Wednesday 17 September 2014

Memories of Cornwall: Chapel Porth Beach

© Kathryn Yengel
I'm not much of a beach person.  They have great scenery and I love pretty scenery, but I find sand is best viewed from afar as it always, always ends up somewhere you don't want it to (if you know what I mean).  However, it appears that I'm the only one in my family who thinks it is totally okay, nay normal, to rock up at a beach and buy an ice-cream--even if it is the best ice-cream in The World--and then drive away again without setting toe on the sand.

And that is how I found myself perching awkwardly on a blanket on the sands at Chapel Porth beach, awaiting ice-cream o'clock.  Three o'clock on the dot, if you please!

We packed up all of the family (and some sandwiches, too) and got to the beach around 11 after hauling ass across across Cornwall to the north coast.  When we got there, the car park was nearly empty which left me bewildered...last year the car park was rammed, with people double-parking all over the place!  As it turned was high tide.  You can tell I don't go to the beach very often...I never even thought to check tide times!!

Dave's Dad reckoned that the tide would go out pretty quickly so we set up our blankets and tent on the sandiest part of the beach that we could find--that fishing tent may be the best investment ever--and let the kids loose amongst the pebbles and shingle for a while.

The cove was popular with belly-boarders and surfers.  There were loads of kids bobbing out just beyond the cresting waves and then riding them into shore with lots of whooping.  Later we found out that The World Bellyboarding Champsionships are held there, which explains why most of the people who rocked up had boards!

The kids followed the sea as it went down the beach, building sandcastles with other kids and having fun paddling in the sea with Nanny.  The mere mention of Weaver fish put me right off the idea of paddling.  I don't remember these from my childhood when I paddled fearlessly...although, perhaps the frigid water in the far north of Scotland was too much for them?

Leila had fun washing pebbles in her bucket and making a rock castle, proudly crowned with a feather I found and guarded by a still-bendy crab leg that her Mummy found.

Pretend her eyes are open...
Lucas and Maria explored one of the caves revealed when the tide went out.  It was all very idyllic and a bit Famous Five until they came out complaining that the cave was smelly!!  Julian and George were made of much sterner stuff.

Finally ice-cream o'clock rolled round.  I will confess that I had a little bit of fun, okay a lot, but I did spring up like a gazelle at the mention of ice-cream time!

No trip to Chapel Porth is complete without a Hedgehog from their beach cafe!  It's little sister, the pure and simple (but naked by comparison) Cornish ice-cream is divine but the Hedgehog is really something special.  By far the coolest National Trust cafe in the country.  They introduced a gorgeous range of local fruit ice-lollies this summer, too.  Leila had a strawberry one which was amazing.

The best part of the day was that the kids all slept like angels after tiring themselves out at the beach!  It seems like an absolute age since we were in Cornwall but really, it's just been a smidge over a month.  Clearly we need to go back again very soon...


  1. Aaah the return of the Hedgehog!
    I do love Cornwall but think I'd be a poor man's Famous Five member along with Lucas, no smelly caves thank you very much.
    M x

  2. Ohh it sounds like a wonderful time was had by all! <3 xx

  3. Wowsers, that ice cream is pretty incredible! Chapel Porth is lovely but we've never been there when the ice cream place has been open :-( We usually walk across the coastline in the evening so it's always shut - I will have to make a point of doing it in the daytime next summer :-) xx


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