A Room With A View

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Tucked away behind the nineteenth century chimney at the summit of Cape Cornwall is a little white building with spectacular views across the ocean. It’s the National Coastwatch Lookout Station for Cape Cornwall and it’s a fascinating place.

The station’s open 365 days a year, whatever the weather and manned entirely by volunteers. There are 24 active watch keepers at Cape Cornwall looking out for anyone in danger around the local coast, for flares and sailors in distress. We met Jonathan Rothwell, the Station Master for the Lookout Station to find out a little more…

Around midday there’s a handover to the second watch keeper to share any points of interest and the watch continues. Visitors are welcome and there’s often wildlife to spot – a pair of seals are frequently sighted at high tide enjoying the waves, with the warmer months bringing basking sharks and huge sunfish closer to the shore. Gulls, puffins, choughs and kestrels soar through the skies. At the end of the day, the logs and reports are filed and the coastguard notified that the station has closed. And as for the most unusual sighting? ‘A difficult choice between the Dawn Treader ship from the Narnia films or the JS el Carno a distinctive four masted Spanish schooner!’

The station’s day starts just before 8am when the first watch comes on duty to open up and declare facility status to Falmouth coastguard station. After phoning through a weather report to BBC Cornwall, all the marine vessels that pass by are logged. The station’s equipped with radar, online GPS tracking equipment, radio and a pair of custom made binoculars with an impressive  25 times magnification power. The watch keeper keeps an eye on all the local marine traffic, from huge container vessels right down to small lobster fishing boats and kayakers. They communicate any significant sightings or concerns by phone with other lookout stations and Falmouth coastguard station should any rescues be needed.


An adventure around West Penwith

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Into Mousehole
Kitty and Laura from the online team headed on a little adventure to explore the wild West Penwith!

Kitty Mousehole

Lobster mousehole


Honesty box

Cape Cornwall 6

Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall 3

Cape Cornwall 4

Cape Cornwall 2

Man in the tub 2

Can you see why The Brisons sometimes get called ‘General de Gaulle in his Bath‘?


Mine stack

The Great British Beach Clean

posted on September 22nd, 2014 by Laura Ellis


The Marine Conservation Society has put together a campaign to help keep British beaches clean. Last Friday Seasalt headed to Swanpool Beach in Falmouth to take part in the ‘Great British Beach Clean’.

GBBC Facebook

We met with several members of the public who came to help, including possibly the youngest member of any beach clean yet!

Armed with gloves, bags and grabbers we scoured the beach picking up rubbish.

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to those who turned out to help, and a huge thanks to Swanpool Beach Café for supporting us and for the yummy hot chocolates!



The youngest member of our beach clean team



We were horrified at the amount of rubbish we found.


We marked down everything we collected









Some well deserved Hot Chocolates



Well done, team!

Learn to speak Kernowek (Cornish) in Kernow (Cornwall)

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Would you know what we mean if we said it’s time for our ‘crib’? Or maybe if we said that it’s ‘henting’ today? No? Well you obviously don’t speak Cornish!

Cornwall is one of the six Celtic territories and our language is one of the Brythonic group of languages to which the Welsh language also belongs.

Cornish place names can be very interesting and if you look at a map of Cornwall, you’ll see lots of similar names. ‘Pen’ for example appears at the beginning of many Cornish towns or village names. It means headland or the end of something… there’s Pendennis, Penryn, Penrose, Pentire and Penzance, to name just a few.

To get a better understanding of where you are in the county here’s a few of our favourite prefixes and places to visit in Kernow (Cornwall):


TRE means a homestead.
Trebetherick, Trelissick, Trematon Castle and many more Cornish places (this is the most used name)!
PERRAN derives from St Piran, the patron saint of tin miners and widely regarded as the national saint of Cornwall Perranporth, Perranarworthal, Perranzabuloe and Perranuthnoe.
POL means a pool. Polzeath, Polruan, Polkerris and Polperro.
PORTH meaning a bay, port or harbour. Perranporth, Porthtowan, Porthleven, Porth and Porthgwidden Beach
ROS means moor, heath or common Roseland, Roskear and Rosenannon Downs


The last known “Cornish-only” speaking person was Dolly Pentreath, of Paul near Moushole. She claimed to not have learnt English until she was in her 20s! She died in 1777, and according to legend, her last words were “Me ne vidn cewsel Sawznek!” – “I don’t want to speak English!” There is a monument dedicated to Dolly at Paul Church. Her death is often referred to as marking the death of Cornish as a community language but here in Kernow, we think it’s still very much alive!

By the way, ‘Crib’ is a mid-morning break for a snack and ‘Henting’ means it’s raining hard!

Down a Cornish Lane

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Our latest catalogue takes inspiration from Denys Val Baker’s book, Down a Cornish Lane.

Here we take a look down a few narrow byways and find out what might be at the end. After all, you never know what you might find when you go down a Cornish lane…!


lane to the sea and shadows


Introducing Patrick Semmens: Cornish Hedge Builder

posted on August 27th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

100_0228 copy

In the first of an occasional series about Cornish crafts and heritage we take a look at traditional Cornish Hedge Building.

