Our planned break in Cornwall had been originally planned for February had been postponed and we re-booked at the same cottage later in the year in September.
We chose a cottage in Botallack which was much further South in Cornwall that we normally visited. Botallack was near St Just and was also close to Lands End.
Friday 17th September – to Botallack in Cornwall
Our journey down to Botallack was delayed due to road works and finally took over 7 hours. Our sat-nav had done its best to find alternative routes and we stopped in a country lane away from all the traffic for a short break for our lunch. We found the cottage at the end of the main street in Botallack but were rather surprised at just how small the parking space was.
We parked around the corner and carried our bags into the back garden. After numerous cars passed, trucks and finally a bus we decided that we couldn’t leave the car on the busy corner. Once past the old gate posts the space widened out until I had had to move over to the right to avoid a large bulge in the wall on the left!
We checked the opening times of the Queens Arms down the main street and managed to book a table for dinner at 6 pm.
Queens Arms – Botallack
The pub was very busy with almost every table occupied. We were reminded that our table was to be used again at 8. We enjoyed our meal accompanied by some Cornish IPAs.
Saturday 18th September – Crown Mine
The early morning bus coming up the main street and making the turn around the corner at the cottage was our early morning wake-up call (this and every morning for the rest of our stay.) We had a late breakfast as we waited for the weather to clear.
The Crown Mines at Botallack were close by and the road to National Trust car park was on the opposite side of the bend to the cottage. By noon the rain had eased and we wrapped up and set off to see the mine.
The rain was still hanging in the air and my first view of the wheel houses was through this fine mist.
(Later in our time in Cornwall this image was the original image that I used for a black and white entry into a photography club competition when I was asked for a second entry!)
We had passed a beautiful old house that now looked abandoned before we reached the open space by the cliffs and reached the counting house of the Crown Mine which was where the National Trust’s exhibits were. There I picked up up this useful map of the area.
After a good look at the National Trust’s small exhibition we walked across the bye-way and walked through the ruins to the wheel houses perched on the cliffs below.
On the left of the wheelhouse this is the drop to the sea below.
The second image above, looks across to the chimney on the cliff top. The lower wheelhouse is not accessible to visitors. Past the upper wheelhouse the cliffs beyond were just as steep.
Here are the wheelhouses after the rain and mist had cleared as we walked back up to the bye-way.
From the mine counting house we could see other mine buildings alongside the bye-way and the SW Coastal Path. Our next stop was the next wheel house at the side of the path. The mine shaft was covered in a metal grid by the ruined building. From our NT hand-out this was West Wheal Owles and then further along we came to Wheal Edward.
This view of Wheel Edward had the Crown Mine wheelhouses away in the distance.
We reached another ruined building. this viewpoint was at Kenidjack Castle. Below us was the valley with more ruined buildings and away in the distance we could see Cape Cornwall.
Queens Arms – Botallack
After our rest in the afternoon we left the cottage for the Queens Arms. Yesterday, we had taken the precaution of booking our next evening meal on our first visit to the pub. On our way down the street to the pub these birds caught my attention.
The pub was again very busy. I enjoyed a steak washed down with a local pilsner.
Crown Mines – evening
After our evening meal we walked back towards the Crown Mine to walk off some of the calories.
Botallack Mine is on Page 68
Botallack Mines are on Page 38