Hike from Land’s End to Mousehole

In late May 2006, I had four days between jobs. Where better to head than Land’s End in the South West corner of Britain? On Wednesday the 31st of May, I took a bus from Penzance down to Land’s End and then hiked back to Mousehole (pronounced Mawzel). Here are some of the pictures I took. First of all, The End of Britain… Land’s End.

land's end

Steve Dale at Lands End

A signpost telling you you are at Land’s End and, for about ten pounds, a guy will take a picture of you underneath it. This is Steve Dale, who was hoping to cycle to John O’Groats in 9 days in aid of Cancer Research. (He made it!) (Update: Steve is currently cycling around the world).

Land's End theme park

Is Land’s End a remote area, with nothing but the crashing waves and granite cliffs to keep you company? Er no. There is a sort of theme park with a wide variety of ways of parting you from your cash.

 

Senna Cove

Sennen Cove. What a beach! And three dudes just waiting until the surf’s up. Not a bad picture taken through the dirty window of a bus.

Land'e End arches

The picture below shows some amazing granite arches and stacks, less than a kilometre from the theme park – which you can just see in the distance. Even here the number of tourists had dwindled to a trickle.

Me at Lad's end

Here I am, about to start my hike to Mousehole.

Land's End sea

A combination of turquoise sea, brilliant sunshine and amazing scenery. What more could a hiker ask for?

 

Cliffs

Hundred metre cliffs and not roped off so that idiots who go too close are in serious danger of plunging to their deaths.

English seal

There are plenty of dolphins and grey seals around the Cornish coast. Alas, while I was there, the dolphins were on holiday but this grey seal was enjoying the sunshine.

South West Coastal path

The South West coast path is well maintained and well signposted. The only problem I had was a slightly overgrown path for about 1km.

Cornish beach

All Cornish beaches are packed with tourists and you can’t move for people selling ice cream and kids crying out for donkey rides.

Cornish geology

More spectacular coastline. There were remarkably few people hiking along this stretch of coastline on such a beautiful day.

Cornish coast

More spectacular coastline. There were remarkably few people hiking along this stretch of coastline on such a beautiful day.

Cornish flowers

And a floral feast: Gorse, bird’s foot trefoil, foxgloves, bluebells, sea campion and lots more that I didn’t recognise.

Minack Theatre

Not a particularly good shot of the Minack Theatre – an amphitheatre cut into the rock. What a superb location for theatrical productions. For more details visit the Minack theatre website.

Empty Cornish beach

How can such beautiful beaches be so empty?

Porthcurno Beach

The beautiful Porthcurno beach and a spectacular headland.

Speckled wood butterfly

A speckled wood butterfly. Pararge aegeria. I took about 20 shots to get this one – ah the joys of digital photography!

Rugged Cornish coast

A view back towards Land’s End showing the rugged Cornish coast

Caterpillar

Looking more like a comical draught excluder than a caterpillar, I noticed this little creature crawling up a rock. He probably succeeds in freaking out animals which may otherwise be tempted to eat him.

Cornish pebble beach

The coastal path passes through a wide variety of terrain, sometimes along steep headlands, at other times, along pebble beaches – not a boring moment.

Slowworm

This slowworm was sunning himself on the path as I climbed up.

Cornish coast near Mousehole

The final stretch before turning into Mount’s Bay. I didn’t see another hiker for about two hours.

Kemyel Crease Nature Reserve

Through a nature reserve called Kemyel Crease, shortly before Mousehole. The only muddy part of the whole hike.

Mousehole harbour

The hike was a modest 21km from Land’s End to Mousehole. I chose not to hike the last section to Penzance as it is, apparently, all on the road. After such a beautiful day, I didn’t want to ruin it with all those people racing by in steel boxes. This final picture is of the picturesque harbour at Mousehole.

More photos?

Just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, the Scilly Isles are well worth seeing.

There are many other beautiful parts of England.

Practical information

The bus number 1 will take you from Penzance to Land’s End for £3.50 single. The journey takes an hour and takes the scenic route.

For more information on the South West Coastal Path (around 1000km in total!) click here.

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