Cliffs, Coves and the Court of Lightning (The Road Westward, Part Five)

To start, I have a new release! My Love’s Landscapes story, The Court of Lightning is up on the M/M Romance Goodreads group’s forum and will be released for download soon (I’ll update links properly then). It’s a little novella about an exiled paladin, his inventor best friend, and a desperate war for survival against a power that has unleashed eternal winter on the rest of the continent (because friends-to-lovers is always more fun if you add mortal peril to the mix). If you’ve come this way because of the story, welcome, and have a look at my previous post, which has pictures of the inspirations for Porthlevin and the Isle of Kings. 🙂

Here, now, is the penultimate post on my Eastertide travels (yes, I know it’s mid-July now. It’s been a busy few months -_-). After leaving Tintagel, I arrived on the headland between Port Isaac and Port Gaverne on an afternoon that was as warm and bright as summer. The two villages are very different: Port Gaverne has a handful of houses, a tiny rocky cove, and a old-fashioned hotel. Port Isaac is bigger, and a favourite of film makers and TV crews who need a generic Cornish village as a setting (most recently the makers of Doc Martin, a British TV show about a surly city doctor who relocates to the country. I was going to refer to it as a very British bit of formula telly, but I’ve since found out that they’ve flogged the concept all over Europe and beyond, so as well as watching Dr Martin Ellingham move from London to Cornwall, you can also watch Doctor Mateo Sancristobel move from New York to Asturias, Dr Martin Le Fol move from Lyon to Brittany, Doktor Martin Helling move from Berlin to East Frisia, and so on and so on. I found one report that claimed it’s been sold to 70 countries. Oh dear). Port Isaac is undeniably charming, but it’s definitely on the tourist trail. Port Gaverne, where I was staying, is very peaceful and sleepy.

I went for a wander around both. Even in Port Isaac, where there were crowds wandering down from the car park, a few steps away from the quay and the main revealed quiet lanes of pretty cottages.

Port Isaac:IMG_4787 IMG_4788 IMG_4791 IMG_4793


From the headland east of Port Gaverne:IMG_4825 IMG_4834

Port Gaverne:IMG_4835 IMG_4836

Port Gaverne was a very nice place for a quiet stop. I spent most of the evening sitting out on the headland and reading, and then headed out for the first bus west the next morning. I’d planned to spend the middle of the day in Padstow, before heading onwards. By then, however, it was a hot Saturday in the school holidays, and my tolerance for tourist hoards wasn’t high enough to withstand Padstow, which just felt like a giant car park with some boats in the middle. I bought my Rick Stein fish and chips, went for a quick wander, and then scuttled thankfully back to the bus stop.IMG_4841

I had three more days left in my trip, and would be spending the next two nights at Treyarnon Youth Hostel, which perched up above a beach about six miles south of Padstow. The next day was the one day I had almost nothing planned for. Back in February, when I was planning the trip, I’d written the word ‘Beach?’ into my plan, with more optimism than hope. It was such a lovely day that I could have easily spent it on the beach, but I decided to go for a wander instead. A sign in the hostel recommended walking along the coast to Bedruthan Steps, a rock formation supposedly made by a giant, and catching the bus back. It was about 7 miles of easy walking, so I set off next morning at a leisurely pace, stopping from time to time to read or write for half an hour.

Here’s Treyarnon bay:IMG_4860

And some rock formations a little further along the coast:IMG_4878 IMG_4882

This is Porthcothan, where I stopped to lunch and read The Magpie Lord on the beach. It was once home to early Science Fiction and Horror writer J. D. Beresford, who loaned his cottage here to D. H. Lawrence for an extended stay. Lawrence was taken with the landscape (‘I feel as if there were a strange, savage, unknown God in the foam–heaven knows what god it be’) but was disappointed by how ‘foully and uglily Wesleyan’ the Cornish had become. There’s no pleasing some people 😉 IMG_4897

A bay I had to paddle across later in the afternoon:IMG_4917

Bedruthan steps:IMG_4938It was a lovely day’s walking, and I got back to the hostel with a faint sense of regret to be leaving this coast. I had a few more miles to go west and then I was turning south, in search of a different coast so I could find Eden.


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