Lizard Peninsula

Lizard Peninsula

Lys arth

Most southerly point of England



The Lizard Peninsula is known for its majestic coastline, treacherous seas and delightful sandy coves. Cornwall's first lighthouse was built on the headland in 1619 and its modern successor throws its light a distance of 29 miles. Perhaps the most spectacular cove on the Lizard peninsula is Kynance. Numerous caves and arches have been carved out of the colourful, veined Serpentine rock by the sea. At Kennack Sands the two beaches join together at low tide to form one of the longest stretches of sand on the eastern side of the Lizard. In the centre of the Lizard peninsula are the distinctive dishes of the Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station, which has an interesting visitor centre.

With the sea on three sides and the Helford River to the north the Lizard Peninsula is almost an island, a high plateau surrounded by the sea, with numerous hidden little coves and beaches. The south west coastal footpath winds its way around most of the Lizard making it popular with walkers. And the A3083 runs down through the centre of the peninsula to Lizard Village.

Little villages such as St. Martin, Porthoustock, Porthallow, St. Keverne and the safe family beaches, Kennack Sands and Coverack are all well worth a visit. Fishing boats still set sail each day from coves such as Cadgwith and Coverack where there is a sheltered bay, ideal for most water-sports. These villages once the haunt of smugglers and the occasional pirate, now attract windsurfers and divers who come to explore, the many shipwrecks around The Lizard's coastline. Lizard Village has serpentine rock gift shops clustered around village green, and The Top House, is the most southerly pub in Cornwall.

On the west coast, Porthleven is the most southerly port in mainland Britain, a harbour full of yachts and fishing boats. At Gunwalloe - Church Cove you will find a beautiful church set amongst the sand dunes. Mullion is a bustling little inland village which has shops, inns, cafes and restaurants, craft shops and art galleries, not forgetting the quaint harbour at Mullion Cove.

On the road to nearby Church Cove , the ancient church of St. Wynwallow has woodwork from the wreck of a Portuguese treasure ship.

The peninsula has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as a site of special scientific interest. A large proportion is owned by the National Trust and as a result it has remained mostly unchanged and unspoilt.

The 1,074 gross ton bulk coaster carrier MV 'Ardgarry' was lost in a heavy storm, in over thirty foot high waves, off Lizard Point on 29th December 1962. All twelve crewmen perished and were never found. The 'Ardgarry' was carrying coal from Swansea and headed to Rouen in France. Six of the crew were from Northern Ireland, five from Scotland, and one from Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Found again in 2006, the ship's bell was recovered, and a memorial service was held by family members in August 2008.

Early in the spring of 2001, there was a small influx of wild choughs along the south coast of England, from Portland in Dorset to the Isles of Scilly and a group of three took up residence on the Lizard Peninsula.

The biggest rescue in the RNLI's history was on the 17th March 1907 when the 12,000 tonne liner SS 'Suevic' hit the Maenheere Reef near Lizard Point. In a strong gale and dense fog RNLI lifeboat volunteers rescued 456 passengers, including 70 babies. Crews from the Lizard, Cadgwith, Coverack and Porthleven rowed out repeatedly for sixteen hours to rescue all of the people on board. Six silver RNLI medals were later awarded, two to Suevic crew members.

On 15th January 2004 the French fishing trawler 'Bugaled Breizh' sank off Lizard Point with the loss of five lives. There were claims at the time by French marine accident experts that the vessel may have been pulled under when her nets became entangled in a British or Dutch submarine which was conducting NATO exercises in the area at the time.

Originally with two lifeboat stations at Polpeor and Cadgwith, The Lizard all weather Tyne class lifeboat is now located at Kilcobben Cove. Operating for over 145 years, the crews have been presented with twelve awards for gallantry.

Between Lizard point and the Lifeboat Station is Bass Point where there is a National Coastwatch Institution lookout, giving amazing views up and down the coast.

Cadgwith       Coverack       Helston       Kynance Cove       Lizard Lighthouse       Porthallow       Porthoustock       Porthleven

Mullion Cove       St. Keverne       Trelowarren       Kestle Barton       Cornish Lifeboat Stations       Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose

Carminowe Valley Garden       Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station       Marconi Visitors Centre       Lizard Village       Roskilly's Farm

The Coastal Footpath