Penzance - Land's End

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This is a long and linear walk and in its entirety is only suitable for experienced long-distance walkers. However, it is possible to do small sections with the aid of a bus timetable. There are two 'I give up' points: one at Lamorna (one-third of the way) and one at Porthcurno (two-thirds).

Leaving the Wherrytown area of Penzance, the walk passes through the busy fishing port of Newlyn, then follows the cycle route, with panoramic views across Mounts Bay to the Lizard. Reaching Mousehole, you are treated to a picture-postcard Cornish fishing village, still very much alive all year round.

The coastal path is picked up on high ground. From Penzer Point's disused lookout, the path weaves up and down through a nature reserve and into Lamorna Cove, where quarrying has left massive blocks of half-dressed stone. This spot provided the building blocks for London Bridge. Care has to be taken on leaving Lamorna, where the path is close to the cliffs. The path skirts low cliffs to the vantage point of Carn Barges before going past Tater-Du Lighthouse to Boscawen Point. You have an excellent view over St Loy's Cove, which is reached after a long descent, then a walk through coastal woodland.

Care needs to be taken traversing the boulders on the beach at St Loy's before the path proper begins again, climbing out of the cove, through more woodland and crossing the clifftops to totally unspoilt Porthguarnon Cove. This, the halfway point, is an ideal spot for a bit of contemplation and a sandwich. It is a long descent into the cove and the climb out is particularly strenuous. Then comes a short but high walk to the pretty fishing hamlet of Penberth Cove (National Trust). There is another demanding climb out of the cove, before fairly level walking past the prehistoric promontory fortress at Treen and on to Porthcurno.

Porthcurno is popular for its sandy beach, open-air theatre and telegraph museum. Another steep climb follows before you are on your way across a headland, then skirting the secluded beach at Porth Chapel before going 'up and over' to Porthgwarra, with its small cottages leading down to small beach, reached by a tunnel cut through rocks. After having climbed out of Porthgwarra, the final three miles to Land's End (now coming into view) can be taken across level heathland or by the path along the clifftops. The scenery of this area is less pretty, but more dramatic, particularily around Nanjizal, with its small beach and natural arch, evidence of mining, all overshadowed by Carn Les Boel, upon which can just be traced the remains of another prehistoric hill-fort. A bus can be taken at Land's End to return to Penzance.

A NEW CONTRIBUTOR FOR THIS WALK IS NEEDED. PLEASE CONTACT chris@walkingworld.com IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. THE NEW CONTRIBUTOR WILL NEED TO FOLLOW THE WALK AND CHECK FOR ANY UPDATES.

England - South West England - Cornwall - Coast

Features

Great Views, Sea, Toilets
21/05/2007 - Colin Ward

A gate has been erected across the track, outside the house, just past Tater-Du lighthouse. This is easily opened and closed. Also the grass cutters have not been out yet, so be prepared for a prolonged soaking in wet conditions, from brushing against wet vegetation. Finally, if relying on public transport, check the bus timetable on the day, as the services do change as we approach the summer season.

18/04/2006 - Sam Waters

Did this walk last weekend. Brilliant. Actually did Lands End to Penzance. It had rained the week before but was perfectly dry. A great contrasting walk where you come by great cliff views, awesome sea rock outcrops, varied wildlife, other walkers (busy at Lands End side)and then rolling fields and typical Cornish beauty. Key points of the walk are tea rooms, Minack Theatre, beautiful coves and beach spots, Mousehole, and of course both Lands End and Penzance. As described, this is an easy walk but its length means only those with reasonable fitness and mobility should tackle this. Doing sections of this walk is very possible. My choice for scenery would be the Lands End half of the walk. Getting busy there as well, but this does not dampen this excellent walk.

16/02/2001 - Colin Ward

I did this a couple of weeks ago, and it is now a complete constrast to summer walking, with no one around, and the mud making it a bit slippy in places. In addition there is the weather, which can be unpleasant, when a strong wind is up.

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