The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Tide Watching in St. Ives

Monday, November 21st, 2011 in Cornwall
Tide Watching in St. Ives

Each year for the past five years, we’ve journeyed to the ends of Britain in search of a bit of peace and quiet. Sometimes in late fall, sometimes in early spring we make our odyssey—braving the congested brunt of the M5 from Birmingham, through the Sandwell Valley, to Exeter, where the motorway peters out and we’re left muddling along a patchwork of B-roads and country lanes. If all goes well, eight hours of driving and pit-stopping delivers us in exhausted but serviceable condition to a small cottage overlooking the Celtic Sea.

This year, we planned our trip to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday. Thus, instead of gorging ourselves on turkey, we made grand plans to consume vast quantities of fresh-caught seafood.

St. Ives beyond the harbor walls
St. Ives beyond the harbor walls

We arrived at the cottage well after dark, unloaded the car, unpacked our suitcases and promptly passed out. The next morning, we woke at the crack of dawn to beams of sunlight pouring through the tiny cottage windows. After a sluggish start and a gut-buster breakfast, we hopped in the car for a short drive along the coast to the town of St. Ives.

St. Ives Harbor

We spent several hours wandering shops and galleries. We made our way down to the quayside. We ate grilled cod (me) and grilled halibut (Phil) and chips (both of us) at one of the little restaurants on the wharf. After lunch we found a nice place to sit and watch the tide go out. We gazed out over the sea as the calm turquoise waters slowly receded into the distance. It was that kind of day and St. Ives is that kind of place.

St. Ives Harbor
St. Ives Harbor
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Assortment

Leaf Peeping
Nighthawk Trail
Nighthawk Trail
Near the Hall Ranch trailhead, you have the choice of either following the Bitterbrush Trail or the Nighthawk Trail. In the past, I’ve hiked the Bitterbrush Trail many times but I’ve only followed the Nighthawk Trail once, for a short distance.
Lyons Woods
Lyons Woods
In Lake County, the socio-economic status of a town is written all over its roads. The wealthy areas are blessed with roads as smooth as silk. The poorer areas are riddled with roads of rubble.