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the wild south

Self Catering Holiday Cottages on The Lizard Peninsula

Stay in one of our holiday cottages on the Lizard and you’ll have dramatic coasts, swashbuckling maritime history, picturesque fishing villages and wonderful wildlife on your doorstep. The Lizard Peninsula is Cornwall’s remote, wilder south, situated just southwest of Falmouth, stretching from the Helford River all the way to the vibrant harbour town of Porthleven in the west. Special and remote in equal measure, the Lizard doesn’t have any major settlements, and with just two main roads in and out of the area, it remains an unspoilt and particularly stunning part of the country.

Having said all of this, the Lizard is packed with amazing things to see and do and brilliant places to drink and dine. Some of our favourite places include Lizard Point, mainland Britain’s most southerly tip, where you can spot basking sharks and dolphins if you’re lucky. The pristine and dramatic Kynance Cove is another top spot, with its turquoise seas in summer and impressive rock stacks, where low tide reveals amazing rockpools. Ramblers also flock here for the coast path, which is dotted with cosy pubs and cafes, stunning flora and fauna and unrivalled scenery.

You could stay in

The Lizard guide

Coastline near holiday cottages on the Lizard Peninsula by Forever Cornwall

Stunning clifftop walks

The Lizard Peninsula has some of the most breathtaking sections of the entire South West Coast Path, with parts of it a designated AONB, stretching from the Helford River to the west to Loe Pool and Porthleven in the east. Unlike the busier stretches of path on the north coast, you can walk for miles without coming across another soul, dipping in and out of hidden coves that dot the coastline, marvelling at the hedgerows that are full of colour in spring and summer, watching for seals and dolphins out to sea and birds circling overhead, passing through fishing villages that have changed little over the centuries. You’re never too far from somewhere brilliant to eat or drink, whether it’s a delicious pasty from Lizard village or a well-deserved pint at a traditional Cornish pub. Two of our favourite sections are the Mullion Cove to Lizard Point route, which traces the dramatic cliffs for seven miles, and the slightly more challenging ten-mile Lizard to Coverack route.

Flora and Fauna

The Lizard is packed with fascinating flora, fauna and geology. Incredibly, over half of all the UK’s species of plants can be found here, including over fifty rare and special species, such as the red-billed Chough and soaring Skylarks, making it one of the most botanically diverse regions in the UK. