The smell of summer rain hung in the air. Heavy rain clouds were moving on to another part of Cornwall and blue was beginning to replace the grey.
Sean and I had spent much of the day working inside, so as soon as the sun emerged we jumped in the car for the short drive to Boscastle, a small fishing village largely preserved by the land-owning presence of the National Trust.
Boscastle is another North Cornwall village popular with tourists. Its impressive harbour is a natural inlet between slate and heather-strewn cliffs on either side. Boats are secured with long ropes extending from both bow and stern. The large brass rings for the bow ropes lie plainly along the harbour path, but the stern ropes disappear under water. Despite looking hard into the shallows we couldn’t figure out what they were tied to.
Intrigued by a small white building perched atop the cliff, we left the harbour and climbed the coastal path to Willa Park. It turned out to be Boscastle Lookout Station, which was originally built as a summer house, then used as a coastguard tower before becoming the National Coastwatch Institute lookout that it is today.
We stopped to talk with two on-duty coastwatch volunteers, both of whom had retired to Cornwall from different parts of the country. The man told us how he’d spent many happy childhoods holidaying in the area and had seen the lookout building from various vantage points, yet had only stepped foot inside when he became an NCI volunteer.
We talked some more, looked through the telescope at a cargo ship on the horizon (all I could see was a tiny white dot, Sean nothing at all) and said our goodbyes.
The light was beginning to soften as we stepped outside and we had a clear view over the fields to the church where the volunteers park their cars before making the twenty-minute cross-country walk to work. If you enlarge the below image you’ll see its square tower in the left third of the photograph.
Just before heading back to Boscastle a rainbow graced the sky. You can see Sean’s Instagram of the rainbow here. And, as we walked back down the cliff I took this photograph of the headland which gives a good sense of how tricky it must be for boats going in and out of the harbour.
Mufidah Kassalias is a writer, photographer and slow traveller. A digital nomad, she’s also co-founder of Creative Thunder, helping creative individuals and small businesses to fire up their online presence and prowess. To get a free copy of the inspiring Creative Thunder Manifesto, click here.