Today we will be driving down to the most southerly point of mainland Britain, having already visited the most westerly, northerly and easterly points earlier on this trip! The unpredictable British weather has generally been kind to us along our journey, but today will be very wet…
Photo of the day
Fishing boats at Cadgwith Cove.
After leaving St Austell we followed the St Austell River to Pentewan. We were going to get soaking wet if we had walked to the beach, so made do with visiting the village set-back from the seafront.
Leaving Pentewan heading to Mevagissey with views over the rolling fields to the coast.
Mevagissey was still slowly waking up on this rainy Saturday morning. Everyone else had clearly decided it was better to stay in bed.
Mevagissey still has a working fishing harbour, but it was very quiet this morning.
We had just driven down the crazy narrow Church Street into Gorran Haven.
A stream tumbling down Gorran Haven Beach.
A few paddle-boarders were testing the waves at Porthluney Beach, at the foot of the Caerhays Estate.
Portloe was a really cosy coastal village. It had a lovely genuine feel to it.
The small boat slipway nestled into the valley.
A rather rocky looking entrance to the tiny harbour.
As we arrived at the National Trust Pendower Beach the heavens opened and it absolutely poured with rain. After a while we made a quick dash for the beach with our umbrellas, and through the rain manged to catch views across Gerrans Bay.
We then continued our journey down the Roseland Peninsula to St Mawes.
We had visited St Mawes and the castle last year with Julian’s parents, so we just made a brief stop in the small town. However, we still managed enough time to squeeze in a morning coffee and sausage roll from the famous local Curtis bakery.
The passenger ferry to Falmouth in St Mawes Harbour.
St Just in Roseland
St Just’s Church tower peeping above the trees through the church lych gate.
The 13th century St Just’s Church in a charming wooded valley overlooking Carrick Roads.
Exploring the church grounds.
The church was quite compact inside, it felt almost chapel like.
King Harry Ferry
Avoiding a long trip north via Truro, we cut across the River Fal from Philleigh to Feock on the King Harry Ferry.
The ferry captain kept watch as we crossed the river.
A surprisingly large Dutch ship was anchored in the River Fal.
Exploring the National Trust Trelissick grounds, looking down to Channals Creek and the River Fal. Still raining!
We made our next stop at Falmouth, which was much larger and busier than we had been expecting. It actually made quite a nice change from the quiet fishing villages. We discovered the port is the busiest in Cornwall.
Yay! Finally we found some ‘beach huts’ in Cornwall at Falmouth’s Discovery Quay.
Falmouth’s Custom House Quay, with Flushing and Carrick Roads through the drizzle in the background.
From Pendennis Head we could just about see across to St Anthony Lighthouse south of St Mawes.
Gyllyngvase Beach just south of Falmouth, overlooking Falmouth Bay.
As we continued our journey south to the Lizard peninsula we crossed over the Helford River at Gweek.
The satellite dishes at Goonhilly Earth Station suddenly appeared on the horizon, so we made a quick stop at the nearby Goonhilly Downs National Nature Reserve to take a closer look.
Coverack Beach and Cove with views over to Lowland Point. The small village was still recovering from a flash flood that had damaged property and the sea wall earlier in the year.
A sunshine yellow fishing boat adding a bit of colour to this grey day.
Cadgwith Cove felt like another cozy and authentic Cornish village.
Cottages nestled around the narrow streets.
Finally we made it to The Lizard.
The Lizard Lighthouse, dating back to 1752, sitting above the lighthouse keeper cottages.
Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain.
On day 17 of our coastal road trip we visited the most westerly point of mainland Britain at Ardnamurchan. On day 24 we visited the most northerly point at Dunnet Head. On day 35 we reached the most easterly point at Ness Point. Then today (day 45) we finally reached the most southerly point at Lizard Point!
And it was so quiet, just us and another couple. Hint, to miss the crowds visit on a cold rainy late Saturday afternoon in November! So that was our final stop of the day before we drove back up the western side of the Lizard peninsula to Helston for the night.
On day forty-four, after visiting Plymouth, we are heading into Cornwall. So join us on our journey along the beautiful southwest coast…
Photo of the day
A hungry seagull (aren’t they always?) at Polperro.
Fishing boats being prepared for the day at Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour.
Smeaton’s Tower and the Royal Citadel along Plymouth Hoe.
Smeaton’s Tower was originally built as the lighthouse at Eddystone Rock off Rame Head (we will visit later today). It was then moved to Plymouth Hoe as a memorial to John Smeaton, its engineer.
