Walk - Lizard YH - Lizard Point

1.3 miles (2.0 km)

The Lizard Youth Hostel The Lizard Youth Hostel

Easy -

A short  walk from the lighthouse, around the rugged tip of The Lizard, passing the most southerly point on the mainland. A visit to a mass graveyard and a chance to glimpse a seal or a 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.

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.

Hellarcher Farm, The Lizard

Farmhouse with panoramic views. 5 mins from Coast Path. Vast farmhouse breakfast choice, locally sourced with scones & bread baked on the premises, with homemade jams and marmalade.

Stormfield B&B, Lizard

Come and stay in a small family home – warm and comfortable. Local food, no single room supplement. 10 minutes from Coast Path.

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.

Atlantic House B&B

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

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.

Hillside B&B

Situated bove Cadgwith Cove, far reaching sea views with verandah & terrace. We look forward to welcoming you to Hillside B&B

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

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

Trenance Farm Cottages, Mullion

Self-catering cottages. Perfect base for magnificent coastal walks & stunning scenery. Dog friendly, Short breaks available, free Wi-Fi, outdoor heated pool.

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.

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.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Start at the Lizard Youth Hostel and make the short journey to the Lizard Lighthouse.

The lighthouse, one of the largest in the world, was automated in 1998 and its engine rooms are now open to the public during the summer months.
The Lizard Point lighthouse has a great visitor centre and seasonally offers tours of the tower. Due to its position jutting out into the English Channel numerous ships have come to grief on the cliffs and reefs of the Lizard peninsula, and the Admiralty advises navigators to keep three or more miles off in any kind of rough weather. The first lighthouse was built here in 1619, but due to the reluctance of passing ship owners to contribute to its upkeep, by 1623 it had fallen into disrepair and was eventually demolished. By 1751 the frequent loss of shipping on the nearby rocks prompted the building of the current lighthouse. It was altered in 1903. It was automated in 1998.
The electric lantern has 150,000 candlepower and casts its beam for more than 20 miles (30km). It also has one of the world's loudest fog horns which you'll definitely hear on a foggy day. The construction of the first lighthouse was fiercely opposed by the locals who gained an income from wrecking. Their attitude is best summed up in the prayer of Parson Troutbeck in Scilly; 'Dear God, we pray not that wrecks should happen, but if it be Thy will that they do, we pray Thee let them be to the benefit of Thy poor people of Scilly.'
It is estimated that a third of the world's shipping passes Lizard point each year.

  1. From the lighthouse car park walk down to Lizard Point, following signs to the most southerly point.

The succulent plant growing here is the Hottentot fig, an import from South Africa which has been steadily encroaching in areas, smothering some of the rare plants that grow on these cliffs, like the prostrate asparagus.

  1. At the Point car park bear right and join the South West Coast Path in front of the Wave Crest café.

Looking down to Polpeor Cove you can see the steep zig-zag track descending to the old Lifeboat Station. Between 1859 and 1961 (when the Kilcobben Cove station replaced it), the lifeboat was launched from here 136 times and saved 562 lives. Look out for seals in the cove.
Walk along the coast path and look out for some Cornish choughs on the way.
Choughs are deeply rooted in Cornish culture and are depicted on the county's coat of arms alongside a miner and fisherman. They are members of the crow family, have red beaks and legs, and make an excitable, high-pitched chi-ow call, from which they get their name. Choughs are extremely acrobatic and their tumbling display flight is an impressive and memorable sight. Formerly widespread around the UK coast, the chough became extinct in England when the last Cornish bird died in the 1973.
The reintroduction of grazing to coastal grasslands and heaths has greatly improved the availability of the short, open vegetation, rich in insect life, which the coughs rely on for feeding. Following work by landowners and conservationists to re-create this habitat, in 2001 three wild choughs arrived raising hopes that they might stay to breed.
To everyone's delight, two of the birds began nesting in 2002. By mid-April they had built a nest, tucked away out of sight in a sea cave, and the female laid a clutch of eggs that successfully hatched in May 2002. They were the first choughs to breed in Cornwall (and England) for 50 years. Three young birds fledged successfully in the summer of 2002. Numbers have since increased and the same pair continue to nest close to Lizard Point. Each spring a team of dedicated volunteers keep a round-the-clock watch over the birds, to ensure illegal egg-collectors do not raid the nest but also to help visitors see the birds without disturbing them.

  1. Take the steps down to Pistol Meadow

Moving onwards you cross the tranquil Pistol Ogo Meadows. Under this little green meadow lie the 207 people drowned when the Royal Anne troop ship was wrecked on the off lying reefs of Stag Rocks below in 1720. In keeping with the tradition of the day, the troops were denied a Christian burial and put into a mass grave at the valley bottom. Legend has it that before they could be buried, the corpses were mauled by local wild dogs. Strange cries have been heard here at sunset, and modern dogs are said to whine and shiver as they reflect on the foul deeds of their ancestors.
Climb out of the valley on the coast path up the slope towards Lizard Head.
As you rise up onto Old Lizard Head the view suddenly opens up across Mounts Bay across to the Land's End peninsula. You are now entering the Caerthillian part of the Lizard Special Area of Conservation, a unique area of coastal grasslands and heaths managed by Natural England, the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, tenants and farmers keen to promote wildlife. Light grazing and the absence of fertilizers maintains this rare coastal grassland and if you look at the ground closely you will be able to see how many different species of plants grow together in a small area.

  1. From the top of Old Lizard Head, looking west, you can see out towards Kynance Cove and beyond.
  2. Take the footpath inland over the stile built into the dry stone wall and walk across the field back towards Pistol Meadow.

Carry on over another stile into Pistol Meadow field and rejoin the coast path to return to Lizard Point.
To avoid the stiles, retrace your steps from route point 5 along the coast path.

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