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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Penrose parkrun

29 08 2016

In August, I usually miss a couple of parkruns when we head off to Cornwall on holiday. Travelling down to St. Ives on Saturday doesn’t help but with few parkruns in Cornwall, I just accept, reluctantly, to have a parkrun holiday.

This year, instead of driving down, we decided to save a bit of money on car hire by getting the overnight Megabus from London to Penzance. I travelled down Thursday night. As well as getting to Cornwall for a tenner, it meant I could get to Penrose parkrun on Saturday. Euphoria! It all seemed straight forward until the public transport options from Carbis Bay to Helston meant I’d have to leave about 6am just to cover a 9 mile distance using a combination of running, bus and train. Fortunately, the friends we were staying with offered me a lift if coffee could be guaranteed. A fair offer I thought!

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Sleeping swans at Helston

We arrived at Helston and first saw a lake with cafe attached. Excellent. I jumped out and did a warm up lap past some sleeping swans and then crossed the road to the car park near the start of the run. Penrose parkrun has been temporarily re-routed until Easter 2017 to allow the National Trust car park at Penrose Hill to be enlarged so I was half expected a less interesting route. Far from it. The run is reasonably flat from start to finish and it takes you out through some lovely woodland, alongside The Loe – the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall – and up to Penrose House. You then retrace your steps back to the start.

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Hands up if you’re a tourist!   (Photo: Penrose parkrun on Facebook)

A special mention to the volunteers who coped brilliantly with the numbers swelled by holiday makers – myself included. We were all made to feel very welcome so thanks to everyone who helped on the day, including a group from Nottingham!

Penrose parkrun





Running in Cornwall and Dorset

25 08 2015

Just returned from a week in Carbis Bay near St. Ives.  Unusually low tides made some 5k runs possible on sand running from Carbis Bay to Lelant and back again. It looked possible to run all the way to the Godrevy lighthouse but I didn’t fancy crossing the river Hayle – it didn’t look that deep at low tide but I wasn’t sure if I’d get back before the tide came back in.

My favourite run was coming back to Carbis Bay on the coastal path. Although there are a couple of steep sections, it is a good surface throughout and great views.

coastal path at Lelant looking toward St. Ives
Running the coastal path at Lelant looking toward St. Ives, Cornwall.

 I stopped off in Shaftesbury, Dorset on my way back to Brighton and found a lovely run close to the town. Spectacular views again looking South West out into Blackmore Vale. Thomas Hardy country!

Shaftesbury

Back to Brighton now. parkrun on Saturday then 2 days left to complete #5keveryday.








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