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Marazion

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General details:

This has to be one of my favourite locations! Marazion is at the E end of the wide, sweeping Mounts Bay, with Penzance at the Western end and St Michael's Mount at the E. Great sailing with bottlenose dolphins and seals, under the dominating presence of St Michael's Mount is what life is all about.

An excellent spot where conditions can vary tremendously - from flat water blasting to great, easy wave riding. When it's flat, it can be fairly benign for the less experienced.

There are 2 main launch spots near Marazion:

Longrock:

I've never sailed here - the tide comes onto the sea defences at HW and goes out an awful long way at LW. Long Rock is so named because of the very large, jagged rock directly offshore from the car park (which was free, last time I was there - perhaps that's the attraction - the car park, that is; NOT the rock!). The rock is exposed at all states of the tide (I think) & is a major hazard.

Old Station car park:

With parking for around 70-80 cars, café & toilets in situ, this is the best place to head for. Because the steps down the sea wall to the beach are a little narrow, I'd recommend rigging on the beach rather than trying to manhandle your assembled rig down the steps - there are a couple of posts strategically placed to perforate monofilm panels!

The beach is sand & shingle at the top, giving out to firm sand as the tide goes out.

car park car park charges low tide view

Waves tend to come into the bay on the back of prolonged S, W or SW winds. If there are waves, and the wind swings W, you can have yourself a great time both riding & jumping.

Best to avoid launching near HW, especially springs, as there can be a significant shorebreak.

Panorama over Marazion

Panorama of Marazion

Panorama over Longrock

Panorama over Longrock

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Directions to the right place:

From the A30, heading S towards Penzance: About 1m S of Crowlas you come to a roundabout just by Marazion. Then, to...

the Old Station car park:

Take the 2nd exit signposted to Marazion.

Follow this road for about 300m, then turn L at the T-junction, over the railway bridge then 50m later, turn R by the cafe into the car park.

Long Rock:

Take the 3rd exit.

Follow this road for about 300m. Go straight over the mini-roundabout. After another 200m or so, there's a slightly hidden road on the L which you want to take. Cross the level crossing, & turn R into the car park.

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How the winds work:

NW - cross-off. Good, but can be gusty.

W - cross-on. Perfect direction but can be gusty.

SW - good. Can be tricky getting off the beach when the tide's high.

S - Ditto.

SE - good. St Michael's Mount casts a huge wind shadow, so give it a good berth.

E - Cross-off. Gusty.

NE, N - Not really recommended. V gusty.

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Tidal conditions:

HW springs tend to occur between 17:30 - 18:30. HW neaps - around midday.

I noticed quite a strong eastbound current last time I sailed there (with strong W winds). Bad enough to bury your rig. If anyone has more info on currents, please let me know.

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Hazards:

Rocks! The closer you get to the Mount, the more there are. Try to get a look over the area at low tide. However, there's no need to get so close to the Mount anyway.

Shoredump at HW.

Carrying your assembled rig down to/back from the beach & impaling it on a post.

Kitesurfers.

The beach to the W of the Longrock car park is an all year round "dog-friendly" beach. Watch out - some dog owners don't clear up after their dogs.

The Cornishman published a story this week (Jun 2011) about a whitetip shark having been spotted in the sea near St Ives. Nothing like a bit of media frenzy!

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Facilities:

Old Station car park:

Large pay & display car park. They actually make it easy to pay by phone/credit card. Trailer owners beware - you have to pay for 2 parking slots, making it a pretty expensive day. See photo of parking charges (2011).

Toilets

Café

Aquatic wildlife - if you're lucky.

St Michael's Mount nearby.

Excellent & extremely popular pasty bakery & shop in Marazion (Philps - Market Place).

Pub - Station House

Long Rock:

Free parking. (Update - Aug 2004 (MF): Between 10th July & 12th Sept 2004, it costs £1 for an hour or so, £2 all day - if the attendant is present!).

Toilets about 300m E along shoreline.

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B&B's / campsites

There are loads of campsites & quite a number of B&B's around the area. I know the B&B's can get very busy in the summer & autumn so it might be worth checking booking beforehand.

Star Inn, Crowlas for B&B accommodation.

Tourist Information in Penzance (Tel: 01736 362207) should be able to provide more info.

For accommodation in & around Marazion you could also try iknow-cornwall.

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Pubs and eateries

The Star Inn, Crowlas, has it's own micro brewery and excellent range of real ales. On the main A30 just N of Marazion. They also have B&B-type accommodation.

I have to put in a mention for The White Hart in Ludgvan; just 5 mins away from Marazion (by car). Good beer, good food.

The Station House is right on the Old Station car park. I believe they do occasional, impromptu real ale mini-festivals.

Several other pubs & hotels in Marazion.

Loads of watering holes in Penzance.

There are pasty shops & fish & chips in Marazion. Also plentiful calorie-loading opportunities in Penzance.

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