A few days’ holiday and the Year of the Dragon. The connection is Mr Word Loft. Major birthdays are usually celebrated with a big party by us, but we hope to move in a few weeks, so decided to stay in Cornwall having a relaxing break with only our close family, instead.

After careful consideration, we booked a lodge at Newperran, which is only a short distance from Perranporth.

Hiding his presents on arrival, I was disappointed not to have found a little dragon keepsake too. Nothing cute, but something special and suitable for a male as a reminder of the occasion, as he was also born in the Year of the Dragon – the same as 2024.

Undeterred by the pewter clouds, that first morning, we headed into the village. Buildings sprawl over the landscape and the panorama is more spectacular than I remembered from previous visits to Perranporth.

My folks are keen sea swimmers and had heard about Chapel Rock Sea Bathing Pool in behind a crop of rocks on the beach. It’s a prominent feature and is filled naturally by the ebb and flow of the Atlantic. In the past, a chapel stood there, but the building disappeared into the water long ago, so we just admired the remains from a distance as the tide was coming in.

Then it was lunch at The Summer House, a female-led restaurant with hearty food from a healthy menu choice, where dining tables overlook golden sands.

My grandson had pocket money to spend, and I was still in pursuit of a dragon. Everyone else was happy to look around the shops before a mooch further along the coast. Gift and toy shops and surfing outlets make an interesting retail fusion to satisfy all. And success! I found a miniature silvery dragon perched on a fragment of an amethyst geode cluster. Perfect.

There were a few hours left to explore and play.

Arch Rock is a remarkable geological formation sculpted by the weather and sea. Cliff erosion is evident, and caves along the shore are man-made due to the area’s tin mining heritage. It’s no wonder the author, Winston Graham, frequented the vicinity inspiring his Poldark novels about the industry.

We had been busy and it was time for drinks before heading back to the lodge.

All that was left to do was to pop the tiny mythical creature secretly into Mr Word Loft’s gift bag for the following morning.

And you might be pleased to know, he loved it.

Best wishes,
Sue. X