We’ve been a bit busy recently but after several days of dreary, rainy weather, a little bit of blue sky encouraged us to venture out today. Mr RR suggested walking backwards around The Lizard! On noticing my incredibly dubious expression and hearing my cry of dismay…..after all I’m not very good at staying upright walking forwards, heaven knows what the outcome would be if I walked backwards…..he hastens to clarify. Instead of starting from Lizard Point and walking towards Church Cove as we usually do, we should go the other way and walk from Church Cove back towards The Lizard. Continue reading →
It was foggy today, very foggy. A new walk for us, from Predannack which is just along from Mullion Cove on the Lizard, to Kynance and back across the heathland. An excellent walk, taken from a website called iWalkCornwall (http://www.iwalkcornwall.co.uk). Easy to follow instructions – though probably even easier if we could see where we were heading through the mist! Continue reading →
Today it’s raining! Never mind, we’ve had a good tramp around The Lizard with our waterproofs on.
It feels like a long way because its so uppy and downy (yes, those are real words), and then you find you’ve only done 5 miles which is a bit of a let down. Still, every little helps.
Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)
Achieved so far: 213 miles (Target 200)
Achieved this week: 12.3 miles
The Lizard circular via Church Cove, Lizard Point and Old Lizard Head (5.3 miles)
Today we are followed all around the most southerly part of the Lizard Peninsula by the haunting sound of the Lizard Lighthouse foghorn, bellowing out it’s sonorous warning every 30 seconds. We plan to walk around the headland starting at Lizard village; it’s raining and foggy and it feels like winter all over again.
Leaving the village, strangely silent and dreary in the fog, we head for Church Cove with its charming thatched cottages and pretty gardens, and then turn right to climb up the steep hill and along the coast path towards Kilcobben Cove and the Lizard Lifeboat Station. A look behind us and across the cliffs, reveals the path to Cadgwith that we walked last week. Ahead, the grassy cliff tops and rugged coastline are hazy in the fog, although for a very brief while the foghorn stops and we wonder if the skies are clearing.
The Lizard Lifeboat Station sits 140 feet down at the bottom of the cliff in Kilcobben Cove. When the boat needs to be launched the crew must run down more than 200 steep steps from the car park and visitor centre at the top to the boathouse itself.
As we reach the top of the hill and walk past the Lifeboat Station a group of seven or eight cormorants fly across the water in tight formation – a ‘swim’ of cormorants. As we walk on we see many more, some huddled on rocks and others flying solo around the cliffs. We soon reach Bass Point, the site of the Coastguard Station with the Lloyds Signal Station sitting behind it. The signal station was opened in 1872 and sent and received messages by flag, to and from ships passing the point. It was of limited use on days like today however, and when another company set up its own station next door there was, predictably, lots of confusion for shipping. Common sense eventually prevailed and the offices were amalgamated in 1875. By 1877 more than 1000 ships a month were using the services of the signal station. The building is now owned by the National Trust and privately leased as residential accommodation.
The foghorn continues as we make our way down over the cliffs at Housel Bay and back up the other side, towards the lighthouse itself, which is signalling its warning by a flashing white light every 3 seconds. The Lizard Lighthouse is the most southerly on land in Britain and has a checkered history, originally established in 1619 amid much official opposition, as it was thought that it would guide enemies and pirates to land. Sir John Killigrew eventually erected the lighthouse at his own expense but the cost of maintaining it nearly bankrupted him.
Passing the lighthouse we make our way down over the hill, past some National Trust workers precariously perched on the cliff edge mending fences, and into Polpeor Cafe for a cup of tea. The views from the cafe are fantastic and even though its foggy we can see the gulls and cormorants perched on the rocks in the sea. As we watch, a small trawler makes its way between the rocks, rising on the choppy waves and then crashing down until it seems as if it may disappear underwater at any minute. The whole cafe is mesmerised as we watch its progress until, having safely navigated the point it disappears from view.
