I cannot tell a lie, it was not Tennyson's rather gloomy poem that came to mind when I stood on the South West Coast Path and looked across the rocks and the sea into the distance to this - the lighthouse (yes, that one). Godrevy, off the coast of North Cornwall, is said to have inspired Virgina Woolf, although she chose to set To the Lighthouse in the Hebrides.
The only sort of break that I was thinking about was my own - an almost spur of the moment affair, travelling solo and on a very tight budget (which is far better than not travelling at all). I simply slipped across the county border from Devon into Cornwall, with the aim of visiting places new and others that are close to my heart. And I had the most excellent time, of which more anon.
But Godrevy captured my heart and mind; I could quite see why it had done the same for Virginia. It's a little off the beaten track but, if you are driving as I was, there's a National Trust car park and then it's just a short walk to the South West Coast Path - and all this natural beauty. Below me: rocks, crashing waves, seals splashing in a turquoise sea . . .
and there, across the water, cloud white in the sunshine - Godrevy Lighthouse. I spent, oh, who knows how long, just sitting on a flat stone at the highest point of the coast path and looking. With time out for the odd photo. It was the perfect spot in which to be absolutely still and in the moment; designed by nature for Buddhists.
Which made me wonder why so many of the people in the car park had set up their folding chairs and picnics in the car park, looking away from the sea towards . . . all the other cars. Why would you?