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St Nectans Glen: I Do Believe In Fairies

When I was a child I believed quite fervently in fairies and magic. Part of my strong belief was likely due to growing up in the countryside. Whenever I found anything in the garden or on walks that I didn't recognise or understand, I was certain fairies were the answer. Acorn caps were fairy bowls, skeleton leaves were the fabric fairies made their clothes from, and morning dew was the result of fairies watering the garden overnight. I even left them letters on my window sill, which my mum would write replies to in minuscule lettering on tiny scraps of paper. She'd even left little illustrations, and fairy gifts on birthday mornings so I always knew the fairies were thinking of me too.

I can't pinpoint the moment when I lost my childlike belief. My mum eventually confessed to being the author of my fairy letters, however this didn't extinguish my belief in them altogether; I simply began to consider them more shy and secretive than I once had. With age I of course became more skeptical and gave less thought to the matter. I've always wanted to believe, but sometimes as an adult it's difficult to maintain faith in such things.

Every once in a while you come across a place that rekindles your belief, even if just for a little while. St Nectans Glen took me right back to being a child. I truly believed that I might spot a fairy amongst the foliage, or skating across the water. It's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it's not hard to see why. It's considered by many a sacred place, and is adorned with ribbons, inscriptions and crystals. Everywhere you turn, rocks are piled in fairy stacks. Candles burn on the rocks, and people strip off their shoes and socks or borrow wellies to paddle through the river and see the stunning spot where a 60 foot waterfall cascades through a incredible naturally ocurring hole. 
The site is rife with legends of King Arthur and stories of ghostly sightings. When we visited it was fairly busy, with a number of photographers and families enjoying the area, however there was still an otherworldly quietness. Our main destination of the day had been Tintagel Castle, which was incredibly dramatic and interesting, but intensely busy and unexpectedly tiring. We decided to visit St Nectans Glen on the way back, and by comparison it was so peaceful. At Tintagel we'd read a lot about King Arthur and legends of the local area, however at St Nectans I could feel the connection in a way I couldn't previously. It was not only visually stunning, but very inspiring.

One thing that did take me by surprise, and that I would be inclined to mention to anyone debating a visit to St Nectans Glen, is that there is a considerable walk from the car park area to the waterfalls themselves. It was very much unexpected, however we didn't mind as it was a pleasant walk. We got to admire some beautiful country cottages and gardens, befriended a field of cows, and routinely stopped to take in the woodland you walk through before reaching the site. It's worth the trek, however with my blackouts and dizzy spells my family did start to worry a little. Thankfully we managed the walk to and from without incident.

St Nectans Glen was my personal highlight of our stay in Boscastle. I'd seen it on Pinterest, however it was so much more in person than it had been in pictures. I truly hope I get the opportunity to visit again soon.

1 comment

  1. It looks so beautiful there - I always love waterfalls and fairies make the most beautiful stories <3

    G is for Gingers xx