Lands End, Cornwall to Penzance, Cornwall

Lands End Cornwall to Penzance Cornwall on Cornish coast path

Lands End to Penzance - 14 miles of moderately easy walking

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    You cannot go further west in England          The Longships Lighthouse off Land's End
miles 126 - 128
Past Land's end (the most westerly point in England) you naturally head east! The track along the top of the cliff is across rock strewn heather and grass - an a windy day it is very exposed, but the scenery is stunning.
You can look down on the ships boilers from the wreck of the City of Cardiff in Mill Bay, past an old mine shaft, then on round another cove, Pendower
miles 128 - 130
An interesting stretch, past an old coast guard lookout to Gwennap Head, with its collapsed cave. Down to the village of Porthgwarra, up and down to another sandy beach at Porthchapel. The church of St Levan , Norman with a fine Celtic cross in the churchyard, is 400 yards inland here.
Half a mile on from St Levan, the path reaches the Minack Theatre. This is an open air theatre, built in the 1930's by Rowena Cade. The auditorium faces the sea, and one watches plays in the summer months, with the sea and Logan's rock in the background
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  The steps to the theatre on the cliffs      The Minack Theatre           View from Minack to Logan Rock
miles 130 - 132
Soon after Minack the paths drops to the village of Porthcurno on the sea. This was the land point for the first cable between Britain and India in 1870.
On up to the cliff tops again, opposite the Minack. You soon pass a white pyramid which marks where the first Transatlantic cable came ashore in 1880 (interesting to note a cable to India came 10 years earlier)
A worthwhile short detour is onto the headland Treryn Dinas with its Iron Age fort and Logan's Rock (a 80 ton boulder that can be rocked by one person - the mechanics were better but a Victorian naval officer removed the rock, and was ordered to replace it by the Admiralty - he did, but it never rocked quite as well afterwards!)
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                       Porthcurno             Looking West
miles 132 - 134
Dropping down to the village of Penberth, where there are a number of cottages owned by the National Trust. Up and down to Le Scathe Cove and Porthguarnon.
Up once again and down to St Loy. Here you will see that you have "turned the corner" of Cornwall, the sheltered spots like St Loy  are sub-tropical.
Along the beach and up onto the cliffs to Boscawen Point
miles 134 - 136
The path then follows a track to Tater Du lighthouse, built in 1965, because of continuing shipwrecks along this stretch of coast. Just past the lighthouse you pass the house that the Cornish writer Derek Tangye lived in.
It is then along the cliff edge, dropping down to the artists village of Lamorna. The pub is known locally as the "Wink", as are a number of pubs along the Cornish coast. It goes back to the days when  these pubs were only licensed to sell ale, but a wink to the landlord would get you a glass of (smuggled) brandy
If you are in to archaeology you can detour inland for a mile to see the Merry Maidens Stone Circle and the Tregiffian Bronze Age grave
miles 136 - 138
The path from Lamorna climbs steeply up to Carn Du headland. Here again you turn a corner and start to get views over St Michael's Mount and on to the Lizard beyond.
From the headland there are two steep downs and ups before reaching the old coast guard lookout at Penzer Point From here you follow a road into Mousehole (pronounced as every schoolboy will tell you "mou-zil", the first syllable rhyming with "how") The path gives you fine views over the town and harbour
Mousehole has had a colourful history. It was sacked by the Spanish in 1595, was an important fishing port in the Middle Ages. Today it relies mainly on tourism for its income, but the houses still retain their rich character
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miles 138 - 140
To reach Newlyn, you can either detour slightly inland via the village of Paul - The churchyard at Paul  has the grave of Dolly Pentreath, said to have been the last native Cornish language speaker when she died in 1778.
Or continue along the coast, past the large Penlee Quarry, to reach the sea at Newlyn.
Newlyn is Cornwall's largest fishing port today, and really also a suburb of Penzance. Along the harbour are a number of shops selling fresh fish - fish does not come much fresher, nor much cheaper than this. Newlyn is also known for its artists colony
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There is lots of fish in Newlyn           Newlyn Harbour          Towards Penzance
Penzance is a busy little town today - 27 pubs, ferry or helicopter journeys to the Scilly Isles, terminus of the main line railway to London. It received its charter to hold markets in 1332, was plundered and burnt by the Spanish in 1595, was an official assaying town for tin from 1663, was unofficially heavily involved in smuggling in the 1700's. There are a lot of imposing Georgian houses, with the sidestreets having more character than the main streets which cater for the mass element of modern tourism
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Penzance Promenade Across Mount's Bay from the Promenade

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