Harbours, beaches and coastal paths – a New Year exploration
It is only 16 miles from Falmouth to the historic and beautiful Porthleven harbour. Situated on the west of the Lizard Peninsula it is a quick half-hour drive west to this pretty fishing port which is noted as being the most southerly working port in mainland Britain. It was constructed during Napoleonic times with the help of French prisoners of war.
Stunning views from the Porthleven harbour encouraged us to head south to the beaches and coastal paths that scribe the beautiful Lizard Peninsula. It may be winter but the beaches of the Cornwall coast are stunning in any season. In a storm this exposed coast is simply awesome to behold: see here for some spectacular pictures taken during last Winter’s storms.
The long sandy Gunwolloe beach is only a few miles south; it can be seen from the Porthleven breakwater and stretches for miles facing the wild Atlantic. We drove to the southerly end where there is a sign about a protected wreck just offshore (the Cornish coast is littered with wrecks and heartache as well as beauty) and then we walked north, but with the rising tide we didn’t quite make it as far as the Loe Bar. (You can also walk from Porthleven along the coastal path to Loe Bar Beach). After enjoying the beach we walked the coastal path from Gunwolloe and headed further south for some fantastic cliff top views passing a beautiful ‘Camomile Lawn’ style house perched on the cliff edge.
We then hopped in the car and explored further down the west coast of the Peninsula popping in to the very pretty harbour of Mullion Cove and finishing up at Lizard Point, which is the most southerly part of mainland Britain. The first sighting of the Spanish Armada was from here in 1588. While gazing across the vast expanse of sea and the stunning coastline you can’t help but think of all the ships that sunk or crashed into the shore along this treacherous coastline. The famous Lizard Lighthouse stands tall and as the sun goes down we can see the flashing light that guides the ships of today; one white flash every three seconds.
The rose coloured sun began to slip beneath the waves for a beautiful winter’s sunset from Britain’s most southerly point and a superb end to a day of exploring the lovely Lizard Peninsula.