Islands Around Cornwall to Visit
June 27th, 2023
Luxury doesn’t come much more indulgent than our holiday cottages in Cornwall, and with so much to see in the beautiful county, venturing away from your holiday accommodation for the day is a must
Cornwall has plenty to explore, especially along its breath-taking coastline. Scattered with captivating little islands, we have selected our top locations for those who are eager for a mini adventure! Discover how to get to them and why you should visit.
St Michael’s Mount
Where: St Michael’s Mount is situated just 500 metres away from Marazion.
Now part of the National Trust, St Michael’s Mount is one of the classic hotspots of Cornwall. The history of the island is vast, and the site greets visitors with captivating mediaeval architecture and fascinating sub-tropical terraced gardens to explore. It is believed to have origins as a monastery in the 8th and 11th century, though this is not confirmed.
The island can be accessed via a human-made causeway which is revealed during low tide, making St Michael’s Mount an exciting location to travel to by foot.
On high tides, the mount can be accessed or exited by boat.
Where: Godrevy is situated on the East side of St Ives Bay.
From the Cornish coastline, viewers can gaze upon the charming lighthouse which sits upon the island. The lighthouse is believed to have been the source of inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse.
The small 12-acre island is renowned for its rockiness and has been the unfortunate setting for many tragic shipwrecks due to the Stones Reef just off the island, until the lighthouse was created in-between 1858 and 1859.
The best way to view Godrevy island and lighthouse is to organise a walk on the South West Coast Path. The hike will take you across Godrevy Head which reveals incredible views of St Ives and Trevose Head, with Godrevy Lighthouse stealing the show.
The area is also known for inhabiting grey seals from autumn to January, so keep your eyes peeled when travelling past private beaches and coves.
Looe Island / St George’s Island
Where: Looe Island is one mile away from the Cornish town of Looe.
Part of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone, Looe Island is the home of many unique species of animals and birds including Shetland ponies, Hebridean sheep and grey seals. It also boasts the largest breeding colony of the great black-backed gulls in the county.
You can visit Looe Island through the organisation of official guided trips. The boat leaves from RNLI station on East Looe, and the boat trips last around two hours in length.
St Clement’s Isle
Where: St Clement’s Isle can be spied just off the coast from Mousehole.
This small but fascinating rocky islet is full of wonder and charm and is said to have once belonged to an ancient hermit who resided there. It is about 500m from the harbour, and it is best viewed from the shoreline where you can see the energetic activity of wild birds. Some days it is also a vantage point to spot grey seals on its tiny beach.
Wild swimmers have been known to swim there, though this is not recommended!
If you walk from the village, you can find a huge cave which is rumoured to be how Mousehole got its name (Mouse Hole).
Isles of Scilly
Where: The Isles of Scilly are 25 miles off the tip of Cornwall.
One of Cornwall’s most unique features is the Isles of Scilly. Its beautiful collection of pretty islands draws visitors in search of its unique and unspoilt landscape. You may be pleased to know that hopping over to the Isles of Scilly is possible on a day trip!
The largest of the Isles is St Mary’s, which also happens to be the best choice for a one day visit. Find a secluded spot on one of its gleaming, white sand beaches or make your way to energetic Hugh Town.
The Scillonian III is a direct boat to the Isles and is acclaimed for its unforgettable views of the Cornish coastline in two hours and 40-minutes.
Which of the islands featured are you eager to visit? Why not let us know on our social media channels; we would love to know!
Flowers on the Cornish Coastline
January 18th, 2021
Cornwall is renowned for its gorgeous countryside and coastline, and with so much space for wildlife and nature, there are plenty of brilliant blooms to be spotted.
As we head into summer months, the flowers are out in full force, popping up over the Cornish coastline in a stunning display of colour and life. As the days begin to warm up, wildflower meadows can be spotted along coast paths, adding to the spectacular sea views!
Here are just a few of the flower varieties you may see when out and about by the Cornish coast!
* While at the moment, we can only admire this wildlife through our screens, once it is safe to travel again, why not come to see the coastline and wildflowers for yourself? Our 5-star cottages in Cornwall would make the perfect base for your adventures in Cornwall.
This flower thrives in salty air, making it a common sight atop cliffs around Cornwall. The tall plant features bursts of small yellow flowers, which have a distinctive smell.
Originally, the plant was introduced to the UK by the Romans, when it was used as a foodstuff, as it is edible. While not many people would consider munching on one of these flowers nowadays, they are still enjoyed by many a horse!
