The Lizard Peninsula has such a diverse coastline that you sometimes wouldn’t believe you’re in the same area of Cornwall!
From the epic cliff formations of Kynance Cove and Mullion to Lizard point, to grey pebble bays and quarries around Porthoustock, all the way to sheltered, tropical-looking coves along Helford river. You could definitely spend several days exploring just the Lizard and it’s different parts.
There’s still so much of it that I’m yet to visit myself, but last summer I spent a good many days driving down with picnics to various spots along the river, camping overnight and finding hidden coves too. However on this particular trip, Niki and I made it our mission to visit a couple of new bays – Porthallow, Porthoustock, and Kennack Sands.
We parked up in the quaint fishing village of Porthallow to begin with, walking past ‘The Five Pilchards’ pub and onto the grey pebble beach with the dogs. From here, you can see right across to the other side of Helford river’s mouth, and even across to Falmouth.
Originally planning to walk northwards along the coast path to Nare point, we started up the steps – after stopping to have a good laugh at John’s Weather Forecasting Stone of course 😂.
Part way along the coast path, we realised that it wasn’t possible to reach any of the prettier, sandy coves we were hoping to along the way (it looks like they’re only accessible by sea), so we turned around and went back to the car park to regroup and assess our route.
The next beach down along the coast would have been Porthkerris, but the access for this by car was closed, so we drove past here and ended up down some *incredibly* windy tight, winding roads down to Porthoustock. Here, it feels as if you can almost drive directly onto the beach!
The beach here again is mainly grey pebble, which I must admit isn’t my favourite type of beach. While the village is really pretty, the coast here feels weirdly industrial, with a huge concrete ruin of an old silo to the left hand side of the beach, and a large quarry to the right. HOWEVER, I am told this is an excellent spot for kayakers and divers, with Manacles reef and the SS Mohegan shipwreck beneath the surface! I am not a diver but will definitely be back with the kayaks this summer…
We moved on down the coast by car to find our next spot. I’ve been to Coverack before and walked along the coast there, so we skipped that part, although I’d definitely like to do a longer walk along there to visit some of the smaller coves. Niki, Alex, James and I managed to find one of these last summer and it was breathtaking!
The next place we decided on was Kennack Sands, a dog friendly stretch of two beaches, with a car park and a little cafe, and some light sand for us to sit on this time! Niki said she’d been told she visited here when she was a kid, but couldn’t remember it, so it was a fun new adventure for both of us (and the dogs loved it too!).
When you walk along the coast path here, you’ll stumble upon a number of old World War II pill boxes and a ruin of a defence wall running along the edge of the beach too. The concrete shelters were used as places to observe and defend during the war, and you can still go inside this one too (I’m standing on top of it).
Kennack Sands was our last stop for the day before heading home, and I was glad we managed to fit so much in and I could tick a few places off my list. I love seeing the different areas of Cornwall and how contrasting they are.