Sennen Cove and Land's End

A circular walk from the white sandy beach at Sennen Cove along the towering granite cliffs via Land's End to the song of the sea cave at Nanjizal. The best way to see Land's End.

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The route follows the Coast Path from Sennen Cove to Land's End, using permissive paths where they offer better views. The route continues along permissive paths around the headlands from Land's End to Zawn Reeth before rejoining the Coast Path to Mill Bay. The track to Bosistow Farm provides the gentlest available climb from the coast and the route then follows footpaths across the upper part of the valley and fields to Trevilley. Small lanes and paths across the fields make up the return route to Sennen Cove.

Considerations

  • Route includes paths close to unfenced cliff edges.

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Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 102
  • Distance: 6 miles/9.7 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Recommended footwear: Walking boots

OS maps for this walk

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)

Highlights

  • The best way to see Land's End
  • Spectacular coastal scenery either side of Land's End
  • Wildflowers in late spring and early summer
  • Wildlife including seals, birds of prey and choughs
  • Whitesand Bay - huge sandy beach stretching from Sennen Cove

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Old Success Inn

Adjoining walks

Directions

  1. From the harbour car park, walk through the gap between the public toilets and Cape Cornwall Gig Racing Club and turn left. Walk uphill to a waymarked flight of steps leading up the headland.

    The reason that Cape Cornwall could once have been thought to be be most westerly point of the British mainland it that is almost is. The tip of Cape Cornwall is further west than the coastguard lookout overlooking Sennen Cove and the shipwreck near Land's End.

    In fact, the longitude of Cape Cornwall's most westerly point is approximately equivalent to the exit from the Land's End coach parking area. The most westerly point on Dr Syntax's head is only about 450 metres further west than this.

  2. Climb the steps and follow the coast path to the lookout on the headland.

    Crocosmia (also known as Montbretia) is a garden plant in the iris family and bright orange flowers. If has South African origins and was bred in France as a garden plant, then introduced into the UK in the 1880s.

    It has spread into the wild, particularly along the west coast of Britain and is extremely invasive. It is now a criminal offence to cause it to grow in the wild.

    Crocosmia means "saffron scent" and alludes to the smell of the dried leaves (the crocuses which produce saffron are also members of the iris family).

    The main Sennen Coastguard Station was built in 1812 and initially consisted of a row of eight houses, a fuel house and a store which housed the rocket cart and rescue equipment, close to the steps where the coast path climbs the headland. The Sennen station was closed after a reorganisation of the coastguard service in the early 1980s, and the Lands End coastguard service now operates out of Polgigga, on the main road to both Sennen and Gwennap Head.

  3. From the lookout, follow the coast path marked with granite waymark posts to reach a granite donation box for the National Trust.

    In 1891, the granite lookout was built on the cliffs at Pedn-Men-Du for use by the Sennen Coastguard. It is now owned by the National Trust and during the summer, the lookout is open to the public and equipped with telescopes. Dolphins, Ocean Sunfish, Basking Sharks and Royal Marines have all been sighted from here. A whiteboard inside records details of recent observations.

  4. Continue on the coast path around a narrow inlet to right a flight of steps to the right with a Sharp Metal Hazard sign.

    Jackdaws are one of the most common birds along the coast here.

    Jackdaws are able to recognise eye gestures from humans (e.g. if someone looks at where a food item is hidden). It has been suggested that jackdaws may use this with other birds too and this may be the reason that they have a striking blue eye colour that is easily seen from a distance.

  5. Continue a short distance further up to the headland to reach a granite waymark where a path leads off to the right to Maen Cliff Castle.

    The sign refers to the shipwreck of the RMS Mullheim which is visible from the area below the steps.

    The RMS Mulheim was a large cargo ship which ran aground near Land's End in spring 2003. The chief officer, who was on watch, caught his trousers on a lever on his chair as he stood up and fell, hitting his head and becoming unconscious. By the time he awoke, the ship was approaching the shoreline and was too close to be able to turn and it ran aground in Gamper Bay. The ship was carrying over 2000 tonnes of plastic scrap from cars. Most of the cargo was removed but some was lost in the ocean as the hull started to break up. Storms the following autumn finally broke the wreck in two and pushed the pieces into Castle Zawn. Some of the cargo washed up on Cornish beaches over the next year or so.

