At a place called Porthcurno in Cornwall, high on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean is a unique open air theatre called The Minack Theatre. Almost entirely built by a lady called Rowena Cade, it has grown and grown since the 1930s and every summer season thousands of people a year see a show or just go along and visit the site. We had no idea quite how magnificent this place would be.
While tackling this section of the south west coast path in 2016 we passed this very spot but didn’t go in, we just descended steeply to Porthcurno Beach. We promised ourselves that we would return when we were in a more leisurely holiday mode with no buses to catch or miles to cover. This was exactly what we did last week while on holiday.
Our plan for the day was initially to just sit and take photos at a small cove called Porthgwarra, a tiny secluded place just two miles away from Porthcurno.
It’s a perilous, single track, car journey from the ‘main road’ down to Porthgwarra. I’m not brave enough to drive those tiny lanes – Tim is much more confident. We arrived safely (very early), parked the car, watched some sea kayakers set off then thought who else have we got to watch? Possibly no one. So we set off for Porthcurno.
The coastline is spectacular here by the way. The whole stretch from Lands End along the south coastline of Cornwall is amazing. A couple of headlands later we reached the Minack car park and the entrance to the site. Our entrance fee was £5 each and well worth it.
View from near the top
The staggering view blew our minds once we passed through the visitors centre but it was the gardens that we headed to first. We sat amongst the tropical plants which surround the theatre at the back and sides and began to take it all in.
Then we looked down over the top railing to the seating, the stage and the sea.
Many people seemed to have trouble with the steep steps – young and old alike. It makes me worry for the future. Our walks in the hills and mountains has helped our ageing legs and very soon we were like goats leaping up and down and across where we could.
Lunchtime. Sat in possibly the best seats in the house, we had our picnic and watched people. It was a great spot – like a box in a ‘real’ theatre. We could see the stage and the rest of the seating as we tucked into our cheese sandwiches and topped up our sunscreen. There wasn’t a show on so people were taking lots of photos all over. One popular spot to take your shots was below an archway on the stage. You can just see a couple in the photo below.
We yawned and stared and chatted about the people around us…you know how that happens. Some people just catch your attention. The person in the multi-coloured jumper, the family arguements, the elderly person who looks lost, the people who just look so glum, the young woman doing a handstand near the stage (yes, that really did happen).
Then we decided to move from our lofty viewing area and went ‘on stage’. And people were probably watching us. I wonder what they thought….if anything. Thankfully it was quite quiet – although they quickly closed off the section that Tim had stood on (see Tim on stage below). We laughed about that.
Enough fooling about we were back watching the beach visitors from a very lofty perch while having a nice cup of tea. What a view.
This post is linked to the Weekly Prompts photo challenge
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