Cornwall (2)


This is the second half of the photos from a holiday in Cornwall in summer 2017. (I posted the first half previously.)


We took a rather long train and bus ride to a tiny place on the south coast called Porthcurno, which somehow manages to have two visitor attractions. See if you can guess which was chosen by each of us!

The first is a telegraph museum; many submarine cables used to arrive here (some still do), and they’ve turned the old telegraph operator training school into a museum. The museum was really interesting, although we did slightly run out of time towards the end. The last part of it is some tunnels that were built during the war, when the government realised most of their communications came through one place in Cornwall and it might help to have some of the equipment a little bit less bombable.

Doors in the tunnel section.
1/15 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO800 50°2′50″N 5°39′18″W

The rainy weather cleared up and we moved onto the second attraction - the Minack Theatre, an outdoor theatre cut into the cliff edge by a crazy rich woman. That week’s show looked poor, so rather than actually seeing it, we had decided just to visit the place during the daytime. And to be fair, it is impressive.

View down toward the sea.
1/400 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′26″N 5°39′4″W
Rusty speakers.
1/500 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′26″N 5°39′4″W
A structure behind the stage that you’re not supposed to climb on.
1/250 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′26″N 5°39′3″W
Door behind the stage.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′26″N 5°39′4″W
Rows of ‘seats’ and the sea.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′26″N 5°39′5″W
View down from the top of the theatre.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°2′27″N 5°39′5″W


We took the bus to Penzance and walked to St Michael’s Mount.

Footbridge over the railway, looking toward a church tower.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′35″N 5°31′12″W
Level crossing. That’s the main line to Penzance; just one track.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′41″N 5°30′7″W
St Michael’s Mount, reflected in wet sands.
1/2000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′28″N 5°28′42″W

At low tide you can walk out to it across a causeway.

View from causeway.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′19″N 5°28′30″W
Part of buildings on the Mount, and Cornish flag.
1/1000 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′0″N 5°28′42″W

The castle-like building on the top of the Mount is rather disappointing; it used to be an abbey but was then turned into a not particularly interesting stately home (which we had to queue a long time to get in). However, you do get nice views.

Looking down to the rocks.
1/250 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′42″W
Sun on the sea from high on the Mount.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′58″N 5°28′40″W
Looking down at the gardens.
1/125 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′40″W
View back across the causeway to Marazion.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′41″W
Light through windows.
1/125 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′41″W
Coloured stairway.
1/15 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′41″W
Window view.
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′41″W

Near the exit there’s a corridor which looks like it should be a scene from a Resident Evil video game.

Masses of heating pipes and cables; portraits on the wall...
1/30 at f8, 23mm, ISO1600 50°7′0″N 5°28′42″W
...and lamps that are genuinely swinging in the draught. But no zombies.
1/15 at f8, 23mm, ISO1600 50°7′0″N 5°28′42″W

We also visited the gardens, which were really quite nice.

And, like all the nicest gardens, include a pillbox.
1/250 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°6′59″N 5°28′35″W
The ‘castle’ looks pretty good from outside.
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We crossed the causeway and managed barely to find a tea shop that was still open in Marazion - the Copper Spoon. The staff were exceedingly nice and the cake delicious. Fortified by that, we walked back most of the way into Penzance; we picked up the bus by a supermarket on the outskirts.

Beacon Road, Marazion.
1/1000 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′25″N 5°28′28″W
St Michael’s Mount and some railings.
1/800 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′43″N 5°29′58″W
Rock shadow and an outfall pipe, looking toward Penzance.
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View from railway footbridge.
1/500 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°7′36″N 5°31′12″W

We got back to St Ives before dark.

The harbour (and the Island in the background).
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′40″N 5°28′43″W
Red balcony.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′39″N 5°28′47″W


The forecast on Friday was for rain all day and the actual weather did not disappoint. We started with a visit to the Tate St Ives, where the art was frankly dull; much less interesting than the rather random exhibition we’d seen at Milton Keynes Gallery, for free, a few weeks before.

View from gallery. Nice building, shame about the art.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′53″N 5°28′56″W

We hadn’t been planning this but as an afterthought, because they sold combined tickets, we also paid to see the Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden. It’s a good thing we did because that was infinitely better. Definitely worth a visit; the rain might even have improved it. R was only disappointed that they didn’t have a sign with the name of the resident cat.

Sculpture (indoors).
1/60 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′47″N 5°28′51″W
Sculpture and petals.
1/125 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′46″N 5°28′52″W
Sculpture with holes.
1/60 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′46″N 5°28′51″W
Sculpture and rose.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′46″N 5°28′51″W

After that we took a short walk, through weather that was still not entirely delightful, to see the rocks beside one of the beaches at Carrick Du.

Cemetery chapels (and wave).
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′49″N 5°29′1″W

I clambered over the rocks a bit while R waited in a rain shelter.

Looking down the coast toward Clodgy Point.
1/125 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′59″N 5°29′20″W
Head-shaped rock and the Island in the background.
1/125 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°13′0″N 5°29′20″W


Given the long journey, we basically just had to get the train back. We were sad to go; it was a really nice holiday.

Boats moored on one of the bays; impressive sky.
1/125 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 50°12′38″N 5°28′40″W

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.