The Colours of Cornwall

Standing on the shore looking out across the water is like being between two worlds. You're neither here nor there but simultaneously are invigorated by the energy of the waves; the clash of water and earth.

In Cornwall, you're always mindful of the sea. Local legends reflect the county's soul and are born in those watery depths. The rocks of Land's End, the lost island of Lyonesse, Bedruthan Steps and legendary Tintagel (King Arthur's birthplace) all blur the boundary between myth and reality. Pirates, smugglers and mermaids are stitched into the tapestry of Cornish folklore.

Almost everyone swims, surfs, dives or sails; the draw of the ocean is irresistible with its many colours and moods. In St Ives, the grey sky diffuses the light to gives a hint of the tones concealed in the diluted landscape below. Come evening, the sun breaks the cover and paints the harbour orange and purple - a goodbye gift before its plunge into the sea.

The next day I walk along the coastal path from Lizard Point to Kynance Cove. The water is a brilliant turquoise, while the peninsula is covered by a soft blanket of camomile, daisies, harebells, wild thyme and pinky yarrow.

Padstow is my next stop and I sit on the Camel Estuary with my feet in the water for hours. Creamy houses perch on green hills, creating a sanctuary which contrasts with the vast expanse of bubbling sea. A strong wind gathers clouds into a menacing mass and the surface of the disturbed waters darkens.

I am in Millook Heaven near Bude, this time looking away from the sea and towards the cliffs. The layered rocks of sandstone and shale form striking chevron folds. The dark and light stripes across the cliff face can be read like a book - if you know how to decipher them.

Confronted with powerful elements on the coast, it becomes easier to put life in perspective. The landscape that we perceive to be unmoving is actually a shape-shifting body, forever escaping final definition and constantly surprising us. While eternal, it's never quite the same; this series tries encapsulate nature by painting its perpetually changing colours.

@monkrochmal |

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A Day in St. Ives, Cornwall