• Abbi

Walking The SW Coast Path - Carlyon Bay to Charlestown - 1.5 miles

Wow, this walk was just stunning. After being shrouded in sea fog on my previous walk, and waking up to yet more sea fog on the north coast, I was desperate to find some September sunshine! I checked the webcam for the south coast and decided that this is where I needed to head!

This was the only walk I did on the south coast as part of my challenge. There were many other parts of it that I wanted to do but they were all described as strenuous or challenging. They're on the list for 2021. My inspiration for coming to do this walk was down to watching @hanmadeincornwall's walks here.

When I set out from Carlyon Bay car park, I was soon greeted with this view. It took my breath away. I think it was made even more special due to it being my first sunny Cornwall view since February. Standing here looking out at this view with the hot sunshine beating down on my face, I felt like I was on a Greek Island somewhere. It was just incredible and it's not a feeling or a moment that I will forget in a hurry. It had seemed impossible that I would get to experience any kind of cornish summer this year so this was just so precious to me.

The walk continues along an easy grass path through a couple of grassy areas with stunning panoramic views of St Austell Bay.

The coast path continues along a fairly level path until it gradually climbs up to bring you out onto the road opposite Porth Avallen Hotel and also to this view!

I just wish I had been able to see this view in the peak of summer. If it was stunning like this when the best blooms had passed, just imagine how stunning it would been in the peak of summer. The path continues along the road a little way before dropping down away for the road. The path gradually declines down into Charlestown down shallow steps.

Then Charlestown comes into view. The small harbour village made famous by the recent BBC production of Poldark. Sadly I didn't find Ross Poldark anywhere. It's the sort of place where I always feel that I have stepped back in time. With ships still in the harbour, it's easy to cast your mind back to how it must've been centuries ago.

It was busy, which we expected, but after hibernating at home for so many months, it did take some getting used to being around so many people and trying to safely distance too. I was really hot after doing the walk and I couldn't resist those clear waters and couldn't wait to dive in! The sea was so calm, so peaceful and you just cannot beat some sea therapy especially on a sunny day.

I'm not a very confident swimmer so I like to take the opportunity to go in the sea when it is calm. It was warm too. I love to have a bit of a swim but then I just love to float and feel that calmness come over me. Just a few minutes to take some time to relax. No people around me, not worrying about social distancing, taking my mind off my impending redundancy. Experiencing that feeling that I had been longing for, for so many months. Spending time in nature and appreciating it and allowing it to sooth me.

It is the dream that one day I can live in Cornwall so that this can become part of my daily routine. Cold water swimming is meant to really help Fibromyalgia symptoms. It's true that while I am in the water, I am not aware of my pain. It is as if a physical weight has been lifted from me. I never have that feeling on dry land.

The original plan was to continue beyond Charlestown and walk to Porthpean beach but sadly the coast path is closed between there at the moment due to coastal erosion. There is a diversion on road but we decided we would rather spend longer on the beach at Charlestown than do that. We did drive round to Porthpean but I got confused with the tide times and sadly it was high tide and you could not move for people so we only saw it very briefly.

After my swim and eating lunch, we retraced our steps back on the coast path the way we had come. Although it is nice to do a circular walk sometimes, I actually quite like walking back the same way because you get to appreciate it from a different angle and see things that you didn't see before. Such as finding a viewpoint, that we hadn't noticed on the way. As I'm sure you'll agree from the view, it would've been a shame to miss it!

I also had not noticed these beautiful trees when we were walking towards Charlestown.

Walking back to the car, it got really hot. I'd worn walking sandals instead of my boots or trainers and that was a big mistake. They rubbed my feet so much that I was practically waddling like a penguin. Needless to say, I didn't make that mistake again. I really enjoyed this stretch of coast line and I look forward to exploring it further next year.