What was it that planted the first cottages in such a spot as this, so wild and lonely and difficult of access? There was surely suitability for something in this cove which made it seem a desirable abode. I conclude it was its very loneliness that fitted it for occupations which thrive best when seen by fewest eyes. - Arthur H. Norway, 1898.
Arthur H. Norway (no I didn't have the first clue either ...Nevil Shute's father, civil servant and a writer) here talking about the very beautiful and secluded Lamorna Cove right on the most south-easterly tip of Cornwall. But it seemed like a good idea, having spent a happy few hours soaking up the Cornish landscapes in Laura Knight's paintings at the Penlee House Gallery, to then go and see that landscape for ourselves, and given that we were only a few miles from Land's End, we'd go there as well if only to be able to say that we had actually travelled from John O'Groats to Land's End in the month of June 2012. You will note it was so windy at John O'Groats that the Tinker and I could barely stand.
O.K so we've been there now, and the predictably tacky theme park feel to Land's End just has to be ignored as you fight your way through the attractions to get sight of the famous rocks, and wave to New York and America 3147 miles away....which has suddenly made me stop and think how wonderful the internet is for shrinking that distance down to the merest click of a switch.
So we headed off to Lamorna Cove, the tiny hamlet nestled in a lush green valley that leads down to the sea, and which had proved to be such a magnet to so many of the Newlyn artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
And it's not hard to see the attraction...the blue palette would be working overtime, the lapis lazuli, the ultramarine and cobalt, some Prussian Blue, the teal and turquoise...all my most favoured colours. The sea was stunning as you can see, and we had fortunately picked June's single sunny day to visit. We walked a little way up on to the coastal path, though we were really decked out for comfortable gallery viewing not rock scrambling, but I did fancy posing as one of those models in a Laura Knight painting.
The rock formations even started to look familiar from the paintings......so it was easy to imagine Laura Knight standing up here at her easel. She was famed for being a real stalwart of the outdoors and would cycle down to Lamorna and perch up on the cliff-tops looking down the steep perspective onto the sea below...which we had a go at too, and fear not, this is not nearly as precarious as it seems.Lamorna a magical secret little place, though probably not such a secret and, having negotiated the steep single width lane down to the cove on a quiet day in June, I'm not sure I would be so keen to try it on a sweltering hot holiday-traffic-day in August, but we've found it now and we will certainly return. There are walkable coastal paths for miles around with stunning views, and all beckoning us back.