Dropped off just inland from Landkidden Cove I walk west on a narrow rocky path – the early morning sky is blue and it looks like it’s going to be a sunny day. I am heading for Cadgwith where I’m staying tonight, which means I can lighten my load for the afternoon walk. It amazes me that even when I carry just the bare essentials, it still ends up being a heavy rucksack.
After a few quite steep ascents and descents along the stony path it flattens out into a peaceful easy walk along the top of the cliffs. I walk past an information board welcoming me to the national nature reserve that is The Lizard. There are descriptions of all the different varieties of plants and flowers to be found in this area including one called Bastard Balm. I could do with some of that on my bedside table everytime I watch the 10 o’clock news, I think to myself.
In the distance I can see a long pebble beach which according to my map must be Kennack Sands.
There are a few people out walking dogs and around the corner is another beach with a cafe. Children are making sandcastles and there are signs of young love.
I wonder whether to stop for a cup of tea but decide against it as Cadgwith and my BnB is not far away.
The path now follows the road for a short while and then veers off left – I soon find myself walking through a beautiful wood where a wooden bench catches my eye.
In the same vein a beautiful curved bridge crosses the steam at the bottom of the valley. The posts are adorned with stone balls which may be serpentine stone, for which the Lizard is famous – you don’t find it anywhere else in the country.
Here is another example of Serpentine stone, polished by thousands of coast path walkers over the years.
Walking in to Cadgwith I am relieved to see that it has retained its authenticity as a Cornish fishing village. There are very few signs of empty summer lets or small shops selling Cornish trinkets. Instead there are fishing boats and a pub with a quiz night and live music. I get rid of most of the things in my rucksack and head out of the village, but not before stopping for a cup of tea and some very good homemade cake.
Here is another plant identification request – a bush/shrub with these perky orange flowers?
Just outside Cadgwith is a sign pointing to what is known as the Devil’s Frying Pan and when I get to it I am puzzled – I have no idea why.
Equally intriguing is the next sign ……………………………………..bless………………………..
So that’s why the path looks like this…………………………………………………………
I am now nearing Kilcobben Cove where I come across a lifeboat station tucked into the bottom of the cliff.
From the information boards I learn that the boathouse is 140 ft below the carpark at the top and that there are 200 steep steps for the crew of the lifeboat to run down before launching the boat down the steep slipway. I later meet a local who tells me that there is also a cage for the men to use to get to the bottom quicker. At the top the memorial stone tells of one tragic story.
I am now not far from Lizard Point, an all important milestone in my walk. In the distance, on Bass Point, I can see a look out station and on closer inspection a strange red wall which looks like something you might find in the conceptual art section of Tate Modern.
As I stand at the foot of the look out station reading the board and trying to fathom the role of this off beat structure a woman pokes her head out of the front window of the station and asks if I would like an explanation. She then proceeded to explain, but it all got a bit technical and I lost her half way through. Reading up on it later I discover that it was a navigation tool to pinpoint the position of a deadly rock called The Vrogue which is concealed 2 metres under the surface of the sea off Bass Point and on which many vessels have come to grief. The trick lay in lining it up with specific markings on a building behind the lookout station (the one with turrets) – this reading would then point to the position of the deadly rock. It no longer has this role and the position of a new house has put a stop to the practice.
Further on up the path, getting closer and closer to Lizard Point I walk past a stile on my right which makes my heart sink. Surely this is not legal?!
Fortunately I am not obliged to take this route so breathing normally again I make my way towards the Lizard lighthouse which means I am very close to my destination.
Below the lighthouse the ground rolls away quite dramatically down to the sea – I decide that this must be the time for a photo.
Officially, Lizard Point is just around the corner but it is a sorry sight in comparison and teeming with tourists.
I walk back up the lane to the actual village and pass a fanciful scarecrow on the way. Or maybe she’s not a scarecrow. With a name like Tasmin Trelawny she could be part of some ancient Cornish tradition to celebrate the beginning of spring or summer – who knows?
What I know is I am very happy to have reached the southernmost point of the UK and am now looking forward to reaching the westernmost – Land’s End.
Distance: 10 miles