Even in Cornwall the days begin to draw in. Log fires throw shadows across the walls of country pubs, and there's a hint of mist in early morning. But the fish still bite for the anglers, the putts still drop for the golfers, the oyster catchers still stalk the billowing surf. And out on the coastal footpath, distant slopes are transformed from purple to gold.

Autumn is a time when Cornwall reverts to nature and to tradition. These shifting season is still acknowledged - as it has over the centuries - by the custom of 'crying the neck', and at parish churches throughout the land, feasts and harvest fairs punctuate the social and ecclesiastical calendar.

These village churches, crouching low to escape the Atlantic gales and many of them waymarks for seafarers, are a fascination in themselves. With the arrival of early Christianity magic sites such as St. Keyne's Well, south of Liskeard, blended primitive worship of water and moon, with dedication to powerful new influences.

Elsewhere, stone circles and quoits stand in stark testimony to even older, and pagan beliefs; and almost everywhere you can look, the unmistakable silhouette of an engine house or chimney stack calls to mind the pre-eminence of Cornish minerals and Cornish engineers in spearheading the Industrial Revolution.

Revolution of a different nature is reflected in castles and hill forts, among which Tintagel and Castle Dore, outside Fowey, will eternally be associated with King Arthur and the ill-starred Tristan and Iseult.

Originally a Benedictine priory, the castle on St. Michael's Mount met conflict straight on during the Civil War. Equally stoic was Pendennis Castle, originally built by Henry VIII. They share the same fierce 'Trelawny' spirit that has influenced so much of Cornwall's history.

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