Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

It's difficult to explain the feeling you get when you return to a place you know quite literally as well as the skin that covers the back of your hand. It's an ecstatic feeling, but one infiltrated by an enigmatic melancholy. The outlandish shape of Cape Cornwall's headland is one such place for me: a sight beheld all the way through childhood's play, grappled with and translated in numerous scratchy sketches and paintings – one as natural as the ceiling above a well-warn bed – it exists as an almost visceral memory in my mind.

Situated around four miles north of Land's End, it is reached by a winding road, which is carried by protective stone hedges past the granite house I grew up in. From the top of this thin tarmac ribbon, you can look out across a horizon that stretches from the mysterious Brisons islet to Kenijack Castle atop a headland peppered with other old buildings abandoned along with the entire Cornish tin mining industry.

Built in 1864, the steadfast stack on top of the Cape was part of Cape Cornwall Mine, which closed in 1883. Now it's known as the Heinz Monument, named and maintained to commemorate the purchase of Cape Cornwall for the nation by HJ Heinz Co.

During the summer season, Apple's Kitchen serves all kinds of snacks to chilly tourists looking for warmth after their dip in the granite seawater-filled pool or a windy ride beside rugged cliffs in a bobbing fishing boat.

Just right of the Cape sits Wheal Call cottage where my sister and I spent two summers playing while our parents freshened its old interiors. As you can imagine, the views from those windows are spectacular on the right day.

On Monday I was lucky enough to return to Cape Cornwall – it was like I had never left; nothing had changed – and show my favourite place in the world to my favourite person. The weather was gorgeous, the views utterly breathtaking and the air unbelievably fresh. It's difficult to explain the feeling you get from something like that. These moments are to be cherished.

Cape Cornwall, overlooking the golf course | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Wheal Call, just north of Cape Cornwall | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Cape Cornwall, winter light | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

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Rosie Pentreath


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