5 of the BEST WALKS AROUND THE LIZARD, CORNWALL, from Penarvor Cottage.
Circular walks, with maps.
The Lizard Peninsular is less known and less developed than other parts of Cornwall, and having fewer visitors means it can be easier to enjoy the amazing beauty and relaxing experience of discovering the most southerly place in mainland Britain. It's somewhere to 'get away from it all' so you can totally relax, be inspired by the wonders of the natural world, and be thoroughly re-energised.
The coast path gives you access to hidden places
One of the best ways to experience the dramatic natural beauty of the Lizard is to walk along the South West Coast Path. This footpath winds around the edge of the cliffs so you can discover hidden viewing points and coves that you cannot reach by car. You will want to stop many times to simply absorb the inspiring seascape (and, of course, take photos to capture that moment).
A perfect starting point and base for this is Penarvor Cottage as it is only about 500 metres (550 yards) from the coast path. A short bridleway footpath takes you from the cottage down between the fields to the sea so you can easily join the coast path. Your walk can then be circular (you don't have to come back the same way) because, as it's a peninsular and there is water on three sides, the network of paths can take you around the coast, then inland to the village and back to Penarvor Cottage.
The path from Penarvor Cottage down to the coast path.
Housel Bay with the coast path along the edge of the top of the cliffs.
When you join the coast path, you can walk either to the left or right. Left takes you to Lizard Point, Lizard Lighthouse, Housel Cove, Lizard Lifeboat Station and Church Cove, and then back to Lizard village (or keep going as far as you want towards Cadgwith and beyond).
If you leave the cottage and join the footpath going to the right you will follow the dramatic coastline round to the famous Kynance Cove, often acclaimed as one of the most picturesque beaches in Cornwall. You can then take a footpath inland back to the village, this takes you along a section of traditional Cornish 'double-hedge' path where you walk on the wall between the fields.
Kynance Cove viewed from the coast path
Whether you go left or right from Penarvor Cottage, you can return through Lizard village and reward yourself with a local ice cream or pasty, or even call in to the village pub The Top House Inn. And then it is just a final few minutes walk back to the cottage to put your feet up and gaze at the panoramic sea view from a garden chair, or enjoy the cosiness of a roaring log fire in the lounge.
View from the garden at Penarvor Cottage
Here are maps of five of the best walking routes, two to the right and three to the left. Why not have a few days' holiday at Penarvor Cottage and enjoy a different walk each day?
The Lizard Head walk (1.7 miles) takes you along the dramatic cliffs in front of Penarvor Cottage and then back through the village.
The Kynance Cove walk (3.8 miles) includes Lizard Head and then goes all the way to picturesque Kynance, returning via a section of traditional Cornish 'double hedge' wall-top path.
The Housel Bay walk (1.8 miles) takes you to Lizard Point, Lizard Lighthouse, and Housel Cove, and then brings you back through fields and over old stone stiles.
The Church Cove walk (3.1 miles) takes you through the fields to Housel Bay and around the cliffs past the wireless station, the coastguard lookout, the lifeboat station and then brings you to quaint little Church Cove. You then come back to the village past thatched cottages and the parish church.
The Cadgwith Cove walk (5.2 miles) uses an ancient path from Lizard village to Cadgwith (including a section of traditional 'double-hedge' pathway on top of a stone wall). The return route follows the spectacular South West Coast Path along the cliffs, taking you past the natural stone arch of the Devil's Frying Pan.
Here are the five walks put together, so you can create your own route by combining different parts of them...
In addition to these routes there are numerous other footpaths, and therefore endless variations of options. You can enjoy short easy strolls or much longer adventures that can be as challenging as you want. Here are links to some other useful sources of information.
The South West Coast Path has its own website with suggestions for walking the path in sections, including the Lizard.
The National Trust owns and protects large areas of the Lizard coastline, and they provide walking info.
Countryfile magazine has a rather nice article on walking the Lizard.
When you are looking at maps of the coast path, it is Pistil Meadow (between Lizard Point and Lizard Head) that is the point where the coast path links to Penarvor Cottage. The cottage is only about 500 metres (550 yards) from the coast path and provides ideal holiday accommodation for walkers to discover the beautiful Lizard Peninsular.
If you want to have a swim at some point on your walk, or simply want to be able to include a sandy beach, it is very helpful to check the tide times to aid your planning. Some of the coves around the Lizard do not have much sand at high tide, so a quick look at a tide table means you can make the most of your day. A really easy-to-understand tide table can be found on the BBC website.
Have a wonderful time walking the Lizard!