Porthleven was an instant hit as soon as I saw it. Although the marina beckoned, I couldn’t help wandering into the Ship Yard. An inside modern marketplace selling art, innovative merchandise and artisan food and drinks. There is also a brewery and distillery on-site; the equipment always intrigues me and is displayed for all to see. For those seeking a more active pursuit, cycles can be hired from the venue as well. So, all in all, an extremely useful hub.

The harbour is encircled by a mix of old buildings and small retail outlets.

“Which way first,” I asked Mr Word Loft, as we looked out from a stone slipway in the centre.

“Recognise that?” he replied, pointing at a clock tower on Porthleven Pier across the water. I’ve seen the iconic structure on TV and occasionally on social media when gigantic waves engulf it in storms which make it appear minuscule.

We agreed to go there first and headed left along the road. Around the headland, the swell churned against the pier and I could imagine how frightening and dangerous the spot must be in raging weather.

Further along by the beach, I joked that I had found the cottage of my dreams. Admiring its stonework and fresh blue and white exterior, I wondered how it faired in inclement weather, but decided being snug inside would be fantastic whatever the season.

The Salt Cellar and workshops are dark and rambling on the inside, but full of bright and appealing crafts showcasing many skills. I adored the handmade hats styled in velvet, silk, felted wool and other fabrics. Very tempting, but as beautiful as they are, I’m never comfortable in headwear.

As a keen basket enthusiast, basketry always captures my attention, and I was astounded to see wares produced using tamarisk stems. We have the shrub in our garden and after its annual pruning, the surplus stalks go into gardening waste, but not anymore. I have plans for this year’s fronds, so watch this space in autumn.

On the other side of the harbour, there are more points of interest on the town’s historic trail. One of which is the Lime Kiln, dominant along the quayside and different to others in Cornwall because of its round shape. It was built in 1814, took its last delivery of limestone in 1910 and then fell into disuse, but was restored by local historians in 2008.

After seeing the lifeboat station, we made our way to the Harbour Inn for dinner. Enjoying our tasty meals and being part of a lively and friendly atmosphere, we hadn’t noticed it becoming dark and were in for a lovely surprise when we stepped outside.

The fishing port is beautiful in the daytime, but at night it is bewitching. Strings of gem-like lights twinkle above the boats and reflect in ripples.

It’s definitely a town we will be revisiting, and that will be sooner than later.

Until next time,
Sue. X