A Thousand Miles of History XXI: The land that time forgot

We stood on the clifftop just beyond Ballowall Barrow, marvelling at the beauty of the seascape, or what we could see of it through the gathering mist. The bracken was already thigh-high, covering the fractured stone with a green blanket scattered with a profusion of wildflowers. Below us the Atlantic waves foamed as they broke on the reefs and beaches. The sea-mist covered any trace of the hand of man. There could be no more magical landscape.

As we watched, strange faces and creatures came to life in the rocks as the ‘dragon’s’ breath’ swirled around them. It felt as if we were on the edge of time and place, not just the edge of the country… and as if one more step would take our feet out onto the eddying clouds and into that realm where the Fae and the Pobol Vean reside.  Or, perhaps the mist would carry us to long-lost Lyonesse, and its fabulous city whose bells can still be heard from deep beneath the waves.

It had been a magical day too, from Penzance in the early morning, through Newlyn to the Merry Maidens stone circle and Tregiffian barrow, to Land’s End and Sennen Cove, with a walk on the beach before breakfast.  There was the wonderful little church in St Just, Carn Euny with its fougou, holy well and the friends we found there…not forgetting St Michael’s Mount, Cape Cornwall and the barrow we had just left. It was incredible how much we had seen once again, in so little time and without ever hurrying. It was not as if we had taken the straight route to anywhere, and most of the roads we had chosen were little lanes. We had even doubled back to St Michael’s Mount because of the tides! And the day was far from over.

We left the cliffs and regained the road. We were heading for Hayle, just north of St Ives for the night, but there were a couple of other places we wanted to see on the way. We let the map carry us away from the main road and out into the hills.

The ‘toe’ of the country is so rich in ancient sites and churches replete with history that we could have stopped every mile or so to explore. We were looking for two rather special sites, though, and the day was drawing to an end, after all. We passed through glorious countryside and hamlets that can only be called picturesque. The skies had finally cleared, allowing us to see the hillforts and standing stones past which we were driving, reluctantly, it must be said. But could we find the two sites we were seeking? We could not.

We have learned to listen…eventually… when the day speaks. It was not too long before we realised that it was saying ‘enough is enough’, at least for one day. We abandoned our search and drove into Hayle. The faded glory of a Georgian inn and the early evening ‘celebrants’ at the bar were more than made up for by the best bathroom we had seen in a while, and a landlord who provided us with everything we needed for a very early breakfast next day.

We sat on the town steps, eating fish and chips with our fingers and well satisfied with our day…especially as we had now armed ourselves with a brand new map…one whose crisp paper folds showed all the little lanes and side roads. Given what we had planned for our second day in the area… we were going to need it…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in adventure, albion, Ancient sites, Books, Don and Wen, England, historic sites, Landscape, Photography, Sacred sites and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to A Thousand Miles of History XXI: The land that time forgot

  1. floridaborne says:

    Thanks for including a map. I’ve never been to England. It was a lovely armchair tour.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jenanita01 says:

    I very much miss our adventurous days but thoroughly enjoying yours, Sue. My legs don’t get tired at all!


  3. V.M.Sang says:

    What is it about the Celtic lands that speaks of mystery and magic? Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and, of course, Cornwall.
    Lovely photos and descriptive writing. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    My, you did take in a lot. All so fascinating. I travelled around that part of the country many years ago with hubby and child in tow. Must do it again with different eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      A lot for a single day…you don’t realise while you are there. It s only afterwards that you wonder how you did it all!
      It really is a beautiful area and with so much to see. I wish we’d had more time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous says:

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mary Smith says:

    You certainly packed an amazing amount into one day, Sue. Maybe there are more hours in a day in Cornwall???

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Where Genres Collide and commented:
    Such interesting travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    I do love Cornwall it so magical and mistical a place full of myth and history 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    I’m so glad you added the map. What a beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been saving this one because I haven’t had time to really sit an read anything, but it’s almost 2 in the morning and finally, it’s quiet.

    What a beautiful post. I could smell the salty spray of the ocean and the rocks under my feet. You take me to that land and it pulls me out of the busyness of life right now and puts me for a little while in the magical places you visit.

    I’m still not going to be able to do much for a while. We have our friend from Arizona coming to visit for a few days which is great, but Garry is still healing and not feeling well and I’m trying to get myself revved up to do some cleaning tomorrow … at least a little bit … not to mention the cooking and some more shopping. I haven’t had a summer this busy in years. I have to see if Garry is ready to go to bed. I don’t want to leave him up alone, but if I don’t get some sleep, I’ll never make it through the day tomorrow.

    Oh, who really needs sleep, right?

    Remember me when you are in the mists by the sea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I remember you and Garry every day at the moment, Marilyn. x


      • Thank you. It has been a rough month and I’m hoping it gets a little easier soon. I’m so tired and I don’t want to complain, but I feel burned out and flattened. Garry is a great guy, but he has to be the MOST stubborn man on earth. Nothing happens without a fight. Whatever I suggest, he thinks he has a better way and when that doesn’t work out, then he says he is sorry. Still leaving the original and maybe a bigger problem that could have been avoided.

        I get it. To be what he was, what he is, he needed a lot of gritty willingness to go where no man of his color had ever gone before. He had to be tough enough to do it anyway, no matter how many people said: “it can’t be done.” I respect that.

        Unfortunately, when dealing with one’s health, it works considerably less well. And when dealing with one’s wife who is NOT an enemy, it works EVEN less well. This lady is just bone weary. I feel like a month of sleep might help.

        And a sniff of salt sea on a cliff overlooking human history.

        Liked by 1 person

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