AN OCCASIONAL BLOG ABOUT THE LIZARD AND PENARVOR COTTAGE
Mysterious sightings at the twilight hour
One of the wonders of winter at Penarvor Cottage is to be able to witness a fascinating natural phenomenon that happens just before dusk.
Shapes appear in the sky that look almost alien or supernatural. They move and change shape with swirling fluid motion. It is mesmerising to watch them.
This phenomenon is a 'murmuration' created by hundreds and thousands of starlings who somehow know when to gather together in a huge group to swirl and dive in perfect unison together. They fly so close to each other that they can appear like a dense dark cloud, sometimes with such precise edges that the shape in the sky looks almost solid.
At Penarvor Cottage there are times when the murmuration moves from Lizard Point (as photo taken from the cottage) up towards the house, so that you feel almost enveloped in the cloud of birds. And they then sit on the coastguard communication tower behind the house, so you can hear them chattering loudly to each other... perhaps planning what shape they will create next to mystify their human audience.
The hidden cove much loved by some very special locals
The Lizard is home to one particular group of local inhabitants well-known for lazing around on the beach right through the winter.
This photo was taken in November and captures the wonderful sight of seals relaxing in a little cove that is a favourite haunt for them. Perhaps they relax there because they feel safe knowing the sheer cliffs protect them from anyone disturbing them. But visitors can still enjoy watching them from the cliffs when walking the South West Coast Path. Recent guests at Penarvor Cottage said they spent hours watching the seals.
Lizard Point is one of the best places in Cornwall to see the rare grey seals. And in autumn and winter you can also see the young pups. To see them close-up, visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, near Helston, where pups that need help are looked after until they can be released back into the wild, and find their way back to their family's favourite cove.
Kynance Cove, UK's number one beach on Instagram
Yet again a survey reports Kynance Cove to be Britain's most Instagramed beach, according to an article in Cornwall Live. But there is far more to Kynance than just being picturesque.
Most visitors probably come for the day and arrive by car. This is great for convenience but to get an even greater experience it is worth exploring the different views of the cove from along the South West Coast Path. The path winds its way around the edge of the cliffs and keeps surprising you with breath-taking views that will make you want to simply gaze and take it all in.
If you stay at Penarvor Cottage you have easy access to the South West Coast Path and so you have the option to walk to Kynance Cove (or it's about a 10 minute drive). The walk will take you along the rugged cliffs and past small hidden coves that you can only discover on foot. It is very easy to follow the path from Penarvor Cottage but we have also provided a map to guide you.
'Happy Birthday' to the South West Coast Path
This year celebrates 50 glorious years of the wonderful South West Coast Path, and the Lizard is one of the best places to experience the absolute joy of exploring the famous path.
Stretching 630 miles, it is the longest National Trail in the UK, and yet it is said that some consider the most impressive section to be the two miles from Kynance Cove to Lizard Point... which passes in front of Penarvor Cottage!
But such praise is not new. In the 1890s a Victorian travel guide said: "Undoubtedly the walk around the Lizard Peninsula acquaints the tourist with such a succession of natural wonders and exhilarating scenes, one marvels that, comparatively speaking, they are so little known or appreciated".
So we say 'Happy 50th Birthday' and a very big 'thank you' to the South West Coast Path Association who joined up the sections of old cliff paths to create the one continuous route, and who continue to care for it today. Many of those original sections were known as 'coastguard paths' because they were used to patrol the cliffs in search for smugglers... a rather nice connection with Penarvor Cottage which is an old coastguard house.
One of Britain's best unspoilt villages, says The Telegraph
It was great to see The Lizard listed as one of "Britain's 30 greatest villages - all untouched by mass tourism". The article, published on 12 May by UK national newspaper and online news organisation The Telegraph, quite rightly identified that the village is still a genuine, authentic community.
One of the most wonderful things about The Lizard is that it is still a real village where locals gather in The Top House Inn pub and you can buy homemade bread from Tregullas farm shop. Everyone knows almost everyone, and news is passed on by word of mouth about the lifeboat's latest rescue or about how the cows have got out of their field (yet again).
There are, of course, lots of visitors who come (as they have since the Victorian era) to see the view from the most southerly point and buy some turned serpentine rock unique to The Lizard, but it has never spoilt village life, and the village welcomes visitors and values their support for the local economy.
Penarvor Cottage is on the southern edge of the village, and is just a few minutes walk to the pub, cafes and shops. The cottage's location, looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, is quiet and a real experience of maritime life... just as it was for the coastguards for whom the house was built. It may be out on the edge of the sea but it is still part of that wonderful local village community.