IT DOESN’T GET MORE SOUTHERLY THAN THIS. WELCOME TO THE MAGNIFICENT BEAUTY OF LIZARD POINT…
It’s the most southerly point on mainland Great Britain. In fact, with the exception of little chunks of the Isles of Scilly, it’s the southernmost part of the United Kingdom. It’s Lizard Point and it’s damn famous and incredibly beautiful.
Managed by the National Trust, Lizard Point lies some 11 miles south of Helston on the Lizard peninsula and about 800m from the village of Lizard, extending out to sea like a rocky finger. While Land’s End, England’s most westerly point (if you agree Cornwall is part of England… we’ll save that for another day…), has more, how should we say it, razzmatazz, what with that famous signpost and visitors complex, Lizard Point is an altogether more serene affair. There is a signpost here, though, so you can evidence your southern journey’s end on Instagram.
The views from the point are nothing short of spectacular and there’s drama here throughout the year. In winter, you can watch in awe as giant waves batter away at the rocks below the point. In summer, you might be lucky to spot some of the sea life that teems around the area including dolphins, seals and occasionally giant basking sharks. Of course, let’s not forget those views out to sea over the jagged rocks and coastline that are breathtakingly beautiful, whatever the weather.
Below the point itself there’s a picturesque old lifeboat station which was in operation from 1859 before it closed in 1961 and was replaced by the current station in Kilcobben Cove just over a mile up the coast, near the eastern edge of Lizard village, in a far less exposed spot. Both the old station and the Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre, which has sat above the point since the 1750s and is well worth a visit, point to how treacherous the waters here can be. Many a ship has succumbed to the rocks that stretch out into the ocean around the point.
Around the point there’s a small drag of independent coffee stops, a pub and some shops, all of which invariably advertise themselves as ‘Britain’s most southerly [insert shop/pub/coffee store etc here]’ but it’s all good fun and they’re all pretty good quality. Given where they are, the views from each spot are quite simply spectacular so it’s well worth stopping to have your ‘most southerly’ ice cream or coffee as you gaze over the cliffs into the deep blue.
There’s some great walking in the area too, not least the two-mile trek westward from the point to the gorgeous Kynance Cove. Certainly a trip to Lizard Point is all about the great outdoors, whether it’s looking at the grand Cornish vistas or contemplating how nature has forged the history of the point and its human-made landmarks. It’s not too bad down south, we’ll have you know.