As always some hardy souls decided to pretend it was summer and pitched their picnic tents on the beach.
Marazion is the village and beach opposite St Michael's Mount and a truly wonderful place to walk at any time of the year, but not when the tide is in as it was on Sunday afternoon.
I decided that for a change I would walk through the village. Although we go there a lot, like most people we tend to stay at the 'beach' end and consequently miss a lot of interesting places. I know there are walks you can do around the village but unfortunately I hadn't got a map with me. Even so, walking in winter you see a lot of things you don't notice in summer.
Here is the road into the village from the west. It is not sea in the distance but plastic covering the new crops. These fields used to be daffodil fields but these days most of them are used for growing brassica of some sort.
In the main square I was reminded that it was Valentine's Day: a table in the window of one of the hotels.
Marazion is an ancient town/village which received its charter in the Middle Ages. It had two markets a week and for a long time no-one was sure whether Mousehole (which was sacked by the Spanish Armada in the Elizabethan age), Marazion or Penzance would win as the largest town overlooking Mounts Bay. Penzance won but Marazion continued to attract dignitaries and visitors, not least because of St Michael's Mount. Turner painted the Mount from Marazion, Queen Victoria and other monarchs visited and the town has had its share of wrecks. There are a number of plaques around the village of which this is one of the more recent.
There are still a lot of picturesque old buildings. This one has been an art gallery for as long as I can remember.
And this is its next door neighbour.
Ignore the wheelie bins outside these cottages and you can get a flavour of what the village was like a hundred years ago. From the pitch of the roofs I think these buildings were probably thatched.
Although a by-pass was built at least twenty years ago, I couldn't get over the amount of traffic going through the centre. As you can see, the pavements are extremely narrow and some of the streets are very steep. At the eastern end of the village there are two toll houses as Marazion was originally on the turnpike road between Penzance and Helston.
Near this toll house is a studio in a building that must have been stables for the coach horses as it has one of those huge double gates into a yard. I couldn't photograph the gates because there was nowhere to stand on the other side of the road but I couldn't resist photographing the end window because of the interesting lines created by the things stacked inside.
Shortly after this, the view of the Mount reappeared. I realised this is the place where all the postcards are taken as it is a beautiful view of the Mount and Mounts Bay looking across to Mousehole in the morning light. In the afternoon it was much more difficult but worth a try.
I turned back and walked back along a top road above the main road. When I got back to the car park I was reminded how quiet things are at this time of year. This is the lifeguards' hut:
and this the end wall of the ice cream kiosk, both very closed at this time of the year.
Once half-term is over everything will close down again until the Easter holidays but I am looking forward to going to Tregwainton Gardens www.nationaltrust.org.uk which opened at the weekend. This is so we can see the camelias but if the ones in my garden are anything to go by, the cold winter means they are late so I am leaving my first visit until next week.