South West Coast Path – Talland Bay – Polperro Walk – 02.05.2012

“It’s a beautiful day
don’t let it’ get away…”

© U2 2000

It most certainly was! We were going to make the most of the most of this beautiful British Summer day :-). Starting out just above Talland Bay itself we were indulged with the amazing views across farmers fields and to the cliffs and sea. It was so wonderful to be able to see the Sun glittering on the sea! It looked almost magical! We passed by the car park before joining the South West Coast Path, which I have had the pleasure of walking many times before, please feel free to see my Cornwall blogs!

As we walked into the bay, we discovered that the bay did not most amazing sandy beach but it certainly enjoys a lovely feeling of being secluded. You could drinking tea at the little cafe there in peace! A little stream rushes through to the beach, definitely topped up by all the rain we have been having! However, Talland Bay itself seems to have suffered to the hands of Smugglers in 18th Century, it would not be hard to see why with the amount of coves, cliffs and rocks that we could see! I would have said it was not a place to miss if you came here, even Dame Judy Dench use to come here for childhood holidays :-).

We left the bay behind, to follow the path on a steep climb. The route joined the “Talland Cliffs”. At first it was lovely and cool under the trees, as they were over hanging the path, unfortunately they blocked the view over the bay :(. It was not long before the path reached a very small clearing, where a stone cross had been built. This is a war memorial cross had been placed purposely on this cliff, in dedication of the soldiers from Talland and Polperro. It looks out to sea where it dominates the skyline and has not been built where it can be hastily walked past like most crosses in a town centre. I will admit the view from the cross make view out the sea look quite infinite.

From 2012 – 02.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Talland Bay – Polperro

As it was a very hot day, we came across a high number of walkers, and it was rather frustrating to pass in places particularly as it was a very narrow and rocky in place. However, I will admit not as difficult as the West Highland Way! The path took as high along the cliffs as we made our way towards the little village of Polperro. These cliffs are obviously dangerous to shipping as we could see a very small lighthouse in the distance. It was not very big as I could see people standing next to it and they were the same height as the lighthouse itself! Obviously it was seen as enough to warn boats away from these dreaded rocks…

Once the path had reached the top, it started to descend, as the saying goes “what goes up, must come down”. The path a steep descent, I was so glad that steps had been put into this section of that path to prevent any mudslides from happening! Eventually the muddy path gave way to tarmac. We could finally see the village of Polperro nestled into this natural harbour. As the path continued down the slope, we passed by some benches which had been strategically placed along the the path. It was extremely tempting to sit and soak up the sun and the view, but we felt that we were not going to do that today! We wanted to explore the sights and sounds of Polperro.

Polperro is small fishing village, which has been in existence since 13th Century. I will certainly say, when we arrived it has escaped so much development, it looks like a village that would fit in from 18th or 19th Century (maybe not 13th). We passed by the Polperro Musuem of Smuggling & Fishing, which we sadly did not have time to visit. Perhaps if we had, we could have read of the tales of smuggling took place and how the Polperro boats smuggled contraband goods across from the island of Guernsey on a large scale trying to evade capture of Revenue Vessels in the Channel, in the latter half of the 18th Century! I think these boats were in addition to ones I mentioned earlier to the smugglers on Talland Bay! This area was obviously notorious at that time… I think the occupation of fishing sounds much gentler, and this has been going on for generations in Polperro, it seems that Pilchards were the main catch at one time!

From 2012 – 02.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Talland Bay – Polperro

As we started to explore the village, it was very noticeable how small the streets were. To be honest I think only bikes and pedestrians are able to get through them. Although we did discover later that runs a small tram service at the village centre! As we wandered on, we had a pleasant discovery that a small river runs straight through it. This is the “River Pol”, where Polperro derives it’s name from. Polperro is from the Cornish “Pol” which is pronounced as “Pole” which can mean either of the following – “Pool”,”Pit” and “Cove”, in Cornish Polperro means “Pera’s Cove”. All the houses over hang the river, looking very precarious, but beautiful at the same time :).

We continued around the harbour to walk a little way up the other side of the South West Coast Path, it was far steeper and rockier than the Talland Cliffs. Probably more dangerous for shipping. There was an abandoned building on the edge of the cliff, surprisingly still intact and it not given into the ravages of the sea. I am still unsure what it was? However, from reading more about Polperro, I am sure this was to do with the fishing industry perhaps where fish was taken to be packed and prepared once it was caught? If anyone is prepared to let me know I would really appreciate it!

We decided not to continue along the coast path, and keep that walk for another day. We turned back to Polperro to enjoy the sights and sounds of the village once again. To really finish the walk I treated myself to a Wright’s Ice Cream only made in Polperro scrummy – well worth a walk for 🙂

Please feel free to enjoy the walk photos!

2012 – 02.05.2012 – South West Coast Path – Talland Bay – Polperro

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