Holywell Bay, Cornwall, UK

April 10, 2017


I never seem to have much luck when it comes to Holywell Bay... On my last visit I found a crack in my most used filter, fell knee-deep in a smelly marsh and was so short of time that I was mostly unsuccessful.


This evening, the journey from Padstow wasn't that bad, but the surrounding, small villages and speed limits have made it a bit of a pain in the past. When you start to approach Holywell Bay, it doesn't seem like much - you just see a huge, unattractive headland. However, when you park in the National Trust car park (free when I visited) and walk over to the beach (a surprisingly long walk), you can really appreciate the beauty of it the area!


From soft sand to tall, grassy dunes, this place is unbelievable. At first, you might not recognise it from the pictures that you've previously seen and you may think that something's missing - the iconic islands out to sea and the sun setting behind them... That's what I thought anyway, but then felt a bit stupid when I walked closer to the shoreline and around the corner of the cliffs on the left, where the picturesque scenes started to reveal themselves.


This evening, I arrived half an hour early so that I could explore the sand dunes. After a quick but challenging climb up, I found myself in the middle of a dry, African desert. Patterned from the wind, topped with beach grass and still surrounded by slopes that towered over me, I was in awe.


The last of the light was just touching the tip of the dunes, but I wasn't finding any photos. My best bet was to head for the shoreline and search for some interest there. That's when I focused in on the patterns in the sand, left by the receding sea. These patterns just kept getting better and better, and eventually turned into an incredibly impressive piece of art. Pools of left over water served as stellar subject matter, whilst the bright moon behind me made the experience very surreal and made the location otherworldly!



But, the sky was very hazy and I was loosing all hope of a good sunset. The colours were washed out and the sky looked to be overcast. The sun went down it was starting to get darker. That's when I noticed, to my right, some cloud was turning a slight shade of pink. It was only subtle at first, but then all of the other clouds and wind-swept haze turned red. Everything came together, and I stayed to photograph for ages!


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