This dainty succulent will be found all over the coastline and other rocky areas in Cornwall.
The red buds of the plant burst into star-shaped white blooms, scattering some colour across the rocky faces of each cliff.
Found in clumps along most coast paths, this flower grows well on the coastal grasses found atop cliffs. The purple-tinged buds open up to reveal neat white flowers.
As a maritime species, it is almost solely found around the seaside in Britain.
As well as being found in grasslands, the round, blue heads of the Sheep’s-bit flower can also be found along cliffs.
Growing between May and September near to the sea, this plant is often found alongside many others, forming a flowery carpet.
While daisies can be found countrywide, beautiful swathes of these larger oxeye daisies spread across the coast and countryside in Cornwall. These flowers are out in full force over the summer months.
Oxeye daisies are also known as ‘Moon Daisies’, as their bright white petals appear to glow as the day turns to night.
Another plant for the summer months, the sea carrot pops up with rounded flowerheads across the South coast. It predominantly grows in grass areas on the tops of cliffs and in sturdier sand dunes.
The saucer-shaped heads contain many tiny flowers in pink or white.
These star-shaped purpley-blue flowers can be found in grassy spots near to the sea. The flowers on this compact plant are often crammed close together, forming a dainty cluster.
Like most coastal plants, they are a low-growing flower. A member of the lily family, the spring squill is also related to bluebells and wild garlic, although they do not have a smell!
What is your favourite Cornish coastal wildflower? Let us know via our social media channels! If you love flowers, gardens and nature, then you should also check out five of the best gardens in Cornwall.
Image Credit: Rod Allday
5 Fascinating Facts About the Lizard Peninsula
October 19th, 2020
The Lizard Peninsula is the most southern part of the UK, standing out for its unique geology and rock formations. Its rugged, rocky coastline is believed to contain rock which dates to over 500 million years old!
What is the Lizard Peninsula?
Almost an island of its own, the Lizard Peninsula is an impressive rocky headland surrounded by ocean on three of its sides with the Helford River to the North.
Situated on the South West Coast Path, it is a popular spot for walkers who come to marvel at its beauty as they enjoy a spot of adventure during their Cornwall short breaks.
It’s beautiful landscape not only attracts the attention of visitors, but the unique area is a hot spot for scientists as well! We explore its incredible history and offerings with our top selection of fascinating facts!
The Origins of Its Name is Not What You Assume
Despite its mysterious title, the name ‘Lizard’ unfortunately doesn’t derive from mystical origins.
Neither does the name come from the Serpentine rock which the area is renowned for. The surface of Serpentine transforms into a snake and scaly like surface once polished.
The roots of its name are relatively ambivalent, but one proposal is that it comes from the Cornish term ‘Lys Ardh’ which means ‘high court’.
Another suggestion is that the name has connections to the Cornish word ‘lezou’ which is translated to ‘headland’.
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
Home to the UK’s Most Southerly Lighthouse
As the most southerly point in the UK, it comes as little surprise that it also boasts the UK’s most southerly lighthouse.
Previous to the lighthouse’s construction in 1752, the coast of the Lizard was a dangerous area for ships and was titled the ‘Graveyard of Ships’. The spot is now home to the Lizard Lifeboat Station.
Mainland Britain’s Largest Outcrop of Serpentine
As mentioned, the Lizard Peninsula has been a point of interest for scientists and geologists.
It isn’t uncommon to see many university students visit the area as the rocks here are not found in nearby locations.
One distinct rock is Serpentine. The Lizard Peninsula is mainland Britain’s most significant outcrop of the rock. It’s striking appearance was reportedly favoured by Queen Victoria which heightened the industry in the 19th-century.
Best Preserved Exposed Ophiolite in the UK
Another area of geological interest at the Lizard Peninsula is the ophiolite.
The Lizard Peninsula is heralded as UK’s top spot to see the best-preserved source of exposed ophiolite.
An ophiolite is a unique form of rock formation which is produced from the Earth’s oceanic crust pushed onto the continental crust. It is often green in colour.
The parts of ophiolite include:
• The serpentinites
• The ‘oceanic complex’
• The metamorphic basement
An ophiolite can be found in the mountain belts of locations such as the Himalayas and the Alps, and amazingly you can also see it in Cornwall!
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
It’s an Area of Outstanding Beauty
The Lizard Peninsula has received many awards for its stunning landscape and is a heavily protected area. It is largely recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as providing eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest. These awards and sites are specifically bestowed to protect the geology and wildlife of the area.
