It might not have been bright sunshine and long days, and it definitely wasn’t warm enough to go swimming in the sea, but reading a book under a blanket listening to the waves wasn’t a bad alternative…
We spent a week in the village of Portwrinkle, near Looe overlooking Whitsand Bay. Whilst blessed with great views and walks right on our doorstep, the village is fairly remote due its lack of grocery shop or cafe. Unless you visit to play golf or surf, you have to travel slightly further afield to run everyday errands. That being said, the South West coast path stretches for miles in both directions, meaning there is plenty to explore. Walking away from the golf course, we walked to Downderry, whilst the undulating path makes for a slightly more challenging walk, the views are definitely worth it. Downderry has a long, south facing, sand and shingle beach with rock pools at low tide – perfect for surfing, snorkelling and rock climbing. The village also has a delicious vegetarian (& vegan) cafe called Summthink Different, a seafood restaurant, Blu Plate and a pub called Inn on the Shore.
Heading left out of our door, we walked through the golf course & MOD firing range (thankfully they weren’t shooting that day!) and towards Tregantle fort and beach. The fort was built as part of Lord Palmerston’s defence surrounding Plymouth to deter the French from attacking naval bases on the Channel coast. The beach just below however, was the highlight. The sun shone and sandy shores stretched for miles – I was in my happy place.
We made a short trip in the car to Looe, a thriving fishing village from as early as 1000BC. It exported local tin, arsenic and granite, and was crucial in local and regional boatbuilding, and records show that Looe provided 20 ships for the siege of Calais in 1347. Unsurprisingly therefore, the harbour is the main attraction and focus of the town, even when grey and a bit rainy the colourful boats make for a picturesque, quaint view.
We had lunch at The Sardine Factory, a Michelin star restaurant – I would highly recommend the crab linguine and of course the fish and chips. The beauty of visiting during offseason means everywhere is quieter but bear in mind some shops and cafes etc will be closed. However, if you come for the views, walks and peace then you’ll be perfectly happy!
The final place of note, is Rame’s Head peninsula: it’s an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is formed of a rocky shoreline punctuated by sandy beaches. The distinctive landmark of Rame Head with its medieval chapel makes for a prominent focus point. The sheltered valley behinds makes for an enclosed setting for the villages of Cawsand and Kingsand. It is locally known as the ‘The Forgotten Corner’, and despite the large car park is a great place to come for a peaceful stay even during peak season.
The wait for our ‘summer’ holiday was most definitely worth it, even if we had to dodge the rain some days! Amidst the uncertainty and social distancing of everyday life, it was refreshing to enjoy a change of scene, pace of life and be together as a family.
Summthink Different image source: