The haunting beauty of Kynance Cove

turquoise seas blue skies - kynance coveKynance Cove truly does have a haunting beauty set below the undulating contours of enfolded green cliffs on the Lizard Peninsular.  This soft sandy world of mysterious plazas, punctuated by towering stacks of gleaming dark serpentine, is not to be missed when visiting Cornwall.

On a picture perfect October day this autumn we visited Kynance Cove, , when the clear blue skies showed the famously clear, turquoise blue sea there, at their very best.

A Kynance Cove adventure.


Looking down on an extraordinary coveAs soon as the Kynance cove came into sight I was instantly mesmerised by the haunting beauty and complete sense of “other worldliness” compared with to our granite enshrined West Cornwall Coast.

pale golden sands turquoise seas and dark serpentine rocks below

Explore the haunting beauty of Kynance Cove - black serpentine rocks and brilliantly blue seaThe geology is unique on the Lizard, but for now, I was drawn to the cliff with the camera – I suppose I could explain the sense of the immense scale of the site by comparing the green enfolding hills above the sand to the matchstick like figures below. We soon found some precipitous steps that steadily brought us to the Cove. Now the last time that we visited was probably in the 1980’s and the final scramble across the rocks to the beach I remembered has now been replaced by a flight of neat steps to the final level.

With a hop and skip, we were across the stream and off amongst the towering rock stack that opened and closed to real a myriad of smaller sandy expanses, all leading to fabulous turquoise seas. Far to the right we found the spot where we had picnicked so many years ago. Still beautiful and still perfect and the huge sea cave of burnish serpentine that opened to reveal glimpses of the sea beyond, was still enchanting and footprints in the sand told of other pilgrimages that day to explore the cool depths.

Standing at the tide line each wave drew further and further up the beach and so we turned to explore the next little world of sand along the beach and I made a small video to record the seas gentle lullaby, so soothing yet so lethal – signs warn against swimming at low tide as the currents circle the rocks and yet……. So tempting!


a cave view over the beach to the seaCircling anti clockwise, we moved on to the final stretch of sands in the warm sunshine admiring the Lizard jutting out into the sea and sheltering this extraordinary cove form the worst of the storms until the memory of the promise of tea and cakes in the café above came to the front of my memory!


Eating at Kynance Cove

cafe snack with view to the seaWell the Eco friendly Kynance Cove Café would be hard to beat! I watched them serving pasties the size of Dinner plates, fabulously bursting sandwiches and awesome cakes, whistle passed our table with impressive efficiency.

We ate outside squeezing ourselves on to the line of benches in amongst a cheerful throng of visitors but there is a neat beach house style tea room, for damper days. And it had to be chocolate of course after that perfect day – hot chocolate, chocolate cake – well Charles did send me to choose and I did toy with the idea taking him back a cream tea, until the lure of chocolate struck!

Walking back to the car park

Old cottages beside a bracken laced streamWe left the friendly hub-bub of the cafe goers and turned again towards the heath-land this time taking the gravel path beyond the loos, to follow the stream out on to the heath-land. This is a much easier path to walk (although less scenic) undulating still but with a gentler gradient and it must be stunning in August and September when the heather is in flower.

The unique geology

In a nut shell the Serpentine of the Lizard is part of the Earths mantle that has pushed up through the crust to cool and it reached the surface, far away on where is now an African sea bed. Gradually over the millennium with the shifting of the earths crust it came to rest here in Cornwall at the most southerly point of the British Isles

Kynance Cove is in complete contrast to the softly sculptured honeyed granite Porthcurno beach shielded by Land’ End or the breathtaking expanse of Godrevy and Gwinear Beach backed by immense sand dunes, within sight of St Ives.

To find Kynance Cove

beautiful blue sea encircled by serpentine

  • Kynance Cove is at the furthest reach of Mounts bay, just two miles north of the Lizard on the Western side of the Peninsular
  • Plan you visit for low tide to make the most of the idyllic expanses of sand.
  • Take the long road out across the Lizard peninsular and look for a turn on the right just before the Lizard village with a large National Trust sign.
  • The narrow approach lane should be treated with care not least because of the almost camouflaged speed bumps along the route. The lane culminates in a generous National Trust car park (£4 fee on the day we visited) with a helpful polite attendant, who gently advised us on the best place to find a vacant spot and the route to the cove.
  • N.B. In the summer this car park will fill very quickly though with the next nearest being The Lizard village two miles walk away.

Top tip

  • Do visit Kynance Cove at low tide or at least as the tide is retreating to make the most of the dramatic shoreline and sea caves.
  • if you are waiting of the tide to turn try  a visit to nearby Cadgwith – a pretty fishing cove of thatched cottages that look as though they may have been forgotten by time.

Other blogs exploring the Lizard



About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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