  6. Continue on the coast path until, as you approach the Land's End buildings, the crazy-paved path forks either side of a large granite boulder with a concrete foundation just behind this.

    Maen Castle was an Iron Age promontory fort, protected by a bank reinforced with granite boulders. It is one of only two fortified sites in Cornwall where Early Iron Age pottery has been found. There are some indications that the site may have been occupied before the defences were constructed, possibly in the Bronze Age or Neolithic times.

    The name is from Men - the Cornish word for "stone". The name "Mayon Cliff" is likely to have similar origins.

  7. Take the right-hand path towards the isolated building in front of the lighthouse. Follow the path until it ends on a tarmacked track.

    Land's End is the most westerly point on the English mainland and is consequently the last place that the sun sets on mainland England. It is 5.73 degrees west of the Greenwich Meridian and since each 15 degrees is an hour of time difference, Land's End is 22 minutes and 28 seconds behind London. It's therefore possible to drink a couple of glasses of wine watching the sun set whilst all the while it's been dark in London. The official Cornish name Pen an Wlas means "End of the Earth". The earliest record of a name is Penwith Steort from 997 which is Old English for "End of Penwith". As the name was by non-Cornish speakers, they probably didn't realise that Penwith already meant "extreme end".

  8. Bear right to pass in front of The First And Last House, then follow the outermost track to a junction of tracks where a gravel path departs to the right.

    The most westerly point on the British mainland is named Dr Syntax's Head after a fictitious schoolmaster hero in three popular books between 1812 and 1821. The character was portrayed with a long, pointed chin which the narrow peninsula of land resembles.

  9. Bear right across the black tarmac onto the stony path and follow this to a view point. Continue on the rocky path along the outside of the wall to reach a lookout building with a conical roof.

    Well over 100 wrecks are recorded off Land's End. The reefs off Lands End were so treacherous for sailing vessels that many of the pilgrims from Ireland on their way to the continent preferred to walk from one coast of Cornwall to the other rather than rely on faith for this part of their journey.

    The 12 mile crossing from Lelant to Marazion, known as St Micheal's Way, also avoided the perilous coastline at Pendeen and the Runnelstone reef near Gwennap Head.

    The 29 mile Saint's Way crossing from Padstow to Fowey additionally avoided the hazardous reefs of Trevose Head, Godrevy and The Lizard.

  10. From the lookout, follow the gravel path along the coast until you reach a junction of paths, with a wooden support for an information board on the path to the right.

    There are three named rocks within the Longships reef:

    The innermost rocks are known as Tal-y-maen which means something along the lines of "front stone" in Cornish.
    Carn Bras, in the middle with the lighthouse, means "large rock".
    The outermost rock is known as Meinek which simply means "stony".
  11. Turn right at the junction and follow the path past the information boards until it crosses a footbridge at another junction of paths.

    The pyramidal inshore rock is known as the Armed Knight. The name is thought to stem from the spire of rock protruding from the top resembling a jousting pole. According to one source, the rock was once known by the Cornish names An Marogeth Arvowed (the armed knight) and Carne-an-peul (javelin rock).

  12. After the footbridge, keep right and follow the path up the steps onto the headland. Then keep left to follow along the fence on your left. Continue until the path emerges through a line of boulders to a junction of paths near the farm.

    The Longships Lighthouse is located just over a mile off Land's End on the highest of the islets known as Carn Bras. The original tower built in 1795 was 40ft high, perched on the 39ft high rock but despite the lantern being nearly 80ft above the sea, it was sometimes obscured by the huge waves off Lands End. A new taller tower was therefore constructed starting in 1869 and completed in 1873 and was manned until 1988. The current lantern emits a white flash seaward, but red-tinted glass colours the light for any vessel straying to the headlands to the north or south.

  13. Go through the gap and bear right at the fork. Follow the coast path until you reach a waymark for Mill Bay.

    The island with a cave is known as Enys Dodnan and provides a nesting site for black-backed gulls. This first part of the name is the Cornish word for "island". The second may have a similar origin to Dodman Point on The Roseland, referring to the bodies washed ashore from shipwrecks i.e. "Dead Man's Point/Island".

