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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last updated: 19/06/2017