Cape Cornwall is the second most prominent headland on the West Cornwall coast after Land’s End. In my very first post at the start of this blog, I cautioned that Land’s End is not the cheap option it once was, due to the ‘Disneyfication’ of the site with a range of shops and attractions. Some people like that sort of thing, but for those who do not, I strongly recommend a visit to Cape Cornwall, where you will get the same “end of the world” feeling without the fanfare. There is a National Trust car park (free to members), and a refreshment van, and that is about it, apart from the Cape Cornwall Golf Club just above the headland. For those who want to stretch their legs there is a path around the headland, and wonderful views of Land’s End and the Longships lighthouse. The Cape is crowned by the chimney which is all that remains of the Cape Cornwall Mine, a tin mine which operated between 1838 and 1883. Another option for walkers is the path descending from the car park to Priest’s Cove, from where the South West Coast Path heads southwards, passing Ballowall Barrow, a Bronze Age burial chamber (English Heritage, free entry).
Cape Cornwall is reached by a minor road from the vibrant small town of St Just, England’s most westerly town. The town was a thriving hive of activity during Victorian times thanks to the area’s tin-mining activities. Up to the 17th century medieval miracle plays were performed in Plain-an-Gwarry, the natural grassy amphitheatre in the centre of St Just, and this continues to be used today for more modern festivities such as the annual Lafrowda Festival in July, a vibrant and colourful music and arts festival. St Just is also home to the original Warren’s Bakery, founded in 1860, which now has branches all over the county, and which makes some of the best pasties around.
Map of the area.
|Photo by Judithili, via Wikimedia Commons|