Cornish Chronicles: Cape Cornwall

Once upon a time, a little boy from Glasgow went on holiday to Cornwall with his Mum, Dad and two younger siblings. They stayed in a cottage at Cape Cornwall which had a gate right onto the beach! The little boy had a lovely time and looked back on many happy memories, but he didn’t visit Cornwall again for nearly 50 years, when he returned with his wife, determined to track the cottage down…

Ok, enough of that – I’m sure it’s not hard to guess who I’m talking about! And actually, the cottage wasn’t that hard to track down – there was only one it could have been, though it has been upgraded since the 60s (no surprise there) with double glazing and a sun-porch:

Cape Cornwall is a rocky headland jutting out into the sea, topped by an abandoned chimney stack, the remains of Cape Cornwall Mine which closed in 1875. (This area has many such ruined mines – more on those in the next post.) On the chimney is a plaque noting that Cape Cornwall was “purchased for the nation by HJ Heinz Co Ltd to mark their centenary year. Presented to the National Trust 25 March 1987.” Think about that next time you have beans on toast for tea!

Below the Cape is the rocky beach of Priest’s Cove with its swimming pool as fondly remembered by John from his childhood holiday (but renovated in 2000). Just around from the cove is a lookout post for National Coastwatch – there was an exercise going on the day we were there so we weren’t able to go into the building.

We spent all morning at the Cape, finishing with a sandwich and a cup of tea from the mobile café, which we ate sitting on a wall and enjoying the sun – still not believing our luck with the wonderful, autumn weather. Then it was off to visit some of those mines I was talking about…


  1. He must of had a wonderful time. It’s great that you went back. Really a beautiful place, I love rocky beaches. I actually have stronger memories of some of the vacations that I took as a child than some I’ve taken in recent years.


    • I spent most of my chidlhood vacations visiting relatives, but I’d struggle to remember enough about the ones when we went soemwhere different to identify where we stayed. I thought it was brave to stay somehwere quite isolated (the road down to Cape Cornwall is tiny) with three small children, but you’re right, he just remembers having a great time.