By: Blonde Two
When Blonde One and I were younger we used to chat about the possibility of one day going on walking holidays. We discussed walking the South West Coast Path, hiking the Two Moors Way, backpacking along the West Highland Way and even travelling overseas and making our pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. This was back in the day when almost all of our walking consisted of 5 o’clock wake ups, teams of muddy youngsters and walking through Dartmoor bogs. We have been walking together now for nearly 10 years and, thankfully, we still have our fair share of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Ten Tors teams to train, but we also, from time to time, get the opportunity to indulge in the odd taster of what an actual walking holiday is like. This month our walking holiday snippet came from an invitation from John and Helen of Lamorna House Walking Holidays to visit Cornwall and hike the South West Coast Path (just a couple of sections you understand).
I have discovered that, upon arrival at a bed and breakfast, the first thing I want to do (after admiring the beauty of the room and the fluffiness of the towels) is to actually get outside and do some walking. Upon arrival at the very lovely Lamorna House, we discovered that our hosts had already thought about this for us and planned us a beautiful evening route through Cornish fields, onto the South West Coast Path, across the causeway to St Michael’s Mount and then up to Marazion for dinner (a range of tempting places to eat were included in the plan). John and Helen decided to accompany us on the first section of the walk to make sure that we set off in the right direction (once you can see the sea, the South West Coast Path is usually quite straightforward). We got on so well with both of them (great sense of humour and lots of local knowledge) that they stayed with us along a small section of the SW Coast Path, eventually leaving us to negotiate the beach and St Michael’s Mount causeway on our own.
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My last memory of visiting St Michael’s Mount was as a teenager when I holidayed in Penzance with my family. I recall rain, a wet sandcastle competition with my sisters (I didn’t win) and slipping around on the causeway in my flip-flops. What my childish memory had rejected, however, was the picture of quite how beautiful the walk to St Michael’s Mount is.
The tidal causeway is a lovely sandy colour and the island rises behind like something out of a Famous Five for grownups book (a real adventure not the current spoof books). We walked just as the tide was lapping over the edge of the causeway (St Michael’s Mount causeway tide times are signposted so that you don’t get this wrong but John and Helen had checked them for us). This lapping gave me a delicious ‘part of the sea’ feeling, indeed, as you approach St Michael’s Mount from the East (the SW Coast Path follows the road but we opted for a low tide beach scramble), the walkers on the causeway do look like they are walking on water.
This was an evening walk, which meant that the St Michael’s Mount shops and cafe on the island were shutting, but also led to a very peaceful half hour of quiet contemplation in the sunshine as we watched and looked and took in that lovely bit of the South West Coast Path that is Cornwall. It was time for tea soon after… delicious… and then we wandered back to enjoy our lovely beds and take photos of our fluffy towels!
If you are thinking about walking some of the West Cornwall sections of the South West Coast Path and are wondering about accommodation, baggage transfers or even if it is possible to walk sections that will suit your ability, we thoroughly recommend that you get in touch with Helen and John at Lamorna House Walking Holidays. They have walked much of the Souh West Coast Path themselves and understand exactly what walkers need… apparently before the walkers know themselves!
More about the South West Coast path…