Archive for May, 2016

Cornish Coastal Path

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice


I have set myself the challenge of walking the Cornish Coastal path.  It is just short of 300 miles to get from Morwenstow in the very north east of Cornwall to Cremyll in the south east.  I made a start a couple of months ago in March when I walked from Morwenstow to Bude which is just over 8 miles.   

The weather was dry with light cloud but it was quite a grey day and the wind was cold.  The temperature was around 7 degrees centigrade.

Very early into my walk a came across ‘Hawker’s Hut’ a small wooden hut built into the cliff.  This hut was built by the Reverend Hawker in approximately 1835, he used driftwood to build his retreat.  Reverend Hawker is famous for being credited with introducing the Harvest Festival to the church calendar.  See the picture of the hut and the view Hawker would have enjoyed.DSCF3532      DSCF3535  This leg of the coast does have a number of steep descents and ascents due to the nature of the high cliffs dipping down into valleys with streams. 

DSCF3559  DSCF3545  As I wondered along the cliff top path, I came across a flock of sheep – they were freely roaming the cliff.  It is true to say that until I got nearer Bude, the sheep were the only thing I met coming in the opposite direction.  Generally all walkers (and runners – yes runners!) were walking in the same direction – that is from east to west along the top of the north Cornish coast.

DSCF3556  Getting nearer Bude there was  much more favourable walking with open spaces and a gentle slope but then you get to Northcott Mouth – another descent.  All I can say is that I was relieved that I was going down this and not having to climb it.  I think this was probably the steepest incline of the walk with steps built into the cliff.

DSCF3560  A short walk on and you come to Summerleaze Beach, a bigger sandy beach and generally considered the most popular in Bude.

DSCF3570  Look out for details of the next stretch soon.


Helston Flora Day

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Rachael Eustice

On Saturday the Cornish town of Helston celebrated its famous ancient festival – Flora Day.  For the people of Helston this is the most important day in the year with many returning to their home town to join in the celebrations.  This ancient festival is to celebrate the end of winter and mark the arrival of spring.  

There are four dances during the day at 7.00am, 10.00am, Midday and 5.00pm. 

The same group of people dance at 7.00am and at 5.00pm, these were traditionally the servants and workers of the town dancing at the beginning and end of the day. 

The 7.00am Dance     The 7.00am Dance.  


At 10.00am the Children’s Dance takes place.  Approximately 1000 children dance, they are aged from approx 7 to 18 years and represent each of Helston’s four schools.  They are all dressed in white, with their appropriate school ties for the boys and headdresses for the girls in their school colours.

The Children's Dance20160507_101422   The Children’s Dance


The Midday Dance is perhaps the highlight of the day, it was traditionally for the gentry of the town.  The men wear top hats and tails and the women are in beautiful dresses.


The Midday Dance

The Midday Dance

There is also a colourful pageant, the Hal an Tow, which tells the history of Helston with the participating characters singing about the challenge of the Spanish Armada, the English patron saint, St. George and the fight between St Michael and the devil.


The music is played by Helston Town Band.

In 1911 Katie Moss, a London composer visiting Helston observed the dance and on the train home she wrote the words and music of a song about her day out.  The song was called ‘The Floral Dance’ made famous latterly in the pop charts with versions by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band and another version by TV personality the late Terry Wogan.

Here is a short video so that you can sample the music and atmosphere of the day.