Be­druthan Steps

Cornwall,

Countryfile Magazine - - Great Days Out - Ross Hod­dinott is one of the UK’s lead­ing wildlife and landscape pho­tog­ra­phers.

Cornwall is home to some of the most im­pres­sive coast­line found any­where in Europe. Rugged, wild and im­pos­ing, Be­druthan Steps in the country’s north is the jewel in the crown.

This craggy sec­tion of coast is easily ac­ces­si­ble from Newquay. Be­gin at the Na­tional Trust-run Carnewas car park where there is a cafe and toi­lets. From here, join the coast path and walk north.

STEP INTO THE PIC­TURE

Many of the cliffs around Be­druthan Steps ex­ceed 70m, gift­ing far-reach­ing and spec­tac­u­lar views along the Cor­nish coast. In stormy weather, mas­sive waves crash against large sea stacks that rise from the beach below. While at low water, a broad and invit­ing beach is re­vealed – dur­ing spring and sum­mer the sands can be ac­cessed by a steep stair­case.

This is a great place to walk and the per­fect en­vi­ron­ment to spot wildlife. Look for com­mon lizards bask­ing on walls and fence posts, while stonechats nest among the gorse, and kestrels and pere­grines pa­trol the sky. Be­druthan Steps is syn­ony­mous with spring flowers, mak­ing May one of the best times of year to visit the area. Thrift, one of the most dom­i­nant flowers, car­pets large swathes of the cliff tops. Nick­named sea pinks, these densely packed plants are hugely pho­to­genic.

A SHIFT OF LIGHT

When in bloom, sea pinks pro­vide a colour­ful and in­ter­est­ing fore­ground to wide-an­gle views of the coast. A fo­cal length in the re­gion of 16-35mm works well, al­low­ing you to cap­ture the flowers in con­text with the landscape that sur­rounds them. Crouch down among the clumps of thrift and fill your fore­ground with pink. Stay safe, though, and avoid getting too close to the edge of the cliff.

This is a lo­ca­tion best shot just be­fore sun­set, when warm light bathes the cliffs. Wan­der along the coast path and look for a good van­tage point – you don’t need to go far. En­joy the sound of the waves lap­ping against the rocks below and wait for the light to turn golden as it dips to­wards the hori­zon.

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