The Lizard Peninsula is cared for and under the ownership of a variety of organisations including the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England.
Off land, the surrounding ocean at the Manacles has been awarded as a Marine Conservation Zone which is rich in marine biodiversity.
The Lizard Peninsula is a stunning, natural and protected area, providing the ultimate location for wildlife to blossom. What are your favourite facts about the Lizard Peninsula? Which has not been covered in our blog? Why not share your thoughts on our social media channels; we would love to know!
The Best Cornish Beaches for Walks
September 18th, 2020
If you’re staying in one of our sought-after dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall, no doubt you are looking forward to some beautiful walks along the coast! Cornwall is inundated with beautiful beaches across its coastline, attracting avid walkers every year!
All our beaches featured are perfect for walking with or without a dog, and we advise on the best times to visit if you are with your furry friend!
Our Chosen Locations
There are many beautiful beach walks in the county, so to narrow down our top picks, we have mainly focussed on the southern area of Cornwall below Truro.
Many of our chosen locations feature stunning walks either on the beach or surrounding it; you may notice the South West Coast Path features in a few of our sites!
Gwithian Towans Beach
As Cornwall’s longest beach, Gwithian had to feature on our list.
The beach lies between Hayle and Godrevy, and the whole stretch of golden sand can be accessed when the tide is low. Three miles in length, it is the perfect place for those who want to take off their shoes and walk with their toes in the sand.
When the surf is pumping, the beach becomes a showground of surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing displays! The rolling sand dunes behind the beach are also perfect for those who want an adventure.
Note, dogs are not permitted on the beach during July and August.
One of the main appeals of the beach is its great history! A buried castle is believed to exist beneath the sand belonging to a man called Tendar, an alleged ‘Pagan persecutor of Christians’.
A medieval chapel, St Govian’s, is also rumoured to lie beneath the sand dunes and was last seen in the 1940s!
At one end of the beach, you will find the beautiful Godrevy Lighthouse, built to signify the dangerous Storms Reef.
Situated just in front of the beach, it makes a stunning photograph, especially on stormier days or during a fiery sunset!
Sennen is a favourite hotspot for surfers. The stunning cove is lined with beautiful white sand, and it is the perfect place for those hoping to try their hand at watersports; the beach is lifeguarded during the summer season, and there are plenty of surf schools to provide extra guidance!
If you want to stick solely to walking, the beach and surrounding areas provide many stunning walks for visitors to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll across the beach and absorb the dramatic coastline and hub of activity.
Note that dogs are not permitted on Sennen Beach from 5th May to 30th September between the times of 10am and 6pm.
If you have more energy to blow off, follow the South West Coast Path to other close-by locations including Land’s End to the South and Gwenver beach to the north, which is a dog-friendly beach throughout the year.
Walking to Land’s End from Sennen
Only 1.5 km to Land’s End, Sennen is the perfect base to start an exploration to the famous tourist hotspot at the tip of the county.
It is a reasonably easy walk, with almost no steep inclines throughout the hike. If you fancy a different path to the way you came, there are a few circular routes you can take to return to Sennen.
If you are feeling particularly energetic, you can continue on the South West coast path down towards Nanjizal Beach once you have reached Land’s End.
Nanjizal Beach is a beautiful secluded beach which isn’t easily accessible by car, so walking is the best way to get there and well worth the visit if you are feeling up to it!
It is famous for the Song of the Sea, a captivating natural rock arch which floods with beautiful light in the sun. The beach welcomes dogs all year round!
One of Falmouth’s favourite and largest beaches, the bright turquoise waters of Gyllyngvase Beach attracts many visitors throughout the year.
Only a 10-minute walk from Falmouth’s town centre, it is easily accessible and a family favourite due to its calm waters and pretty sand. The beach is also a great starting point for coastal walks to other must-see spots including Swanpool Beach and Maenporth.
Note that dogs are not permitted on Sennen Beach from 5th May to 30th September between the times of 10am and 6pm.
Porthleven is a pretty fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall. The beach is sandy and is accessible to other spots in the area including Loe Bar, just up from the beach in a 40 minutes’ walk.
Longer walks along the South West Coast Past from Porthleven include Mullion and Praa Sands which are situated either side of the beach.
Which of our featured beaches will you be looking forward to strolling on? Have we missed your favourite location for a beach walk? Why not share your thoughts with us on our social media channels; we would love to know more about your favourite hikes!