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Circular Day Hiking The Lizard Via Poltesco And Kynance Cove In Cornwall

Circular Day Hiking The Lizard Poltesco Kynance Cove Cornwall England UK

Circular Day Hiking The Lizard Via Poltesco And Kynance Cove In Cornwall was the sixth and last day hiking trip of a Holiday Fellowship (HF) Holidays St Ives Cornwall hiking holiday.

The route was circular around the Lizard coastline from Lizard Green via Poltesco, Carleon, Cadgwith, Polpeor and Kynance Cove.

The distance was 11.25 miles with a total ascent of 1200 feet.

This was the longest day of hiking during the wee with just enough time to eat an ice cream on Lizard Green at the end.

The Lizard Day, Poltesco, Kynance Cove Video

The Lizard Day Hiking – Poltesco, Kynance Cove, Cornwall

This video slideshow shows the highlights of this The Lizard Day Hiking – Poltesco, Kynance Cove, Cornwall trip.

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The Lizard Day, Poltesco, Kynance Cove Route

We were taken by coach to Lizard Green. From there we did a short road hike to Landewednack church, the most southerly church in England. Next, we hiked northwards across fields towards Poltesco and Carleon Cove. After that we turned south after joining the coastal path and passed through Cadgwith. We then continued the hike along the coastal path past two collapsed caves called the Devil’s Frying Pan and the Lion’s Den on the way to Lizard Point. Continuing on the coastal path we hiked to Kynance Cove.

From the car park at the top we used tracks and field paths and an ancient Cornish “hedge” footpath, to hike back to Lizard Green and the coach. Circular Day Hiking The Lizard Via Poltesco And Kynance Cove In Cornwall was through good field and cliff paths with some stony sections.

The Lizard Day Hiking – Poltesco, Kynance Cove, Cornwall Local Info


Landewednack, or “Lanndewynnek” in Cornish, is a civil parish located on the most southern extreme on the Lizard Peninsular. It is also a small remote hamlet on the eastern point of the Lizard above Church Cove which is now a suburb of Lizard Village.

Lizard Village And Green

Lizard Village is a tourist centre in the Landewednack parish. The name Lizard comes from the Cornish words “Lis” meaning “place”, and “Ard” meaning “high”. Lizard Green is a large village green and common ground in the village and contains a free car park and public toilets. Surrounding the green are a number of shops and cafes for visitors to purchase food and gifts. There is a great pasty shop just off the green and a fish and chip shop with fresh local fish. There is also a public House “The Top House” and a Post office behind the pub

Landewednack or St Wynwallow Church

Landewednack parish church in the hamlet of Landewednack was devoted to St Winwaloe, is Church of England and is the most southern church in England. It is constructed from local Serpentinite stone and is now a Grade I listed building. Founded around 600 AD, the oldest section of the church these days is a Norman doorway from the 12th century. A 13th century porch and a 15th century new window in the tower were added during restorations.


Poltesco is an unspoilt National Trust valley of containing an old serpentine works located on the eastern side of The Lizard. The works was constructed in 1866 and is in Carleon Cove. It was originally powered by water and later enhanced with a steam engine. In 1883 it employed twenty three workers to produce polished serpentine stone souvenirs. It was closed down in 1893. There is a 3 storey warehouse which is partly ivy covered and beyond that a round capstan house used to pull fishing vessels up the shingle beach.

Carleon Cove

Today, Carleon Cove is a deserted rocky cove with access via a long incline which is partly cobbled and a bridge over an attractive stream. A few ruins of what was once a busy pilchard fishery and cellar still remain until it closed in the middle of the 19th century. The cellar buildings were later extended to enable a steam engine to power machines which were used for cutting and polishing serpentine. The stream was also made deeper to enable barges with flat bottoms to transport the serpentine products to ships out at sea. A National Trust car park is available in nearby Poltesco.


Cadgwith is a delightful little village with a sheltered harbour. Each side of the village is a steep street lined with pink and white cottages. If you take a closer look you’ll see that the thatched roofs of the cottages are held in place using weighty chains to stop winter gales blowing them off. Cadgwith used to be a major fishing harbour but the shoals of pilchards around which business was based are now gone. In the 19th century Cadgwith held the record for catching pilchards at 1.3 million pilchards in 1 day. The few fishing boats that remain catch crab, lobster and a few local fish. Still standing on the quay beside the inn is the old pilchard cellar.

Devil’s Frying Pan

After a short while along the coastal path from Cadgwith to Lizard Point you’ll come across “The Devil’s Frying Pan”, a distinctive 200 foot deep hole with an arched entrance created a result of the roof of a sea cave collapsing. It’s difficult to imagine how it got its name when you see it on a calm day but when there’s a storm, the water bubbles and froths like fluid frying in a pan.

The Lion’s Den

Below the Lizard Lighthouse is “The Lion’s Den”, a big conical hole in the top of the cliff, created when the roof of a sea cave collapsed in 1847. In front of The Lion’s Den is “Bumble Rock”, a rocky outcrop in the sea, which to me looks a bit like a lion sitting on it’s haunches and guarding it’s den.

Lizard Point

Lizard Point with the “Lizard Lighthouse” above is the most southern part of Great Britain. Just offshore are the “Man o’ War” rocks. There has been a lighthouse on Lizard Point since 1751, giving ships warnings about the hazards of this attractive but dangerous coastline. Below the point is the Old Lifeboat House in “Polpeor Cove”. The present day lifeboat station is a few miles east of the headland in Kilcobben Cove.

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is located on one of the most spectacular parts of the Cornish Coastline about 2 miles north of Lizard Point and became fashionable in the early Victorian period. It is believed that the Cove has been occupied by the Celts since 300 years BC. The cove and the coast around it are now owned by the National Trust. The beach is a golden sand when the tide is out and is reached via steep steps. There are basic facilities in the form of a shop, cafe and toilets. Visitors should be careful because there are no lifeguards or emergency facilities and there is a real danger of being cut off when the tide comes in. Also, dogs are not allowed on the beach.

Cornish “hedge” footpath

Land in the Lizard district used to be divided up by walls not fences. These walls were constructed using an unusual method, 50% stone and 50% earth. The hedges have long been used for walking on during the worst weather. The path that runs along the top of the hedge is better for walkers compared to the road because it is drier. These hedge-top paths were used not just in snowy conditions but also in heavy rain and over difficult terrain like boggy areas. There used to be many of these Cornish hedge footpaths but only a few still remain.

When Done & With Whom

I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a St Ives Cornwall hiking holiday with HF Holidays (HF) in England during May 2010. We were driven by coach from our HF Holidays accommodation named “Chy Morvah” in St. Ives to the start location of Lizard Green on The Lizard.

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