Over the last months I have had the incredible pleasure of seeing Spring slowly bring Cornwall alive. Usually by the time I arrive for my long summer holiday, the best is over, and my days are spent at the beach. For the first time, the highlight of each day has been the walk we have taken as our ‘daily exercise’ and we have discovered a new favourite route; the circular walk from St Mawes to Messack Point. We start high above the coastline first, walking wide grassy fields, among the buttercups and dandelions, over stiles and with a view across to Falmouth and the mouth of the creek, – so still these days; without a boat on the water or a ripple in the sea – then down a steep, stony path, red campion and nettles that grow ever higher, where you have to walk in single file, with the light filtering through overhanging branches to the medieval church of St Just in Roseland, where the walls are covered with erigeron and first the magnolia and now the fluorescent pink azaleas are flourishing.
My children have always loved wandering through the gravestones, trying to find the earliest birth dates, but in all the years we have been coming, never before have we ventured past the holy well, to the further path that runs along the creek, a muddy expanse for most of the day, and with only a shallow film of water even at high tide. The path is filled with primroses and weigela and we have noticed the grasses growing higher every week, until now when they wave harmoniously with the breeze.
There are two significant vistas on the walk; when you finally emerge from the lamb-laden fields to the head of the creek, with the village of St Just laid out beneath you and then the final descent to the Point when the shining expanse of the sea lies ahead stretching to the horizon.
My favourite part, however, is when we have eaten our sandwiches on the rocks and skimmed stones for an hour, then walk the bluebell woods alongside the sea and imagine building a little cottage to enjoy the view forever, crossing the tiny wooden bridge with its snowdrift carpet of blossom and the little stream like a miniature rainforest, past the bright green ferns and return to the sunny uplands.