It is a beautiful glen. It's also become very commecialised and leaflets are available in all the tourist information offices. What they don't tell you is that it is quite a steep and rough walk from the car park ( full, we had to park much further down the main road and walk back) and takes a good 20 minutes. Not a problem for me but we saw several groups set out for it and few seemed to actually get there.
They are also very coy about the entrance charge ( £4.50) which isn't spelt out until you have walked nearly all the way up!
It is apparently a tradition to build "fairy castles" with stones from the river bed. Some were simple piles of stones...
....whilst others were quite elaborate.
Not sure they add anything to the natural beauty of the glen but a good spate of rain will wash them away so no harm done.
So we paid our £4.50 to go into the waterfall. There is a little shop and cafe at the top. We declined the opportunity to buy "wish ribbons" - 50p for a thin one and £1 for a thick one. They were a couple of inches of brightly coloured polyester and I was starting to have a foreboding of what we might find....
The waterfall itself is quite magnificent.
and my fears were realised. Almost every tree near by was festooned in non biodegradable ribbon.
in every direction....
Not sure what this is all about either. Fortunately these seemed confined to a couple of stumps rather than rammed into living trees.
Somewhat disappointed with the state of the glen we climbed back up to look for the remains of "St Nectan's Hermitage". This is probably much later though than the time of the saint. We found it hidden under the shop building.
It's supposed to be a quiet place for meditation. I found the mish mash of "stuff" far too unsettling to want to spend more than a few minutes in there.
We left the glen (or the shrine to neo pagan tat that it has become) and headed down to St Ives.
However the glen did have the last laugh. On the way back home 3 days later, I consulted the gazetteer and decided to pay a visit to Rocky Valley.
This was lovely. We parked on the roadside and set off down a pretty stream in search of the two carved labyrinths that are reputed to be early Bronze age; later scholarship has them as probably more medieval.
There are two clearly carved in the rock face and unconfirmed rumours of a third which is badly worn and may indeed be earlier.
The trees nearby were also decorated with ribbons and some traditional cotton rags but nowhere near to the extent we'd seen at St Nectan's.
Following the stream down to the sea we spent a while just admiring the view
I know which part I prefer.