Stories of the Sea

Sunsets and seclusion at Silvertide

Friday afternoon found me heading east on the A38, eager to explore a tucked-away corner of Cornwall I’ve never visited before – Whitsand Bay and the Rame Peninsula. I pride myself on knowing Cornwall pretty well – after all, it’s my job! But there’s this little tucked away corner in the southeast which has always eluded me – Whitsand Bay. So, when the opportunity came up to visit oh-so-pretty Silvertide, I jumped at the chance.

Jutting out on its own peninsula between the English Channel and the Tamar estuary, this slither of land has a real island feel, increasingly palpable as you travel along one of the few roads that lead in and out in this hidden corner. I arrived just before sunset; a magical February Friday afternoon with the sun sitting perfectly on the horizon, giving the coast a pinkish, golden hue. It was easy to find a place to park in the nearby layby (there’s allocated permit parking available during the busier season), and with clear instructions I carried my belongings over a small field, down a pathway and then descended the steps to my home for the weekend, the stunning Silvertide.

Stepping inside, I was left in awe of the incredible view; with nothing between Silvertide and the sea, epic floor-to-ceiling bi-fold windows made the most of the seascape, and with the sun resting on the horizon, it was simply beautiful.

Inside, underfloor heating made everything warm and cosy, whilst a subtle seaside theme flowed throughout the beach house, with soft creams and light blues beautifully complementing the vista outside.

To the front of the house, the kitchen led through to the sitting area, whilst the master bedroom and additional bedroom were set to the back, each gorgeously bedecked with comfy beds. In addition, there was a shower room to the back, whilst outside a bubbling hot tub awaited, as well as a large decking area with dining table and seating.

I dropped my bags, made a quick cup of tea, and headed out on to the balcony, determined to make the most of the rare February sunset. Wrapping myself up in one of the thoughtfully-provided blankets, I sat and gazed out over the water, watching the sky turn from gold to pink through to deep purple and finally inky night – simply mesmerising!

Back inside, I took a moment to appreciate the gorgeous hamper left for me; pink champagne and a selection of local goodies – the perfect accompaniment for the weekend.

The hot tub was calling, so I quickly changed and slipped into the sumptuous, 40-degree waters. It’s a big tub – big enough for five – so it felt oh-so-luxurious to have it just to myself. I sat and watched the stars slowly emerge above, and the intermittent lights of boats and buoys on the water. The ultimate way to relax after a busy week of work.

After a quick supper of fresh fish that I picked up in Looe on my way up, I popped some calming tunes on to the SONOS and spent the rest of the evening reading before heading to bed.

The next morning, after a blissful nights’ sleep, I flicked the switch on the photo voltaic glass window, turning it from opaque to clear, allowing immediate sea views from the comfort of bed. I’m an early riser, so it was fabulous to lie there and watch the sun rise over the water with a cup of tea.

After breakfast (and more view gazing), I took myself off to explore the Rame Peninsula. It’s a steep 10-minute trek back up to the car – the beauty of having a cliffside abode means inevitably a certain amount of climbing is involved – but it’s so worth it!

I headed first to Rame Head – right at the end of the peninsula and home to the remains of a picturesque chapel. Following the windy lanes, I parked up and meandered my way to the top, passing grazing horses on my way. It’s a windy spot, so a hat is a must, and with the weather ever-changing, waterproofs need to be kept at hand just in case.

Once at the top, the views are spectacular – in the distance I saw the cliff on which Silvertide is nestled, whilst splashes of golden gorse dotted the landscape. There was a moment of excitement as a herd of deer dashed along the clifftop and over the field, prancing madly as they leapt their way across out of the way of the horses and people.

After walking the cliffs for a while, I noticed a band of rain moving over the sea towards land, so I headed back to the car and drive the ten minutes or so to Kingsand and Cawsand.

These two waterside villages are literally right next to each other, and at one time formed the line between Cornwall and Devon (there’s still a marker up today), with Cawsand being in Cornwall and Kingsand in Devon. Today, it’s a sleepy place with two beaches that never really get busy.

There’s a few shops to explore (if you’re going out of season like I did, not many will be open), and there’s definitely an olde-worlde feel here; like Cornwall 20 years ago. I explored the narrow, picturesque streets and picked up a coffee and some lunch, choosing to sit in a sunny spot overlooking the water. It was very quiet with only the odd visitor passing by, and I sat watching the boats sail by and little ones playing on the beach.

With the afternoon moving on, I made my way back home. I spent the rest of the day lounging in the sitting room, sporadically jumping up to take pictures of the ever-changing sky. The BBC informed me 40-mile-an-hour winds were due that night and sure enough, grey clouds came scudding in over the horizon and the wind picks up – making for a dramatic night!

After another deep nights’ sleep, I woke up a little later. The weather was still blustery, so I make a coffee and watch the waves hurl themselves against the rocks as I eat breakfast. I decided to visit Mount Edgecumbe, a stunning estate of over 865 acres.

The house, dating back to the 1500s but mostly rebuilt after being bombed during the Second World War, is well worth a visit. Out of season it’s only open on Sundays and due to Covid rules currently offering guided tours only (check the website for up-do-date details). I was lucky; I had a tour by myself and learnt the fascinating history of this amazing home which belonged to the same family who owned Cotehele, before exploring the Earl’s Garden, developed in the 18th century and home to unusual trees, statues and monuments.

The rest of the estate is free to explore; in addition to the house there’s a great café where I stopped for some lunch, and a range of artisanal shops. The grounds are massive and are perfect for an afternoon stroll, overlooking the Tamar estuary.

Returning to Whitsand Bay, I parked up and popped into the Cliff Top Café, just a few minutes’ away from Silvertide. Busy with walkers on a Sunday afternoon, it’s the perfect spot for a hot chocolate and cake, but they also do amazing breakfasts – so ideal if you don’t want to cook!

Afterwards, feeling full, I headed down to Tregonhawke Beach as the tide was out. Be warned; this is not a walk for the faint-hearted as it’s very steep with lots of steps, but it’s so, so worth it for incredible views and to see Silvertide from the beach.

In the summer, there’s a café here too just in case you need refreshments. I pass signs for the South West Coastal Path – it’s incredibly easy to join it from Silvertide and if I’d had time, I would have definitely walk some of it to take in the incredible views.

 

Back at Silvertide, I make the most of my last night. The hot tub is perfect for aching legs, whilst the compact but fully equipped kitchen is perfect for rustling up dinner. Once it’s dark, I make the most of Netflix on the Smart TV (there’s one in the bedroom too), before heading to bed.

The next morning it’s time to leave, so begrudgingly I pack my bags, say goodbye to Silvertide and that amazing view – something that will stay long in my memory.

Silvertide is a stunning retreat for two with two bedrooms so also perfect for couples with a little one or friends staying together. It’s also dog friendly, and Tregonhawke Beach below is dog friendly all year around and with the South West Coastal Path at hand, it’s easy for walking without having to step in to a car – perfect!

Feeling inspired? Take a look at Silvertide here.

 

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