The Lizard Peninsula
One Place, Four Seasons

TheLizard PeninsulaThe Lizard Peninsula is unique. Stunningly beautiful at any time of the year, there is nowhere quite like it anywhere else in Britain. It is for this reason that the Lizard has been a continuing source of inspiration for artists and writers. Almost surrounded by the sea, the peninsula stands alone, in a very real sense, from the rest of the county. In a line from London to Land’s End, the backbone of Cornwall is a route to somewhere.

The Lizard. Not a cross-roads, a junction, or a place to drive through, but a journey’s end, a destination. Standing proud in the sea, the peninsula presents a rugged face to the elements, yet paradoxically the climate is probably the warmest in Britain. The air is crisp, clear and unpolluted by industry. The rocks and cliffs of the coastline offer shelter to the tiny fishing villages huddled into their coves, looking now much as they did centuries ago.

Small cottages, thatched and whitewashed, cluster around tiny harbours. Colourful fishing boats, pulled up on the beach, bear testimony to the fact that these small communities still depend largely on the sea for their livelihood.

Frenchman's CreekWinter is a quiet time here. The fishermen’s choirs sing in their local pubs, and the harbours are decorated with lights and lanterns for Christmas. Big log fires keep out the chill from the sea when the evenings draw in. Inland, the moors of the peninsula are criss-crossed by tiny country lanes, wide open spaces spread thick with heather, and dotted casually with Celtic landmarks. It is an ancient place, where history is indelibly inscribed on the landscape. For these reasons, the Lizard Peninsula has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is recognised as being of international botanical importance - and here you can find 15 of Britain’s rarest plants!

Kynance CoveThe warm local climate has led to the abundant growth of sub-tropical vegetation, and a constant profusion of colour all year round. Where else do primroses flower before Christmas, or camellias open in December? Daffodils often decorate the hedgerows in January, to be followed closely by a myriad of other wild flowers, the abundance of which is rarely seen elsewhere.

Ferns and palm trees, tree ferns and giant rhubarb are no rarity along the shores of the thickly wooded Helford river. In summer the riot of blooms and colour in all the cottage gardens is simply overwhelming; truly an experience at any time of the year.

There is much organic farming on the Lizard, and locally grown, or caught, food is served in many restaurants, pubs and hotels. Local crab, lobster, or a huge cream tea is hard to better.

Mullion Cove on the Lizard Peninsula The south west coast path winds its way round the peninsula, through the changing scenery, providing exceptionally beautiful walks. Much of the area is owned and managed by the National Trust, whose Enterprise Neptune campaign ensures that it remains unspoilt. The peninsula is full of contrasts; flat grassy paths wind across the clifftops from Mullion, with breathtaking views of Kynance Cove, along to the dramatic cliffs of Lizard Point, while to the east the softer, greener landscape of the Helford presents another face of this extraordinary region.

Tourism is low key and individual here. We still have time to talk, and time to live, at any time of the year. There is no pressure to "do things". You can be as active or as lazy as you like. Sail from the Helford, walk, surf or windsurf, go horse riding, play golf on the superb course at Mullion, or laze and swim from any of the beautiful beaches and coves. There are so many gardens to visit that you will be spoilt for choice. Join a village barbecue or take a fishing trip with a local boat from Cadgwith. Or just soak up the charm and solitude of this enchanted region. But beware - it is very addictive!



Holiday Cottages - Self-catering Holidays - B&B Accommodation on the Lizard