Cornwall Life visits the beautiful Land's End
PUBLISHED: 12:27 18 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:06 20 February 2013
In this July issue, Cornwall Life visits the beautiful Land's End and area and finds coves, beaches and a thriving community
Surrounded by the sea, the Land's End peninsula's coves, beaches and villages are among the most beautiful Cornwall has to offer. Lesley Double discovers a happy mix of tourists and a thriving local community
If you were to draw an imaginary line between Penzance and St Ives, all land to the west would be considered the Land's End peninsula. Nowhere is more than four miles from the sea and the peninsula is covered with tiny villages and hamlets, valleys and streams and a patchwork of fields that, from the air, cleverly conceals the hundreds of narrow lanes that crisscross the land. There are tiny working harbours, maybe holding two or three boats each and beaches so golden, with sea so blue. Why be anywhere else?
The peninsula holds a broad spectrum of different individuals. It is here where many people come to retire: what could be better than waking up each day to the sight and sound of the sea? Many properties are now holiday homes. However, villages do not go to sleep over the winter when the holidaymakers go home. Many families have lived here for generations, and there are numerous small primary schools in the villages, proving that, happily, there is still a thriving population.
Out and about
Love it or loathe it, you must go to Land's End. There is a parking fee, but once inside the complex you are free to walk wherever you like and soak up the atmosphere. There is an entry fee to some of the museums. It is possible to park elsewhere, such as in Sennen Cove, and walk into Land's End for free, either along the A30 or, more scenically, along the coast path. Land's End is the start/finish point for many an end-to-end journey of Britain and during the summer you are quite likely to see a walker, runner or cyclist on their way to or from John O'Groats.
There are many places worth visiting in the peninsula: Cape Cornwall, England's only cape; the open-air Minack Theatre carved into the cliffs at Porthcurno; the fascinating Museum of Submarine Telegraphy also near Porthcurno; the Wayside Museum and the mermaid in the church at Zennor; and, of course, the well-preserved Geevor tin mine at Pendeen (see page 36 for the full article).
St Just comes alive from 10-18 July. This is the time of Lafrowda Week, a week of workshops, music, arts and performance, culminating in Lafrowda Day on 18 July when there are parades, stalls, music and food throughout the town from midday to midnight. Visit www.lafrowda-festival.co.uk for further information.
What can I get for my money?
Property is much sought after, and prices can be more than in nearby large towns, such as Penzance. But there are still some bargains to be had, especially in St Just, which is the major town in the area, where there are terraced houses down tiny lanes ripe for renovation. A one-bedroom flat is priced at just under 100,000, with a one-bedroom cottage at 115,000 and two-bedroom cottages starting at 149,000. Bungalows start at 215,000 for a two-bedroom in the town. At the other end of the scale, a five-bedroom detached house on the outskirts of town, with sea views towards the Isles of Scilly, is 475,000.
The cost of property in the peninsula's villages is higher than in St Just, but there are several styles of property with varying price tags. In Porthcurno, a one-bedroom flat is 165,000 and apartments with sea views in a new development start at 315,000. A three-bedroom former barn and art gallery in Lamorna is 368,000. In Sennen, a one-bedroom flat is 120,000 and a two-bedroom bungalow with sea views is 250,000. A two-bedroom converted chapel at Newbridge (on the main road between Penzance and St Just) is on the market for just 150,000. Inland, St Buryan's house prices range from a modern two-bedroom end-of-terrace for 145,000 and a four-bedroom granite farmhouse for 375,000.
Pendeen and the surrounding villages were once home to hundreds of miners who worked in the various tin mines in the area. Consequently there are several ex-miners' cottages that are good value for money. A granite two-bedroom cottage is 143,000, while a two-bedroom Grade II Listed cottage is 210,000. A four-bedroom converted barn, with countryside and sea views near Morvah is 435,000.
The railway line from London Paddington stops at Penzance, so those living in the Land's End peninsula must rely on the car or bus to get around. The bus service is cut during the quieter winter months, but there are plenty of buses during holiday periods and over the summer, including a delightful route from Penzance to
St Ives via the coast road from Land's End and St Just, where travellers can enjoy the sights and sounds of the peninsula on an open-top bus. The A30 runs from London, straight through the middle of the peninsula and finishes at Land's End.
Land's End Aerodrome, from where there are regular flights to the Isles of Scilly, is situated on the road between Sennen and St Just.
If you like golf, you should try Cape Cornwall Golf and Leisure Resort, where you can wind down in the indoor pool or Jacuzzi after your round. Surfers can hire all necessary equipment at Sennen Cove, or you can just laze on the dozens of beautiful beaches. Sea fishing from beaches or rocks is a popular sport, as is walking the many footpaths, or cycling the Sustrans Cyclepath.
For further information about the Land's End peninsula contact Penzance TIC 01736 362207.