This heritage coast reaches 33 miles from just south of Penzance,
around Land's End, to the resort town of St. Ives on the Atlantic
coast of Cornwall.
sheltered south coast of the Penwith region gives it a mild climate
which is perfect for plant cultivation, and the Penzance area boasts
several nationally recognized gardens.
area is also rich in Cornish legend; the Giant Myen du was said
to live at Maen Castle near Land's End, and the faerie folk called
Coopers banged stones together to warn inhabitants of St. Ives that
rich shoals of fish were approaching. At Zennor a mermaid lured
the local squire's son to his death, and legend says that her alluring
song can still be heard if you listen carefully.
prehistoric monuments line the coast, including The Merry Maidens
Stone Circle and Tregiffian Bronze Age grave, near Lamorna, and
Carn Gluze at St. Just. Many more ancient sites can be found by
journeying inland a few miles, including Lanyon Quoit and Men an
Tol holed stone. Local legend has it that if you climb through the
hole at Men an Tol nine times against the setting sun, all your
injuries will be cured.
Just is well situated as a base for exploring the heritage coast
and Land's End Peninsula. Cape Cornwall, just a 10 minute walk to
the northwest of the town, is the only "cape" in all of
England. In the summer months there are guided walks around St.
Just focussing on natural history, early archaeology, and industrial
for signs of old shipwrecks along the coast; they, along with the
engine houses of long silent mines that dot the peninsula, are tangible
reminders of Cornwall's heritage. Near Land's End you can still
view the remains of the vessel, City of Cardiff.
the Minnack Open Air Theatre on the cliffs near Porthcurno you can
watch plays in what must surely be the most evocative setting for
theatre anywhere in Britain. A white pyramid on the cliffs just
past the theatre marks the spot where the first transatlantic cable
reached England in 1880. A short walk to nearby Treryn Dinas is
rewarded with views of an Iron Age fort.
The South West Coast Path
Easily the longest and, in places, the most arduous, of England's
National Trails. The path is actually the amalgamation of 4 paths;
the Somerset & North Devon, Cornwall, South Devon, and Dorset
Coastal paths. The route is quite popular, and it can be crowded
in the summer months, though there are always long stretches where
your only company will be a chorus of sea birds. More
Lizard Heritage Coast
The Heritage Coast stretches from Porthleven to Enys Head, just
past Lizard, the most southerly point of mainland England, and it
possesses the warmest climate in Britain. The Lizard Peninsula is
a place of gentle heath and coastal grassland, and takes in several
coastal nature trails as well as the long distance South West Coast
OS Landranger series #203
Coast: a guide to beaches & walks