    The Greater Black-backed Gull is the largest member of the gull family and a bird of formidable size, with a wingspan of nearly 6ft. Unlike other gulls, the Greater Black-backed Gull is highly predatory. Young birds are a significant portion of its diet and it tends to live amongst other seabirds where it can eat the neighbours. It has also been known to swallow whole rabbits and even eat young lambs. It often steals food from other seabirds using its large size to intimidate them into dropping it, and consequently it is sometimes referred to as a pirate.

  14. At the waymark, bear right off the coast path along the permissive path around the headland (which has superior views) and follow this to merge with the coast path a short distance before a line of boundary stones. Continue on the coast path down some steps to the bottom of a small gully.

    The headland at Land's End has been designated part of an Important Plant Area by the organisation Plantlife for rare species of flora. A band of coastal heath extends all the way from Sennen to Gwennap Head, but different steepnesses of slopes support different plant species.

  15. Follow the coast path out onto the headland and keep following the main path along the coast to descend into the next valley. As you approach the eroded area of cliff, keep on the leftmost path away from the undercut cliff edge to pass through a gap in a wall. Continue a short distance to where the path crosses over a wall beside a wooden post.

    Scurvy grass has thick, flesh leaves that look a little similar to ivy leaves in shape and its flowers have 4 white petals forming a cross. It flowers around the same time as primroses - in March and April - and the flowers have a pleasant scent reminiscent of jasmine. It is a member of the cabbage family, related to rocket and horseradish and the flavour is hot like horseradish.

    Scurvy grass gets its name as it was salted and carried aboard ships to help prevent scurvy during long sea voyages as it is rich in vitamin C. The saltiness combined with the powerful hot flavour might well have needed a daily ration of rum to wash it down!

    In March 1967, the oil tanker Torrey Canyon tanker was on its way from Kuwait to Milford Haven with a full cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil. The ship took a short-cut passing close to Land's End and struck the Pollard Rock on the Seven Stones reef. Attempts to refloat the tanker were unsuccessful and as it began to break up, the cargo of crude oil was released which at the time was the most serious oil spill and costliest shipping disaster that there had ever been. Despite efforts of the military to burn off the oil by dropping aviation fuel and forty-two 1000lb bombs (25% of which missed) onto the wreck, and incendiaries similar to napalm onto the slick, the oil contaminated 120 miles of Cornish coastline. Large amounts of dispersants were used to break up the oil which were themselves quite toxic. The environmental disaster resulted in the death of 15,000 seabirds, and tar from the spill could still be found on Cornish beaches during the 1970s and 80s. Ironically, the remains of ship in 30 metres of water have created an artificial reef which is now covered in kelp and is a haven for marine life.

  16. Cross the wall and continue on the coast path to a tall waymark.

    Tin mining was carried out at Nanjizal Cove during Victorian times and in earlier times on a smaller scale. The location on the cliffs meant that water could be drained from the mines through tunnels out to the cliffs (known as drainage adits). Not far from the stile on the coast path is an opening which was an entrance into the mine (known as an "adit portal" - the word "adit" was used for any kind of horizontal tunnel). A little closer to Nanjizal along the coast path is a gully which is the remains of an "openwork" - an open-cast mine which was worked prior to Victorian times. The wheel pit next to the coast path in the valley was use to drive stamping (ore crushing) machinery.

  17. Continue ahead at the waymark and cross the bridge to reach another waymark.

    In order to be processed, ore-bearing rock mined from mineral veins needed to be crushed to a powder. In earlier times, millstones were used to grind down lumps of ore but later it was done using a process known as "stamping" where the ore was crushed by dropping heavy granite or metal weights to pound it against another hard surface (often a piece of granite known as a mortar stone - as in "pestle and mortar"). The crushing was automated first with waterwheels and later with steam engines. The process was far from quiet and could often be heard from a number of miles away.

  18. Bear left onto the path uphill towards another waymark with a blue arrow. Continue on the path in the direction of the blue arrow until it ends on a track.

    Keep a look out for choughs which can sometimes be seen on the Lands End peninsula.

    After several decades of extinction, a pair of choughs settled in 2001 on the Lizard Peninsula. Since then, the birds have successfully bred and been joined by a few more incoming birds, and the population has steadily grown and spread further across Cornwall. Each Cornish chough is fitted with one leg ring in the colours of St Piran's flag and two other colours on the opposite leg to identify them.

  19. Turn right onto the track and follow it through the gate. Pass through another metal gate and continue until it ends at a third metal gate with a pedestrian gate alongside.

