Waves and walks: the raw, romantic allure of Cornwall’s Badlands

This stretch of shoreline, from St Agnes to St Ives, with its reminders of Poldark, is a dream for surfers and walkers – and this local novelist

Cornwall, more than any other place I know, is full of echoes of a past that retains its grip. Nowhere is this clearer than in commonly used place names that don’t appear on any maps but which have a stubborn hold in the collective memory, shorthand for lives and uses long gone.

Budgie Corner in Bodmin has been known by this title ever since a sign appeared there offering the birds for sale. The sign and the birds no longer there but the name persists. There hasn’t been a Timothy White’s dress shop on the corner of Market Jew Street in Penzance for decades but what was once the town’s red-light district is still known widely by the shop’s name, and even now it’s used as a light-hearted warning: “If you keep going that way, you’ll end up on Timothy White’s Corner.”

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