Down the Cot Valley

Another drive (or walk if you are so inclined) from St Just is down the Cot Valley following the Cot stream to the shore at Porth Nanven. Once this area was crowded with tin-dressing floors, stamps, settling tanks, reservoirs and wheel-pits. Now long abandoned and overgrown, it can make walking off track somewhat dangerous. The road is very narrow so take it slowly and there is a small car-park at the end.


Porth Nanven is unusual in that the cliffs are formed from rounded boulders of an ancient raised beach, formed in the last ice-age. It is illegal to remove any stone from this location, though many might crave a few for their rockery.


The valley itself is a sheltered microclimate with a trout stream meandering down to the coast. Sycamores, oaks, willow, elder, ash and young elm trees flourish here though several years ago the valley was being choked by Japanese knotweed which was eradicated with hard work by the National Trust. As you near the sea the vegetation changes to maritime plants – Danish scurvy-grass, thrift, stitchwort, kidney vetch and sea campion with small blue butterflies and six-spot burnet moths in abundance. High on the opposite valley bank you can still see the lines of the leats that took the water down to the cliff-top mines.

The Brisons

Someone had thoughtfully placed a bench at the end of the road, where the land meets the water. You can sit and look at the extraordinary colours of that sea, the cliffs, the flowers and the butterflies. It was sheltered from the wind here which made it very pleasant.

Smooth boulders
The bench

Climbing up to the top of the south bank for a look towards Land’s End was a bit of a hike; scrambling back down was a complete loss of dignity as I was practically on my behind. [Note to self: Always take the walking pole even if it does make taking photos awkward.]


But the views were good.

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

60 thoughts on “Down the Cot Valley”

  1. What an idyllic place Jude – it looks so peaceful and the sea quite mesmerising. Looks like wonderful weather too 🙂 Glad you made it safely down the embankment too – the photos were worth it! Thanks for your support of Le Chic En Rose too – I have been following this blog and the “Earth Laughs In Flowers” for a while now – you certainly take some wonderful photos! Have greatly enjoyed catching up with your Cornish posts this morning with my cup of hot tea (still chilly here in Perth!) 🙂

    1. Thank you Rosemary. Nice to know you are liking my photos – I am still learning though! I have popped into your site a few times and finally decided to follow you (so I can find out all about life in Perth) – what is the time difference there from Sydney?

      1. Thanks for the follow Jude – I will have to do some more posts about Perth for you to read! There are a few up there in the archives 🙂 We are currently 2 hours behind Sydney but during summer it becomes 3 as we don’t have daylight savings unlike most of the east coat (much to my chagrin they had a referendum a few years back and the no vote won!).

        1. I shall have a browse through your archives – I do remember you writing about Perth’s zoo – at least I think it was you!

        2. Yes Jude that would have been me! The Perth Zoo posts are filed under “Western Australia” or “Attractions and Activities – Zoo Tales” – either of those links should get you there! 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous place. I can’t imagine anyone even thinking of taking stones from here. It would be quite a walk lugging one of those rocks back to the car park.

    1. Actually not that far, but you would want wheels of some sort – you’d be surprised at what people will do! They are spectacular boulders 🙂

  3. What glorious weather for a walk/scramble Jude the colour of the ocean is mesmerising and almost the same colour as the blue butterflies wings. Jack has a fold up walking stick, but I have to report it is usually left at home or, now, in the car, even though I nag him about it…

    1. How clever of you to notice the colour of the sea and the butterflies – I hadn’t made that connection. 🙂

    1. Too true, it is not at all like walking along the coastal path between Bondi and Coogee! If only I could persuade the councils to pave our trails I’d be fine!

  4. Oh how I envy your botanical names – they just trip off your finger, and cover so many terrains. I was surprised at how well circles suit seascape shots. this looks like a lovely walk. Dogs allowed? We’re just off for Em and Loki’s afternoon stroll. They’d have a sniff-fest along this walk.

    1. Dogs allowed – this is National Trust land not a park – they are even getting better at their house and garden sites, providing places to leave your dog whilst you visit the property and those with parkland encourage dog walkers (as long as they pick up after them). Makes good sense as so many people In the UK own a dog. Oh, and you do know I look up names of plants? Books, Google – I know a fair few, but I don’t know an awful lot more… 😀

      1. But you know how to look up plants: googling “the one I saw this afternoon” doesn’t seem to yield ID! If only dog owners picked up, dogs would be more welcome in many places.

        1. You have no idea how close your search is to mine!! I can spend hours tracking down a flower – in fact I was dead chuffed the other day when I found one I’d seen in NZ but no-one knew what it was. Pure luck though as it wasn’t the one I was looking for!

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