Eschewing the National Trust car park for Penbryn Beach, we park at the top of the hill, opposite the whitewashed chapel hugging the hillside and head down the hill, almost immediately cutting across a field and into the most glorious wooded valley; lush with rainforest-esque foliage, it’s a spectacle in itself. We take the bottom path and after a scramble along the side of the valley, river below, woods above, all of a sudden the beach is there.
A special place at any time, in the early morning, with the dog, and the sun creeping over the headland, it is magical. We make the most of the solitude, the wash of the waves, the lonely cry of the gulls, and leave a trail of footprints in the sand, the dog careering into the surf, never actually catching the sticks and stones we throw for him.
Heading back to the tasks of the day, we can return as we came, or detour via the Penbryn Beach Cafe for a cappucino or hot chocolate, before climbing, rejuvenated, back up the hill.
We’ll return soon. Perhaps next time, after dark. Protected from light pollution by its fern-clad valley, Penbryn makes the perfect spot for stargazing, especially during the summer months.
Images courtesy of Paula J James on Flickr