The wild untamed corner of Britain you should visit this spring

Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove, a tidal cove on the Lizard Peninsula Credit: getty

Partly cleaved from the rest of Cornwall三级成人视频 by the Helford River, the Lizard Peninsula sits at the remote south-westerly edge of mainland Britain. The Lizard’s two main roads fork towards the coast, and as the ancient oak forests and thick roadside hedgerows fall away, the landscape is left wild and exposed. Steep grassy cliffs yield to jagged green-black serpentine rock that juts into the Atlantic; sturdy harbour walls and picture-perfect natural coves protect the traditional fishing villages dotted along the coastline.

So, are there untold lizards basking in the sun? 

There are not. Although this wild corner of Cornwall is home to the same reptiles that can be found elsewhere in Britain – such as the Common and Sand lizards – it was not named for them. But, should you feel so inclined, you can look for them – if you're happy to spend hours of a sunny day combing the peninsula’s heathland, moorland, woodland and grassland. Nor does the peninsula’s unusual name derive from the local veined serpentine rock, which resembles reptilian skin. Instead, “Lizard” is most likely a corruption of the Cornish “Lys Ardh”, meaning “high court” or “high place”. 

Is the peninsula a good place to explore on foot?

三级成人视频Hiking in Britain doesn’t get much better than this. If you love a dramatic sea view, walk the three-day section of the ; Porthleven to Lizard Point (13.4 miles), Lizard Point to Coverack (10.4 miles) and Coverack to Helford (12.9 miles). Come prepared to tackle a series of gruelling high cliffs. Alternatively, shorter paths and bridleways – some of them with cream teas or pints of local beer en-route – are well signposted (the L1 and L2 bus routes criss-cross the peninsula).

(4.6 miles), is a popul circular route that begins in Mullion village and goes cross-country towards the coast and the harbour at Mullion Cove, where a charming checked-tablecloth café serves up crab sandwiches and cream teas. The path then follows Polurrian clifftop and dips down to sandy Poldhu Cove before turning inland to , the wooden hut where Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio wave to Newfoundland in Canada. 

三级成人视频For very different scenery in the north of the Lizard, take the (2.7 miles) through woodland and farmland above the millpond creek. At the trailhead in sleepy Helford, there’s a and a great .

Sleepy Helford Credit: istock

For coastal views, circle the southerly (4 miles). Walk through Caerthillian National Nature Reserve, which is carpeted in wildflowers in spring and summer and keep an eye out for one of the UK’s rarest birds, the red-legged, red-billed Chough. From the Coast Path, you can also spot grey seals, porpoises, dolphins and even basking sharks if you are lucky. A pasty from in Lizard Village will keep you going (get there early, as they sell out).

What about the beaches?

Lizard’s coves and beaches are exceptional – brooding on a grey day and dazzling in the sunshine. Kynance Cove on the west side of the Lizard is the peninsula’s poster child. Islands, stacks and arches in colourful serpentine rock are back dropped by a turquoise sea, and when the tide’s out there’s a perfect white sand beach. When the tide’s in, the coastal path is flooded and you must take the high road on the clifftop, which blazes with colour in late May and June. The surrounding rare coastal heathland is best in late summer, when pale pink spikes dot the carpet of green. Come for the views (in the off season, unless you’re a fan of crowds) and stay for a cup of tea in the café.

Eight miles north, a church has huddled on the wild dune-backed beach at since at least the thirteenth century. The “Church of Storms” is a fabulous thirty-minute coastal stroll from Poldhu Beach – and its surf school – and you won’t regret holding out for the nearby rustic National Trust café rather than the one in Poldhu car park.

三级成人视频Over on the peninsula’s east coast is Kennack Sands which is popular with surfers. This massive sandy bay is actually two beaches separated by a rocky outcrop called the Caerverracks. Spot the remains of defences from the Second World War at the eastern end of the beach, and take the kids rock pooling.

Walk to Lizard Point to see the Old Lifeboat Station Credit: getty

Is rock pooling all there is to keep the kids occupied?

Far from it. Visit the in Gweek to see seals being rehabilitated before they are returned to the wild. There’s a seal hospital for the most poorly pups, and designated areas for otters and sealions, too (check the website for feeding times). While you’re in Gweek, don’t miss the creekside .

三级成人视频Not far away is the quayside at , from where you can take a cruise or paddle a kayak on the Helford River and its creeks lined with gnarled oak trees. guide you past Cornish fishing boats bobbing gently on the tide to the lush green secluded waterway of Frenchman’s Creek. You’ll spot herons, cormorants and even kingfishers on the way, and kids will be fascinated by the mouldering shipwreck.

Kennack Sands is popular with surfers Credit: istock

三级成人视频Back on the coast, the squat, white twin towers of marks the most southerly point in Britain. You can climb to the top for stunning views (kids must be at least 1.1 metres tall), send a message using Morse Code, and learn stories of local wrecks, wreckers and lighthouse keepers. And if all else fails? ice cream is made on an organic dairy farm between St Keverne and Coverack. It’s home to Jersey cows and a whole bunch of other farmyard animals. There are trails to explore around the farm, its ponds, Withy Wood and a rewilded meadow.

And if I want to visit a quintessentially Cornish village?

Tiny Cadgwith on the east coast spills down a steep-sided valley to a pebble beach where fishing boats are winched up above the tideline. The rocky promontory of The Todden – a beautiful spot at sunset – separates this working harbour from Small Beach, which is better for swimming. Have a pint in Cadgwith Cove Inn and listen to sea shanties on a Friday night. Six miles north is Coverack, an old fishing port strung along a seawall. The historic lifeboat house is now a fish and chip shop with views of the harbour and jewel-blue sea – the sheltered waters here are popular for sailing and windsurfing.

I’m sold. Where should I stay?

Mullion Hotel and Spa三级成人视频 (from £99pn) overlooks the rugged west coast of the peninsula and has spacious, bright and comfy rooms. Built for the Great Western Railway that never arrived, this turn-of-the-nineteenth-century hotel is grand and friendly, all at the same time. Its offers seaweed- and sea salt-inspired treatments, and an outdoor ocean-facing pool and hot tub.

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