If escaping the crowds is your goal this summer then we have some amazing ideas for you! We’ve got you covered if you are heading for the wilds of Bodmin Moor or the mysterious landscapes of the Lizard or of course, the hidden treasures and quieter corners of Penwith.
Here’s our pick of some of the lesser known gems of Cornwall’s most south-westerly region!
St Loy Cove
If you are looking for a stretch of coast that encapsulates the raw, weathered wildness of Penwith then it is well worth taking the time to seek out St Loy Cove. This boulderous beach has been the setting for pirate raids and dramatic shipwrecks as well as home to a now lost chapel and holy well. It has an atmosphere all of its own and the coastal path in either direction is simply breath-taking.
Perched on one of the highest points in Penwith this 18th century folly known as Roger’s Tower sits like a miniature castle surrounded by wonderful panoramic views. The tower was actually built as a picnic spot within the confines of an Iron Age hillfort and the 2000 year old circular banks and ditches are still clearly visible.
St Pol de Leon Church, Paul
One of the best places to escape the summer sun and the crowds is to find yourself inside the cool interior of a church. And Paul Church, close to Newlyn, is bursting with fascinating history to discover. In the churchyard is ancient wheel-headed cross as well as the monument erected to Dolly Pentreath, said to be the last native Cornish speaker. Inside there are the original box pews, arts and craft stained glass and a moving memorial to the Penlee lifeboat disaster. This church was set alight in 1595 when the Spanish raided Mousehole and Newlyn and it said that the black marks still visible on the stone pillars are from this event.
Sancreed Beacon gets its name from the warning fires that were once lit here during the Napoleonic Wars and rising 172m above sea level this is another place to marvel at the views. Cared for by Cornwall Heritage Trust is a beautiful stretch of moorland bursting with rare flora and fauna, wild ponies often graze here. There are the remains to Bronze Age burial mounds on the summit as well as the tell-tale signs of more recent mining activity.
The drive to Zennor from St Ives has been deemed one of the most scenic roads in the UK and the village itself is full of charm and interest. The ancient lichen covered church holds the famous Mermaid’s Chair, an ancient oak carving that has inspired legends, poetry, songs and books. The cosy village pub, The Tinner’s Arms, dates back to 1271 making it one of the oldest inns in Cornwall and for here you can walk out onto Zennor Head, a dramatic greenstone headland towering high above the tossing waves of the Atlantic.