Hen-do Weekend in St. Just, West Cornwall which led to discovery, joy and focus
West Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It’s my home, my heart and I adore going back for visits. I was most excited when Ridley Writes arranged her hen do location to be St. Just.
St. Just is the village where my mum was born and brought up, and where she met my dad who was jumping off cliffs on a marines training exercise circa 1954. They fell in love, married and had my sister ad brother very soon after the wedding. They then moved around the world with the army which dad joined after the marines. Eventually they settled in Penzance where I came along much later in 1977. Penzance was my home for the first eighteen years of my life.
We used to go to Cot Valley and Cape Cornwall for long coastal walks, we would spend hours playing in the natural pool and rock pools at Priests Cove. I would pick beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and do my nature searches, ticking off animals and plants that I spotted. As a teenager, my friends and I would spend every possible sunny day at Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches. Its hold such beautiful, powerful and happy memories for me.
The Hens Arrive
We arrived after a six-hour drive in misty St. Just at 4pm on the Friday afternoon. I had driven 300 miles via Bristol to collect hen Jess and then Exeter to collect hen Cleo, it was a good journey down, six hours is fast even including the collections and a bit of traffic at Bristol. We discussed anything and everything as you do on a long drive and felt like we had known each other for years rather than three hours by the time we arrived.
We arrived at Roselands Caravan Park expecting Haven esq mobile homes, we hadn’t paid much money (£60 each for caravan, food and booze!) as it still low season but boy were we impressed. There were seven of us at the hen do and we had the choice of caravan 17 or 20, being the first to arrive. We made the executive decision to take no 20 as it had a smaller living area, thinking that Bec would want the bigger living space caravan for the activities we had planned and communal eating.
Jess, Cleo and I set up home in caravan 20. I was happy to take the sofa bed in the living space as I knew I would be up early every morning. Our caravan had 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, was immaculately clean and had beautiful views over the moorlands. The caravan park was lovely, there was a park for children, a games room, a small shop with essentials, a bar.
The other hens started to arrive and we settled in the bigger caravan 17 for dinner of spaghetti bolognese, garlic bread and salad. And we had a few drinks. We then realised rather late that we needed to leave for the Minack Theatre. We were off to see a performance of Tristan & Yseult. I have been to the Minack many times before on school trips, but you can never fail to be blown away by this stunning theatre. Cut into the cliff edge to the right of Porthcurnow beach. The setting is absolutely perfect for a dramatic theatre performance. I saw Hamlet there once, amazing.
Turns out though that arriving at 8pm, when the show starts at 8pm mean that you end up with seats at the back of the theatre, rather high up. Not good if you suffer from vertigo. It was fairly chilly so we had all brought blankets and rain jackets, we were well prepared.
It was an incredible performance and story about a threesome basically. A woman who loved two men. It was comedy and dark all in the same scenes. It was very explicit and not really suitable for children. I needed parts explained to me, handily I was sat next to the bride who was most helpful when I got confused. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The best bit was when it turned into night and the view was just inspiring.
Misty Saturday in West Cornwall
The plans for Saturday were loose, we wanted to assess the weather before deciding on what to do and where to go. Our only commitment was dinner at the Meadery at some point that evening. We chilled in the morning, had croissants and coffee for breakfast. We headed into St. Just at lunchtime for a walk down to Cape Cornwall and spent an hour or so exploring the rocky beach. We paddled in the sea (in our wellies), we took selfies and searched for heart shaped rocks. Bliss.
We grabbed some scones and clotted cream from the St. Just Co-op and headed back to the caravan for lunch for our afternoon task. Cleo, who is Miss Graffiti organised a knitting activity for us. I haven’t knitted since 1993 but it came right back like riding a bike. We also cracked open the gin and cider. The music was Dirty Dancing soundtrack, followed by Madonna. Such a fun afternoon, thank you Cleo.
We headed to Newlyn Meadery for dinner, drank a litre of blackberry wine a big reminder of our youth. We bumped into an old school friend Lorna and agreed that we all looked the same as we did aged 16, rather than 40 years old! Dinner was chicken in the rough, salt and pepper squid, chips and salad. It was medieval in style, not gourmet but lots of fun.
Stunning Sennon Sunset
We drove back to the caravan via Sennon beach and arrive at the most perfect time, sun set. It had been misty all day but it finally cleared at 9:30pm. Arriving at the beach was like magic. It felt incredibly spiritual and like nature had created that moment for the seven of us. You could feel the tension when we arrived and we all scuttled our various independent ways to take in the beauty of the sunset.
I took my shoes off and paddled in the water, the cold sand feeling so good. The sun sinking beneath the sea was stunning and my parents came to visit that evening. They came to say they loved me and were proud of me and everything I have achieved. We all met back up had a group photo and headed back to Roselands for more gin and 90’s music.
Sunday Morning Porthcurnow
Sunday morning I, of course, awoke at 6am, despite the 1am bed time. No one else was awake so I jumped in the car and headed over to Porthcurnow beach for more time with the sea, sand and nature. Porthcurnow is my absolute favourite beach in the world and when you arrive at 7am in the morning its empty. It’s a beautiful cove cut into the cliff, the beach is stunning and you would mistake it for the Caribbean in the height of the summer.
The waves were crashing in, it was inspiring and awesome. I drew my circle in the sand and stood listening to the elements about direction my life should take. A seal popped up in the waves to say hello. There were thousands of shells brought in by the waves overnight. A dog ran over to me to say hello whilst standing in my circle. I was surrounded by nature, water, the smell of the salt, the colours of the cliff flowers. I stepped out of my circle and a huge wave came in and took away my circle. At that moment I knew what I was to do with my life and business. Decisions I had been struggling with were made and life could move on.
Thank you, Becky, for the most incredible hen do. It gave me so much and I gave so much to the weekend. You have the most amazing friends, you are blessed. And I cannot wait for your wedding. Friends are family. Forever friends.
Here are a few more links to previous posts all about Cornwall and saving money:-)