Walk the 4 ½ mile coastal path from Cot Valley to Land’s End and enjoy not only the spectacular views - but the stories behind the shipwrecks you will pass along the way.
Setting off down the beautiful, sheltered Cot Valley you’d be mistaken to think this lush, quiet place has always been a relaxed, sub tropical haven. As the small road winds down to Porth Nanven beach, (locally known as dinosaur egg beach due to the unusual shaped stones), Brisons Rocks come into view. These two jagged lumps of rock, 1km out to sea, were the cause of a fatal wreck in 1851 and the reason why a lifeboat was first stationed at nearby Sennen Cove.
As you walk along the Penwith Heritage Coast path and look out at the half concealed rock shelves, crashing waves and tiny coves you can imagine the men and women of the past rushing out to collect whatever the sea brought them. Cornwall is full of stories of smugglers and wreckers. During the height of the smuggling in the 18th century, a vicar in St.Just, whose service was interrupted by a man announcing a wreck on nearby rocks is said to have begged the congregation to remain seated until he’d taken off his cassock, “so that we can all start fair.”
The coast path flattens out when you reach the white sandy beaches of Gwenver and Sennen. If you’re lucky enough you’ll see a full display from the R.N.L.I during their lifeboat day. Continue walking up the steps away from the Cove and you’ll soon see the remains of the RMS Mulheim. On March 22nd 2003 the cargo ship was on a voyage from Ireland to Germany, transporting 2,200 tonnes of scrap car plastic. It ran aground in moderate weather, yet it was discovered that the chief officer – who had been on watch at the time- had caught his trousers in his chair when trying to get up, causing him to fall and rendering him unconscious. The six man Polish crew were airlifted to safety, and treated for shock at Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station, all of the plastic was salvaged.
Just before you reach Land’s End look out to the Wolf Rock Lighthouse and listen carefully if you wish to hear the howling sounds caused by fissures in the rock, which haunted sailors of the past and gave the rock its name.
Nanquidno House, Sennen Cove, sleeps 7 + 2
Nanturras House, Goldsithney, sleeps 8
St Petry, Goldsithney, sleeps 6
Holding House, St.Ives, sleeps 5
Hendra Cottage, Perranuthnoe, sleeps 3