Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Trail report - Rinsey to Marazion

This Sunday was the last (and the shortest) long run before the Classic Quarter and really represents the beginning of my taper, since it was a very manageable eighteen miles.  I actually ran from Rinsey to a car park in Long Rock; however, as a scenic coastal run I would suggest turning around in Marazion, since after that the route follows a road and cycle track next to a railway and this last bit was just so I could log the miles I wanted (plus I got to see a little bit more of the CQ route which is always useful).  Anyway that's the route I will describe here and it weighs in at about 7 miles each way if you turn around in town, maybe 7.5 if you decide to run over the beach for a close up view of the Mount.

Looking West from Rinsey Cove
I started out stupid-early this weekend - the forecast was, for the second bank holiday in May, a sunny one and the kids were keen to max out on their beach time. Funnily though as I left the house at 6ish, there was a frost on the ground, but not even this could distract me from the obvious fact that it was going to be a glorious day.  By the time I was rocking up at the car park above the beach at Rinsey the sun was already warm on my back, the air was still and the sea was oily calm.

The start of the route sees you running down the hill towards Praa Sands through the ubiquitous narrow gorse lined pathways common throughout Cornwall.  Before long you are treated to one of the finest stretches of sand in the West country.  I'm blessed to be equidistant from both Praa to the South and Gwithian to the North, allowing a choice of excellent sandy joy based on the prevailing conditions of the day (and time of year unfortunately - Gwithian wins hands down in the summer due to it being, in part at least, dog friendly whereas Praa can only be enjoyed sans Canine between Easter and October 1st).

Arriving at Praa you have a choice - follow a permissive path of road and a little bit of dunes or drop onto the beach and run along the shoreline. At the far end of the beach are Cafe's, The Sand Bar and Stones Reef Surf shop, not to mention 80% of the visitors who plonk themselves down within a minutes walk of the car park, toilets and refreshments.

Leaving the sands and the tourists the path climbs relatively steeply, though not so much you can really get away with walking, to a pretty headland and the start of a very pleasant undulating run along low cliffs, passing Kenneggy Sands (or rocks, if the tide is in).


Before long the imposing house at Porth-en-Alls comes into view.  This and the buildings surrounding Prussia Cove are part of a private estate and are available as rather impressive holiday homes.  The path runs between the buildings and below a small wooded area before rounding the headland where Prussia Cove itself comes into view.  Prussia Cove is named for John Carter, a smuggler who lived there in the 18th Century and called himself the King of Prussia during childhood games with his brother.  Prussia Cove, like Kenneggy, is wholly tidal and only a small pebble beach is available at low tide.  However, the rocky shelves allow access to the water at all states of the tide and are popular with fishermen.  The entire cove is a brilliant spot for snorkelling and there are lots of places to jump off the rocks into the sea.  Dogs are allowed year round and the  Cove is very sheltered, making for a great family day out on a sunny day.

Old buildings above Prussia Cove

Moving on from here the path traverses fields in places with a couple of steep drops and before long opens out onto a road leading into Perranuthnoe.  I've never spent any time on this beach though it appears to be a good size at low tide.  The village is very pretty and has a Cafe, craft shops, toilets and a pub.

Leaving Perranuthnoe, the path follows fields and is fairly flat all the way into Marazion.  There are a couple of places where the correct path is not obvious but its easy enough to work it out.  Just before you get to Marazion you drop down steep metal steps onto a rock beach, skirting some private residences before climbing back up, via more steep steps and a road to reach the main drag through the village itself.  Follow the road as long as you wish; its possible to get down to the beach in a number of places.  From here, take a trip over the causeway to St Michael's Mount, continue along the beach (or the road) or turn back and retrace your steps. There is something magical about Marazion, a beautiful sand and pebble beach leading out from between the Mount and the white-washed fisherman's cottages of the village - what's not to love?

On a personal note, despite this being the shortest and flattest long run I've done over the last month I found it extremely hard going - the last few weeks have finally caught up with me.  Luckily I get to ease off for a couple of weeks so hopefully by the 8th June I'll be ready to roll.

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