the lizard to porthleven

south west coast path

8th june 2014

It looks like good walking weather again with sunshine and plenty of breezes to keep me cool.

Porthleven high tide 13:44

Porthleven low tide 07:40

Major equipment (or user!) failure today. I don't have a phone signal at the Lizard so I can't start up some of my apps and then part way through today's walk I manage to switch the phone into airplane mode which stops all of the apps from recording any info. Bugger!

I start the day at the car park in the Lizard village. I'm walking this walk to Porthleven in the wrong direction so that when I reach Kynance Cove the sea won't have swallowed up the beach.

old lifeboat station

I wander down the footpath to reach Lizard Point, the most southerly point on mainland Great Britain noticing on the way the dreaded 'no signal' on my phone. Bugger! I wander down to the old lifeboat station  (I'll pass the latest lifeboat station in a couple of days) and then climb back up and head off along the cliffs. Masses of seagulls are flying around here.


cornish choughs

Choughs (@cornishchoughs) have taken up residence here. They became extinct in Cornwall in 1973 but returned in 2001. There are seven pairs of Choughs in 2014 and a non breeding flock of immature birds. I see a few of them playing in the air but they are difficult to photograph and it's far too breezy to record them.

looking towards kynance cove

I continue along the cliffs towards Kynance Cove enjoying the magnificent views and the lovely wildflowers. Before reaching Kynance Cove, Pentreath Beach can be found which is a little difficult to reach, involving scrambling down what appears to be little more than a goat track. It definitely looks worth the diversion but it's too adventurous for me with my heavy backpack.

At the top of Kynance Cove I'm greeted by some wooden boards highlighting the local wildlife before descending steeply down to the cove.

Bugger! I must have mis-read the tide times as there is little more than a postage stamp sized bit of the beach! I enjoy walking along what little of the beach I have anyway. I have the whole place to myself. I waste quite a bit of time here before strapping back on my bag and climbing back out of the cove, passing the Kynance Cove Cafe on the way.

kynance cove

kynance cove

bloody cranesbill

As I climb out of Kynance Cove I pass the native bloody cranesbills. The views back overlooking Kynance Cove are magnificent.

view over kynance cove

After ambling for far too long I head off along the Lizard cliffs where I encounter the first orchids of the day, including loads of heath spotted orchids so I waste more time, taking photographs. They seemed to be easier to identify a year ago.

I continue along the cliffs, enjoying the views to reach Predannack. Predannack airfield is nearby and there is usually a constant stream of helicopters flying overhead but it's quiet today. Maybe they don't fly on a Sunday? The wild flowers around here are amazing and there's sea thrift everywhere.

sea thrift

Mullion Cove comes into view and I take the steep descent down to the harbour. Mullion Cove took a battering in the winter storms and the harbour was badly damaged. It's still looking a bit of a mess but at least it's being repaired.

mullion cove

repairing mullion cove

I ascend the other side of Mullion Cove and pass the Mullion Cove Hotel (@mullioncove) before heading along the cliffs to reach sandy Polurrian Cove. I waste more time pottering along the sandy beach before climbing back out of Polurrian Cove and heading along the cliffs.

polurrian cove

marconi monument

I pass the Marconi monument, a granite monument commemorating the first transatlantic radio transmission on the 12th of December 1901. I think that Marconi probably had a better signal 100-odd years ago than I've had today. I continue along the cliffs enjoying the masses of pink sea thrifts.

I reach Poldhu Cove where the Poldhu Beach Cafe (@poldhu) can be found and waste more time on the sandy beach. It's quite a bit busier here than I'm used to.

poldhu cove

I leave Poldhu Cove via the road and encounter more sea thrift before descending down to Church Cove.

church cove

I waste yet more time on the sandy beach here before heading along the beach to reach the church of St Winwaloe, set into the hillside beside the beach.

I continue along Halzephron Cliff enjoying the beautiful wildflowers and Porthleven Sands has now come into view. Halzephron Cove can be found at the end of the cliffs but the climb down is a little adventurous even for me.

wild flowers on halzephron cliff

I continue walking to reach the much more benign Gunwalloe Fishing Cove. I meet some people here who I'll bump into again in Porthleven. I enjoy the sandy and pebbly beach before heading off on the final leg of my journey. The Halzephron Inn (@InnHalzephron) can be found slightly inland here.

gunwalloe fishing cove

rusty fishing equipment

I walk past ancient fishing winches enjoying the views to Porthleven.

I walk along the path above Porthleven Sands and then descend to Loe Bar and crunch along the pebbly beach.

From here it is easy walking to reach the harbour at Porthleven. I finish the day at the Harbour Inn where a refreshing pint of Tribute awaits.



Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • seagulls
  • choughs
  • sea thrift
  • skylarks
  • heath spotted orchids
  • rooks
  • ragged robin
  • buttercups
  • caterpillars
  • common spotted orchids
  • southern marsh orchids
  • water forget-me-nots
  • sea campion
  • red campion
  • foxgloves


The podcast of today's walk is now available.  You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.


Fortunately I have a back up to my pedometer app so I've taken 36430 steps today. I've no idea how far I've walked but it should be about 13.5 miles. I've had gorgeous sunny weather all day long, it's been a beautiful early summer's day and the walking has been about as good as it gets on the South West Coast Path. 10 out of 10. No map today because of the equipment failures.

wild flowers on halzephron cliff