Top 10 Storm Watching Spots In Cornwall
PUBLISHED: 10:17 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:25 15 January 2020
Cornwall's coastline isn't just for summer. The winter brings with it stormy weather that transforms our beaches and cliffs into a dramatic backdrop. Here's a few of our favourite spots...
Storm watching can be exhilarating but it's vital to put your safety first. The winter weather can bring high winds and huge waves, so it's important to keep a safe distance. Storms in Cornwall can be very dangerous, so check tide times,be cautious and don't take any risks.
Don't get too close. Keep well away from the water, preferably from a high viewpoint, or ideally inside a cosy café or bar. Leave children and dogs at home. Remember, a good photograph is not worth risking your or anyone else's life.
Sitting at the far end of Cornwall, Sennen Cove is just around the corner from Land's End, and is the ideal spot to watch the wild ocean if you get bored of Longship's Lighthouse. The long sandy beach is beloved by surfers capturing Atlantic waves that break over the Cowloe Reef or up against towering granite cliffs. The lifeboat station here is well used in this potentially dangerous area. Head along the South West Coast Path here for an exhilarating walk.
Perhaps second only to Porthleven is Portreath's harbour wall. For photographers, the famous 'Monkey Hut' at one end provides the perfect landmark to offer a sense of scale for all those crashing waves. It seems fitting as the whitewashed hut was once used for shelter by the those guiding ships into the dangerous harbour entrance. It was partially destroyed (and happily rebuilt) after the storms of early 2014. High ground above the harbour supplies a natural (and safe) viewing platform.
The clock tower at the entrance to Porthleven harbour has become synonymous with stormy images of Cornwall. Waves crashing up against it feature regularly on winter news reports on tv, but please beware, stay well away when the waves come pounding in.
Penzance is famous for the large waves during stormy weather, washing in and over the promenade or the open air pool - although sometimes the waves can get a bit lively. The Jubilee Pool suffered significant damage in recent years. Head to Penlee Gallery and be inspired by Norman Garstinin's The Rain it Raineth Every Day. A bracing walk should always be carried out with care.
The rugged granite rocks at Bedruthan Steps offer a dramatic backdrop for storm watching if you get bored of all that sand.
One of Cornwall's most stunning spots at any time of year, Kingsand is too often ignored until the winter storms hit. Homes sit perilously close to the ocean and over the years Kingsand's clock tower has suffered major damage, raising concerns its structure could collapse (looking at the many videos capturing the waves crashing over it, it is easy to see why). This is the spot the nation turned to in January 2014 when the legendary storms put the railway line out of action for months and the rest of Cornwall inaccessible by train. This is a part of the country where residents have been evacuated for their own safety - and timely reminder that safety should always be more important than the ultimate shot.
Kynance Cove has become one of Cornwall's most popular selfie spots, thanks to its role in the BBC's Poldark- where it played the fictitious Nampara. Poldarkstar Aidan Turner returned to the spot for the 2015 adaptation of Agatha Christie'sAnd Then There Were None. Last summer saw Kynance and sister beach Porthcurno attract traffic jams. And during storms the area can be equally busy, thanks to the high points along this stretch of the Atlantic from where they can be safely watched.
Any write up about stormwatching in Cornwall has to mention Land's End. In fact there are now special storm watching holidays on offer in the area, which also takes in nearby Sennen Cove. This most south-westerly point of mainland Britain is constantly changing - and during storms - or even on windy days, the size of waves can be as mesmerising as they are terrifying.
A wide expanse of family-friendly golden sands during the summer, Porthtowan is dramatically transformed in the winter. But it's not all fun. After the storms, Porthtowan's ecologically important sand dunes often need to undergo repairs after the worst of the winter weather.
As the most southerly point of the UK mainland, The Lizard takes the full brunt of major storms. There's not much shelter from the elements. Many a ship has found out the hard way just how much storm this rocky headland can be host to. A lighthouse was built in the mid-18th century to warn sailors and for photographers it provides another useful backdrop to crashing waves.