West coast

Britain's most southerly point

Lizard Point stretches out into the sea © Olivia Dale/NT

Lizard Point stretches out into the sea

Lizard Point is the most southerly point of mainland Britain. It's over 600 miles as the crow flies south of Dunnet Head in Scotland. The exposed nature of the point has created a wreckers delight as many ships have fallen victim to the currents and odd winds produced as the Atlantic meets the English Channel.

The meeting of these two seas however creates fantastic feeding grounds for basking sharks and the seal colony that can often be seen lounging in the sun on the rocks or bottling in the waves below the point.

The best way to approach the point is to walk along the coastpath from Kynance.

Breathing spaces and sunset places

Lizard Lighthouse at Lizard Point © David Noton

Lizard Lighthouse at Lizard Point

For the finest panoramic views head south to Britain's most southerly point. However be aware it can be unexpectedly foggy here.

From Kynance north to Poldhu you can follow the coast as it drops down into hidden coves and caves and rises up to reveal some of the best views and places to watch an incredible sunset.

Storm watching with a pint

A wave smashes over Mullion Harbour wall © Justin Whitehouse/NT

A wave smashes over Mullion Harbour wall

In the winter months the west coast is the best place to watch winter storms battering the harbours and beaches from the safety of a village pub. Visit Mullion Cove Hotel near the harbour or the Ship Inn in Porthleven for the best views of the winter swells coming into land as you relax in the warm with a pint.

Or take a trip to Lizard Point and visit the lighthouse heritage centre to find out about the local shipwrecks and how the lighthouse has saved thousands of lives at sea.

A summer’s afternoon at Mullion Harbour © Justin Whitehouse/NT

A summer’s afternoon at Mullion Harbour

Mullion harbour

The west coast of the Lizard is home to some fantastic beaches, however at Mullion you can visit a small working harbour nestled into the cove. The harbour is a place to witness extremes; on a calm day you can swim in the turquoise water of the inner harbour and on a wild winter's day witness the storms battering the harbour walls.

Poldhu Marconi Centre © PARC

Poldhu Marconi Centre

Marconi's wireless experiments

On the Lizard there are two sites celebrating the historic significance of Marconi's technological discoveries.

At Poldhu you can find out about Marconi's groundbreaking experiments, which sparked the beginnings of the mobile technology revolution. The museum is signposted from the beach car park and is free to enter.

West coast flora

Heather on the cliffs above Kynance Cove

Heather on the cliffs above Kynance Cove

The west coast is the best place to access the Lizard National Nature Reserve (NNR) and the heathlands, home to over 250 species of both national and international importance.

If you walk between Lizard and Kynance you can take in a corner of the NNR home to a wealth of colour and life. From maritime grasslands at Caerthillian, famous amongst botanists for it’s varied species of clovers, to the heathlands around Kynance with species such as wild asparagus and hairy greenweed. Four native species of heather grow here too, ling, bell heather, cross leaved heath and, unique to this area, Cornish heath.

The best time to see the heathlands is between July and August but the coastal species tend to flower a little earlier in the year.

...and fauna

The west coast doesn't only offer incredible and rare flora, there's plenty of fauna too.

You might see the famous Cornish choughs, stonechats and peregrines as well as dragonflies, toads adders and even lizards.

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