Cornwall, Part III: Hiking the South West Coast Path

Land’s End is one of the most beautiful places in Great Britain.  It’s also touristy and expensive.  While we were researching our trip, Hubby and I heard mixed reviews on Land’s End – that it was a must-see, but also irritatingly commercialized.  When we mentioned to the managers of our B&B that we were planning to see Land’s End, they suggested that we park a mile away, at Sennen Cove, and walk.  The primary selling point was that the parking at Sennen Cove was about a tenth of the cost of the parking at Land’s End.  That alone convinced us that it was the right plan!  But the walk ended up being a lovely mile along the cliffs looking out on stunning views of the Cornish coast.  Win.

The path from Sennen Cove to Lands End is part of the South West Coast Path, a 650 mile (give or take) path that runs around the entire peninsula encompassing both Devon and Cornwall.  Plenty of people make trips out of hiking the entire thing – that’s a dream for someday, when I have a LOT more time on my hands.  For now, hubby and I contented ourselves with hiking small stretches of the Coast Path and drinking in the gorgeous views.

About halfway between Sennen and Land’s End, we stopped to pose for some self-portraits.  Obviously.

St. Ives and the surrounding areas were a haven for artists.  The town of St. Ives had several cute art galleries featuring local art and crafts.  You can see why – the scenery in this part of England is just spectacular.  As we made our way from Sennen to Land’s End, we happened upon a painter doing a lovely oil painting of Land’s End.  If I had thought the paint would dry in time, I’d have tried to see if he would sell!

Honestly, I didn’t find Land’s End all that commercial… but that might have been due to the fact that I didn’t pay for parking, take the “required” picture in front of a sign with the mileage to Washington, D.C., or visit the cafe or gift shop.  We just wandered there over the cliffs, checked out the views, and then wandered back.  In my opinion, that was definitely the way to go!  On our way back to Sennen, the sun came out and the afternoon turned glorious.  We were actually thrilled that it was overcast up to that point, because the sun would’ve been in our eyes heading to Land’s End, but was behind us on the way back to Sennen.  We took our time over that mile, enjoying the craggy coastline, the brilliant blue water and the sunny skies overhead.

Finally, we found ourselves ambling down the hill and back into Sennen.  Although the walk was only about a mile each way, it was fairly strenuous – lots of climbing up and down.  But we don’t mind a bit of exercise – especially when it comes with these views!  Outrageous.  If you’re making plans to head for Land’s End at some point in the future, I’d definitely encourage you to avoid the colossal parking fees and enjoy a mile stroll (to-and-from) over the cliffs between Land’s End and Sennen Cove.

Next week we’re sticking around our home base in Cornwall, St. Ives.  Check back on Friday for shots of the town and more South West Coast Path!

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