Polzeath Beach, South Live Cam

A large gently sloping sandy beach at low tide


Hosted by:
  • Ann's Cottage
  • Unit 2A - St Columb Industrial Estate
  • Cornwall TR9 6SF - United Kingdom
  • 01208 869924
  • [email protected]
  • https://www.annscottage.com/

Literary Associations

Polzeath Beach and its scenic surroundings have inspired various authors and literary works over the years. The picturesque coastline, unique geography, and the charming atmosphere of Polzeath have captured the imagination of writers, leading to literary associations that celebrate the area's natural beauty and cultural significance. Here are a few examples:

  • John Betjeman: The British poet laureate John Betjeman had a deep connection to Cornwall and its coastal landscapes. He wrote a poem titled "Youth and Age on Beaulieu River," which describes his visits to Polzeath during his youth. The poem reflects his memories of the beach and the emotions associated with returning to the same place as an adult.
  • Rosamunde Pilcher: Rosamunde Pilcher, a British author known for her heartwarming novels set in Cornwall, often drew inspiration from the county's landscapes. While not specifically focused on Polzeath, her novels often evoke the beauty and charm of the Cornish coast, capturing the essence of the region's coastal villages and beaches.
  • Winston Graham: The author of the Poldark series, Winston Graham, set his historical novels in Cornwall, including some scenes along the coastline. While Polzeath Beach might not be a central focus, the series captures the rugged and romantic landscapes that Cornwall is known for.
  • Landscape Poetry: Various poets have been inspired by the coastal landscapes of Cornwall, and Polzeath's beauty would naturally play a role in their works. The interplay between the sea, cliffs, and beach could serve as a backdrop for themes of nature, introspection, and the passage of time.
  • Local Writers: Polzeath's natural beauty has likely influenced many local writers, both known and unknown, who have been inspired to create stories, essays, and poems that capture the spirit of the area.

While there might not be a specific literary work entirely dedicated to Polzeath Beach, the broader Cornwall region and its coastal landscapes have been a consistent muse for writers seeking to capture the magic of the place through words. To delve deeper into any specific literary associations with Polzeath Beach, you might consider exploring local literature, visiting local bookshops, and engaging with Cornwall's literary community.

Historical Facts

Polzeath Beach, like many coastal areas, has a history that spans centuries. While it might not have a well-documented historical narrative like some other locations, there are still interesting historical facts and events associated with the area. Here are a few historical facts related to Polzeath Beach:

  • 1. Ancient Settlements: The coastal areas of Cornwall have a history of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times. While not exclusively about Polzeath, archaeological evidence suggests that the region was inhabited by early humans, and artifacts have been found in nearby areas.
  • 2. Fishing and Maritime Traditions: Polzeath's sheltered location and proximity to the sea made it an ideal spot for fishing and maritime activities. Fishing would have been an important livelihood for the local community throughout history.
  • 3. Shipwrecks: The rugged coastline of Cornwall has been notorious for shipwrecks over the centuries due to its challenging waters and rocky shores. While not unique to Polzeath, the area would likely have witnessed its share of maritime incidents and stories.
  • 4. The Growth of Tourism: In the 19th century, with the advent of the railway, Cornwall started becoming a popular tourist destination. Polzeath, with its sandy beach and natural beauty, would have attracted early travelers seeking the benefits of the coastal climate.
  • 5. World Wars: Like many coastal areas in the UK, Polzeath would have been affected by both World War I and World War II. Coastal areas were often on high alert due to their vulnerability to enemy attacks. Polzeath and its surroundings would have had their own stories related to wartime experiences and contributions to the war effort.
  • 6. Surfing Culture: While not ancient history, the emergence of Polzeath as a surfing destination has shaped its recent history. The growth of surfing culture in the mid-20th century contributed to the development of the area as a tourist hotspot and brought a new dimension to its history.
  • 7. Geological Evolution: The geological history of the region has shaped Polzeath's coastline. Erosion, sediment deposition, and tectonic activity have all played a role in creating the beach, cliffs, and rocky formations that characterize the area.

Polzeath Beach's economy is closely tied to its popularity as a tourist destination, particularly among surfers and beachgoers. The beach's natural beauty, surfing opportunities, and coastal attractions have contributed to the growth of various economic activities in the area. Here's an overview of the Polzeath Beach economy:

  • 1. Tourism and Hospitality: Tourism is the primary driver of the local economy around Polzeath Beach. The area attracts visitors from within the UK and abroad who come to enjoy the beach, surfing, and the Cornish coastal experience. As a result, there is a thriving hospitality sector, including hotels, guesthouses, bed-and-breakfasts, and holiday cottages. Restaurants, cafes, and pubs also benefit from the influx of tourists.
  • 2. Surf Schools and Rentals: Polzeath's reputation as a surfing destination has led to the establishment of surf schools that offer lessons and equipment rentals to visitors interested in learning to surf or improving their skills. Surf instructors, equipment providers, and related businesses contribute to the local economy.
  • 3. Retail and Shops: Local shops and stores cater to the needs of both residents and tourists. Surf shops, boutique stores, and souvenir shops provide a range of products, from surf gear and clothing to unique crafts and gifts.
  • 4. Outdoor Activities: Beyond surfing, other outdoor activities contribute to the economy. Companies offering paddleboarding, kayaking, and coasteering experiences attract adventure-seeking tourists looking to explore the coastal environment.
  • 5. Arts and Crafts: Polzeath's natural beauty and coastal landscapes have inspired local artists and artisans. Art galleries and craft shops showcase paintings, sculptures, and other creative works that draw on the area's scenic charm.
  • 6. Events and Festivals: Tourism-related events and festivals, such as surf competitions and cultural celebrations, attract visitors and stimulate the local economy by increasing foot traffic and creating demand for various services.
  • 7. Property Rentals and Real Estate:The popularity of Polzeath as a tourist destination has led to demand for vacation rentals and second homes. This can impact the local real estate market and provide income for property owners.
  • 9. Support Services: The growth of tourism creates opportunities for support services like transportation, maintenance, and event planning, which play a role in the local economy.
  • 8. Environmental Services: With the focus on preserving the natural beauty of the area, there's a demand for environmental services, such as waste management and conservation efforts, to ensure sustainable tourism practices.

