Sunday, 1 October 2017

An Autumnal Getaway to West Cornwall

So that's the holidays over for another year. Sadly our Summer decided on a
quick exit during September although it might not seem that way when you
see these pictures. It was like a game with the shifting clouds. And when they
briefly parted, that's when I was able to snap away.
Perhaps the idea of visiting Cornwall much earlier in the year might make
So yes, I was hoping that this post was going to solely feature nothing but
pictures from The Isles of Scilly. But it was not to be. So hopefully you won't
mind seeing some familiar sights around St Ives.

I was pleased to see the newly refurbished Jubilee Pool in Penzance after it
was partly destroyed by the 2014 Winter storms. The same storms that left
railway tracks dangling in mid-air at Dawlish.

The Pool is now looking back to it's splendid self although only one or two
brave souls chose to risk a swim in the water during our chilly September.

The Pool was first opened back in 1935 to celebrate King George V's Silver
Jubilee. And it was Prince Charles that came to visit the newly restored
seafront icon last Summer, officially reopening it by uncovering a blue plaque.

Above: Part of the damage to the Pool after the
Winter storms of 2014.

Above: Prince Charles The Duke of Cornwall goes on a walkabout
at The Jubilee Pool after officially reopening it last Summer.

Image via The Daily Mail

Above: St Michael's Mount taken from the jetty in Penzance, the very spot
where The Scillonian Ferry departs for The Isles of Scilly. It was also the
same day that we had planned to visit the Islands. Sadly once again the
predicted good weather turned for the worse, although I'm not sure our
hearts were in making a visit what with the good Summer weather
making an early exit here in the U.K.
To secure an eventual trip, having not been since 2009, we are starting
to think about visiting the County much earlier in the year.

Above: Looking through to Penzance Harbour.


I must have walked past Sunset House (above) many times and not really taken in
it's spectacular vantage point overlooking Porthmeor Beach in St Ives. After all it is a
plain looking three bedroom house. But that all changed the other week when the
house came up for auction while we were staying there. In fact we even managed
to listen to the outcome of the auction live on Radio Cornwall.
The media picked up very quickly with the story. And it was covered in the local as well as
national tv news bulletins.

The property owned by Devon & Cornwall Housing Group sold for £1.44m, more than
 four times the average house price in the town, which stands at £339.000.
Local residents must be wondering what will now happen to this former Council house.
The predictions are that it will be pulled down and replaced by a new house. Perhaps
a new and more contemporary structure, the kind we're used to seeing on tv's Grand Designs.

The actual ground space that the house, garage and small side garden take up is
by no means a large area. So there won't be a lot of space for anything over ambitious.
But what spectacular views you get from this lone beach side property. It's stands almost
opposite the St Ives Tate Gallery, currently undergoing some reconstruction. And there's
The Island to your right, just about the windiest spot that overlooks Porthmeor. And to the left
of the house is Clodgy Point at the far end of Porthmeor. And it's here when mother nature
chooses to be kind that you'll see some spectacular sunsets which does seem to instill a
kind of magic in the evening air.

I think I'm already drawing ideas in my head for what that possible new house might look like.
But it is strange that the front of the house is covered in those grey protective tiles. It's the rear of the house which faces the sea and the full force of the Winter Atlantic gales. The exterior of the
Tate Gallery is already testament to the Winter storms.
But it'll be interesting to see in time what new developments will take place at Sunset House.

Will the house itself still be there when I next visit St Ives?

Above: An outside reporter for the local BBC Spotlight
tv show reporting on the sale of the house.
She also interviewed a few locals and holidaymakers.

Above: St Ives golden boy and pro surfer Harry De Roth was asked
about the house that overlooks his favourite beach, Porthmeor.
Had to laugh when Harry responded to the reporter by saying
that if he lived there he would simply have a slide running

straight down from the house and onto the beach.

I cant believe that I only used my phone camera just once.
I've promised myself to use it more next time and not spend
so much time concentrating on stills.
I'd like to get some video shots of Porthmeor surfing beach
and perhaps some shots of the Harbour and town.
When I did start to prepare to film on Porthmeor then the
dreaded clouds came out so I abandoned the idea on that day.


