Cornwall Life visits Lands End... Our peninsula
Land's End peninsula is a popular tourist attraction and the base for many people's adventures from here to John O'Groats. Lesley Double speaks to some of the locals about its particular appeal
Land’s End peninsula is a popular tourist attraction and the base for many people’s adventures from here to John O’Groats. Lesley Double speaks to some of the locals about its particular appeal
Today we think of Land’s End as a tourist attraction, but it has been one for almost 200 years, first bringing holidaymakers by horse and carriage along the roads from Penzance, but now they come mainly by car and coach, with visitors coming to this piece of land from all over the world. Since 1980 various owners have done much to improve and smarten up the area, rebuilding and repainting, making pathways and clearing streams, even achieving environmental awards for their work. There are various museums and shops on the site, including the base for the famous End-to-End route, which highlights the many exhausting, exhilarating and diverse ways people have travelled the highways and byways between Land’s End and John O’Groats. Land’s End supports local fundraising ventures, which usually take place during the summer months: Air Sea Rescue Day is on 29 July and Air Ambulance Day is on 26 August. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening in August, there are Magic in the Skies Firework Spectaculars, which take place at dusk. There is also live music from bands such as the Cornish Wurzles and Not The Beatles.
Brian Wood is the Maintenance Manager and First Aider and has worked at Land’s End for 30 years. “I often come out here in the evenings after work to watch the sunset. There’s no better place to watch it than from here. The views are lovely in the summer, but in the winter, when there’s a storm 10 blowing, and waves and spray are crashing right over the lighthouse, they are spectacular.
“We frequently see a Cornish chough on the cliffs”
I’ve worked here for a long time and there have been a lot of changes. The pathways have made a lot of difference. It’s allowed for all kinds of wildlife to flourish, especially birds and flowers. We frequently see a Cornish chough on the cliffs.”
Peter Puddiphatt works for 15 days a month at The Signpost, taking photos of visitors, which is probably one of the most famous attractions at Land’s End. “It’s a pleasure to be here, to see the different colours of the sea and cliffs, and I meet lots of interesting people. I’ve only been open for half an hour today, but I’ve already met people from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Italy.
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“It’s a pleasure to be here, to see the different colours of the sea and cliffs, and I meet interesting people”
If it’s quiet, I look out to sea for basking sharks and dolphins, and watch the birds swooping over the cliffs. Sometimes people say there are too many people here, but I tell them to walk a couple of hundred yards either side of Land’s End and the countryside and sea views are stunning and you can be completely on your own.”
Victoria Brickstock lives in St Buryan and has two children, Laura and Josh. “There are lots of things to do at Land’s End, especially if you have children. We went to the new 4D theatre recently and the children loved it! We had to wear special 3D glasses to watch the film, The Curse of Skull Rock, and our seats rocked about and we were splashed with water and blasted with air too!
“There are lots of things to do at Land’s End, especially if you have children”
There was plenty of laughter and shrieking in the audience.”
Helen Jaggard lives in Newbridge, between St Just and Penzance. She is a member of Cape Cornwall Gig Club, and is a Sennen Cove Lifeboat crewmember. “I go to Land’s End occasionally but I usually see it from the sea, either in the lifeboat or while gig rowing. It is peaceful out there.
“I think more people should experience Land’s End from the sea. It looks so different from out there”
Terry, the lifeboat coxswain, knows so much. He knows where all the rocks are, which ones are hidden at high tide, and their names. Sometimes out in the gig, basking sharks have surrounded us. I think more people should experience Land’s End from the sea. It looks so different from out there.”
Charlotte Dudley is the manager of Sennen and Land’s End Play and Toddler Group and is also a childminder. She is pictured with Sally Baker-Jones, Playgroup Assistant and two Playgroup children. “This year the Playgroup summer trip is to Greeb Farm, a small animal farm on the south of the Land’s End site.
“Walk from Sennen Cove to Land’s End along the coast path and have a picnic in the park”
There are lots of animals there and sometimes you are allowed to feed them. There is a 200-year-old farmhouse and craft workshops too. The children I childmind love going there as well and, if the weather’s good, we’ll walk from Sennen Cove to Land’s End along the coast path and have a picnic in the park before walking home again.”
Gina Salmon (pictured with her two dogs Ruby and Rosie) lives with her family and pets on the cliffs above Gwynver beach. “I frequently walk our two dogs along the cliff path between Sennen and Nanjizal. It’s my favourite walk and the path goes through Land’s End. Whenever we have friends to stay they always want to go to Land’s End.
“There’s so much to do and see, you could be at Land’s End all day”
There’s so much to do and see, you could be there all day! There are plenty of places where you can have something to eat. Two of our children, Hannah and Paul, worked at Land’s End during the summer holidays in the Cornish Pantry, a self-service cafeteria, and there’s also The Old Bakehouse takeaway, the Land’s End Hotel and Longships Bar.