    Although it's obvious that you should ensure any gates that you open, you also close, what about gates you find that are already open?

    If the gate is fully open then leave it alone as it may well be providing livestock access to a water supply, and by closing it you could end up killing them.

    If the gate is ajar or swinging loose and not wedged or tied open then it's likely that the gate was left open by accident (possibly by another group of walkers). Properly closing the offending gate behind you will not only bring joy to the landowner but you can feel good about saving lives in a car swerving to avoid a cow in the road.

  20. Go through the pedestrian gate on the left and turn left onto the track. Follow it until you reach a waymark at a fork in the track.

    Public byways are rights of way down which motor vehicles may be driven depending on how brave you are and how expensive your car is to fix. You are also permitted to use a horse-drawn carriage, should you own one. Byways tend to be surfaced in an ad-hoc manner either with gravel or occasionally with a smattering of tarmac, but still leaving plenty of room for a good crop of grass to grow down the centre. They are conventionally marked using red waymarks or a "Public Byway" sign. There are 130 miles of byways in Cornwall.

  21. Bear left at the waymark and follow the track past a gate on the left to reach a stile on the left, just past the telegraph pole.

    The farm at the junction is Higher Bosistow. Further along the lane (after the telegraph pole that you stop at) is Lower Bosistow.

    The higher of the two farms is first recorded in the 13th Century as Bodestou. The building has been rebuilt and modified over the years but parts of the current building may date back to the 17th Century. In the 18th Century, the farm was bought by a wealthy landowning family. One of their descendants in the 19th Century decided to build a more elegant residence to reflect his perceived status and this is the Lower Bosistow farmhouse (his parents remained in the upper farmhouse).

  22. Cross the stile on the left and follow the wall on the left all the way across the field, passing one gateway, to reach a gateway in the far hedge.

    Lichens are a partnership of two different organisms: a fungus providing the "accommodation" and an alga or cyanobacterium providing the "food" through photosynthesis. The fungal partner provides a cosy, sheltered environment for the alga and tends it with mineral nutrients. However, the alga partner is more than simply an imprisoned food-slave: it is such a closely-evolved alliance that the fungus is dependant on the alga for its structure. If the fungal partner is isolated and grown on an agar plate, it forms a shapeless, infertile blob.

  23. Go through the gateway and follow the right hedge to a stile in the corner (if there are crops in the field and the path through them leads to the gate instead then use this).

    Barley is a fundamental part of the rural culture - the word "barn" literally means "barley house". During mediaeval times, only the ruling classes had bread made from wheat; the peasants' bread was made from barley and rye.

  24. Cross the stile (or go through the gate) and follow all the way along the wall on the left to a metal gate in the far corner of the field.

    The site with the dishes is known as Skewjack, after the name of the neighbouring farm.

    Skewjack was formerly the RAF Sennen radar site. In the 1970s, the Lands End Radio maritime station moved here and a surf village (self-catering accommodation) was also based here. The site is now used for the British terminus for the Fibre Optic Around the Globe project.

  25. Go through the gate and head down the field, very slightly to the left as you descend, to a gap in the bottom hedge with a boulder protruding into it.

    Blackthorn and hawthorn trees both grow in similar places but in each season there are different ways to tell them apart.

    In spring, blackthorn is one of the first trees to flower. The white blossom appears before the leaves in April. In warm weather, the leaves may quickly catch up and this is when it can get mistaken for hawthorn, which produces leaves before flowers. However, there are a few other ways to distinguish the flowers: blackthorn pollen is orange whereas hawthorn is pink, fading to black. Hawthorn petals overlap each other whereas blackthorn is more "gappy".

    In summer, the leaf shape can be used to tell them apart. Blackthorn leaves are a classic leaf shape with slightly serrated edges. Hawthorn leaves have deep notches dividing the leaf into several lobes a bit like oak.

    In autumn, pretty much all hawthorn trees have small red berries, even the windswept specimens on the coast. Blackthorns trees may have purple sloes, but not all the trees fruit each year. Some years seem to result in a lot more sloes than others.

    Hawthorn trees are often a little bigger than blackthorn, especially in harsh environments such as on the coast. Blackthorn tends to form thickets whereas hawthorn are typically distinct trees. Hawthorn bark is usually shiny whereas blackthorn is dull. The thorns on hawthorn tend to be shorter (less then 2cm) and point slightly forwards on the stem. Blackthorn has longer spikes that stick out at right angles.

