Day 305 Land’s End

Sunday 5 June 2016

St Just to Treen, near Porthcurno

13 miles

Treen Farm Campsite

looking out at The Brisons; a beautiful sea, even in the mist
It was a grey, still and humid day. My clothes hadn’t dried very well in the Youth Hostel’s drying room so I set off with my underwear hanging from my rucksack. The sea was different shades today without the sunlight and there was a mist that obscured my view of both Cape Cornwall and Land’s End. I couldn’t tell where the sea ended and the sky began. 

looking right to Cape Cornwall…
…looking left to Land’s End
I passed lots of coves again. Large, rounded stones and lots of seaweed prevented easy access to the sea in most coves but I did spy one guy snorkelling around the rocks. 

walking across Whitesand Beach
Whitesand Bay is the first big beach since St Ives and there were several surf schools drumming up business, although no surf. 

Sennen Cove and Whitesand Bay
Sennen Cove overlooks the Southern end of Whitesand Bay and I stopped here for a second breakfast. Eggs Florentine overlooking the Bay was a good Sunday brunch. 

the NT hut on Mayon Cliff
I had to climb up Mayon Cliff to get to Land’s End. I stopped at the National Trust hut and Irish Annie didn’t stop talking! She gave me lots of tips for pubs coming up, told me I should write a book and said there’s an escaped Pelican living wild, and fishing, in this area. 

Approaching Land’s End, Longships Lighthouse only faintly visible through the gloom
There was a small plaque acknowledging the long association of the Commandoes (from before they were Royal Marines) with the peculiar West Cornwall cliffs, particularly those around Sennen Cove. This is where many Commandoes learn to climb. 

I made it to Land’s End!
I reached Land’s End, British mainland’s most Southwesterly point. It was busy; although I didn’t see anyone who looked like they were just starting LEJOG. The Longships Lighthouse was only faintly visible offshore. I found someone to take my photo near-ish to the signpost (you have to pay to stand right next to it). I avoided the theme park and the animal farm and carried on around the headland. 

Nanjizal Cove
There were a couple of people taking a dip at Nanjizal, a place where I have swum before. The tide was out so there wasn’t much water in the tunnel at the side of the beach. There was a seal just beyond the seaweed, watching the humans in the water. As I walked along the sun was getting stronger and the sky bluer. 

Nanjizal at low tide
the sea was a beautiful blue where there was a sandy bottom
Around Gwennap Head I finally turned East and immediately dropped into the sheltered village of Porthgwarra. I stopped at the cafe for a cream tea and took the opportunity to admire the beautiful setting that was apparently used in the recent Poldark television series. 

Porthgwarra
In the 1800s this was a thriving fishing village, landing pilchards, mullet, crab and lobster. The fishermen carved “ullies” (tanks with wooden floors and lids) into the rock below high water so that fish could be kept fresh for market. 

the remains of “ullies”, built to keep the fishing catch fresh
There was a tunnel through the rock that had been hewn by local miners in the 1890s to enable easier access to the beach for fishermen and farmers (collecting seaweed to use as fertiliser). 

the tunnel from Porthgwarra beach
I passed St Levan’s beach, which had St Levan’s well at the top. 

St Levan’s Well
St Levan’s beach
There were lots of tourists and cars at the Minack Theatre, perched on the cliff just before Porthcurno. I had been before to see Othello and was too hot to stop and pay to look at the empty stage. Besides, I had spied a beach. 

Porthcurno beach (Pedn Vounder along to the right)
The sea lapping Porthcurno beach looked so beautifully clear. There seemed to be miles of sand under the water, no rocks or seaweed, so this made the water look lighter than I had been used to. It was very inviting and lots of people were in the sea. 

Porthcurno beach, the Minack Theatre just out of sight on the cliff
I pressed on to my campsite as it was only 10 minutes away. That way I could get my tent up, wash my sweaty clothes and then go for a well-earned dip. The campsite was lovely and I learned that there was another beach just below the cliff near Treen. Pedn Vounder beach was not accessible at high tide so I needed to hurry if I was going to swim there. 

it’s a long, steep descent to Pedn Vounder beach…but worth it!
What a place! It was a difficult 10 minute scramble down the steep cliff to get to the beach but it was definitely worth it. Lots of people were leaving as I was arriving because the tide was already covering the rocks at the bottom. However, some people were still there and, as I got closer, I realised most were naked…this was a nudist beach. Strangely, all the naked people seemed to be men (although I didn’t stare too closely). This was one time I wasn’t going naked!

Pedn Vounder beach and the cliffs around to Logan’s Rock
I don’t think I’ve ever been on such a beautiful beach in such glorious weather. I ran straight into the sea. It was such a cool relief and I could have wallowed there for hours, except that the tide was still coming in. I reluctantly climbed back up the cliff. 

Ruth and Graham, who I had met skiing in Italy, live in Treen. They had a friend staying but we still all met at the pub for dinner. It was a lovely evening to cap a wonderful day. 

beautiful rock formations

3 thoughts on “Day 305 Land’s End

  1. Chris Frazer June 9, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    Juice…you want to be careful showing that much material Tim Peeke will be using your Bridget’s as a reference point.!!! Lovely pics of a gorgeous part of the world…shame you now have to pay for everything…..?The sign , the Minnack were all free last time I visited…….take care on on…….oh yes not so brave now about skinny dipping!!!! And rightly so young lady!

    Like

  2. Spike June 10, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    Juice, you made me laugh about not going in without your cossie, you are a very respectable lady…………………………………..!!!!!!!!!! In fact you were the Queen during our non Eurovision night!!! x

    Like

    • Lucy June 16, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      I was put off by the naked strutting up and down the beach that was going on!

      Like

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