Walk - Porthleven to The Lizard

13.4 miles (21.6 km)

Porthleven The Lizard

Moderate - Moderate

This stretch of the South West Coast Path is, without a doubt, unique and exceptionally beautiful. The path is fairly level and easy beyond Porthleven, but then becomes narrow in places with some steep ascents and descents.

There is a special sense of wildness and isolation on the Peninsula, notably along Mullion and Predannack Cliffs which are part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Here rare heathers and wildflowers grow, adding to the colour and drama of the spectacular views. It is no surprise that the white sand and turquoise sea of Kynance Cove has been recognised as being part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the seas are particularly dramatic at high tide, and even more so on a windy day.

The Lizard Peninsula is also known for its banks of pink and yellow flowered Hottentot Fig and its serpentine granite, which is a dark green rock veined with red and white, and, of course, the symbol of Cornwall: the chough.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Mullion Cove Hotel

Dog-friendly 3 star hotel; on the cliff-top and path overlooking the harbour, with en-suite rooms, award-winning restaurant, bar & free wifi

Atlantic House B&B

High-quality B&B in a beautiful location. 5 minutes walk from the Coast Path and close to many amenities of the village.

Trenance Farm Cottages

Superbly situated to explore the Lizard Peninsular, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Self-catering cottages. Perfect base for magnificent coastal walks & stunning scenery. Dog friendly, Wi-Fi, outdoor heated pool

Old Vicarage, Mullion

Situated right in the centre of the lovely village of Mullion, this welcoming B&B is ideally located for the South West Coast Path, pubs and shops.

The Old Bakery B&B, The Lizard

The Old Bakery was built around 1935 & is situated on the edge of the village. It is only 2 minutes walk to the village centre.  The Coast Path and a number of beaches are within walking distance.

Penmenner House, Lizard

A warm welcome awaits walkers at Penmenner House. 4 ensuite rooms all with sea views, and a delightful Cornish breakfast. Perfectly situated to explore the Lizard peninsula with its amazing coastal view, fauna & flora.

The Top House Inn, The Lizard

Mainland Britain’s most southerly Inn- The Top House Inn is unique. En-suite rooms in an adjoining building are contemporary in style and offer guests a touch of luxury.

Polurrian Bay Hotel - LFH

Fantastic views, catering for families with outdoor & indoor pools, spa, tennis court in 12 acres of gardens leading to private beach.

Silversands Holiday Park

Ideal base to explore the Lizard peninsula. Large pitches for camping, touring & holiday homes. 1km thro Lizard Nature Reserve to the Path

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Telstar Taxi & Private Hire, Goonhilly Downs

The Lizard peninsula is a remote part of Cornwall, public transport can be sparse. We are ideally located to assist with one way South West Coast Path walkers.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • The Loe: the largest body of fresh water in Cornwall at the estuary of the River Cober is separated from the salty sea by the mixture of fine gravel and sand called the Loe Bar. Possibly created by storms, the Bar had formed by the 13th century and consequently cut Helston off from the sea. It is thought that Alfred Lord Tennyson was describing the Loe as the place where Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur into the water: "On one side lay the ocean, and on one lay a great water" (Idylls of the King, The Passing of Arthur).
  • Gunwalloe Church of St. Winwaloe in its extraordinary setting at the foot of the dunes of Church Cove. By the porch is a figure of St. Winwaloe, there is a Norman bell tower and it is worth looking for the Celtic cross in the churchyard.
  • Halzephron Cove: Halzephron is Cornish for ‘Cliff of Hell’ and on a windy day you can see why. Ships have been wrecked along this stretch of storm-battered coast and local myth warns of a freak wave which claims a life every seven years from Porthleven Sands.
  • Poldhu Point and the remains of Marconi’s wireless station: on 12 December 1901 Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio signals from Poldhu Head to Newfoundland. Learn more about this in The Marconi Centre which is open to visitors. For details see Poldhu Amateur Radio Club’s website or phone 01326 241656.
  • Views of the pretty harbour of Mullion Cove and the village of Mullion above.
  • Watching the breeding colonies of kittiwakes, cormorants and guillemots on Mullion Island.
  • Keeping a lookout for the famous Cornish Choughs. These acrobatic birds are members of the crow family and have a red beak and red legs. They are England’s rarest breeding variety, but thanks to careful farmers and landowners who work alongside initiatives like The Cornish Chough Project these beautiful birds are gradually returning to the Cornish Coast.
  • Spotting the grazing Soay sheep and Shetland ponies.
  • The rocky stacks and arches of the exceptionally beautiful Kynance Cove: the largest outcrop of serpentine rock in Britain. Owned by The National Trust, the cove is tucked out of view by the towering cliffs either side, so it is quite a dramatic view as you approach. The cove became a popular destination in early Victorian times, which is when the stacks of Asparagus Island, Gull Rock and Steeple Rock received their names. Alfred Lord Tennyson is said to have visited this part of the Lizard on a number of occasions, and the beauty of the cove was also experienced by the playwright George Bernard Shaw, Charles Kingsley and a rather seasick Prince Albert!
  • Standing at the most southerly point in Britain: Lizard Point. This is a particularly hazardous stretch of coast and there has been a Trinity House Lighthouse here since 1751. Apparently, there was a certain amount of resistance to the building of a lighthouse as it was seen to damage the wrecking industry! The lighthouse has recently been refurbished as a Heritage Centre where you can discover more about its history and take a guided tour up the tower.

Shorter option

Mullion Cove (7.1 miles, 11.5 km).

Longer option

Cadgwith (an additional 3.5 miles, 5.6 km).

Public transport

From Penzance, which has a mainline train station, you can take one of the very regular bus services to Porthleven. Buses also run from Porthleven to Flambards, which is outside Helston, where you can then catch a bus tp The Lizard, via Cury, Poldhu and Mullion. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Porthleven (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR13 9JS), Porthleven Sands, Halzephron Cliff, above Church Cove, Poldhu Cove, Mullion, Mullion Cove, Predannack, Kynance Cove and The Lizard.

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