  26. Go through the gap and follow the path to reach a stile. Cross this and the stone stile/bridge construct beyond it. Then follow the path until you reach a junction of paths with a waymark.

    Bluebells flower along the path during the spring.

    Because bluebells spread very slowly, they're considered to be an indicator of ancient woodland sites. In areas where trees are not very old, the fact there are bluebells around can indicate that there has been a wood on a site for a very long time. Even if there are no trees there at all, bluebells tell us that there was woodland there some time in the past. The bluebells along the coast are a relic of the gnarled oak woodland that used to grow here before it was cleared for grazing. There is still a patch of the ancient oak woodland left along the coast at Dizzard.

    In mediaeval times, blackthorn was associated with evil and a bad winter is sometimes known as a Blackthorn Winter. This may also tie in with the English word "strife" which has Celtic origins. Straif was the name of a letter used in Celtic Ogham script and was originally the word for "sulphur". Some of the other letters in the script corresponded to tree names. In late mediaeval times, a retrospective assignment of trees to the letters in the alphabet used for Ogham that weren't already tree names became popular (sometimes known as the "tree alphabet") and blackthorn was chosen for Straif.

  27. When you reach the waymark, turn right and follow the path to the remains of kissing gate where you reach a field. Head straight across the field to the pair of gateways opposite.

    Stone Age flints have been found in nearly all of the fields here. Some are thought to be from the Neolithic period (from about 4500BC up to the start of the Bronze Age) and others are thought to date from the Mesolithic period (up to 15,000 years ago). To get an idea how old that is, the Egyptian Pyramids were built around the start of the Bronze Age, so that's up to about 10,000 years before that.

  28. Go through the gateway on the left and follow the right hedge to another gateway.

    Burdock flowers in July and August with pink flowers which look a little like thistle flowers. However burdock's soft, broad, foxglove-like leaves make it easy to distinguish.

    The "bur" in name of the plant (and also the word for the rough edges on metal) comes from the Viking word for "bristle". The "dock" is a reference to the large leaves. It was known as butterdock in East Cornwall dialect, perhaps because the leaves were used to wrap butter as with butterbur leaves.

    Burdock seeds contain small hooks which attach to passing animals or clothing. After a walk in the woods in 1941 that was followed by the lengthy process of removing these from clothing and dogs, a Swiss engineer realised that there was scope to apply this to something useful. The product inspired by nature (aka "biomimicry") was described as "the zipperless zipper". Today is it better known by the name of company he founded based on the French words for velvet (velour) and hook (crochet): Velcro.

    Since prehistoric times, a year of fallow was used to allow soil nutrients to recover before planting a crop the following year. By the end of the Middle Ages, a three-year scheme was in use with alternating crops allowing production two out of three years. In the 18th Century a four-crop rotation was introduced (wheat, turnips, barley, and clover) which not only resulted in continuous production but included a grazing crop and a winter fodder crop, providing food for livestock throughout the year. Crops used in the rotation had different nutrient demands, giving the soil chance to recover. In particular, bean crops and clover impart nitrogen into the soil and are therefore a key part of modern rotation schemes. As well as balancing the use of soil nutrients between years, by staggering the rotation in adjacent fields, the spread of pests and diseases is reduced.

  29. Go through the gateway and continue ahead across the field in the direction waymarked to reach the waymark on the hedge opposite. When you reach the hedge, keep this on your left to reach a gateway.

    Crows are omnivores and their ability to eat anything from animal feed to potato chips has allowed them to capitalise on food sources created by humans. Their problem-solving skills also allow them to access food that less savvy animals cannot, for example tugging on bin liners and tucking each fold under their feet to raise the contents of waste bins in motorway service stations.

  30. Head between the granite gateposts and follow the path to reach a lane. Bear right onto the lane and follow it until it ends at a junction.

    Another member of the crow family often found on farmland is the magpie.

    The folklore about magpies collecting shiny objects has been shown to be an incorrect myth. A scientific study found that magpies are actually scared of shiny objects and actively avoid them.

  31. On the opposite side of the road, to the right of the building, locate the small stile (which may be obscured by bushes). Climb this into the yard and cross the yard to the concrete steps beside the gate ahead.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 (a lot of moo is needed for the cheese and clotted cream produced in Cornwall) so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields.

