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Cornish Coastal Gems

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Phil with CoracleWritten by Phil Keelan

With the weather set to be nice today and pretty wet for the rest of the week, I was keen to get out and enjoy the Cornish countryside. Being indecisive as ever, Ash and I settled on a little walk on the Cornish Coastpath to a handsome little cove I know. The coastpath circumnavigates the entire Cornish peninsula and takes in some of the most breathtaking views in the country.


kids-in-reedbedsWe wandered through the beautiful valley that leads to the sea, taking in the sights, sounds and ocean air. The valley and adjoining headland is managed by the National Trust and as such has been transformed into a wildlife haven over the ten years that I've been coming here. The valley was full of caterpillars, butterflies, crickets and grasshoppers, all providing food for birds, including young Kestrals, Larks, Pippets and Buntings. The NT have also planted reedbeds in the marshy base of the valley which has established itself well, providing a perfect habitat for more wildlife.


The cove itself is a handsome place protected from the full force of the north atlantic swells by a string of islands just offshore. This shield means there is an abundance of sealife with many pools full of life at low tide and at high tide it's great for snorkelling and spearfishing. We had a good look around in the rockpools and found a few treasures.

Ashley-showing-kids starfish 

enlarge-images Tip: Click on Images within this article to enlarge them


So I caught a prawn with my bare hands and had an idea.... I had my whitebox stove and terra kettle with me in a net bag. Lets have some fresh prawn for lunch! I opened up the net bag and planted it in the corner of a pool and, holding onto the drawstring of the bag, I used my other hand to herd prawns towards it. Once inside I yanked on the drawstring, capturing the wee crustacean. This technique proved quite successful, but the tide was pushing in and flooding the pools.

So we headed back up the beach to cook them up. Back up on the beach we found some dry seasoned small logs... Brilliant! the whitebox got put away and Ash and I set to work prepping firewood and we got a small fire going.

ash-making-tinder starting-the-fire

If we had a good look around and we were staying for a while or cooking for longer, we could have made a decent pothanger. As it was, I made do with a bit of old fishing net!


They didn't take long to cook, and I advise to use a lid as they try jumping out of the pot! Erin didn't want any so Corey, Ashley and I shared them out. Tasty!

shrimp-cooking cooked-shrimp coastal-cookup

We chilled for a while, letting the kids run around and enjoy the beach, then took a steady walk back along the valley. As we wandered up, the air was thick with the sound of crickets chirruping and larks singing. twas a fine and handsome day to be sure, made all the more rewarding for foraging food, water and firewood. 


Thanks for reading


Comments (8)
8 Sunday, 13 January 2013 20:07
Tom Mellish
Lafley :)

There's some lovely swimming there-especially on a spring low tide when you get the inland facing beach-roll on summer!

7 Saturday, 25 August 2012 11:57
Phil Keelan
Thanks everyone for your comments :)
6 Saturday, 18 August 2012 13:17
Ross Everitt
Great post! Looks like you all had a good time and that cove looks a brilliant place. :o)
5 Friday, 17 August 2012 08:37
Jon Pickett
I like the look of that cove. I have not done any spear fishing yet this year and that does look good for a bit of flippin about with the twanger..
Top post Phil :0)
4 Wednesday, 15 August 2012 15:54
Tony 1948
Nice one Phill
3 Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:56
Beautiful coast and countryside!
2 Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:03
paul draddy
Lovely Phil,thanks for sharing that. Paul
1 Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:11
Nice post and photos Phil & Ashley. Those prawns look tasty too. Tony

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UK Wild Food - Jan

Listed here are Wild Foods that should be available in parts of the UK in January.

Daisy leaf

Gorse flower
Greater Plantain
Ribwort Plantain
Buck's Horn Plantain (coastal)
Scurvy Grass
Sea beet
Sea Radish
Pennywort (particularly good at the moment)
Alexanders (very good at the moment)
Chirvil (be very careful , as Hemlock Water-Dropwort is starting to sprout now and looks very similar, but is deadly poisonous!)
Sea Purslane
Rock Samphire (still usable, but a bit over now, coastal)
Rose Hips
Common Sorrel
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Wood sorrel
Three-cornered leek

*These are just some of the wild edibles you will find in the UK this month.

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