The Lizard, Britain’s most southerly place

The one thing about these lockdowns imposed upon us is that they can damage and hurt people. Simple things such as staying overnight with your children is one of life’s simple things. I’ve not done that since September (two camping trips) with these two rascals. A combination of not having enough rooms for them to sleep in in my house, plus the fact that they could no longer stay at their grandparents meant I’d missed out on that simple pleasure. The fact that hotels refused to anyone that wasn’t a business person until this last week, added to my anger. As I said very damaging. Then the weather was doing its best to still stop me, week after week of very cold weather in April turned into heavy rain and strong winds in May. A planned camp this weekend with the boys was canned on Wednesday in favour of a Premier Inn (can’t beat an all you can eat breakfast). I wasn’t being stopped. With this being the first weekend after the tourniquet of restrictions were released, lots of places were fully booked and as my plan was to walk around The Lizard with the boys I figured I needed to be at least west of Bodmin. We got into the Truro one, which was good and about 45 minutes from The Lizard. The journey down was fine and we spent a good few hours watching telly and just lounging before sleeping well, my youngest not 6 inches from my side even in bed.

We woke, as the forecast said, to drying weather. With blue skies poking through as we ate as much breakfast as we could put away. To be fair we set off about an hour later than planned, but arrived at the large Kynance Cove car park to sunshine and a fair few cars. The sign saying that the gate would be closed at 6pm left me a bit concerned, as the long walk I had in mind may push us close to that. Not to worry we would see how we went and if needed could shorten the walk a bit. The walk itself was magnificent, the section from Kynance to Lizard is easy walking, rocky and perfect for what we needed. The views were great and my boys loved it. The whole weekend was perfect and these 6 miles could well be my favourite walk of the year this year. If not I’ve got one hell of a walk to look forward to, to beat this.

Start – Kynance Cove

Route – Lion Rock – Venton Hill Point – Lizard Point – The most southerly cafe – Lizard Lighthouse – Housel Bay – Wireless Station – Bass Point – Church Cove – Lizard – Kynance Cove

Distance – 6 miles    Start time – 11.45am    Time taken – 3hrs 30mins Highest Point – Lizard 73 metres

Weather – Blue skies and sunshine. Breezy

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
Premier Inn the night before, it had been 8 months, thanks to tiers, lockdowns and owning too small a house, since these two and I had stayed in the same place
We headed out of the car park a short distance to get a look down into Kynance Cove, one of the best beach spots in the country. We were actually walking the opposite direction but this view is worth a look
Gull Rock, Asparagus Island and The Bellows are the islands protecting Kynance Cove beach, there’s a pub down there which we didn’t go down to, mainly because I might not leave!! The Rill is the point at the back
Lion Rock and looking towards The Lizard Point and my youngest peers down to the sea. I loved the rocky outcrops along this coast, dark and black to contrast the white foamy seas and waves crashing against them
Pentreath Beach is below and Lizard Point in sight
Walking the easy path, it fell and rose gently along this section, making the walk very enjoyable
I’m sure most parents are clenching at this shot, my youngest taking a drink and watching the waves crash below. The Kynance Cove rocks in the distance
More rocks and waves
A stiff breeze was keeping the waves fairly active and meant the temperature never rose above 14 degrees, but it was perfect for walking in a t-shirt
Happy with his walk so far
Nearing The Lizard
Looking back along the coast we have walked, what a view. You can actually see Land End, or Gwennap Head to be exact from here beyond The Rill
Lizard Point with the lighthouse behind the boys, we are heading there next
Polpeor Cove with the old lifeboat station below the lighthouse, that section sticking out is the most southerly point
Cormorants on the rocks to the right with a seal in the centre. We saw at least 3 seals on this walk
Looking from above the old lifeboat station across Polpeor Cove
The most southerly cafe and time for an ice cream
This is the most southerly point, we had a walk beyond those people just so we were the most southerly people in the British mainland
Lizard lighthouse
Housel Bay
And looking back towards the lighthouse from the other side of Housel Bay
The wireless station at Bass Point. In 1900 Marconi came here to test out his theories about wireless radio transmission, he successfully received a signal from the Isle of Wight (180 miles away) to this hut to prove that it worked. He then moved a few miles around the Lizard to Mullion to undertake transmissions to America.
And here is his plaque. His technology was used widely at sea to help radio for help
Another signal station is just a short distance away, this one was built in the 1820s and was used to help signal passing ships and then telegram the responses to London. The bright white building was easy to see. Its now a self catering place I believe and the most southerly one!
This is the newer version of the previous signal station. The coastguard lookout at Bass Point
Black Head from Bass Point
The lifeboat station at Lizard Point was moved to this newer facility, this more protected easterly facing cove (Church Cove) probably helped to make the decision. Our decision was to now turn and head for the car, the original plan of heading to the Devils frying pan, which is a couple of miles further along the coast was dropped in favour of not rushing the walk.
Church Cove village
The fine Red Admiral landed right infront of me
The most southerly mainland football ground is here in Lizard. There is a small square in Lizard, used as a car park and has plenty of cafe’s, ice cream, trinket shops to satisfy those that need them.
Home to Lizard Argyle who have been here since 1910 they currently play in the Cornwall Combination League
Leaving Lizard village and we walk along this raised path back towards Kynance
Views out to sea and Lizard Point on the left
The road back to Kynance, although we soon chose the path which handrails the road
Just inland from the coast is a large area of very flat land, which on the map is home to a number of airfields, including RAF Culdrose
We reached the car and the National Trust car park at around 3.30pm, we could have extended the walk but had a 2 hour plus drive home so we were right to cut it shorter. 6 miles was plenty around this area were you shouldn’t rush but instead I enjoy the scenery and the hours I had with my sons. Even they said it was one of their favourite walks, I need say no more.

5 thoughts on “The Lizard, Britain’s most southerly place

  1. Absolute classic! One of the finest coastal walks in the UK and quite rightly one to take time over and enjoy. We used to head down there, pick up a couple of pasties to eat on the grassy slopes and then either head down to the beach (if the tide was out) or walk along the coast (or both). When the sun is out, Kynance is one of the best beaches in the UK, if a little busy. What a superb day out. Must have been great to spend some proper quality time with the boys.

    I hadn’t realized the lockdowns had restricted your time with them so badly. It’s a real sense of frustration to me how the effects of lockdown have affected people beyond the simple nature of the restrictions. The mental health impacts have been severe and too many people make too many glib comments about how “easy” it is just to stay at home/local etc. For most there is an awful lot more to it than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been a hard 8 months. I don’t mind admitting that I was a little emotional switching off the lights in the room knowing they were with me. My youngest was very clingy, and watching them order plates of food after plates of food for breakfast was a joy

      Like

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