West Cornwall and Land's End Guidebook (Friendly Guides)

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9781904645054: West Cornwall and Land's End Guidebook (Friendly Guides)
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This guide covers the far west of Cornwall following the coast from St Ives and Zennor around the dramatic West Penwith cliffs to Land s End and then along the softer south coast taking in Lamorna, Mousehole, Penzance, St Michael s Mount and finally Prussia Cove. There are stunning beaches try surfing at Sennen or at Porthmeor in St Ives under the gaze of visitors to the Tate St Ives or the sublime beach at Porthcurno. Wander along the sands at Marazion and cross the causeway to the magical St Michael s Mount. The Things to do section suggests different activities for all ages and all weathers including advice on the best way to get around, family (and dog) friendly beaches and a special section on exploring the ancient sites and industrial archaeology. Walking in Cornwall is a hugely popular activity. This guidebook covers the whole coast path along with many inland walks, which are illustrated by detailed maps, instructions and photographs. The Land s End peninsula also has two longer distance walks - The Tinner s Way and St Michael s Way.This is a granite kingdom of Neolithic megaliths, tombs and stone circles. West Cornwall contains a great concentration of Neolithic and Celtic monuments from the massive megalith tombs like Lanyon Quoit to the stone circles and menhirs of the Bronze Age like the Merry Maidens and Pipers of Boleigh near Lamorna. There are almost complete Iron Age villages at Chysauster and Carn Euny with their courtyard houses and fogou (underground passage). When the railway reached Cornwall in the late C19th it brought with it the first of many writers and artists attracted to the remote villages of West Cornwall. This Victorian movement was mainly based around the fishing ports of Newlyn and Lamorna on the south coast. The themes for their paintings came directly from the lives of the working fishing communities. Perhaps the most famous painter of the group was Stanhope Forbes. He was influenced by the French plein air painters and, to the end of his long life, was often to be found painting away on the cliffs. Their work is permanently on show at Penlee House Museum and Gallery in Penzance. The St Ives School was a different sort of undertaking. In the decade before the Second World War a group of artists, included Roger Hilton, Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood and the sculptor Barbara Hepworth gathered in St Ives. These artists shared a common interest in pushing their work towards abstraction based on European modernism. They found inspiration in the granite landscape with its bold shapes and strong colours. A vital spur to these artists was the discovery of the paintings of a retired St Ives fisherman called Alfred Wallis. Wallis had no formal artistic education and did not start painting until late in his life. Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood came across his work quite by accident when visiting St Ives in 1928. They caught sight of him painting, through the open door of his house near Porthmeor beach, while out walking one day. The naive painting style of Alfred Wallis was an inspiration to them and it helped to confirm Wood and Nicholson in a more abstract approach to their own work. Nicholson and Hepworth settled in St Ives during the Second World War and the group were joined for a short period by the hugely influential Jewish artist Naum Gabo - a refugee from Nazi Germany. Gabo became a catalyst for what became briefly in the 1940's and 1950 s an internationally recognised centre for abstract art. The group also included the painters Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost and Patrick Heron who worked here for the rest of their lives. It was to show the work of these artists that the Tate opened the St Ives Tate in 1993.

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FRIENDLY GUIDES was set up in 1992. Partners Neil Reid and Caroline Schanche were both born and brought up in Cornwall. Much of the information in the guides is based on their own favourite places and on great days out with children, families and friends. A business that started with a hand drawn map of the Isles of Scilly has now grown to become Cornwall s leading publisher of guidebooks. The idea for the business is simple - we set out to provide the best possible photos, maps and writing for visitors and locals. Using our books should be like going for a walk with a well-informed and entertaining friend.

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