    Scientists have found that adding a cupful of red seaweed per day to a cow's diet reduces the amount of methane that the cow burps out by about 80%. Due to the relatively short lifespan of methane in the atmosphere and the strong greenhouse effect from methane, this has the potential to make a quite quick but significant reduction to the rate of global warming, whilst the more tricky accumulative problem of carbon dioxide is being worked on.

  32. Climb the steps into the field and follow the right hedge to reach a similar series of stone steps in the corner of the field.

    Approximately half-way along the right hedge, just on the other side, is a granite cross.

    There are over four hundred complete stone crosses in Cornwall and at least another two hundred fragments.

    In the mediaeval period, stone crosses were sometimes placed by the road or path to mark the route to the parish church. Farms and hamlets were usually linked to the church by the most direct and level route. Crosses were also placed along routes of pilgrimage. Both of these have evolved to become some of today's Public Rights of Way.

  33. Climb the stone steps and follow the left hedge to a kissing gate.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 (a lot of moo is needed for the cheese and clotted cream produced in Cornwall) so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields.

    The Ramblers Association and National Farmers Union suggest some "dos and don'ts" for walkers which we've collated with some info from the local Countryside Access Team.

    Do

    • Stop, look and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves
    • Be prepared for farm animals to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you.
    • Try to avoid getting between cows and their calves.
    • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd.
    • Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep.
    • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock.
    • If you and your dog feel threatened, work your way to the field boundary and quietly make your way to safety.
    • Report any dangerous incidents to the Cornwall Council Countryside Access Team - phone 0300 1234 202 for emergencies or for non-emergencies use the iWalk Cornwall app to report a footpath issue (via the menu next to the direction on the directions screen).

    Don't

    • If you are threatened by cattle, don't hang onto your dog: let it go to allow the dog to run to safety.
    • Don't put yourself at risk. Find another way around the cattle and rejoin the footpath as soon as possible.
    • Don't panic or run. Most cattle will stop before they reach you. If they follow, just walk on quietly.
  34. Go through the gate and cross the stile. Then walk alongside the cottages on your right to reach a lane.
  35. Turn left onto the lane and follow it until it ends in a T-junction.

    The first record of Trevescan is from 1201 as Treweskin and is thought to mean simply "Weskin's farm". The fact that the name is in Cornish suggests that the settlement may date back to early mediaeval times but this is not as strongly the case as in East Cornwall where the Cornish language fell out of use much more quickly after the Norman Conquest.

  36. Carefully cross the road and follow the track opposite, marked with a public footpath sign. Continue until you reach a waymark post pointing at a path leading off to the right.

    During late winter or early spring, if you encounter a patch of plants with white bell-shaped flowers, smelling strongly of onions, and with long, narrow leaves then they are likely to be three-cornered leeks. Once you're familiar with their narrow, ridged leaves, you'll be able to spot these emerging from late October onwards.

    All plants in the onion family including three-cornered leeks are poisonous to dogs. Keep dogs away from the plant and wash their paws if they come into contact with it.

    Project Neptune was started by the National Trust in 1965 to purchase and protect large portions of the British coastline. By 1973 it had achieved its target of raising £2 million and 338 miles of coastline were looked-after. The project was so successful that it is still running although mainly focused on maintenance. There is still an occasional opportunity when privately-owned coastal land is sold. A particularly notable one was in 2016 when the land at Trevose Head was put up for sale and successfully purchased by the National Trust.

    In 1981 the National Trust put in a bid for £1 million using funds from Project Neptune to buy the coastline at Lands End.

  37. Turn right onto the waymarked path and follow it to some stone steps over a boulder leading into a field. Enter the field and follow the path ahead beneath the telegraph pole with a white rectangle to reach a kissing gate.

    Between the two species, some gorse is almost always in flower, hence the old country phrases: "when gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion" (which is recorded from the mid-19th century) and "when the furze is in bloom, my love's in tune" (which dates from the mid-18th century). Common gorse flowers are bright yellow. Western gorse flowers are very slightly more orange - more like the colour of the "yolk" in a Cadbury's creme egg. Also like creme eggs, gorse flowers are edible but are significantly better for use in salads and to make a tea, beer or wine.

    The development of Land’s End as a tourist attraction began back in the mid 1850s. It was owned by many generations of a local family who oversaw the development until 1980.

