Total Solar Eclipse, Corisande Manor, 11 August 1999, in Newquay, Cornwall

We were due some 99 seconds of total eclipse at 11.11 am on 11 August 1999 here at Corisande.

The omens were not good, breakfast time was wet and cloudy, 10 am was worse.

However the temperature started to drop, and it was decidedly chilly by 10.30. The light dulled but not dramatically.

By 11.10 the sky was still cloudy, the temperature was still un-naturally cold, it was still overcast and grey, but no more than that.

Suddenly we heard cheering from the beach below, and the sun became barely visible through the clouds, with the disc of the near total eclipse clearly visible. The sand on the beach was light by a strange yellow, almost un-natural light

These photographs show the transition from cloud obscuring the sun, to full eclipse in a clear sky, to the eclipse starting to disappear. Some really good photos were taken by one of our guests, David Tomlinson, and he has them on if you would like to see what the experience was really like.


Then suddenly, as if miraculously, the sky cleared in a wide band round the sun, and the day did turn to night. Against a pitch black sky the whole effect of a total eclipse that one had read about was visible. The sun disappeared except for that band of light around its disc, everyone was stunned by the majesty of the spectacle

And around us large flocks of birds took to the air, squawking in terror.

Just as suddenly day returned 99 seconds later, the temperature started to rise, and it was all over.

Having experienced a total eclipse, I can vouch for it being truly awesome, and I can also see why seeing a partial eclipse is nothing. You only get the change from virtually total day to total night when you are in the narrow band of totality

Cornwall and Corisande has had its moving experience, now it is on with the rest of our lives

time line


You may have missed the eclipse at Corisande, but we are a great place to visit, even without an eclipse happening during you stay, click here for Corisande's front page

When visiting Cornwall the place to stay is Corisande Manor Hotel

Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall

Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall