Why hide away from our winter storms if you can find a safe place to watch nature at its most majestic? We asked wild weather enthusiasts where they would go to get the most spectacular views.

Great British Life: The Lizard Peninsular looking particularly atmospheric. Image: Chris SimmonsThe Lizard Peninsular looking particularly atmospheric. Image: Chris Simmons

Chris Simmons, Seascape Photographer

‘Storm-watching is all about witnessing nature’s magnificent scale and beauty, and Cape Cornwall is my go-to location. Here, below the rugged cliffs of this exposed promontory, the shallow offshore reefs force the mighty Atlantic swell into ranks of monstrous waves. These roaring titans, the height of a two-storey house, charge in against a battering offshore wind and the tempestuous optics are breathtaking. From the comfort of my car, I can enjoy a flask of coffee and take in the spectacular vista. Then, when conditions are right, I can take a camera and safely get closer to the action from the headland track.’

Wyl Menmuir, Author, The Draw of the Sea

‘My top spot is St Agnes Head (although well back from the cliff edge), which I write about in my book. It is very close to home. I love watching when there is a particular swell with giant waves that bring out the big wave surfers because we have some of the best surfers in the country across that stretch of coastline. Watching the experts do their thing is just awe inspiring – I will sit and watch them for as long as they surf. I love observing their skill and daring, and it’s exciting to watch people using that storm energy and harnessing that power.’

Great British Life: Sue Aston enjoys watching the churning sea between St Michael's Mount. Image: GettySue Aston enjoys watching the churning sea between St Michael's Mount. Image: Getty

Sue Aston, Composer

‘My compositions are inspired by rough weather and the accompanying shifting colours and moods of Cornwall’s changing skies. The percussive rattle of the ropes against the mast of a ship is a prelude for a new piece of music. My favourite place when inclement weather looms is Perran Sands, a small, unspoilt beach in Perranuthnoe. There are various vantage points where I love to watch the vicious waves and churning sea as the storm builds: a bench at the top of the slipway, and along the coastal path overlooking St Michael’s Mount. Then it’s time to warm up in one of the cafes or at the pub!’

Jack Stein, Chef Director of Rick Stein Restaurants

‘My favourite place to watch storms is by the Round Hole in Trevone – walking between there and Butterhole Beach is a great stretch. There are some high cliffs and lots of little blow holes that shoot water into the air, including the Round Hole itself (though this is much larger and is part of a collapsed sea cave), which is pretty magical. As with all coastal walking, it’s important to stay away from the edges of the holes and cliffs for safety – but well worth the dramatic views on a blustery day!’

Sue Read, Artist

From the high cliffs of Penhalt, just south of Widemouth Bay, there is an epic panoramic side view of the storm seas rising up the bay and across the Atlantic. You can hear the 'sound of the sea', Mordros in Cornish. The large skies, dramatic clouds and light are stunning and give me so much inspiration for my paintings. I then retreat to our beach hut at Crooklets Beach in Bude to get a close-up view of the waves and sea hitting the coast. Depending on the timing, I walk the low tide line waiting for the surging sea.’

Rupert Cooper, Chef and Owner, Philleigh Way Cookery School

‘There are few places better to watch a storm than the first-floor bar at St Mawes Hotel. But if you’re looking for a more casual affair, enjoying a cup of tea, pasty and slice of cake in your car above the Roseland’s Carne Beach can be pretty spectacular when the weather rolls in. If you want to brave the elements, park at the National Trust at St Anthony's Head, take a short stroll down the path and sit on the bench looking out to sea. Simply stunning views!’

Tracey Boyne, Owner of Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School

‘I love to watch the storms from Penarrow Point, part of the coastal path along from Mylor Yacht Harbour heading towards Flushing. You can see the mouth of the estuary here, including Falmouth and the Roseland, so no matter which way the wind is blowing you can marvel at the huge waves – it’s very atmospheric. This is a safe place to watch storms, although it may be quite muddy. Depending on the direction of the winds and swell, the white water can be seen crashing up against either St Anthony's lighthouse or Pendennis Point – occasionally both!

Great British Life: Dr Sam Bleakley says Sennen Cove is an ideal spot for wave watching. Image: GettyDr Sam Bleakley says Sennen Cove is an ideal spot for wave watching. Image: Getty

Dr Sam Bleakley, Associate Lecturer at Falmouth University, Geographer and surf contest commentator

‘I live in Sennen Cove, an outstanding place to watch a storm. If you’re at the top grass car park you can look towards the Mayon headland and watch huge waves crashing up behind. Look west and you have an expanse of Atlantic – the next stop is Nova Scotia, Canada. If there is a strong westerly or south westerly wind the white water creates spray, almost like watching an avalanche. In smaller storms you can go down to the harbour car park and feel the ground shaking as the swell hits the harbour.’

Abigail Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

‘There is no better time to visit Porthtowan than in winter when the sea represents the essence of the place. It is a very wild exposed village with real community. You get a sense of being part of the sea – the beach is isolated, the summer crowds have disappeared, and you can reclaim it, watching as the storms unfold and it exposes its raw energy and power. It makes you stop, breathe, and contemplate life. You can safely watch a storm from the shelter of the dunes, while the Blue Bar offers a special place to witness a wild sea too.’

William Thomson, Oceanographer and Author, The Book of Tides

‘When we were sailing in Cornwall, we anchored in Falmouth Haven in 50 knot gusts. I loved being up in the café of the Maritime Museum because it has an amazing view over Falmouth, and I could keep an eye on the boat below. I watched all the boats swinging on their anchors as the big winds whipped through. The cafe is a beautiful space – you’re surrounded by the museum’s nautical history and shipwrecks, and you can almost feel the wind on the windows. It gives you a sense of the storm, but you’re safely sheltered.’