Oh what a weekend! Another camping delight that saw us get round the corner (Land’s End) and past what I believe to be the furthest point (as the crow flies) from Exeter. The usual suspects walked for the weekend: JC and RS, covering 2.5 book walks in total, with a rewarding walk “around the corner” on day two – finally getting around Land’s End which is the end for a lot of walkers only doing the first couple of hundred miles…
- Start: Porth Nanven, Cornwall
- Finish: Porthcurno, Cornwall
- Mileage: 10 m
- Guide book timing: 5 hr
- Actual timing: 5 ish
- Grading: Moderate,
- Weather: 18 deg, sunshine,
- Walkers: me, RS, JC
- Miles to date: 262 m
We started the day in sunshine, leaving Porth Naven up a steep climb and then following the cliff edge towards Whitesand bay.
Gwynver Beach was one of my favourite sections so far, a stunning stretch of white sand in a blissful turquoise cove. A feast for the eyes, with Land’s End around the next corner. This is truly one to go back to on my return lap.
To get to it involves a rocky scramble preceeded by a narrow footpath, where we saw our first chough too. Photos don’t do the chough justice, and I couldn’t quite capture the footpath as all hands and feet were needed for some tricky boulder negotiation.
Beyond here, we entered Sennon Cove, another place I would like to revisit. We paused for lunch on the headland of Pedn-men-du, with Lands End in its view. And joined quite a busy, grassy section of path as people were making their way towards the “end of England”.
Once you reach Land’s End, you might be surprised to see frankly not very much there… Approaching it from the South West Coast Path is by far the best way to do so, because driving to the end of the A30, to a turning circle and a hotel where you can get an iconic photo taken for a tenner, might (in my humble opinion) not really seem worth it. However, approaching it from the north side of Cornwall and leaving it over the clifftops to its east, and as a bonus on a sunny day, you really do get a sense of the end of the land. That said, I have now rounded so many iconic headlands, I would say, this one is far less impressive. Cape Cornwall, to the north is far more spectacular – and one that you can actually go to the “end” of. Land’s end is actually viewed from afar!
Here you go, some info about what you can find!
Beyond this, we continued another 5 miles towards Porthcurno. It took a few more hours, spent mostly up high on the clifftops: a stunning colour palette again of green grass, turquoise water, bright blue sky and various heather adding warmth to the greenery.
We were met at St Levan carpark, just outside Porthcurno by JCs family, meeting us from Wadebridge and Exeter. Once we’d caught our breath, we drove in convoy back to St Just for a pint. The perfect and only way to finish a truly stunning two day walk!
Thank yous and mentions
- As always, these walks are not possible without RS and JC, whose company, cars, camping expertise and more are priceless.
- Parking – if you are walking the path, rather than visiting Porthcurno, or the Minack, then it’s worth driving a mile or so on from the theatre and parking at St Levan. It cost us £3 for the whole day, and if you’ve done any walking in Cornwall, you’ll know this is a bargain!
- The King’s Arms in St Just was our end point pint, as we had to return to Porth Nanven to collect a car. A quaint, cosy pub, where tall folk have to duck. I was taken by the maps of Cornwall on the walls, which I realised smugly I had walked a huge chunk of!
- Land’s End itself isn’t worth the day trip, but the two days of walking I did to get there and go beyond, totally are! To read about the previous day’s walk: SWCP # 27.5, 28 & 29 Zennor Head to Porthcurno – DAY 1
- Cape Cornwall, if you want to experience the “end” of something, is far more satisfying!
- Walking poles are good, but when you need both hands to scramble: a stick and a camera around your neck are rather cumbersome!
The charity bit
If you don’t know by now – then just go here.