The Mysterious Disappearance of John Davidson

A strange thing happened to me a couple of years ago, I bought a secondhand book exactly 110 years to the day that a man mentioned in it had died – the 23rd March. The book was The Oxford Literary Guide to the British Isles, published in 1977. I had started leafing through it in […]

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Mulfra Quoit

mulfra quoit

You can find Mulfra Quoit in ‘the land of granite and gorse’, high up on a hill overlooking the wide sweep of Mounts Bay. On a clear, bright day a finer location would be hard to imagine. Of the quoits found in Penwith this is one of the smallest but what it lacks in size […]

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Bosiliack Chambered Cairn


Having so many prehistoric monuments in such a relatively small area as the Penwith can mean that sometimes something rather special gets overlooked. I was sitting beside Bosiliack Cairn recently, eating my picnic and enjoying the last bit of sun. In the distance Lanyon Quoit was attracting a steady stream of visitors, as was Men […]

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Tater Du Lighthouse

Tater Du, not far from Lamorna Cove, is Cornwall’s most recently built lighthouse. Isolated and always unmanned, this lighthouse sits on its rocky platform, a silent sentinel to a wide sweep of unforgiving sea. But on a warm summer’s day wildflowers, nesting birds, bees and butterflies thrive beside the coastal path that passes this lonely […]

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A History of St Loy Cove, Penwith

St Loy

“I doubt if anyone could find a warmer spot in England during the winter than this little St Loy Cove . . . it is a regular suntrap where even in the severest winter the warm sea water keeps Jack Frost at bay.” Folliott-Stokes, 1928. The boulderous bay between Merthen Point and Boscawen Point, is […]

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Chun Quoit

Chun Quoit, one of Cornwall’s best preserved prehistoric monuments, is spectacularly located high on a hill in West Penwith. Leaning with your back against it’s sun-warmed stones you can see for miles, expansive views across moorland, farmland and out to sea. But what was this structure for and what did it represent to the people […]

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Cavalla Bianca – an unusual wreck in Penzance

We are very used to hearing about the Cornish taking advantage of bounty brought to its shores by the ferocious sea. Tales of crowds of the opportunistic, greedy, and probably at times desperate, inhabitants swarming over a beached vessel and plundering all they can. Stripping a ship, and sometimes its crew bare, before the arrival […]

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Virginia Woolf in Cornwall

Here we are on the verge of going to Cornwall. This time tomorrow we shall be stepping onto the platform at Penzance, sniffing the air, looking for our trap and then driving off across the moors to Zennor. Why am I so incredibly and incurably romantic about Cornwall? – Virginia Woolf, 22nd March 1921 Some […]

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The Mermaid Chair, Zennor

The Mermiad Chair of Zennor

Which came first – the carving or the legend? It’s almost impossible to say for sure. There are other stories of Cornish mermaids at Padstow, Lamorna Cove, Seaton, Cury and Perranzabuloe. But the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor seems the most deeply embedded in the psyche of the Cornwall. And is one of the […]

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Zennor Head

Nobody visiting Zennor should fail to take the path leading to Zennor Head. Sunk at first between highbanks, it soon gains its freedom and superb views open out. The sea beats furiously against the feet of the massive headland and the lichen covered rocks, heather-topped hills and the endless succession of coves and forelands to […]

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