Britain 2011 - Day 12


The next morning and I thought we were in another country. Crystal clear skies, deep blue water as the sun rose. We had breakfast by the window soaking up the view, and then a quick walk on the beach before heading west to Penzance. Through the town and around the coast to the strange-named Mousehole (pronounced "Muzzell" of course) then on to that awful blot on an otherwise pleasant landscape at Lands End. Around the coast to St Just and Cornwall Point then north to Padstow (I know, I know..... it is over-rated and home to that rather common celebrity cook - Rick Stein). But we were running a bit a late due to road closures after Lands End so lunch of Fish and Chips at Stein's was closer to afternoon tea.

St Michael's Mount in the morning sun

Our breakfast table by the window gave us a wonderful view of the Mount. We then had time to walk on the beach and take photos before heading west to Penzance.

The view from our breakfast table
The Mount
The Mount in the early light.
Looking east to Mousehole.
and west
The boats are now floating
And the causeway has gone. .
Which means the children from the Mount have a boat ride to school.
The sun touches the buildings,
and the Godolphin Arms Hotel...
Godolphin Arms from the road.
Across the road these flowers will not fade in the salt air..
The beach .
and Penzance.
A coastguard boat in the bay..
Closer view of Penzance.
Driving through Penzance town.
and the harbour
Fishing boats lined up.
.The Mount in the distance
And then we found this..
A milepost for the National Cycle Network - what a good idea!...


Just beyond Penzance is the small village of Mousehole ("Mussell"). The road through the village is narrow and winding. It then climbs up to..... Paul.

Mousehole, as the sign says.
Narrow streets
Small cottages
even a cat for the mouse.
Buildings on the edge of the road
Then up the narrow road...
past the large pine,.
and the cemetery....
and theparish church to... .

Lands End - or life as it should not be

There is something odd about the idea of being able to claim you have been from one end of an island to the other. Perhaps when you are brought up on a small(ish) island it is no big deal, but Britons seem to find the idea irresistable. You can buy a special ticket and have it stamped at each end, then you can join the "Lands End John O'Groats Club" (aka Lejogclub). Oh dear..... The problem is, JOG is not the most northern point - Dunnett Head is. And the most southern point is The Lizard. We have visited both of these...... And while we are about the geographic extremities of Britain, the most easterly point is Ness Point in Lowestoft (been there too....) and the western point is near Ardnamurchan Lighthouse in the Scotland Highland (Hmmm.... might need to go there on the next visit - and we did!).

Anyway, we made our way to Lands End. We had read the Lonely Planet ("the worst excesses of Thatcherite Britain") and consulted friends ("take a photo and run - fast"). Surely it could not be that bad - oh, yes it could. No wonder they keep reminding you to keep away from the edge of the cliff - the tourist trap is so bad you just might want to jump off.

The road to Lands End
That's it in the distance
Through the trees
and there it is!
We are in the right place.
Five Pounds! For a muddy carpark!.
But the cars were queueing up.
A welcome sign.
And another in Cornish.
Now we can join the LEJOG Club....
Here we are at John O'Groats, just to prove we were there....
and the JOG signpost.....
and here we are at the Lands End version.
But what's this? 4D films? Monsters? Greebs?.
And then the tourist traps designed to....
capture your money.
You could stay at the First and Last House - if you are feeling schizophrenic....
Or the Temperance version if you feel the need to dry out.
But we were here for the view...
Yes, that's a lighthouse out there.....
a closer view.
The coast is rugged,
and dented with bays.
There are big seas.
andmore Cornish granite.
But in the sunshine is Cornwall Point - might be a nice place to visit.
But first we had to negotiate back past the blot of the "attractions" at Lands End..

St Just and Cornwall Point

From Lands End we drove a few miles west to St Just, then down the narrow country lane to Cornwall Point. The point is a high mass of granite with what looks like a lighthouse on the top (but is simply a memorial tower). It is now managed by the National Trust after being purchased by Heinz (of all people) in 1987. It makes a pleasant climb to the top for superb views - assuming you have a fine day.

Making our way through St Just
past the school built in 1880
The road gets narrow
and winding.
down to the carpark at Cornwall Point.
On the top is a memorial.
and at the bottom is a small bay and boat ramp..
Commemorating Heinz
and so is the tall tower
But you can look west to Lands End....
and still see those awful "attractions".
The lighthouse looks familiar
and so does the coast.
The Cornish like to perch on hillsides
amongst the rock and heather.
Lighthouse or lookout?
Even the plants need to hold on tight.

Levant Mine

Our next stop was the Levant Mine. It was a typical Cornish tin mine, tunnelling into the granite. This one followed a seam out to sea for several hundred metres. The Levant Mine is one of the few that has been retained or restored. Guided tours are available, but we arrived just too late and the next one was several hours later.

The Levant Mine, Cornwall
and the beam engine
The pit head and pump house
and the boiler chimneys......
Typical chimney design
And a novel B&B on the road to the mine.

And finally Padstow

Yes, we HAD to go to Padstow, and yes, we HAD to have fish and chips for lunch at Rick Stein's.

Finding a car park was a bit of an issue....
but then there was the fish shop
No doubt who ran it...
even waiting for your fish......
Outside it was a neat operation
Inside you ordered here and paid,
then went next door to pick them up...
We sat in the car to scoff the fish - and very nice it was too!
The outer wharf at Padstow
attracted birds and photographers..
the inner harbour attracted small boats..


Our final stop of the day was at the small rural location of GOLDSWORTHY. Nothing much to it, a few farms, and a cross-road. But is is my paternal grand-mother's name. From there we ambled north to Barnstaple for the night.

Must be the right place
And a Goldsworthy descendent at the cross-roads

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Last updated: 19/06/2017