Boscastle and a Pagan Place
The letter 'B', and I so want to live in Boscastle. Have done ever since I was lucky enough to be taken there by my wife for a holiday nearby. I was ill at the time with poor mental health, but the atmosphere of the place is like a natural remedy that calms and soothes the being.
It’s in the air.
A magickal place, special even in Cornwall.
Boscastle’s a small village and port, nestled down in a steep valley that follows the River Valance. It has places to eat, shops to wander and rock pools to explore. Great for lovers of folklore too. From the ghosts that haunt the harbour and its houses, to primal waters that flood down off the moors to devastating effect, and then of course there's the famous Museum of Witchcraft.
If you do ever go to Boscastle, visit the museum.
It’s brilliant. Truly fascinating.
But as beautiful and dreamy as Boscastle is, I’m going to leave the centre of the village and take you to one of Britain’s hidden places. A walk I was told of by a villager after asking about a labyrinth that's a regular sight on the souvenirs in the village. It’s a car ride away on the coast road (B3263) south toward Tintagel. Yes, of Arthurian legend.
What a part of the world.
Follow the road, and just beyond the hamlet of Trethevy is a long bend under dark trees. There on the left is a lay-by. It's here you need to pull over and park. The walk is opposite. Across the road, through a gate and down a steep driveway; a public footpath not noticed unless you’re looking for it.
The way quickly turns to a thin track through an ancient landscape. Moss covered trees and dark rocks watch, shadows move and the land is rugged as it follows a freshwater river down toward the coast. If ever the Fae are close it’s here. The veil is thin. Up and over rocks you climb until you come quite sudden to the ruins of an old mill.
Beautiful and haunting in its own right.
It is said this was lived in by two old sisters before being abandoned and falling into disrepair. Here, behind the thick stone of its rear walls you will find two ancient symbols carved into the granite cliff, and an overhanging tree of knotted spells and prayers. The carvings are of the labyrinth, the Walls of Troy, carved as long ago as two thousand years ago according to local lore and the heritage signs.
To place your hand on them is like having history and folklore flow into your veins.
An amazing feeling;
But still you can continue on. Follow the trail down alongside and across the river to where it falls in a series of waterfalls into the roar of the Atlantic waves that pound dark rock. Here the narrow, winding trail does meet the coast path. It’s busy with walkers, blissfully unaware of the ancient magick and history carved into the black rock a few minutes walk away.
A Pagan place;
It’s a slice of Ancient Britain to explore, feel and share. Promise me that if ever you’re down that way you will seek it out. I highly recommend it.
*** Next week, for the letter 'C', we'll go to London ***