Last year I read ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn. A most enjoyable book and serious food for thought. A woman and her husband found themselves homeless and decided to walk the whole of the south west coastal path, wild camping. I had a light bulb moment and decided ‘we could do that.’ Fortunately, we are not homeless and camping was never on my ‘to do’ list. However, we live in Cornwall and while we have tackled quite a few coastal walks over the past ten years, they’ve never amounted to more than a few miles and we can always drive ourselves home by evening.
With our Easter visitors winging their way back up the M5 we thought it might be a good idea to get in a bit of practice walking and headed for Treen cliffs, only a few miles from our home in Penzance. Treen, a typical Cornish Village, quaint with a wide variety of B&B’s, a farm offering fresh eggs and organic milk alongside the Logan Rock Pub, offering everything Cornish and accommodation.
The car park (a field) costs £2 per day and there are public toilets at a cost of 20p a go. There is a shop and café. On the ten minute walk to the coastal path you will pass a fairly large campsite with everything the discenrning camper might require. At the coastal path you can take a right turn and head for Porthcurno Beach, less than two miles away or take a left towards the Hamlet of Penberth. Both provide stunning coastal views.
The day was a little overcast but the sun did break through and our spring walk along the cliffs to Penberth was glorious only to be enhanced when we came across four beautiful little Dartmoor ponies, all taking full advantage of the tasty gorse now in flower along the cliff tops. A notice informs that the ponies are taken care of by the local farmer and the National Trust. For a mile or so the walk is fairly straight forward but there is a bit of a trek downward into Perthberth where we stopped off for our coffee and sandwiches. To continue the coastal walk you can go on a fairly steep upward climb on the other side of Penberth, which we did. Once at the top we turned to come back and I found a slightly less difficult path with more of a gentle incline to get us back to the village. Our round trip was probably no more than five miles but I congratulated myself on making it there and back and my knees didn’t give out once.
The Treen Village telephone box doesn’t contain a phone but a defibrillator, which is a fantastic idea. Making use of the defunct phone boxes for such a useful piece of equipment is simple but genius.