Onward for us across Lizard Point and the climb upwards towards Kynance Cove. As we make our way up the steps and across the cliffs we keep an eye out for the pair of ravens that we saw last time I was walking this way with Ms B. They’re not around today however. Instead, we’re excited to see…..a pair of choughs! Pecking around in the grass just ahead of us, with their long red downcurved bills and their purply black plumage, they stay long enough for us to take a good look with the binoculars before sensing our presence and taking flight down over the cliffs. I am well-chuffed (haha!!).
The excitement keeps us going on up the hill and across the marshy grass at Caerthillian Cove. Here we turn inland and cross a couple of stiles and a field before climbing on to the drystone wall which supports the track back into Lizard Village, accompanied all the way by the bellowing foghorn.
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major:
Hope you’re all having a good evening whatever you’re up to. Here are the latest ramblings from a great day out with Ms B.
Thanks for reading
P.S. At the end of the post are some pictures of pen and ink drawings by Mr RR – have a look, they’re lovely!
Target – 1000 miles in one year. Weekly goal – 20 miles
Total achieved so far – 132 miles (target 140)
Achieved this week – 4.1 miles
Kynance Cove circular via Old Lizard Head and Lizard Village (4.1 miles)
Well, what a treat I had today! I was joined on my first walk of the week by my very good friend Ms B, who kindly collected me from home and drove us both to our starting point. It’s good to walk and talk with a friend and today, having discovered that my previously ‘good’ shoulder is now not so good, proving that I am indeed ‘rickety’, a walk and a talk followed by a wholesome lunch – and a little chocolate – was just what I needed.
The earlier downpours had abated and we set off towards the Lizard, in bright sunshine with just a few fluffy clouds overhead. Standing and looking out over the choppy waves we could see Kynance Cove with its dramatic rocky islands to our right.
The heathland behind us is a conservation site and is managed by several organizations including the National Trust, Natural England and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. It has many national and international designations, which help protect it, as it is host to a range of rare plant and invertebrate species.
As we walk along the cliff path we hear the raucous sound of a pair of rooks having a lively conversation perched atop a drystone wall. They are enormous, these birds, with deadly looking bills – as we watch they seem to have reached agreement about which direction to take, and fly off towards Kynance Cove.
Walking on we scramble down over the hill and up the other side before passing through the electric fence enclosing the grazing ponies. Here every year, this herd of pretty Shetlands, are brought in to help conserve the heathland; they are gentle and quiet, though I’m not convinced about their proximity, being as I am, wary of large four-legged creatures. Ms B, however, does not worry about such things and approaches slowly for a chat:
Ahead of us, silhouetted against the skyline is Old Lizard Head, with his nose pointing to the sky as if checking the weather.
And indeed, as we walk towards him, the rain starts to fall, although it doesn’t last long.
We go down over the hill towards Lizard Point – no choughs to be seen – and I point out that sign, remember the one that made me smile before? The way down to the beach is steep – if you climb down, you may not be able to get your dog back up the ladder!
Back up the other side and from here we can look down on the old lifeboat station, now disused, but stationed here for over 100 years until the mid 1900s when it was moved around the coast to Kilcobben Cove. We carry on past the lighthouse with its spooky foghorns, silent today as the horizon is clear, but I’ve walked underneath these monsters in the fog – and they are loud!
Carrying on along the coast path we scour the bay for seals, but they’ve moved elsewhere today and all we see down on the rocks are gulls. Down over the steep path to Housel Bay, a little inlet, but with the wind now whipping up ferocious waves its not a place to linger – except to watch a wagtail hopping about the rocks between the waves before fleeing the sea to take shelter further along the coast.
Here we decide that it’s lunchtime and head inland, following a tumbling stream uphill to the road, and then walking through Lizard Village in a quest for lunch at my favourite café – sadly it’s not to be! Still closed for a winter break. So we move on across the green to the high path along the hedgerow, giving us views of the whole walk that we’ve completed so far from Kynance Cove to Lizard Village. The wind is getting up now and its bitingly cold up on this high wall but a couple of stiles and muddy fields and we’re back at the car and heading off to Mullion Meadows for lunch.
Illustrations may be for sale – please contact the artist if you are interested in finding out more – firstname.lastname@example.org