‘Oh, my goodness!’ She said, her mouth open in surprise. She was taking in the same rolling scroll of seascape from left to right that I’d seen not 20 minutes before, and I fully understood her awe.
Walking through the wide glass doors of the Polurrian’s central atrium and onto the warm paving slabs outside, it almost feels like you’ve walked to the end of a luxurious plank: teetering right over the vast, velvety ocean.I was staying at the newly revamped Polurrian Hotel to check out the coast path for some of my adventurous day hikes. I’m preparing to walk the Appalachian Trail this summer - 2180 miles through 14 states of the US, and I need as much coast path exposure as I can. I’ve been training hard, so the Polurrian felt like a perfect balance of outdoor exploration and luxurious relaxation.
From the moment you walk through the towering antique wooden doors into the stylish reception space, you know this is a place thick with history. The hotel was originally built as a hotel to serve the railway line and concurrent surge of Victorian city dwellers heading to the Cornish coast. I could see why they flocked here.
After an enthusiastic tour by the friendly receptionist and passing through snugs filled with emerald sofas and mustard drapes, I lounged happily in my room. As I gazed out of the floor-to-ceiling window across the bay, I wondered if I was taking in the same view as Churchill himself when he visited. I imagined how busy and purposeful the now-serene corridors would have been when peppered with the RAF Officers who repurposed the hotel during WW2. Now however, it’s a place for peace and contemplation; the only combat being with motivation to hit the coast path after a soporific feast from hotel’s locally-stocked kitchen, where the food comes out hot, fresh and tasty.
The walks from the hotel are spectacular and a stay here is well worth the visit to enjoy them. It’s the perfect place to fuel up before a hike or run and then relax afterwards. I decided to hit the trails and after walking down through the original terraced garden towards the sea, I veered onto the concealed coast path that embraces the edges of this entire county. I went emptyhanded, but the staff are well versed in supporting those who love the outdoors, and with a little notice can pack you a delicious lunch for your coastal adventure.
Whether to go left or right below the comforts of hotel is up to you, and it’s hard to go wrong on this stretch of natural beauty. I went left along the top of the cliff past homes with envy-inducing views and down toward peaceful Mullion Cove, which still houses a working fleet; landing shellfish after being built in the 1890’s. You can pause here or walk further along towards the most southerly point in the UK on The Lizard. Alternatively, if you veer right from the Polurrian you quickly arrive at a quiet cove where you can walk between incredible rocky outcrops but be careful of some path erosion on the way down. Further along this south-westerly trajectory you’ll come to beautiful Poldhu (where the first transatlantic wireless telegraphic signals were sent courtesy of Marconi) and on past fields where the preacher John Wesley once stood to speak to his flock. These well-kept paths are just as good for trail running as they are hiking, and the fresh sea air will mean that the Polurrian’s incredible beds will envelop you all the more readily on your return.
After working my appetite up outside, I returned to enjoy a local Polgoon prosecco whilst watching the spectacular sunset. If the weather had turned anti-social as it sometimes does, I would have still ventured outside, however for those who prefer things a little less wild the Polurrian has a beautiful health club with a 30m pool, gym and treatment room. More than enough to raise your endorphins, and then come and watch the rain hammer through the sun along the coast and make rainbows.
Happy, spent and relaxed beyond words, I lounged in the snug before dinner. Polurrian has thoughtfully created a number of spaces for people to sneak away and unwind; from pool tables to deep armchairs in quiet corners that pull you in with little chance of escape. After some time spent delving into my favourite magazines, I enjoyed a delicious dinner in the restaurant and then then retired to my room for the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. It would only seem like moment before the Cornish sun pushed through my window and I’d dive from the decks of the Polurrian into nature again.
FB: Appalachian Gail