We were really impressed by Plymouth’s Royal William Yard. Originally built for the Royal Navy but now redeveloped with shops, restaurants, offices and a harbour. Very nicely done.
Sculptures on the lawn in front of the New Cooperage.
A recipe for Ships Biscuit curiously carved into a stone at the entrance to the Royal William Yard.
On the ferry heading from Devonport to Tor Point. Travelling west to Cornwall on the ferry was free (you only pay sailing east). We like a bargain! 😉
More watery roads along the Cornish coast.
Bright green fields above St John, looking down towards Whitsand Bay.
Although we entered Cornwall by ferry at Tor Point, there was also a passenger ferry landing at Cremyll.
Looking back across the River Tamar to the Royal William Yard.
The clock at Cremyll’s ferry landing.
The grand Mount Edgcumbe House overlooking Cremyll and the River Tamar.
Driving through Kingsand to Cawsand we got stuck behind a delivery truck. With no way to pass, you just have to be patient. We used the opportunity to nosey in the windows of the cute coastal cottages.
Cawsand Beach and Bay. Just out of the picture there was a couple preparing for a morning swim around the bay. Rather them than us.
Painted tiles decorating the waiting shelter of the seasonal Cawsand Ferry.
The clouds started to clear as we arrived at Rame Head, so we had a little hike up to St Michael’s Chapel on the headland.
There were amazing panoramic views along the coast, looking as far east as the Great Mew Stone in Wembury Bay.
Looking back down the headland to the National Coastwatch Institution buliding by the car park.
Whitsand Bay and Tregantle Fort above the cliffs to the northwest.
There were plenty of Dartmoor ponies precariously grazing around the headland cliffs.
Choppy waters at the foot of the cliffs.
We then continued along the coastal road past Treninnow Cliff and Freathy.
Rame Head silhouetted against the bright sunlight across Whitsand Bay.
The 1865 Tregantle Fort along Military Road. Still open and working. As we drove past we could see training in progress.
Looking down the wrinkly coast to Portwrinkle 😉
Portwrinkle Beach with Rame Head still visible in the distance.
Small boats neatly stored on end by the water’s edge at Portwrinkle.
Driving through a patchwork of fields along the B3247 to Downderry.
All along this coastal journey we’ve passed so many abandoned farm houses and barns… so they haven’t all been converted yet!
Amazingly Rame Head and St Michael’s Chapel were still visible in the distance from Seaton Beach.
We stopped at bustling East Looe for our first Cornish pasty. As we looked across the East Looe River to West Looe, the seagulls were keeping a beady eye on us (or rather our pasties).
Looking down the breakwater to the calm sea in Looe Bay.
The breakwater walls were full of wooden wedges. Very curious. Maybe to help hold the wall together?
A telescope by the sandy East Looe Beach.
Our next stop was at Polperro. The village was admittedly very quaint, but felt very surreal, like a ghost town. Most of the shops and cafes were closed and there was hardly anyone around, unlike our previous stop at Looe. Clearly a tourist village now, which is a real shame as out-of-season there seemed to be no locals to keep the place alive, so it somehow lacked soul. We also had to pay the highest parking charge of our entire British coastal road trip here too! Maybe that’s why it was so quiet. We only stayed 45 minutes but had to pay £4.50 to park, which was the minimum charge (3 hours).
At least the seagulls seemed happy with the range of seafood.
The locally famous ‘House on the Props’, precariously hanging over the stream.
Winding our way through more narrow country lanes we passed the small hamlet of Lansallos, and Saint Ildierna Church.
The lanes got narrower and narrower as we passed Lantivet. Grass growing down the middle of the road is never a comforting sight. Fortunately it was so quiet, so we didn’t have to make any difficult reversing-all-the-way-back-down-the-country-lane manoeuvers!
Passing the secluded National Trust Lantic Bay.
Gribbin Head in the distance from the headland at Polruan.
From Polruan we looked across to Fowey and its Parish Church.
We then took the Bodinnich Ferry crossing over the River Fowey. Taking the ferry saved us a 15 mile detour (and a precious 35 minutes of daylight) inland via Lostwithiel.
Looking back to Bodinnich Landing as we crossed to Fowey.
We squeezed our way through Fowey’s narrow streets (fortunately one way).
Picturesque Charlestown, our final stop of the day before heading to St Austell for the night.
Square rigger tall ships reflecting in the small Georgian harbour. The attractive harbour was originally built for coal imports and copper exports. More recently the harbour has been used for period film and TV productions.