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My Favourite Places: Snapshot Shirley

Emma Wilson and Shirley (her converted Subaru Samba photo van) work all over Cornwall. Here are the places they love best.

I’ve been bumping into artist and photographer Emma Wilson, and Shirley – her converted Subaru Samba photo van at loads of events over the summer. The Falmouth Uni alumni works with vulnerable communities and noticed that her art therapy based makeshift video booths were not only non-threatening environments for her clients, they were popular and fun too. From that seed, Shirley the photobooth van was born.  She certainly gets around a bit! You’ll find Shirley rocking up at parties, weddings, schools, colleges the length and breadth of our county, so I think she’s ultra qualified to guide us to some special spots. Here are her five favourite places in Cornwall:


The novelty of living here hasn’t worn off. I walk my dog Zephyr twice a day along the coastline here and it never fails to take my breath away. I have a ridiculous amount of photos of the seascape as it just looks so different every day and so stunning no matter what the weather. The walk along to either Gwynver Beach (dog friendly all year) is a great little circular walk back through Sunny Corner Lane. Equally in the other direction the walk towards Lands End is, in my opinion, the only way to see Lands End, either via the coastal path or the more accessible cycle path. Sennen Farmers market on a Tuesday morning behind the school is absolutely bustling with people, fresh produce and crafts all year round. With a fab little friendly cafe down on the front (Little Bo’s) and now the Ben Tunnicliffe’s restaurant, with two pubs to choose from too. Sennen is a lovely place to live.

Newlyn Exchange Galleries


Whilst there are numerous commercial galleries around I thrive on being challenged by seeing new works from artists not just from Cornwall, but nationally and internationally. That’s why I’m so glad for both the Newlyn gallery and Exchange on my doorstep. Most of the year it’s free entry and with lovely cafes in both (Newlyn has a fab view), an interesting programme of out of gallery hours events, I’m a regular visitor to both.

Lelant to St Ives

Porth Kidney Sands is just breathtaking. Anyone who comes to visit me has to do the obligatory walk from Lelant to St Ives with the gorgeous return journey by train, it’s not to be missed. I did that ‘commute’ when I was privileged enough to have a studio at the stunning Porthmeor Studios for three months, Every single journey I had my nose (or camera) pressed to the window gawping at that scene.

Tremenheere Sculpture Garden


Credit: Emma Wilson

I visited this place as the boardwalks were being built and the planting was at the early stages over 12 years ago …. It is a labour of love and absolutely worth visiting. The James Turrel sky scape is a space of peace and ever changing amazing views, art, food and gardens …. Right on my doorstep.

Whitsand bay area/Rame – The forgotten corner

I’m a regular visitor to this little part of Cornwall since my sister lives here.

The whole area of Kingsand/Cawsand is just so lovely to walk around, quiet beaches, nice pubs, great coastal walks. Maker Heights is a very special place, amazing views, unusual barrack buildings, a hub of creativity with a great café, The Canteen, in a lovely converted Nissan hut.

The Cremyll ferry over to Plymouth is a must and the nearest train station to this lovely area, St Germans is obviously near to the gorgeous Port Eliot Estate – fab all year round not to mention the lovely Port Eliot festival that Shirley attended this year, snapping the festival go’ers’.

With fond memories of the chalets at Whitsand Bay (lovely café at the top too!) where my sister used to live and plenty of visits to Mt Edgecombe estate (Shirley was at a fab wedding there earlier this summer) I can’t recommend visiting this little area enough.

Snapshot Shirley

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My Favourite Places

1 comment on “My Favourite Places: Snapshot Shirley”

  • Sandi October 4, 2016

    I’d like to know more about the Newlyn Galleries – have you done a review yet?


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