South West England, UK: Solo to the Jurassic CoastNovember 8, 2023
București, Romania – An Artist’s ViewNovember 12, 2023
Cornwall, the home of the Cornish people; located in the South West of England
The Final Leg
After an express detour through Dartmoor, reminiscent of Silent Hill, I was awake again and ready to drive. Setting my direction, I headed towards Looe in Cornwall.
I arrived at Looe early enough to miss the crowds. After arriving too early for anything to be open, I picked up a coffee from the BP garage before taking a walk by the river and into the picturesque harbour. It’s a serene setting even when cloudy, birds and boats floating about, and the sun glistening on the water.
From the harbour, I walked down to the beach and almost had the place to myself. I finished my coffee, perched on a rock watching some seagulls, and attempted to spot a seal. The sun looked amazing while the rough beach gave an air of moodiness. Further on, the slanted slates, flanked by crows, created a dramatic backdrop with their rugged edges. I should’ve brought a tripod; I could’ve taken some great selfies.
Looe itself has many quirky little shops and restaurants; I recall that from previous visits. After walking along the beach and clambering over some rocks, I decided I was too impatient to wait for everything to open. Wanting to find somewhere better to swim, I made my way back to the car.
A Secret Beach
I wanted to head on to Lantic Bay to swim. I’d seen an article about Cornwall’s secret beaches and felt called to explore. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to see any others, but I made it to Lantic Bay after a 3 day road trip.
After driving down some of the narrowest country lanes I’ve ever seen, wing mirrors clipping raised hedgerows either side, no passing points for miles and grass growing in the middle, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.
The parking is free for National Trust members and Blue Badge holders. From the car park, you need to cross a lane and then walk across a field which may have livestock in it. It wasn’t entirely clear which direction to take at the other side of the field. After what felt an age, I found the gate and the path down toward the cliff, offering a reaching view across Lantic Bay Beach.
Getting steeper and steeper, it was easy to see why this wasn’t suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Once at the edge of the cliff, after moving down on to the carved stone steps, it becomes very steep, and concentration is needed. Clambering down with the vine-like foliage, I felt like I was an in an Indiana Jones movie.
While there may not be treasure to find, at the bottom of the steps was an amazing secluded bay. Having passed just one man and his dog across the field, I had the entire beach to myself. There are no lifeguards and no facilities at this beach, so caution needs to be taken. I assessed the sea and deemed it calm, but riptides are a real danger and can strike when you least expect it.
Paddling for an hour or so and relaxing on the beach with just the sound of the waves, I was in my element. Be aware, there’s no phone signal here so you truly are one with nature. It also made me acutely aware of the importance of someone knowing my location while I explored alone.
My final day left me realising that Looe is great for family and friends, with plenty of shops and restaurants but Lantic Bay speaks to my solo heart with its raw nature and lack of facilities. Cornwall is a beautiful destination and truly has something for everyone, it pays to research your destination to understand what is on offer. Despite my lack of pictures (still hoping to locate the ones I thought I had saved...) I hope this post inspires someone.
This concludes this particular South West Solo Trip but I shall continue to update my blog with more. I still have many other Cornish locations to write about as it’s somewhere I visit often. There's a checklist of destinations awaiting a write up already. Happy travels!