The raw power of the Atlantic meets the English Channel in this the most westerly point of the UK: – Land’s End in Cornwall.
Land’s End is so well known throughout the world, that is arguably the one destination that all of our visitors have plans to visit at one point in their stay in Cornwall.
These days the starkly beautiful, storm lashed peninsular of Land’s End is a “broad church”, marked on the ordnance survey map as having a Theme park. There the facilities and attractions are designed to appeal to the widest possible range of the public – right down to Shaun the Sheep this year for the very youngest!
Our B&B is strictly for grown ups though and so I suggest a slightly different approach to our guests when visiting Land’s End, to help make the most of the visit.
Visiting Land’s End
Park at Sennen Cove (which is also much less expensive than the Peninsular) and then take the coastal path along the cliffs to Land’s End to enjoy the full isolated beauty of the cliff top scenery while following a footpath that has been much improved over the years. This route is crossed by prehistoric field boundaries and bounded by Bronze Age burial Cairns and passes an Iron Age cliff castle and it gives a real unspoilt flavour of this national monument in an Area of outstanding Natural beauty. There is even a shipwreck to be seen along the way the remains of the RMS Mulheim who ran aground on the 22nd of March in 2003.
Walking to Land’s End
I found this entry on the South West Coastal path site to be the best one to follow with lots of extra info! http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/walksdb/28/
Shipwrecks and light houses
The treacherous rocks and reefs off of land’s End have led to countless ship wrecks over the centuries with one hundred and thirty recorded sites. The turbulent waters and sudden sea mist have led many ships to founder and it wasn’t until the erection of Longships lighthouse on the highest Longship islet of Carn Bras in 1795 that conditions improved. It was replaced in 1869 by a taller lighthouse using many of the materials from Wolf Rock light house http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk/history/shipwrec.php
The reefs have a fearsome history and names that are still familiar: – Wolf Rock; The Seven Stones reef; Kettles bottom and Shark’s fin
Today the waterway is well lit within the triangle of Wolf Rock lighthouse, Longships Light house and the Lizard Lighthouse
The lost land of Lyonesse
Finally as you stand at land’s End and look out to see towards the Scilly Isles remember the legends of the Lost Lands of Lyonesse – a mythical kingdom claimed by the sea. It is said that John Trevelyan survived because he had such a swift horse he was able to out gallop the incoming sea. To this day the Trevelyan arms features a leaping horse and it is said that the Trevelyan’s always kept a horse saddled in their stables overnight, in memory of the feat.
From Land’s End the road stretches passed ancient tin mines designated part of the World heritage site: – the famous Botallack mine, the Levant beam engine and Geevor mine and the road itself has been road voted one of the Nation’s favourite drives. For the next part of the tour we will explore the ancient character of Cornwall as the winding road passes through granite farmyards, framed by the high wild moors with a sweep of tiny green fields dropping down to the sea with boundaries unchanged from the bronze age.
You may have noticed that today’s photos are a departure from my usual snaps – I am indebted to Mike McNally Photography who took a scenic flight from Land’s End when they stayed with us and sent us this lovely disk of photos to show to you – pop along to Mike’s website for more photos.
To follow the Penwith Tour
The Penwith tour follows the sea around West Cornwall – to read other sections please click the boxes below
*Penwith is an ancient local name for this area was used for local government districts around Penzance whereas towards Helston we enter Cury and so on.