Category: Cornwall

Towanroath Engine House, and Porth Chapel Beach

A short drive out of St Agnes on the North Coast is Chapel Porth beach.  It is possible to park in the small car park, although I understand that this might get full in the summer.  The Beach itself can be good for surfing (not while I have vsited though), but lookout for tide times as the tide will come right up to the car park.

Photographically, there are cliffs and caves to explore along the beach, but fr me the main attraction of the area is the Towan Roath engine house, at the Wheal Coates mine on the cliffs.

As with most of the spots I have visited in Cornwall, I would like to visit in better weather than I have to date.  I think a wide panorma, including the engine house, the cliff tops and round to the Godrevy lighthouse could work well, but the air would need to be very clear to prevent the cliffs being a foggy mess.  The Beach faces West, so is exposed to the Atantic, but should be better lit in the afternoon than in the morning.

Car Parking is free, both don on the beach, and on the cliff top by Wheal Coates.

More photos of the area can be found here



There are plenty of fantastic pictures of Porthleven in stormy weather, but on our visit there in October 2009, it a calm overcast day. There is however a nice harbour to explore, and a distinctive church right by the sea wall.

The picture here is looking out towards the sea from the harbour; however it is worth taking a look on Flickr for pictures of church (in the background on my shot) in the middle of a storm.  Portleven is a place I have made a note to visit one day when it is stormy.  The pub opposite the Church, the Ship Inn, has a terrace outside which could be the perfect place to wait around for the perfect conditions.

Porthleven is just a short drive out of Helston.


Porthleven Harbour

Botallack Mine

Botallack Mine

Botallack must be the most spectacularly located of the tin mine engine houses which can be found dotted around Cornwall. The National Trust have a page dedicated to the site, which contains plenty of historical information, and a self guided walk around the site here.

To get to the site take a short walk from the village . of Botallack down to the coast.  The mine in pictured here is to the North of the main complex of ruins around the arsenic works.  Most of the site is West facing, so I imagine it would look great on a late afternoon or sunset.  There is also scope for visiting in stormy weather and trying to incorporate the waves into a scene.

It is also worth popping into the Queens Arms Pub, in the village, they have a great collection of photos, include some of the mine in action.  This is a strange contrast to the abandoned site that is there today. They also have good beer and wifi.  It is possible to camp in the village at this site.

More photos of Botallack can be found here



I have now started (its an ongoing project, so suggestions are welcome) a gallery on Flickr showing some impressive photos by other photographers on Flickr, of my favourite photospots in Cornwall.

Please take a look at to see the (difficult) selections I’ve made so far. Favourite Spots in Cornwall Flickr Gallery (opens new window)

I have visited Kynance Cove half a dozen times to date, it is one of my favourite photo locations in Cornwall.

There is plenty of parking at the top of the cliffs, which is free to National Trust members.  Form the car park there are two routes down to the beach. 

You can leave the North (lower) side of the car park, and follow the path down a small valley to the beach.  This route gives a view into the bay, showing the path winding in and out of site as an ideal lead in line.

Alternatively, you can leave the South (top end) of the car park, and then walk round onto the cliff tops.  There are a few points on the cliffs when you are able to walk out onto headlands which give views up and down the coast.

Whichever route is taken, when you get down to it, the beach can be spectacular.  At high time in stormy weather, there are all the rocks that waves will crash on.  At low time there is a lot of (hopefully) fresh sand, and it is possible to walk out round the headlands and get good views along the coast into Mounts Bay. The headland, which can be accessed by some steps opposite the cafe, also gives good views all round.

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove

The Lizard Lighthouse from Housel Bay

The Lizard Lighthouse from Housel Bay

A well known landmark on the Lizard is the Lighthouse.  We visited the viewpoint shown after seeing this in a second hand book I bought a few weeks prior to the trip.  From the lighthouse car park (free to National Trust members, walk behind the lighthouse and round the coast path until you get into Housel Bay, beneath the Housel Hotel.  This photo is taken from the far side of the bay.

As we are looking almost due West, the Lighthouse will be best lit in the morning, but I reckon it is a well defined shape that would make a nice silhouette at sunset too, perhaps with a zoom lens to make the Lighthouse Prominent.  At the time of our visit the time of day was academic, as the sky was pretty much full of cloud.

If you visit during the day, there is a National Lighthouse Museum open, which offers tours of the site, and a history of all lighthouses in Britain.

At low tide, it is possible to walk down to the beach in Housel Bay.  Out of season, I imagine the beach is never busy, so there should be the opportunity for nice clean sand shots around lunchtime when the sun won’t be hidden behind the cliffs.

While in the area it is also worth popping down into the bay to the West of the Lighthouse, where there is a lifeboat station, and maybe some seals.

Carn Brea

I am currently sorting through the pictures taken from a weekend phototrip to West Cornwall.  While  I got lucky with the weather, at no time being held back by rain,  I did not get any great sunsets or really get up early enough for sunrises. It does seem kind of unlucky as the sunsets on the night we left home, and on the drive back were great.

The first site we visited was Carn Brea, which is a hill overlooking the town of Redruth.  On top of the hill are a number of intresting rock formations, a monument and a small castle, which appears to operate as a restaurant in the evenings.

While the view off the hill offers views out into St Ives Bay, it was cloudy when we visited and so pretty dull for big scale landscapes.  The castle however lent itself to a contrasty black and white photo.  The picture shown here is looking East to the castle.

I took this in colour, converted to Black and White in Lightroom making minor adjustments to the Greyscale mix.  In Photoshop I then made three curves adjustment layers, using masks to increas the contrast of the castle, darken and increased the contrast of the sky to add drama, and then brightened the rocks to help lad the eye into the frame towards the castle.

I think I’ll try andvisit the area again; it is only a couple of minutes drive from Redruth so will be handy for a future visit.  It will be interesting to take another look at the views towards St Ives to the North West, perhaps for a Summer Sunset, or a Sunrise behind the castle from  similar viewpoint to this shot.

Also in the area, at the bottom of the hill to the North are a selection of ruined buildings, perhaps from an old mining complex.  I have made a note to take a look, the old buildings would be ideal for exploring on an overcast day. 

 Carn Brea Castle, Redruth, Cornwall


Carn Brea, Redruth, OS GR 685487, Explorer 104