Penwith has a distinctive and uniquely Cornish landscape with small fields and winding lanes edged with Cornish hedges. These hedges are so characteristic of Cornwall, it made us curious to find out more about this Cornish tradition. We met up with Patrick Semmens, a local hedge builder who’s built many miles of Cornish hedges over the past four decades and is a founder member of the Guild of Cornish Hedgers.

Patrick explained that a true Cornish hedge is made up of local stone, packed with earth or subsoil, there’s no other material required, other than practical skill. “The shape is distinctive with the hedge being as wide at its base as its eventual height. It should taper in from the base with an inward curve and the top is domed with consolidated soil and thick turf – this acts like a roof to the hedge, shedding rainfall and protecting it from water damage.”

There are over thirty thousand miles of hedges in Cornwall and some date back to the Bronze and Iron Ages. A well-built hedge can last for well over a century and usually reflects its environment using local stone. In Penwith this is granite and a hedge here has a completely different look to one in north Cornwall where the local stone is killas (Cornish for slate) which, unlike granite, has flattish sides.

Hedges that border fields are often gradually covered by grass and wild flowers, sometimes so much so that the stone is completely hidden and they become a real haven for wildlife. Around houses and villages hedges are usually maintained so that the characteristic stone pattern can be seen.

The Guild of Cornish Hedgers was set up to promote the building of quality Cornish hedges and thanks to Heritage Lottery funding they run an apprentice scheme to keep this ancient craft alive.

Have fun this August bank holiday in Cornwall!

posted on August 22nd, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski


Would you believe that it’s nearly the end of August already? We can’t either. If you’re lucky enough to have some time off this Bank Holiday weekend, but aren’t sure what to do, here are our recommendations for getting out and about to make the most of the last of the summer sunshine. There’s plenty to do in Cornwall!

Mullion Scarecrow Spectacular – Friday 22nd until Tuesday 26th August

Every year, the Cornish village of Mullion hosts its annual ‘Scarecrow Spectacular’ weekend. For 2014 the theme is ‘proper job’ and each scarecrow will represent a different trade or profession. You can enter a competition to see if you can guess all 68 of the scarecrow jobs correctly!

Jubilee Pool Food Festival, Penzance – Saturday 23rd August from 10am – 5pm

If you’re a fantastic foodie, pop along to the Jubilee Pool Food Festival in Penzance on Saturday.  Your entry ticket includes a draw to win a lovely Cornish hamper stuffed with goodies, and you can sample some amazing food from local producers as well as a barbeque and live music. All proceeds go to ‘Save our Lido’ fund, in order to restore the much loved pool which was destroyed by the floods earlier in the year.

Cornwall Folk Festival, Wadebridge – Friday 22nd – Monday 25th August

It’s a packed programme this year at the festival, with lots of different artists playing in many venues across Wadebridge. Get your dancing shoes on!

Newlyn Fish Festival – Monday 25th August

Newlyn’s annual celebration of fishing and seafood is back: there’s a fish kitchen with live demonstrations, harbour demonstrations as well as music and activities for the kids.

If you’d like a slightly more relaxed weekend:

Go for a walk on the South West coastal path

There are many miles to choose from – stroll leisurely around the Lizard, or take in the dramatic scenery of Cornwall’s north coast.

Go fruit picking

Blackberry picking season has just started, and once you’ve finished your foraging, why not give our apple and blackberry crumble recipe a go?

Our Favourite Cornish Views

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

St Michaels Mount

Here in Cornwall, we often come across some stunning views around the coast. Here are some of our favourites from West Penwith, the area which inspired the work of Denys Val Baker.

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Five Fun Facts About Cornish Gorse

posted on July 14th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Kissing is out of fashion when gorse is out of blossom


Gorse is a common site across Cornwall. It fills our countryside and coast paths with gorgeous colours of yellow and green, delighting folk and inspiring artists. This year, it has also inspired our designers and gorse yellow has become a staple colour for our newest collection.

In honour of this inspirational shrub we have put together five fun facts about Gorse for you:

  • It has a wonderful, coconut aroma – some individuals experience this more strongly than others!
  • It’s edible and has a fruity, pineapple taste! You can make a rather delectable pickle with the flowers, or even a wine. Our favourite way to eat them is to simply add the raw flowers to salad for taste and colour – watch for their hefty spikes when picking though.
  • “Kissing is out of fashion when gorse is out of blossom” is a traditional Cornish proverb. (We’re a passionate bunch down here, common gorse is permanently in bloom!)
  • Gorse seeds are produced in elongated pods that noisily burst open when ripe!
  • Gorse has had many uses over the centuries, including being used as fuel, grazing stock and thatching for houses!


Rinsey Head Walk: Gorse Wheal Prosper

Follow Seasalt Cornwall’s board Granite and Gorse on Pinterest.

The Seasalt guide to rockpooling in Cornwall!

posted on July 12th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

Seasalt guide to rockpooling in Cornwall

The summer holidays are nearly here, and it’s time to get out and about on the beach.  As well as the usual activities of building sandcastle, taking a sea swim and playing some beach tennis, Cornish beaches are great places to go rockpooling.

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