I enjoy reading and learning new interesting (arte-)facts about Cornwall. Even though I try to pack my days with as many steps to walk and as many places to visit as possible, there is always time for reading and time to discover new publications on this topic. Below are my essentials:
I am usually equipped with OS maps which help me to locate myself, measure distances, or check if a beach disappears under a high tide. I find them very useful, but I also follow my own desires if I find an interesting path or if I just go for a walk without a precise destination in mind. Many years ago in a local charity bookshop I bought the walking guidebook called The Big Walks of the South by David Bathurst. Each path (the book includes The South West Coast Path, The Cotswold Way, and The Pembrokeshire Coast Path amongst others) is divided into manageable shorter walks and described with great precision. There are also mentions of places worth visiting. I rarely carry it with me, but I often read the relevant section before leaving home.
Sea + Food + Sleep
Cornwall is the land of many beautiful and secret beaches which I would not have been fortunate enough to discover without these two guidebooks: Wild Swimming. Explore The Secret Coast of Britain by Daniel Start and Wild Guide. Devon, Cornwall and the South West by Daniel Start, Tania Pascoe and Jo Keeping. The latter can also take you on a voyage of discovery of hidden places, local food and campsites. Both guidebooks are very easy to follow and contain many beautiful photos, maps, road directions and short descriptions. Even though they are quite heavy to carry, they are two of my most useful essentials when it comes to travelling to Cornwall.
Art + Science
My most recent discovery is Sea and Shore Cornwall. Common and Curious Findings by Lisa Woollett. The book combines science and art and the result is breathtaking. There are beautiful descriptions, poems, Cornish words, micro- and macro-photos. I enjoy reading its inspiring content on the beach (and trying to identify some of my findings!) and then looking at its lovely pictures when I get home. Here is one of my favourite discoveries/quotations from the book:
If we exclude the influence of the winds, the biggest tides of the year come after the full and new moons closest to the spring and autumn equinoxes. There are times when the Earth is the closest to the sun and so the combined pull of sun and moon together is strongest. They are known as equinoctial tides”
[Lisa Woollett, Sea and Shore Cornwall. Common and Curious Findings, Zart Books, 2014, p. 74.]
Written by Kinga Macalla