eWith its turquoise seas and white sands, you might be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled upon a tropical paradise. The Lizard, situated in Cornwall, is much easier to get to than the Caribbean and makes the perfect summer escape. There is much myth and mystery surrounding the odd name that accompanies this magical land. The most common explanation seems to be that it’s a mutation of the Cornish ‘Lys Ardh’ meaning ‘high court’, or ‘Lezou’ for ‘headland’. But regardless of how it got its name, it’s not to be missed. Take a week, grab a friend and read on for 10 reasons why everyone should visit the Lizard.
1. Stunning coastal walking
The Lizard is an area of astounding natural beauty and it would be easy to spend your whole visit just exploring the coast line. The Lizard finds itself on the South West Coast Path, an ideal way to explore the stretches of coast extending each way from Lizard Point. This path extends for miles leading you along cliff tops and past enticing coves and bays; perfect for a dip. This path is also an excellent vantage point to observe the wonderful wildlife that populates the peninsula. There have been sightings of dolphins, porpoises, sharks and seals off the coast with the Lizard also being home to the famous Cornish Chough.
2. The best pasties
It’s widely known that the best pasties are made in Cornwall; everything else pales in comparison. When it comes to Cornish pasties, Ann’s Pasties at the Lizard might just take the ticket. They are truly wonderful and not to be missed on any trip through the peninsula. These delights are handmade to a recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Although Ann will deliver to anywhere in mainland Britain they are best savoured with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair as you soak up the fresh Cornish air.
3. Sandy beaches and hidden coves
The Lizard is home to many wonderful beaches tucked away in the coves and bays along its winding coastline. With many of them boasting soft sand and glittering turquoise waters you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d magically been transported somewhere more exotic than the south coast. Of all of these gems Kynance Cove is considered the most popular. Take an afternoon to soak up the sun on its expanse of white sand and take a dip in the refreshing waters. If you head there for low tide there’s also a wealth of caves and rock stacks to be explored.
4. Delicious ice-cream
A trip to the Lizard isn’t complete without visiting Roskilly’s Farm. This delightful working organic farm is a treat for all ages. You can meet the animals, watch the milking and take a wander around the meadows. It’s a beautifully tranquil place. This farm is home to the beloved Roskilly’s ice-cream and fudge, with all the cream for the ice-cream being produced right there on the farm. There are over 30 flavours of ice-cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt to choose from; with everything from Pear & Elderflower to Apple Crumble or Malty Mystery we think you’ll need more than one scoop! There’s also a restaurant on site if you need something a bit more savoury.
5. Coastal adventures
For the more adventurous among you, there’s Lizard Adventure. This is the place to go for all your outdoor pursuit needs. Lizard Adventure offers a range of activities including kayaking, paddleboarding and rock climbing so you can be certain that a day of fun awaits. This is the perfect opportunity to get away from the summer crowds and venture into the wild, secluded parts of Cornwall. From the coast you’ll be able to experience this magical corner of the world from a different perspective.
6. The most southerly cafe
Head to the most southerly point of mainland Britain and you’ll find Polpeor Cafe. This gem of a cafe is the perfect spot to take a rest from rambling around the coast or to find shelter if the weather catches you out. If you have a bit longer they also serve a great selection of food. There’s plenty of traditional fare in the form of egg and chips, lasagne, and pies. They also have excellent doughnuts, cream teas and a delicious selection of cakes. All the food is home cooked and reasonably priced. It would be easy to spend an afternoon here enjoying the food, gazing out to sea and wildlife spotting.
7. Climb the Lizard Lighthouse
After eating your fill at the most southerly point, head around the corner to the only lighthouse in the whole of Cornwall that you can climb. Make your way up to the top of the Lizard Lighthouse and take in the stunning views of the coast and sea stretching out before you. With a fog horn you can hear for miles the lighthouse is an essential part of the Lizard. This point of land sticks so far out it’s a danger to passing ships and as a result the surrounding waters are littered with the wrecks of ships who couldn’t make it around. With an interactive learning centre in the Engine Room there is something for everyone. Perfect for a rainy day.
8. Visit the seals
Although you might be lucky to spot the odd seal from the South West Coastal Path, the Seal Sanctuary found to the northwest of the peninsula is well worth a visit. This sanctuary is the only fully operational seal rescue centre in Cornwall and is set in 40 acres of beautiful countryside. The Seal Sanctuary takes in sick, injured and stray seals from beaches across Britain; providing a lifeline to seals in need. There are many residents other than the seals that you can meet on your visit including penguins, goats, ponies and sheep. Don’t miss out on the feeding times, the interactive rockpool or the chance to take a behind the scenes hospital tour which shows you where they treat the animals!
9. Exotic plants galore
Trebah Garden is a wonderful place to get lost for the day. The garden has been voted among 80 of the best gardens in the whole world. Each season offers a new feast for the sense as different plants come into their own. In the summer make sure you don’t miss the giant gunnera with leaves bigger than a person! With over four miles of footpath to explore there’s plenty to see. Don’t miss the secluded beach on the bank of the Helford River. It’s a charming rest spot and great for skipping stones. The Boathouse Cafe serves tea, coffee and ice-cream. It can lend you a bucket and spade too!
10. An interesting history
History was made at the Lizard in 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi. In December 1909, from the point where the Marconi Centre now stands, a signal was sent all the way across the Atlantic to Marconi’s temporary station in Newfoundland. This, as well as the rest of Marconi’s work, had a huge impact on the development of telecommunications – eventually leading to mobile phones and the internet! The centre is an intriguing and insightful place that you shouldn’t miss. Ideal for when the weather lets you down.