When I was growing up in Cornwall Sennen was one of my favourite places to go to the beach, with the long sweeping sands of Whitesands Beach backed by sheltered dunes. Sennen is one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing spots, and not wanting to miss out on the action, I acquired a polystyrene child’s surfboard which was meant to be used lying down. However one day, in a fit of surfing dude envy, I decided I was going to stand on it and it promptly broke, and that, sadly, was the end of my surfing ambitions.
The village itself is small, with a pub and a small collection of cafes and shops, and a gallery which occupies a building known as the Roundhouse, a distinctive round building which was erected in 1876 to house a large capstan wheel which was previously open to the elements. And the elements here can be dramatic, given Sennen’s exposed location at the end of the country. In February 2014 the village was battered by a monster storm during which massive waves up to 200 feet crashed over the shore. Follow this link for footage of the action. Up the hill from the village is another pub called the First And Last Inn which is famous for being haunted by a landlady from the 1800s called Annie George. She was left to drown on the beach after giving evidence of the actions of a notorious local smuggler. She has been seen roaming the corridors and in her old bedroom, and other manifestations include glasses moving of their own accord. Sennen was a hive of smuggling activity at that time, when ‘wreckers’ would lure ships to the rocks, kill the crew and loot the cargo. Tunnels at the pub were used to conceal the contraband.
From Sennen, the South West Coast Path heads past the MayonOld Coastguard Lookout, and barely a mile further on we come to Land’s End, which is where I started this blog in January 2011! But don’t go away, because there’s still the Scillies and the coast of Northern Ireland to come.
|Photo by Nilfanion, via Wikimedia Commons|