History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The village grew up around a shingle cove known as Porthcaswydh, from the Cornish for a thicket. Throughout the Middle Ages there were no permanent inhabitants; just a huddle of fish cellars used by local farmers. It was only in the 16th century that the village gained permanent residents, and the local farmers turned to fishing as a full-time occupation.
Cottages built of cob and stone grew up around the cove and the cliffs that lead down to it. There are 2 beaches; The Cove and Little Cove, separated by a rocky promontory called The Todden. A passage leads directly through the rock of The Todden and links the 2 beaches.
Cadgwith has a timeless feel, as if the passing years have somehow missed this tiny fishing village. This area of The Lizard has been heavily involved in fishing for centuries, originally for pilchard but now primarily for crabs. Local fishermen catch several tons of crabs each week, along with mackerel and mullet.
Even this industry has declined in recent years and Cadgwith relies heavily on tourism, with many of the picturesque cottages let as holiday homes.
There is a pub in the village - very popular as a stopever point for walkers on the South West Coast Path. If you take the trail towards The Lizard you come to a fascinating geological formation called The Devil's Frying Pan, a collapsed sea cave where the rocky bay seems to boil during stormy weather.
Cadgwith has, or rather had, a long history as a lifeboat station. The coastline of The Lizard is notoriously difficult, and local fishermen maintained a lifeboat as a service to ships in need. The lifeboat service began in 1867 and was ended in 1963 when the service was moved to a specially built station at nearby Kilcobben Cove.
Our family took a lovely clifftop walk between Cadgwith and CHurch Cove, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The scenery is typical Cornwall; that is, breathtaking! The walking is rather easy for most of the way, and you constantly pass old fishing huts and reminders of the area's maritime heritage.
The village can be extremely popular in the summer months, and very crowded on sunny weekends. There is a parking area at the top of the village, and you can stroll down to the harbour and enjoy one of Cornwall's most picturesque villages.
Address: Cadgwith, West Country, Cornwall, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location: On a minor road off the A3083 4 miles east of Mullion, on the east shore of the Lizard Peninsula
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Mullion, St Mellanus Church - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
Halliggye Fogou - 5.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Trebah Garden - 8.4 miles (Garden)
Glendurgan Gardens - 8.5 miles (Garden)
Poldark Mine - 10.6 miles (Family Attraction)
National Maritime Museum Cornwall - 12.4 miles (Museum)
Pendennis Castle - 12.4 miles (Castle)
Godolphin - 12.8 miles (Historic House)
Nearest Accommodation to Cadgwith:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')