All aboard the Roller (sorry Atlantic) Coaster

If you are visiting West Cornwall in the summer months then there is no finer way to absorb the geography of this beautiful western peninsula with such contrasting landscapes than a day out on the open top Atlantic Coaster double decker bus.

Hold on tight on the Atlantic Coaster

Hold on tight on the Atlantic Coaster








It’s a circular route in both directions with an hourly schedule which becomes somewhat erratic with the summer traffic on the narrow twisty roads of West Cornwall, but if you’ve hopped off and are waiting to hop back on then just wait and one will come along at some stage and it can be very pleasant sitting at a bus stop watching the world go by! Given the option I would choose the circular route starting from Penzance bus station travelling along to Newlyn and towards Lands End via Lamorna, St Buryan and Porthcurno, where you stop at The Telegraph Museum and find out the history of the first telecommunications from there, swoop down to Sennen and back up again – my that’s a steep hill and a half! Fabulous scenery of contrasts all the way.


Awaiting the next stage of the journey

Awaiting the next stage








If it’s a fairly quiet place you desire for lunch then try stopping off at quaint old St Just for your lunch and the Dog and Rabbit is a great little café to try, with a visit to the Kurt Jackson Foundation gallery just a few yards away a must. Amazing art in an equally amazing space.

Ytr the Dog and Rabbit for lunch

Try the Dog and Rabbit for lunch

The Kurt Jackson Foundation building

The Kurt Jackson Foundation building











Refreshed suitably, both in body and mind hop back on and prepare yourself for what is probably the most beautiful section of the journey along the North Coast to St Ives. Narrow twisting roads, cars travelling in the opposite direction to contend with but beautiful, beautiful scenery. Vibrant blue seas on your left, moorland on your right and passing through pretty little villages with rows of miners cottages often built to defy the prevailing winds off the sea rather than take in those dramatic views.

Geevor mining museum would be a great place of interest to stop but maybe let’s save that for another day. A world heritage site, West Cornwall’s last working mine where you can go underground in an 18th century mine and wander down to the edge of the cliffs past heaps of spoil from the days when the mine was still active. A lovely café overlooking the Atlantic and a museum too. Wander down and further along the cliff and you’ll happen upon some of the buildings used in Poldark – ‘Tresidders Mill’ – for one.

Now past the tiny hamlet of Morvah with its pretty little church and schoolhouse, more rolling moorland and azure seas and even a tiny container in a field selling moomaid ice cream and cream teas – wish we could stop here.









St Ives is maybe the jewel in the crown and it’s straight to the tiny bus station on the hill for a seven point turn and shuffle and extraordinary views







This could well be a great place to stop off and spend a couple of hours with all those beaches, the Tate St Ives gallery, fabulous cafes, interesting shops and just wonderful views. Then the last leg of the journey is a shorter one, back through Carbis Bay, along a stretch off the A30 but there is really no alternative if the route is a circle but then there is a delightful detour through the ancient town of Marazion with splendid views of the majestic St Michaels Mount as we speed on through, ducking and diving past rooftops and cables!

Past the majestic St Michaels Mount

Past the majestic St Michaels Mount








So our journey ends, back in Penzance where we began and we realise there is much and so close by that we really have to return to see and discover more. Thank goodness though for that warm coat and hat – whatever the weather you will have had the wind in your sails!

all dressed up!

all dressed up



June in Cornwall – wild flowers and gardens (guest blog post)


Whilst every month has its own particular splendours, June brings hedgerows bursting with colour from a wide variety of wildflowers. Tiny, shy little flowers like the speedwell nestle comfortably amongst larger showier specimen such as the tall, majestic foxgloves with their fascinating arrangement of spots within the tube.

the majestic foxglove

The majestic foxglove










umbelliifers abound

Umbellifers abound

All shades of pink are represented by the striking cerise coloured wild roses with their contrasting yellow stamen, the pink campion, the buds of the sea carrot and the wild mallows.  Cool colours are displayed by the white ox-eye daisies, bindweed flowers, elderflowers and cow parsley.

On the two sided dry stone walls (or Cornish Hedges) the flat tops are thick with the rounded pale pink flowers of the thrift and the little slippers of the birdsfoot trefoil.

Along the coastal paths all these are joined by the gorse and the creamy, lemon or bright pink flowers of the mesembryanthemum.



Cultivated gardens are not to be outdone. Giant balls of purple flowers of the alliums stand proudly in herbaceous borders, amongst scabious, cosmos, and cranesbill; whilst rambling roses tumble over walls and fences.  Cheerful marigolds give bright splashes of colour and cornflowers of an almost iridescent blue attract busy bees.

There are signs of future glories to come as the sweet peas continue the climb up and around their supporting obelisks and trellis. The agapanthus buds fatten and split, giving a hint of the showy flowers which will appear and last almost to September.  The large flower heads appear on the statuesque cardoons again giving a hint of things to come.


Agapanthus in abundance in Cornwall








So whilst, as The Gardening Year poem suggests, “June ….. fills the children’s hands with posies”, there are plenty of glories to come later in the year.


A very big thank you to Christine – the author and photographer of this first guest blog post. We hope other guests may be inspired to follow suit and welcome any other submissions.

The iconic Jubilee Pool

One of the finest sights in historic Penzance has to be the iconic  art deco Jubilee Pool, down off the Penzance promenade beside the pier where the Scillonian docks.

Jublilee Pool

The inviting entrance gates

Jubilee pool

Solid sea defences









Designed in 1930 and opened in May 1935 in the year of King George’s Silver Jubilee, beside a popular bathing spot off the battery rocks it is definitely a ‘must see’ if not a ‘must do’!

Triangular in shape, with steps and Cubist style changing rooms the pool is of considerable architectural interest.

Plenty of space for sunbathing







This great recreational asset was in use for over 50 years until 1992 when it fell into disrepair. A restoration programme followed and it re-opened in 1994 and continued in use until the tragic storms of February 2014. Battered by the crashing waves it was in a very sorry state. A massive repair of the pool itself and strengthening of the sea defences programme followed and it re-opened in May 2016. In Feb 2017 it was transferred into community ownership, from Council owned and hopefully its future will now be stable.

“The transfer of Jubilee Pool is a great example of devolution in action. Devolution at its most worthwhile is about finding the best long term local custodians of an asset, in this case a pool that is valued and used by the local community. I applaud the Friends of Jubilee Pool for taking up the challenge.”

Cllr Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council.

Penzance Jubilee Pool

Penzance Jubilee Pool








The pool today

So worth a visit The water is cold – it’s seawater that comes in and out with the tide but you will soon warm up again, sitting on those warm walls. It’s a bit of nostalgia for many of us. Back in the 1960’s it was the only pool for miles and many of us learnt to swim there – myself included!

Entry is only £5 for adults £3.50 for juniors and concessions. You might like to take a picnic or enjoy the recently opened Jubilee Pool café. The pool is 5 minutes drive from Boscrowan or a twenty minute walk downhill and maybe add another five minutes for the return journey!