Land’s End in Cornwall

Land’s End is a strange place, if you think about it. It is neither as exotic a destination as Cape Horn or Cape Good Hope. It is not the most westerly point of Europe and neither are you sufficiently far removed from civilisation to capture the romance and mystery of something on the edge of human existence. It is simply the most southerly point in the UK and sits on the westerly part of England like a finger pointing towards the Atlantic…

Nonetheless it is worth a visit as it is the furthest you can drive west in Cornwall – land of tall hedgerows, rolling hills, countless farms, tractors and not much else… There is only one road leading there, really, so take your time and be prepared for some traffic. But there are little lanes heading off left and right, and the English countryside is lovely and green and there are quite a few bays and seaside towns along the way. Dark forests encroach onto the road, heather fills the hillsides and stone walls and hedgerows lead you along. We were lucky with the dreary grey skies opening up to some welcome sunshine as we followed the two-lane road.

The road ends at a visitor centre perched about a hundred feet above the waves near the edge of the steep cliffs. There’s a bit of history there and some nice walking paths that follow the cliff edge. No beaches here – that’s a bit further east near Penzance and along the south coast. And let Penzance be the inspiration for a local pirate craft-maker in an old clutch of buildings along the walkway. Follow the path for as long as you like, or as far as you can risk being blown off the edge…

But all this sight-seeing does build up an appetite, so join the queue at the centre for the best Cornish Pasty in the west of England… Take a seat on a rock overlooking the waves far below and contemplate just how wide and mighty the Atlantic could be. Worth a detour for that alone…