Hiking the Lizard Peninsula

I’ve been planning to hike the Lizard coast path for some time and in April was joined by a couple of companions plus our dog Spud to tackle the 35ish miles from Porthleven to Helford passage. The path would take us around the coast of one of Cornwall’s most beautiful areas. 

We split the walk over 2 days, starting at Loe Bar just east of Porthleven, and ending at Bosveal, a couple miles east of Helford passage. What a spectacular couple of days it was, taking us along the towering cliffs of the western edge, around England’s most southerly point, and up through the lush woodland and sleepy villages along the Helford river. 

Setting off from the National Trust's Penrose and Loe bar to the rear as we walk towards Gunwalloe. Clear skies, slight breeze, just the weather we ordered!
As we started our walk we saw a couple of choughs (pronounced chuff). The chough's symbolism for Cornwall can be easily found for it features on the coat of arms, proudly sitting on top of the crest flanked by a tin miner and fisherman as a striking reminder of Cornwall’s proud traditions. I was extremely excited to see these guys, telling my companions how lucky we were to see them as they were so rare. Turned out that we saw a good dozen more during the first couple of hours!
Arriving at Dollar and Church cove we had a stop at St Winwaloe The Church of Storms. The picturesque medieval church at Gunwalloe sits low on the dunes overlooking a wide swath of sandy beach. It is the only church in Cornwall located on a beach, and is so names due to its weather battered spot. Well worth a look around and bustling with unique features, one of which is that the tower is separated from the body of the church.
After walking through Polruin, next stop was Mullion Cove, seen here from the northern approach.
Owned by the National Trust, Mullion Cove houses a sandy beach, a historic lifeboat station and a small working harbour. Originally built in the 1890s, the strong sea walls shelter the small fishing fleet from powerful westerly storms. Come winter its a great place to storm watch.
Just before reaching Kynanance Cove we stopped for a spot of lunch in this jaw dropingly gorgeous and secluded spot. Disturbed only by the sound of birds we munched on our sandwiches we watched a bob of half a dozen seals messing around on the white water near the rocks. Heavenly.
Obligatory photo of my companions at Kynance Cove. I was joined by my cousin Sam who was training to do 100km in 24 hours, and by my old friend Rob who bought a coffee at every opportunity en route.
By mid afternoon on day one we reached Lizard Point - England's most southerly point. This beautiful area is well worth a day trip. Highlights include the old lifeboat station, the lighthouse and views that'll live long in the memory.
Day one ended at the National Trust's 19th century Serpentine works near Poltesco. Serpentine is a rare rock type nationally, but common on the Lizard. Its dark colour and red and green veins struck a chord with Victorian fashion, and indeed the Queen Victoria herself was said to be a fan. The serpentine factory was established at Carleon Cove in the 1850s, initially using a large waterwheel to harness the power of the river, and later a steam engine.
Our day 2 route took us along the Lizard's eastern coast through lovely villages of Cadgwith and Coverack. The paths here were much quieter and felt more remote than the western side. At Dean Point near St Keverne we came across the abandoned jetty that used to serve a now disused granite quarry.
Tucked away somewhere near Lowland Point, one of the remotest parts of our walk, we hiked into this absolute beauty of a secluded beach. Not a footstep in sight!
Despite being just miles apart, compared to the steep and towering cliffs on the western edge, the eastern side of the Lizard is more lush green and more gently sloping. No less dramatic but starkly different. Here we are approaching Rosemullion Head which looks back into the Helford River.

Love hiking? Trewena holiday cottages near Falmouth are the perfect base for exploring Cornwall on foot. Just 10 minutes from the centre of Falmouth and some of Cornwall’s finest hikes, you can choose from ‘Little Avalon’ our 1850s labourers cottage, or ‘The Pigsty’ our converted barn. We also have some lovely hikes right from our doorstep!