Whenever we visit Cornwall we always seem to fit in a walk over to Gweek from the farm where we stay near Helston. It’s such a beautiful walk with a mixture of country lanes and farmland
and it usually only takes us around 45 minutes to get there, which sometimes is just enough to stretch our legs and give the dogs a good walk. The other reason we tend to go is because Gweek has a boat yard which you can have a wander around and Jon loves boats!
This time I thought I’d look a little more into this sleepy little place which always seems so quiet with it’s one pub, a shop and post office, a village hall, a garage and also a Seal Sanctuary which is open to the public as it’s known as a local visitors attraction. I remember going to the Seal Sanctuary once quite a few years ago with Jon and my boys when they were young and I remember it being such a nice place to visit. You also get an insight to the marine rescue work they do there and as well as Seals, there are also Otters and Penguins which are such loveable characters, so I’d say it’s well worth a visit, especially if you have children.
Gweek is at the head of the Helford River and was an old port, in fact as it says in the Cornwall Guide it is thought there was a port here as early as 450BC when tin was traded with the Phoencians. Now I love history and I’d never heard of Phoencians so I went straight to Google. This civilisation were a part of the East Mediterranean coast, which now would be seen as : Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Spain and more. To think we were trading with far and wide countries so many years ago, travelling across seas. This opens up so many questions to me – what did these people look like? what did they wear? what were their boats like? what was life like in those times? What must Gweek have looked like in those times? Gweek was also a bustling port in the medieval times allowing all but the largest ships. Cornwall’s main industry was mining and so Gweek was busy up into the mid 1800’s with tin and copper being exported and coal and timber being imported. As the water trade started to decline and the waste from the mines started to work its way into the river, Gweek was to become the quieter more sedate village we see today, but you will still see plenty of boats along the river and in the boat yard.
…And of course we had to sample the local beer in the Black Swan before heading back, this time we tried the Skinners Cornish Knocker, Golden Ale. Another lovely day in Cornwall.