The brief stretch of railway that runs from St Erth to St Ives must be one of
the most scenic rail journey's in Great Britain. It takes in wonderful vistas
of the whole of St Ives Bay passing on then to Carbis Bay and the 

Carbis Bay beach resort, finally ending up to the wonderful scenic
sight of Porthminster Beach St Ives.
When my less adventurous other half first took this journey on
a truly spectacular day, he then realized how beautiful St Ives
is. And it's a day he always remembers.
But I can never understand why so many visitors and Youtubers
choose to film the rail journey on overcast dull weather days.

And yet for such an interesting and dramatic short journey I wonder
why the actual train carriages are quite plain. We still live in an age
of mock-Tudor houses so why not have a mock steam engine to
pull the carriages along. It would certainly put that railway line on
the map. But then would the town want even more visitors.
You've only to walk the railway coast path to Lelant and you will
see visitors and tourists waiting by the bridges in the hope that the
train will pass.

Above: The Railway line passing Carbis Bay Beach.

I couldn't resist bringing back some fudge from Cornwall.
There seems to be so many different flavours in many of the
local shops in St Ives, with some shops selling different
flavours that other shops might not have.

Above are the one's I brought back home (left to right)...
Strawberry, Black Licorice, Peppermint and Orange.
My favourite is the Black Licorice.
I also bought a box of Cornish Fairings Biscuits plus a gift

box of Clotted Cream Fudge.


  1. Absolutely beautiful and so much good sand. The upper small bay window in the very expensive house intrigues me. The house is rather odd, sitting there on its own. What a mess the pool ended up in. I featured the spectacular rail collapse in Dawlish a couple of years ago. By the looks of the scene, the sea wall must give great wind protection.

    1. Andrew, It's odd that the small bay window is so small considering that it gives an unobstructed view of the full sunset in the evenings. Perhaps if a new house goes up there then a large bay window is sure to be on the architects drawings.
      What I find odd is how did such a single lone property appear in that small spot, giving it's owners an unrivalled view of such a spectacular setting.

      Yes I was surprised to see how well the refurbished Jubilee Pool now looks. I certainly was a much busier looking place back in August during the School holidays.

      I do remember you posting about the dangling railway at Dawlish back in 2014. I think it is better protected now. But quite a few West Country resorts are already preparing for any possible new Winter storms this year.
      They were talking about moving the railway away from the Dawlish coastline and building it more inland. We hope not. It's our first full sight of the sea on the Paddington train to Cornwall, and always something to look forward to on the five hour journey from London.

      Glad you like the pics. It was touch and go with our stop and start weather.

  2. I wouldn't have thought outdoor swimming pools in Britain would get much patronage after your brief summers. But perhaps you are much hardier than this tropical boy. Then again, the Bondi Icebergs swim at the famous beach all year round which would be a doddle to you Brits.
    One point four million quid for an Atlantic gale blasted council house? Madness. Hope it's not one of those which will collapse into the sea within ten years. And spectacular sunny beaches as usual. Dare we hope for pics of your all over tan? - Ian

    1. Ian, I guess that the refurbished Pool has it's use more around early and mid-Summer. I have seen pictures where many locals frequent it during the Summer School holidays.

      Funny but that million quid house has become a sort of shrine, and it would be to anyone that sees Porthmeor Beach as some sort of spiritual home. Just ask any of the local surfers. They'd sell their soul to the devil to be able to live there.
      And just before the auction I checked my weekend lottery ticket. Had I won I would have fought off that secret buyer.

      Oh the Winter gales can be bad sometimes but not bad enough to blow down the house. They say it even has a basement in the building. Yet when the BBC went inside it to film, it really was a plain old house. And it was not left in the tidiest of ways, which some had a moan about. I just wonder what the real story is. Why did the last lot of residents need to move out. I wouldn't ever want to leave such a beautifully located property.

      No tan pictures I'm afraid. My partner is more of a beach flesh flasher. But for the last 3 or 4 years we haven't actually been able to sit out and sun ourselves on our favourite beach down by Lelant. Something is happening with our Summers. Maybe Septembers when Cornwall is more affordable, is getting to be too late in the year.