Raynor Winn: My favourite places
Wanna go wild? Muddy tapped writer and long distance walker Raynor Winn for her favourite West Country places. Where shall we go first?
Raynor Winn and her husband, Moth, turned to the South West Coast Path to find a way through homelessness, and ultimately to find themselves – after the duel heartbreak of losing everything as Moth was diagnosed with a brain disease, for which there was neither cure nor treatment.
Raynor documented every step of the walk as a gift for Moth, which was subsequently published as her 2018 bestselling and award winning memoir, The Salt Path.
Fans of Raynor’s work will know that The Salt Path ended with a kind offer of somewhere to rest awhile in Polruan, just over the water from Fowey, and The Wild Silence, out today, picks up their story – in which the publishing of The Salt Path led to another offer – a farm in need of tending and re-wilding.
In The Wild Silence Raynor explores further the concept of home, of our connections between land and nature, examines her own childhood, how we come to terms with the death of our parents and continues her love song with Cornwall.
It seemed fitting to therefore ask Raynor to share some of her favourite places in Cornwall. Over to you, Raynor.
The highest point in Cornwall, Brown Willy is a rocky outcrop on Bodmin Moor – the point where the whole of the county stretches out beneath you, where rivers begin and the horizon is endless.
Not the uninspiring concrete building, but south of there, on the blocky granite cliffs at the very edge of the land – stand with your face in the wind, the land behind you and ahead only weather systems barrelling in from the Atlantic – take a deep breath of freedom.
West of Polperro, a small beach accessed from a National Trust car park and a footpath across the fields, where a turquoise sea laps into a hidden cove of rocks and rockpools.
Fat Apples Café, Porthallow
In Porthallow, just up the road from the half way marker for the South West Coast Path, Fat Apples is the perfect stop on your walk – an oasis of gorgeous food, hospitality and wild camping.
On the Pentire headland north of Polzeath, this wild headland of rock, short wind burnt grass and rabbits, the site of an iron age hill fort where the coast stretches out from east to west must surely be the real home of King Arthur and from its highest point the perfect spot to catch a late summer sunset.
Raynor and Moth continue work on their farm near Fowey. Raynor’s new book, The Wild Silence, is out now. We’ve a copy to give away in our Reader Treat here.