While tourism and related activities dominate the Polzeath Beach economy, it's important to balance economic growth with environmental conservation to maintain the area's appeal and long-term sustainability.

To Boldly Go to Australia - The story of the Mystery

In the middle of the last century gold rush fever was at its height. The people of Cornwall faced poverty and misery. Mines were closing and money was scarce. The relatives of miners who had emigrated often received substantial remittances from abroad. The pressure was on the remaining miners others to seek out a new way of life in mysterious faraway countries.

Many shipping companies operated fine sailing ships to take the Cornish away to different parts of the world. Ships would leave from Cornish ports with their precious cargoes of miners and their families. Competition amongst the ship owners was intense and the journey could be made to Melbourne under sail for sixteen guineas.

In Newlyn the Kelynack family had been fisherfolk for many years and with other villagers had gleaned a living from fishing, farming and mining. They were all moved by the enticing advertisements of the shipping companies and jealous of their fellows who were setting out for a share of the exciting new life.

Charles Kelynack had saved enough to pay his passage to Australia but young Job Kelynack and his mates reckoned their only chance of reaching Australia was to sell the family lugger to pay the fares.

Work went ahead to deck-in their trusty 36 foot craft and bottom her with zinc. Refitted and painted she looked fine as she was equipped with enough provisions (hard tack ships' biscuits, salted beef and fresh water) to last four months. Newlyn was excited as the final preparations were made and, after tearful farewells, the apparently vulnerable little craft sailed out of the harbour on the 18th November 1854. Capt'n Nicholls and his youthful crew; Job Kelynack, William and Richard Badcock, Charlie Boase, Philip Matthews and Lewis Lewis fitted out with a sextant, compass, barometer and years of inherited seamanship left Cornwall, crossed to Ushant, rounded Finistere, sailed through the Bay of Biscay and out into the Atlantic.

he weather held fine and they reached Madeira at noon on the 25th November. By the 3rd December they had reached San Antonia and then found themselves in the doldrums with little to do except fish and enjoy their catches. They crossed the Equator in searing heat on the 15th December. The weather was variable on the voyage southwards and the Mystery arrived in Cape Town on the 17th January. First mistaken for a local Table Bay cutter the Harbour Master became interested when he saw her being beached to have her bottom scraped of barnacles. The news spread like wildfire through the town and the shy lads from Newlyn received a welcome they would never forget. The break in Cape Town allowed them to rest, stock up provisions and post letters home. The news of their safe arrival took four months to arrive in Newlyn. The people of Cape Town, many with a Cornish background, gave them a great send-off and bestowed on them the privilege of carrying the mails to Melbourne.

After leaving Cape Town they ran into serious weather and were struck by a hurricane and torrential rain on the 23rd of February. The crew headed their craft into wind and let out the raft as a sea anchor. Snow storms and another hurricane on the 5th March had them putting out the raft again. It was out again on the 9th March when the atrocious weather was balanced by the first sighting of the Australian mainland, the land of their dreams. They anchored in Hobson's Bay, Melbourne on the 14th March 1855. An extraordinary voyage of just 116 days which included the week spent in Cape Town. It is often said that it is better to travel in hope than to arrive.

A crew of experienced Cornish fishermen, a dependable boat, a sea teeming with fish and a lucrative market would appear to be a sure recipe for success but matters did not turn out that way. The Mystery was sold for Ł150 and was later wrecked on the New Zealand shores. Of her crew Captain Nicholls was back in Newlyn as a skipper before the end of the year. It was a sad irony that, after all his daredevil exploits, he was killed by a cab in London thirteen years later. Job Kelynack was delighted to meet up with his brother Charles at Bendigo but he felt the pull of Cornwall and returned to live out a long, contented life as a Newlyn fisherman. The Badcock brothers didn't dig for gold either. They both found employment with the Penal Service of Victoria and, after a fairly hazardous period, returned to Newlyn to resume the way of life known to their ancestors. Charles Boase felt similarly moved and also returned to his roots. Philip Matthews settled in Australia but visited Cornwall after the death of his wife, persuading his niece to return with him to look after his children. Lewis Lewis remained in Australia to his dying day.

This account of the lugger Mystery and her brave crew has been taken very loosely from a much longer, well researched account of the voyage by Sheila Bird in her book, "Cornish Sea Stories" and is published here with the kind permission of publishers, Countryside Books of 2 Highfield Avenue, Newbury, Berks. RG14 5DS. The Story of the Mystery is only one of 22 tales of seafaring around Cornwall's coast. The illustration of the Mystery's departure from Newlyn harbour is by Jennv Frvatt in the same book. ISBN 1 85 306.281.2.