Thursday, 29 October 2009

Coastwalk , South West Coast Path

Porthleven → Lizard Lighthouse

lizard-signpost.jpg Distance: 14.9 miles
Ascent: 759 metres
Duration: 6 hours 1 minute

To the south
« Penzance | Coverack »

Today we have mostly been walking south: as far south as we'll ever go on this coastwalk. There's little to see or talk about at Lizard; it makes a great destination for a walk, but those arriving by car must be hugely disappointed. The village is one tat shop after another and the end of the road has... nothing.


Back to the start then. The harbour at Porthleven was bathed in sunlight this morning, a far cry from the previous two days' stormy weather. Once we turned the corner to walk above the sands, the weather for the rest of the day was clear: sea fog was rolling in over the clifftops, with the bright sunlight giving the day an eerie feel.

This walk is full of interesting sights. Above Loe Bar stands a monument identical in structure to one we saw yesterday on the other side of Porthleven. It was erected by the same councillor: Frank E. Strike. Who was he, and how many other monuments did he fund?


The most astonishing sight was the Church of the Storms a mile an a half south of Gunwalloe. It's been leaning against a rock right by the waves for seven hundred years now and on a day like today its warmth and peace is difficult to walk away from. The interior is stunningly beautiful, both in architecture and decoration. If you're ever nearby, don't miss it.

Above the next cove to the south at Poldhu stands a momument to commemorate the first wireless transatlantic communication, but before we reached it we were greeted by an elderly woman in a wheelchair outside a care centre. (How communication must have changed in her lifetime!) She told wonderfully flamboyant stories of her encounters with Errol Flynn, her eyes lighting up as she reminisced with total strangers. A few metres away the monument has become almost a place of pilgrimage for those interested in modern telecommunications and yet here was the more compelling interaction: face-to-face, human-to-human.

Notes for walkers following in our steps:
South of the Loe Bar, follow the footpath up to the cross, not the obvious track on the left.
As you approach the valley at Kynance Cove, the path keeps right and drops down steeply out of view rather than following the valley inland. This was very poorly signed.

Posted by pab at 17:49 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!