Atlantic Highway, Cornwall. Open your car door after a four hour drive and the Cornish sea air is almost intoxicating, fresh, crisp and reassuringly calming, this is a place I have a lifelong bond with, drawn back to over and over again. My family originates from these dramatic, ever changing shores, generations of folk honoured to live in this ancient and mesmerising land.
Sadly, some of us have moved inland to places without daily access to the coast, but the pull never goes away, it calls your very soul, this happened to me recently so I set off from the Midlands around 10pm and arrived in pitch darkness at 2am, uninterrupted skies with no light pollution to dull the night canvas, billions of glistening stars, reflections in the gently rolling waves and a cooling light breeze carrying the sound of the sea towards you.
Sunroof wide open, I slept in the car for a few hours and woke up to sunrise in one of my all time favourite places on earth - Welcombe Mouth. It’s not a destination for the faint hearted, the 2 mile 20% road leading to the cliff’s edge is just about wide enough for a car, rough, unsurfaced and potholed it will put most people off, but those in the know, locals, surfers and explorers, will persevere, and be rewarded richly at the end of the road.
This is my starting point, my gateway to the Atlantic Highway, a road that leads me to some of the most beautiful places in the world, a curvaceous, winding road that joins Devon to Cornwall, through the wilderness of the moors, picturesque villages and coastal towns, but it’s hidden coves and hamlets that lay just off its main vein that are the real jewels.
The entire journey enhanced by the visceral soundtrack of my old air cooled Porsche, I always describe it as an analogue experience, perfect engineering and generations of refinement, minimal electronic interference and a purity that is infectious, windows down, no need for music, and just for a moment, everything else fades away, life is right there.