During our stay at the Chapel House we were determined to make the most of our short weekend. Heading out early we walked south to Newlyn, in search of the art galleries, and some sea air. The walk from Penzance to Newlyn along the promenade is a short 20 mins walk, or longer if you are like me and want to take a million photographs of the ocean.
Passing the Jubilee Pool, the largest art deco Lido in the country. Sadly closed for the season, but one to come back and visit next summer. Just look at those colours, against the grey of the sea… heavenly!
Arriving in Newlyn we spotted several local artists sitting outside painting the view, this seemed perfectly normal to us, as we thought this is what artists do right? But on further investigation we discovered that that evening a ‘wet auction’ was happening at the Newlyn Art Gallery. With 60 local artists, sculptors and photographers all creating a piece in one day.
At the gallery we discovered the hauntingly beautiful and intricate work of Imran Qureshi. I just wanted to get my face up so close to his work, to take in all of this pen strokes – plus my eyesight is getting bad, that I couldn’t really see it as well as I wanted!
Feeling hungry we grabbed the car and drove 15 minutes further south to one of our favourite beaches – Sennen Cove. The light, and sheer rawness of this beach is something to be seen. Fishing boats jostle in the harbour, whilst surfers brave the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s endless crashing waves.
We sat looking out to sea, with a bag of fish and chips for lunch. Secretly pleased that we could eat in silence, just taking in the waves. The last time we were here, we had the boys with us, who were 5 and 3 then – a whole different experience! Good, but not so quiet!
After our fish lunch, we drove a few bays further round the tip of Cornwall in search of Poldark country, in particular the tin mines at Botallack, where some of the TV series was filmed. Oh wow, this place didn’t disappoint.
Perched on the cliffs edge, a seemingly impossible place to put a mine, but there they were. Battling against the strong winds, Dan and walked down the cliff path, through the mine ruins to the bottom. Watching Kestrels using the wind to hunt, and walkers double over against the rage of elements.
We could have stayed there for longer, but the wind was so cold. Sadly no Poldark sightings, no bare chests or tousled black hair… but lots of amazing views and fresh air.
That evening we headed back the Newlyn Art Gallery for the ‘wet auction’. It was busy. The art work was displayed around the wall of the top gallery for all to see. When we arrived the auction was already in full swing, quickly we surveyed the pieces and decided on two by an artist called Lucy Willow. Delicate pencil drawings of a modern style botanical print. I wanted them – badly!
So when it came to that lot, I was ready to bid. £25, counter bid by lady standing nearby £50! I bid £75 – she was out – omg! they were going to be mine. Then in comes this surfy guy – £100! Shit! Go away! We had a bidding war up to £150 – I pulled out. Gutted. I’m still thinking about it…..
There is so much to do in and around Penzance, if you step away from the tourist trails, and visit small independent shops, browse local art and get swept away in local history.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.