Cornish Cliff Walking: Sennen Cove to Porthcurno and The Minack Theatre (6.6 miles)

3 Sep

‘The sun has got his hat on, shout hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out to play!’

This ditty, a favourite of Stuart’s and probably many English children of the fifties, was our theme song yesterday. As you’ll see from the photos, we had glorious sunshine to enjoy a succession of magnificent vistas of coastline as we walked out of Sennen Cove along the cliffs towards Land’s End and southwards.IMG_5414.JPG

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We paused at the highest point above Sennen to watch Royal Marines Commandos in green berets march down to a training area below us where they joined a group practicing raising a stretcher up the cliff. A plaque at the lookout point confirmed that these cliffs have been a training area for Specialist Cliff Leaders (now called Mountain Leaders) since World War II.

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Our next stop was Land’s End, the most westerly point on the English mainland. We persuaded a charming Swiss traveller, Petra, to take the obligatory group photograph (our selfies are shockingly bad). Land’s End has been the most touristy spot of the whole walk to date but the hotel seems well maintained and overall not as tacky as I had been led to expect.

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All four of us managed the 6.6 mile distance well with just a brief picnic lunch and a welcome tea break at cute Porthgwarra Cove cafe run by one very competent teenaged boy.

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Stuart’s knee cooperated and my vertigo never got beyond 2.5. Marg and John power on despite jet lag and broken sleep. Still, we were all happy to see pretty Porthcurno cove.

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As we walked into Porthcurno we called into the Minack Theatre office to collect our £9 pre-paid tickets for that night’s show, Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical version of ‘Aida’. ‘The Minack’ as it’s known, is unique in its history and construction. An open air stone theatre built into the side of a sea cliff, it is a legacy of the vision and back-breaking work of Rowena Cade from 1931 until her death in 1983 http://www.minack.com/history.htm

Given the miles we’d put in already it was fortunate our accommodation at Sea View House B and B was only a twenty minute walk from the theatre. Our hostesses loaned us cushions for the stone bench seating and blankets to keep out the cold. A bottle of red wine, hot soup and vegie pasties made for a very satisfactory theatre picnic supper. Once the sun set the sea breeze was chilly!

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For Minack ushers footwear is optional.

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John stayed until the fat lady sang.

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Our verdict of the show was that the female lead was excellent and a couple of the songs had merit, but we were mystified as to how it won four Tony awards in 2000, including best Musical Score, as well as a Grammy. Still, the experience of sitting in that magnificent amphitheatre with the sound of waves breaking in the rocky cliffs below us and a half moon hanging above us was absolutely magical.

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One Response to “Cornish Cliff Walking: Sennen Cove to Porthcurno and The Minack Theatre (6.6 miles)”

  1. Paolina September 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Wonderful! Play on sunshine!

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