Land’s End’s superb scenery and massive granite cliffs make it one of Britain’s most renowned sites. The only way to really appreciate it is on foot –ample justification for this stimulating coastal walk, which is complemented by a pleasant inland return.
Start either from Sennen Cove (Point 1) or Land’s End at Point 2 (free parking advertised for Cornish residents on proof of address).
1. From the far end of the Sennen Cove harbour car park (SW350263) take the coast path; climb the steps ahead of you and bear right to the old Coastguard lookout, then follow one of the cliff top paths – they diverge and merge again, and may be diverted to avoid erosion.
One of the first of several striking rock formations in the surf below is the Irish Lady, said to be named after an Irishwoman who lost her life here. A little further on, at the bottom of Castle Zawn, is the rusting carcass of RMS Mulheim. A grim reminder of the ever present dangers of Land’s End rocks to shipping, she ran aground in 2003 on a voyage to Lubeck from Cork.
2. After 1.5km (1 mile) you will arrive at the Land’s End, where you may wish to divert to visit the Landmark (theme park). This advertises attractions including a 4D family cinema show; Greeb Farm (children’s farm); an Air Sea Rescue motion theatre show and Arthur’s Quest interactive experience. Otherwise, continue past the front of the hotel and, by a choice of routes, walk on to Pordenack Point, from where there is a splendid view the Armed Knight, a massive arched rock.
Beyond are the Longships rocks. The 35m (116ft) high Longships Lighthouse stands on the highest, Carn Bras. In response to the terrible loss of ships around Land’s End, the first Longships Lighthouse was established in 1795. Although its lantern was 24m (79ft) above the waves, it was so often submerged by them that it was replaced by the present granite tower in 1875. Built by Trinity House Engineer Sir James Douglass, who designed twenty other lighthouses including the fourth Eddystone Lighthouse, its light has a range of fifteen nautical miles.
You will shortly come to the wide sweep of Nanjizal Bay. Follow the path around the bay. Take care, as it goes close to the cliff edge.
3. Just before reaching the beach, turn left at waymark (signed SW358237) and walk steeply uphill. As the route levels out, ignore a side turning to the left. Go through a kissing gate and across three fields by a well beaten path to a gate.
4. Take the track which skirts to the right of Trevilley. Turn right at a T junction and almost immediately left through a farmyard into a field. Keep the hedge on your right. Cross a stile 100m beyond the wayside cross, then go through a small gate and across the front of cottages. Turn left along the B3315 and follow it carefully.
5. On reaching the Land’s End access road (a.k.a. the A30) cross it and take the signed “Public Footpath” down the track. At Treve Moor House continue ahead on the path, cross a brook and keep right up the slope (heading north, if you have a compass). Follow a beaten path over several fields towards and across the frontage of a white-painted terrace in a standard solid Trinity House design. Join the lane and pass another terrace, then keep left downhill on a tarmac track. Take the lane that passes the entry-point of a dedicated cycle route. It soon curves to the left. The track meanders to a sharp right turn. Go through the gate on the apex of the turn onto Mayon Cliff, and head for the coastguard lookout. Take the right hand fork here to get back to the harbour.
- Distance: 8.3km (5 ¼ miles)
- Time: 2 ¾ hours
- Exertion: moderate
- Terrain Unfenced coastpath; footpaths and short road section. Two steep ascents.
- Child/dog friendly: Suitable for older children and dogs on leads.
- Start Sennen Cove harbour car park (SW350263). Alternatively, Land’s End car park (SW345251).
- Maps Ordnance Survey Explorer 102; Landranger 203.
- Refreshments Land’s End Hotel (01736 871844); First and Last Inn Sennen village (01736 871680); Apple Tree Café, Trevescan (01736 872753); plus choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs in Sennen Cove.
- Public transport Buses First 300 and Western Greyhound 501 (daily), plus First 1 and Western Greyhound 504 (Monday-Saturday) on routes from Penzance.
- Land’s End Landmark 0871 720 0044 landsend-landmark.co.uk
- More Walks Shortish Walks near the Land’s End, Paul White, Bossiney Books, 2004.