Seven Dreamy Sundown Settings in Cornwall
Bedruthan Steps, near Padstow
Set on the dramatic North Cornwall coast, the Bedruthan Steps are a collection of colossal sea stacks that can be admired from the clifftops of Carnewas. Legend has it that a Cornish giant named Bedruthan used the stacks as stepping stones as he bounded down the headland. This stunning stretch of the south west is part of the Trevose Head Heritage Coast and is renowned for its majestic views. Traces of what was once a thriving mining industry can be seen up and down the winding cliffs. During the spring and autumn months, expect to see stonechats and linnets darting through the gorse, while the clusters of wild squill and sea pink thrift are always a cheery sight. Not only is this breathtaking coastal sweep famous for its captivating sunsets, it’s also a treasured spot for stargazers, having been named among only a handful of south west locations to receive Dark Sky Status.
Sennen Cove, near Lands’ End
The sugar-soft sands of Sennen Cove provide the foreground for one of Cornwall’s most dazzling sunset spectacles. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic evening stroll along the shore of Whitesands Beach or a quiet spot on a picnic blanket on the Pedn-men-du cliffs, this enchanting coastal corner is the perfect sundown setting. Sennen Cove is the subject to some of Cornwall’s most celebrated folklore, from the guardian spirit known as Whooper who gathers in a thick mist to warn sailors of a pending storm, to the clinging woman of Irish Lady Rock, the lone survivor of an age-old wreck who tragically perished before help arrived. The village of Sennen is the first coastal community to be found north of Lands’ End. The cove remains a popular haunt for surfers who take their chances on the gleaming rollers of the Celtic Sea.
St Michael’s Mount, Mount’s Bay
Our next spot lies on Cornwall’s sparkling southern coast and is arguably the county’s most iconic landmark, a tidal island linked to the mainland by an impressive granite causeway. We are, of course, talking about the medieval church and castle known as St Michael’s Mount, an historic outcrop surrounded by the shimmering tidal waters of Mount’s Bay. Here you can savour majestic and sweeping views from The Lizard to Lands’ End and even take a trip to explore the island and its magnificent architecture and subtropical gardens following in ‘the footsteps of giants and pilgrims’. The mount is another of Old Kernow’s famous attractions that’s steeped in myth and legend. It was thought to have been raised by a giant called Cormoran, notorious for ransacking and pillaging local livestock, who was eventually thwarted by the cunning of local farm boy ‘Jack the Giant Killer’, the hero of one of the England’s best-loved fairy tales.
Cheesewring, Stowe’s Hill
On the eastern fringes of Bodmin Moor stands one of the region’s most incredible geological formations. The Cheesewring is a giant granite outcrop made up of colossal weathered slabs that can be found on Stowe’s Hill near the village of Minions (Cornwall’s highest parish). The views here are truly staggering and stretch across the roaming hills and uplands of Cornwall and beyond into the neighbouring county of Devon. The area is also steeped in heritage and legend, the Bronze Age monument known as The Hurlers (a trio of standing stone circles) can be discovered close by and dates back to 1500 BC. Legend has it that the stones were once local parishioners who decided to play a game of old Cornish curling on the day of the Sabbath and who were turned to stone as punishment for their sacrilege. People flock from far and wide to ‘dowse’ the stones for their spiral energies. The Cheesewring earned its name because of its resemblance to a traditional farmer’s cheese press. As with most things Cornish, it too carries its own colourful legend, that of a rock throwing contest between Uther the giant and the feeble Saint Tue who received divine intervention from the angels to win this mythical feat of brute strength. It’s no wonder that this magnificent setting is one of Cornwall’s best sunset gazing spots.
St Agnes Beacon, St Agnes Heritage Coast
Scintillating views await all those who climb North Cornwall’s most prominent coastal summit. Once a lookout post for enemy ships during the Napoleonic Wars, this handsome tor is now one of the region’s most cherished tourist attractions, offering far-reaching views of the roaming heathland and the dramatic Atlantic coast. Walkers will marvel at the yellow and purple patchwork of wild gorse and heather as they walk along the undulating coastal footpath as it winds along the headland, providing a magnificent stretch for all to behold. Also along this unique coastal corridor are several beautiful beaches, including Trevaunance Cove and the beaches of Perranporth. It’s little wonder St Agnes Beacon remains one of dreamiest sunset gazing spots in the whole of the West Country.
Tintagel Castle, near Padstow
Next up on our tour of Cornwall’s most beautiful sunset spots is a majestic stretch of the North Cornish coast. The ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle continue to captivate all those who visit, its tumbled down walls and hidden pathways helping to unlock the secrets behind the legend of King Arthur. Found between the charming fishing port of Padstow and the popular seaside resort of Bude, this enigmatic and spellbinding location has been the inspiration for writers and artists down the centuries, its ruins dating back to the Dark Ages. You can follow the steps to the beach where, at low tide, you can explore Merlin’s Cave, setting for many mystical tales. As the sun melts into the Celtic Sea, there couldn’t be a more romantic scene in the whole of the South West.
Watergate Bay, near Newquay
It seems quite fitting that we should end this sunset tour on one of Cornwall’s loveliest shorelines. Watergate Bay beach is a two-mile stretch of sugar-soft sands, three miles from the coastal town of Newquay. Surfers flock to this magnificent sweep of the North Cornish coast to ride the sparkling barrels conjured up by the Atlantic. This award-winning beach has consistently met the UK’s highest bathing standards and has European Designated status. A gentle sunset stroll along the foreshore, when the beach is at its quietest, is one of North Cornwall’s many great pleasures.
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