The Lizard (place, not reptile)
During our week in Cornwall we made a day trip from the north coast to the south coast. I originally assumed Lands End would be something to see and tick off, being the most westerly point of the British mainland. But after a quick peruse of Lonely Planet I decided to go with the most southerly place: Lizard Point. Maybe it just sounded more interesting. I don’t mind lizards. Turns out it is derived from a Cornish name that has nothing to do with reptiles. Lizard Point is at the end of The Lizard, a peninsula in between the towns of Penzance and Falmouth. After the other stops en route it didn’t seem to take that long to get there whereupon money was thrust at a man from the National Trust so that we could park the car. We joined the path and went to find the end of it.
At the main terminus for people visiting Lizard Point there is a cafe, shop and visitor centre, not to mention fantastic views of the English Channel. It was a little weird to think that it was the English Channel with France yonder. Probably more due to my dodgy knowledge of geography than anything else. From here though you can walk further, down the hill (boat ramp) to Polpeor Cove. There is the old lifeboat station, used between 1914 and 1961, and a couple other old buildings. Interesting to have a nosey around.
I went back up to locate mum and dad and go to the cafe for a late lunch.
We returned back up the trail, intending to have a closer look at the lighthouse.
With that plan scuttled we left. It was the same road back as we took to get there but the k’s (whoops, miles) ticked over fairly quickly and before long we realised we’d (whoops, I’d) overshot the turnoff to an airbase viewing area that we’d noted earlier on. Cue rapid u-turn. As we pulled into the viewing area for the Culdrose Royal Navy Airbase, a helicopter flew in overhead to land. Cue rapid parking and exiting of vehicle.
Show over, I pointed the car north.
Update January 2015: Another feature of Lizard Point we missed was Polbrean House, built in 1868 by artist Thomas Hart and lived in by his family until 1921 before becoming a hotel and now a hostel. Several of the Hart children also became artists and one of them, Claude, built a small art studio away from the house since his father was using the studio inside the house. That studio was the small building in the 8th and 9th photos of this post. One of the family descendants, who helps maintain a website about the family art history, contacted me with this information which is great as I had no idea what the small building had been used for and am always fascinated by ‘then and now’ stories.