Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Marli and Me and our trip down to the mineral tramway, Portreath

As Marli and I sashay nonchalantly down the mineral tramway to Portreath (me rather more than him), I for one am always struck by the beauty of this path that follows the valley towards the sea. Depending on the time of year, there are any number of wild flowers to be seen – honeysuckle, red campion, celandine or bluebells for instance and of course, in the summer there is the ever present coconut aroma of the gorse. This is a popular path although there is plenty of space for cyclists, horse riders, joggers and indeed dog walkers like me, all happy to share in the relative peace of this trail.

Marli and I join the path at Bridge which is just a tennis ball’s throw, or two from the beach but for the more intrepid, if you were to turn right instead of left, you would be able to enjoy the changing landscape as you go through the old industrial heartland of Cornwall to Devoran on the south coast.

Indeed it is not that easy to envisage this area when it was the centre of tin and copper production in the world. The leafy path that we use today was at one time, the main route from the mines, carrying ore to Portreath where in turn it was taken to Wales. The trail would have been choked full of mule trains - imagine the pong of such a dense population of hard working equines, with the sea breeze ensuring that the only fresh air would ever have been beside the harbour! I suspect that with this in mind, traffic jams could well have been invented in Cornwall although unlike other parts of the country, I like to think that we have rather outgrown those now! And the fact that this activity has captured the imagination elsewhere in the country paradoxically is I suspect one of the reasons that brings people down on holiday to Cornwall these days. Here at Rayle Farm we cater to those people keen to recharge their batteries and get away from the hustle and bustle for a while. And although it is peaceful, this does not mean that there is little to do. Obviously, a great many visitors use us as a base to try out the various coves and beaches in the immediate vicinity of the farm for swimming and surfing. However, at the other end of the tramway, around Devoran and beyond, the south coast of Cornwall is more closely associated with activities like sailing or fishing. Located close to us at Cambrose is Elm Farm Cycle Centre that hires bicycles to the more energetic of our guests who then can explore south of here.

Remember on a hot summer’s day, if you are tempted by this, you are likely to be a bit hot and sweaty. You will however be positively fragrant compared to any fresh fish you might purchase in Falmouth, place in your backpack and want to bring back with you. You know who you are Simon and Laura! Not even Marli would go near your purchases but I am hopeful that this year’s roses just might benefit from your folly!

But I digress. The mineral tramway and indeed the coastal path is all close at hand and if you can avoid being either downwind of mule trains or the Pattersons, it will be memorable outing for all the right reasons!

For more information on Holiday Cottages in Cornwall, visit the Rayle Farm website.

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