Prussia Cove; The Smuggler's Den

Tuesday, September 11, 2018



It's Saturday in Cornwall, in the midst of the recent heatwave and after packing towels, swimmers, sandwiches and a flask of tea, my Mum and I hop in the car and drive the short distance to Prussia Cove. As we walk down the Cornish country path that leads to the cove the ocean glimmers enticingly in the distance.


We come out on the steps that lead down in to the cove and below us is a postcard perfect scene, complete with gentle shimmering waves and a white shingled beach. Prussia Cove is known for three things: smuggling, cabbages and swimming. The first of these, smuggling, is mostly down to a chap called John Carter, an 18th Century bad arse, notoriously known as the King of Prussia and responsible for smuggling enough booze to keep the Cornish folks partying hardy throughout those hard prohibition times, phew. The second of these, cabbages, I'm afraid I don't know too much about, but I've heard that the wild cabbages here are a botanical marvel. The last of these, swimming, I do know a little bit more about; on the right day this tiny cove is bleddy 'ansom for a dip.


If Prussia Cove doesn't quite do it for you, then only a short walk around the clifftop will bring you to Prussia's little sister: Pisky Cove. Each one has it's benefits and own beauty but if I had to pick between the two, Pisky would win by a slight margin, only because it's a longer walk from the car park and therefore quieter; other people's laziness is my gain.
Pisky Cove looking glorious
"This heat is unbearable," my Mum states once we step on to the pebbly beach, immediately getting her swimmers on and disappearing in to the water. I mean... I wouldn't exactly call this heat 'unbearable', it's 20 degrees, but by Cornish standards this is pretty much Costa-Del-Sol. Or Costa-Del-Cornwall as some of the locals have started calling it at the moment due to the unprecedented heatwave.


There is little to no sand here, but the pebble bottom means that the water is crystal clear and shimmers smugly in the bright sunshine; 'I am so pretty and sparkly' the water seems to be saying as I walk in to it for a dip.


There is plenty to explore and do in the water; huge shell encrusted rocks for swimming around, little sandy inlets and an abundance of fish swimming through the patches of seaweed that sprout from the seabed. Bring your snorkelling gear to properly explore.
When the tide is high there are also jumps here and you can coasteer around the headland and past Pisky Cove and beyond if that's more your cup of tea.



Annoyingly I have forgotten my googles so just satisfy myself with a swim. After I get out, I throw down a towel, eat my sarnies, then in true beach day style lie horizontal and join everybody else in a bit of good old fashioned sun worship.


Stats
Month: August
Temperature: 19 degrees
Bed: pebble and sand
Weed factor: 5/10
Atmosphere: quiet and calm
Good for: Swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding, jumping and diving.
Top tips: The walk from Perranuthno beach to Prussia Cove is one of my all time favourites and if the sea is calm there are plenty of rocky coves to stop in along the way for a swim.
Access: Park at the car park (beware limited spaces) at the top of the cove or alternatively park at Perranuthno or Praa Sands, where there is more parking, and walk along the clifftop. Prussia cove is also accessible by the local bus service: get off outside the Falmouth Packet and then a 20 minute walk to the cove.

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