There are times when this spectacular corner of Cornwall’s south coast can leave even the most eloquent of people speechless. The combination of the cove’s pristine white sand beach, turquoise water and red and green sea stacks produce one of the most stunning places in the UK. There is even a picturesque café that blends perfectly into the view.
Accessing the cove involves a steep 15-minute walk from the car park. At low tide you can explore various coves and islands that become accessible, but be clear of tide times as it’s easy to get caught out.
However, the true beauty of this location comes to light from the cliff tops. Exploring these areas on either side of the cove will provide completely contrasting views of Kynance Cove.
Under 8km (12km if driving) north of Kynance Cove is the rugged yet pristine Mullion Cove. With its minute stretch of sand and tiny harbour, it seems inconceivable that it could withstand the full fury of the Atlantic storms. Its location makes it a great place for storm chasers to witness the Atlantic swell that sends waves crashing over the harbour walls. At low tide, there are various caves to explore.
But to fully appreciate this location, an uphill walk on either side of the harbour is required where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the coast, cove and harbour itself.
The most westerly point of England (not Britain – that title is held by Ardnamurchan Point in Scotland) has been a popular destination for visitors throughout the centuries. This is where dramatic coastline and the wild Atlantic sea are in a constant battle. From the clifftop, both Longships Lighthouse and Wolf Rock Lighthouse are visible, as is the iconic Enys Dodnan rock arch, otherwise known as Armoured Knight. On a clear day, you will also catch a glimpse of the Scillies 45km away.
Land’s End is also the start or endpoint of the gruelling “End to End” challenge that links Land’s End to John O’Groats in Scotland. This is a 1,407km test of endurance which can be run or cycled.
Arguably, no other location in Cornwall illustrates the Cornish history and beauty as well as the Crowns engine houses at Botallack, just north of Land’s End. Wild seas, granite cliffs and these historic tin mines are as quintessentially Cornish as the famed pasty. This region is a designated World Heritage Site as well as the filming location for the popular TV drama Poldark. The views of the mines and coastline are magnificent at any time, but especially late in the afternoon.
The influence of Cornish miners around the world should not be underestimated. Over a quarter of a million left to work in other mines over a 200-year period from the early 1700s. It is believed that there are six million people of Cornish descent around the world because of this.
The dramatic volcanic rock stacks that spike up from Bedruthan beach, just north of Newquay, have been formed over the millennia. At low tide, they stand majestically in stark contrast to the golden sand. They are also visible through the water at high tide, providing one of the most striking views in all of Cornwall. This is a spot that has been popular with visitors since Victorian times.
As Newquay’s popularity as a tourist destination grew, Bedruthan became a convenient attraction to visitors. It was during this time in the 19th century that the legend of the Cornish giant, “Bedruthan” using the stacks as stepping stones across the bay was created.
This mystical tidal island off the mainland town of Marazion needs no introduction. The 23-hectare island has been shrouded in myth, legend and history throughout the years. Mythical tales of seafarers being lured by mermaids to the island date back to 495 AD, and the archangel St Michael appearing on the island to warn fishermen of certain doom. This was the home of Cormoran the giant in the Cornish fairytale of Jack the Giant Killer.
It also withstood a Royalist attack from Oliver Cromwell’s forces and was where the first of a series of beacons were lit to raise the alarm of the approach of the Spanish Armada. The mount is an unforgettable sight at any time, none more so than in the early morning when it is surrounded by mist.
Cornwall’s coastline is filled with amazing beaches that will satisfy even the most demanding of beach lovers and Porthcurno on the south coast might just be the finest of them all. This beautiful white sand beach is surrounded by an amphitheatre of high cliffs, a gorgeous stream on one side and turquoise sea water. You will be forgiven for mistaking the view for the Mediterranean.
As if all this was not enough, overlooking this piece of paradise is the open-air Minack Theatre. The best views of the beach, Porthcurno Bay and the coast are from the theatre where you can see as far as the Lizard peninsula.
This moorland in the middle of Cornwall is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it has evidence of Bronze Age inhabitants. The bleak heather-covered terrain is dotted with mature oak trees and a Bronze Age ceremonial circle of giant boulders known as Hurlers Stone Circles. You may even see some ponies grazing in the area, creating an even more picture-worthy setting.
The moorland is relatively flat, so the best view is from Stowe’s Hill, a 381m hill near the fabulously named village of Minions on the eastern side of Bodmin Moor. The views from the top are magnificent as are the beautifully wind-eroded granite rock formations known as the Cheesewring.
This unusual promontory of twin headlands is connected to Pentire Head by a narrow strip of land. Naturally, this made for a great strategic defensive location for a fort, hence the reason a fort was built here in the 2nd century. The views of the Rumps are memorable, but then so is the view from east to west.
On a clear day, to the east you will see Tintagel Castle while a short walk west of the Rumps to Pentire Point will offer wonderful views of the Camel Estuary and Stepper Point. If you are lucky you may even see dolphins and basking sharks in early summer.
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