A grey, blustery afternoon on Cornwall’s North Coast coincided with a high tide at Harlyn Bay. I was just able to reach the far end of the beach, away from the hardy beach holidaymakers. The geology was striking, as if the sedimentary slabs of black rock had been systematically dismantled. The Atlantic breakers coursed in relentlessly, as visitors bobbed about on boogie boards in the surf.
With Chloe and Ben, on the beach at Harlyn Bay.
A different perspective, from the end of the beach.
The sea was wild and rugged for this winter re-visit. It was misty and mild, as a counterpoint to the pounding sound of the waves. I met two couples, who each explained what pulled them to the beach. It felt great to be near the elemental power of Cornwall’s North coast at this time of year.
With Max and Sarah, explaining what the beach means to them.
John and Wendy, on holiday from Bath, compare Cornwall to the sea near them at home.
The beach at Harlyn Bay in winter.
This is a popular North Coast tourist beach. I was struck by how much more sand there was on the beach compared to my last visit, which reminded me how much sand can be moved by the motion of the tides. I saw the seasonal end of the tourist time for the beach, with a surf lesson taking place for some visitors from Southampton.
I chatted to a surfing instructor, Ollie, who spoke a lot of sense about Cornwall and its place in a wider society today. Ollie had spent his whole life in the county and explained some of the pressures facing young people.
Harry reminded me how thrilling it is to visit Cornwall on a spontaneous trip with friends. You can see he’s just having a good time. The juxtaposition and nature of the two interviews on this beach is interesting.
Harlyn Bay beach, on a morning after a storm.