Friday, July 17, 2009

Remembering Cornish Beaches

After uploading a post about some of my first experiences of swimming in the sea, I began to think about some of the beaches in Cornwall, England, that I enjoyed in my teens and early-twenties. I managed to find some photos online that I was able to use under the Creative Commons licence. Here are a few of my favourite Cornish beaches.

Fistral Beach, Newquay
Copyright: Darrenlambert. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.
When I was nineteen, I was working six days a week at a cafe in Newquay during the summer. In the afternoon, after work, friends and I used to go swimming at the town beaches, but on my day off I'd often walk over to Fistral Beach. It's the first beach where I saw people surfing.

In the background you can see Towan Head where I sometimes walked and watched the waves crashing against the rocks below. I was amazed to see that there was a swimming pool filled by seawater - I'd never seen anything like this before. It was privately owned, so I couldn't try it out. Ten years later I moved to Sydney and found public sea pools everywhere. Now, thirty - five years after first seeing this pool, I'm still swimming in similar pools every weekend.

Towan Head sea pool
Originally posted on Twitpic by mmechevrolet.

Crantock Beach
Copyright: Danny Robinson. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

While we were working in Newquay, we camped on the banks of the River Gannel. At low tide you could walk across a little footbridge over the river to Crantock. At high tide a man in a rowboat would ferry you across. We'd often go across to Crantock Beach for a swim. Some afternoons after work, we'd swim in the Gannel if the tide was in.

River Gannel at low tide
Copyright: Tony Atkin. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

Marazion Beach
Copyright: Ian Britton. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

I lived and worked in St Ives for seven summer seasons. Here too I had to work six days a week. Sometimes, on my day off, I'd travel by bus and foot over to Marazion. I loved swimming here. Somehow it always seemed warmer than the chilly Carbis Bay water. I also liked going over to St Michaels Mount to laze around and sunbathe (long before I heard about skin cancer).

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay, Devon
Copyright: Paul Anderson. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

Not actually in Cornwall, of course, but the first beach I swam at while slowly hitchhiking down to St Ives when I was sixteen. Friends and I used to sleep in Abbey Park behind the beach. We'd sometimes swim from the beach, but often we'd go skinny-dipping from the rocks off Corbyn Head.

Lelant Beach (Porthkidney Sands)
Copyright: Ross Burton. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

A short walk along the cliff path from Carbis Bay. At high tide you had to swim from the end of the cliff path over to the dunes.

Perranporth Beach
Copyright: Tony Atkin. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons licence.

After I left Newquay, I spent a bit of time hanging around Perranporth and St Agnes. More good memories involving beaches and swimming.

Sennen Cove

I only came here once, but I loved it. It was a really hot, sunny, cloudless day in that remarkable (for England) summer of 1976.

No comments:

Post a Comment