Walks

Chy Carrow is in the middle of a beautiful stretch of the Southwest Coast Path, east to Zennor and St Ives and west to Cape Cornwall and Land's End. You can reach the coast path directly from the house, on the path that goes down to Portheras Cove, our local beach (about one mile, steep descent at the bottom).

You can also join at other points along the coast road, and in the summer use the open-top bus (see timetable) to take you to where you want to start and pick you up at some other point along the road. The closest stop is Pendeen Boscaswell Stores in the village. You can also hail the bus from outside our house, but beware that it sometimes runs a bit early.

Back from the coast - though never far, and in some cases with simultaneous views of the sea to the north, west and south - are walks through the heather and bracken moors, directly from the house and from Rosemergy, about two miles east along the coast road. Some of these include the local specialty of bronze age dolmens, or Quoits, including Chun Quoit [SW402339], a 5,000-year old burial chamber at the top of the hill behind our house, Men-an-tol ('stone with a hole') [SW427349], and Lanyon Quoit [SW431336].

 

Beaches

Our local beach, Portheras Cove, is a quiet sandy beach that you reach by a fairly steep climb down the cliff path, so although it's reasonably accessible it's never crowded. There's nothing managed there at all. It's not recommended for swimming, not just because it is unsupervised, but because there was a shipwreck there some years ago, and although it has now been cleared up there's a chance of some previously buried piece of metal being exposed by the tide churning the sand. There are also strong currents, so be careful with the tide.

The official swimming beaches near us, with huge flat sands, RNLI lifeguards, pasties etc., are at Sennen on the west coast (from which there's a particularly nice short coast walk to Land's End), Porthcurno on the southern tip (pictured), Marazion on the south coast with the causeway out to St Michael's Mount, and Porthmeor Beach at St Ives. Sennen, Marazion and Porthmeor are also big surfing beaches.

See tide tables for Penzance and St Ives.

 

 

 

Mines

Chy Carrow is in the St Just tin mining district, and there's plenty of mining heritage along the nearby coast, particularly on the stretch west from Chy Carrow to Cape Cornwall. Most tin-mine ruins are backdrops to coast walks, but there are two local mines that can be visited more fully. Levant, on the coast just beyond Pendeen (pictured), is a Victorian mine now maintained by the National Trust, including operating its surviving steam engine on some days. Geevor, in Pendeen itself, was the last mine of the district to close (in 1990),and runs tours including going underground into the mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Galleries

St Ives is our local culture capital, with its history of artists escaping the rest of the country for the unspoilt Cornish coast, although today's St Ives is not such a quiet retreat. But it does have the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. There are an impressive number of contemporary art, pottery and sculpture galleries, in St Ives but also in Penzance and Newlyn, and our neighbouring Yew Tree Gallery.

For other local cultural sites there is also the Minack Theatre on the cliff above Porthcurno, and the castle, church and garden at St Michael's Mount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towns

There is just about no architecture to see in west Cornwall. And the edges of most local towns are monuments to 1970s pebbledash – particularly in St Just and St Ives. But there are nonetheless nice town-centre seafronts in Mousehole (small town clustering around its picturesque harbour), Newlyn (England's biggest fishing port, pictured, with the whole community focused on a very business-like fishing industry), St Ives (art and surfing), and Penzance (local shopping, not as resort-like as St Ives). Penzance and St Ives are also bases for pleasure cruises and fishing trips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife

On our coast walks so far we have seen seals (often), dolphins (once but lots of them), skylarks, buzzards, and others we are too ignorant to name. Also an adder. And from a fishing boat in Mounts Bay, also a basking shark, as well as the seal pictured.