I heard about St Nectan’s Glen a few months ago via a facebook message and had been meaning to visit ever since. The Glen has been in the local Cornish news recently as it is on the market and the worry is that whoever buys it may close it to the public. There is currently a campaign to try to raise enough money to buy it and keep it open to the public. On Sunday I finally got around to visiting and it was well worth the wait!
St. Nectan is reputed to have lived here in this ancient sacred site, around 500AD. His hermitage was located just above a beautiful 60 foot waterfall which bursts through an amazing circular hole in the rocks. Pilgrims have visited for centuries and legend has it that knights from King Arthurs Round Table were anointed here, before and after their search for the holy grail. It is hoped that it will remain a place a pilgrimage for centuries to come.
You approach the Glen via a mile long walk along the stunning river valley. Everywhere along the route visitors have built little piles of stones and rocks or tied ribbons in trees, which gives the valley a magical feel long before you reach the actual waterfall! The last 100 metres or so climb steeply up steps through the trees to the tea garden at the entrance. After paying a small entry fee you descend down steps to the river and at the bottom you enter a magical glade surrounded by high cliffs. Trees are covered in ribbons, messages written on small pieces of rock are lined up along the cliff and a few candles were alight in a small nook in the rocks. I felt a powerful spiritual feeling about the place – you could literally feel the history around you!
Back up in the tea room we heard stories about the ghosts that reside at the Hermitage and in the valley, and also learnt about “orbs” (spirits) which appear in photographs taken down in the glade. My sister was spooked to find that a photo we had taken contained lots of orbs! (see the main waterfall photo) Are they spirits or are they water droplets? Who knows, but I defy anyone who visits not to be moved by the place!