when, having passed a couple of walkers, I passed them again a few miles later, going in the same direction. They had got lost and taken a more direct route but it didn’t take long to pass them for the 3rd time! One of the high points on the route, literally, is the Knill Monument. You get a superb view of St. Ives, Carbis Bay, Hayle and Godrevy Lighthouse to the North, with equally great views to the South coast.

I didn’t take many photos as I wanted to enjoy the run rather than keep starting and stopping but I allowed myself a breather after an hour or so. Here’s St Michael’s Mount in the distance. It’s possible to tale an alternative route from Marazion so next year it would be fun to try an out-and-back run – almost a full marathon at 25 miles.

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