    In 1982, Land's End was purchased by Welsh businessman David Goldstone for 2.25 million, outbidding the National Trust who were hoping to prevent over-commercialisation. In 1983, Goldstone introduced an admission charge which lead to riots with people lying across the road to block traffic. It was sold again in 1987 for 7 million to Peter De Savary. Two new buildings were constructed and the theme park was created.

  38. Go through the gate and continue ahead to a stile just to the right of the gate opposite.

    The fields here are thought to be remnants of a mediaeval field system, some of which were terraced with earth and stone banks. Many of the fields would have originally been smaller, but some hedges have been removed over the years to create larger fields as farming became more industrialised.

  39. Cross the stile and cross the field towards the row of houses to reach a waymarked stile nestled between the boulders on the right of the gate.

    The granite at Lands End is quite distinctive with long, white crystals visible in the rocks. The body of granite stretches all the way to St Ives and is the reason that West Penwith is so rugged.

    The word granite comes from the Latin granum (a grain), in reference to its coarse-grained structure. Granite forms from a big blob of magma (known as a pluton) which intrudes into the existing rocks. The huge mass of molten rock stores an enormous amount of heat so the magma cools very slowly below the surface of the Earth, allowing plenty of time for large crystals to form.

  40. Cross the stile and follow the wall on the right to reach a kissing gate.

    On a clear day, the Isles of Scilly can seen on the horizon above the Longships lighthouse.

    The Scilly Isles lie 28 miles off Lands End and can be seen with the naked eye on a clear day. Scilly has been inhabited since the Stone Age and the inhabitants originally spoke the Celtic (Cornish) language. It is thought that possibly even as recently as Roman times, the 55 islets were once part of one large single island that has since been flooded by rising sea levels. During low spring tides, it is still possible to wade between some of the islands.

  41. Go through the gate and bear left onto the lane. Follow the lane until you reach a bend with Longships Watch Holiday Cottage on the left.

    Netting for mullet has been an important fishery at Sennen Cove for hundreds of years. In Edwardian times, up to 12,000 fish were caught at one time using seine nets hauled in from the beach. This traditional practice still continues and ten tonnes of mullet were caught in a single haul in 2015. However, the fishery has recently come under criticism as the fish aggregate in large shoals prior to spawning, and are caught before they are able to produce the next generation. It is, however, possible that the percentage of spawning fish caught by this method are sufficiently low that it is a sustainable practice. It is also possible that in the future, approaches similar to the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow might be possible to achieve the "best of both worlds" where the captured adults are allowed to spawn in controlled conditions before being harvested for food, and the young are released after the benefit of completing the most vulnerable stages of their growth in a safe environment, boosting stocks beyond the levels of "natural" spawning.

  42. Follow the lane around the bend to the right and continue until you eventually reach Pol-An-Dre on the right and then a narrow drive with a Public Footpath sign just past this on the left.

    The bay on your left is known as Whitesand Bay, with Aire Point on the far side.

    There is a beach at Sennen Cove at all states of the tide but as the tide falls, a large area of white sand is revealed and the beach merges with Gwynver beach to form a mile of continuous white sand - hence the name Whitesand Bay (not to be confused with Whitsand Bay which is in southeast Cornwall, near Plymouth). The hard granite cliffs shed very little stone into the sand so it is formed predominantly from fragments of sea shells, particularly clam shells which are very pale in colour. The sand is similar at Porthcurno and Portheras Cove.

    In Cornish, the bay is known simply as Porth Senan (Sennen Cove). The bay is backed by nearly 100 acres of sand dunes, trapped between the headlands of Pedn-mên-du and Aire Point which form an important habitat for rare insect species.

  43. Turn left down the drive and follow it to a house. Join the narrow path departing from the right side of the driveway and follow this until you reach the road by the waterfront. Turn left to return to the car park and complete the circular route.

    There are good views across Whitesand Bay from the path and on a calm day you may be able to see the wreck of the SS Beaumaris.

    The SS Beaumaris was torpedoed 2.5 miles northwest of The Longships in February 1918 by a German U-boat. All the crew apart from the captain and a radio operator left the ship in lifeboats and were guided into shore by the Sennen lifeboat. The captain managed to run the ship onshore in Whitesand Bay and the top of the wreck now breaks the surface at low tide.

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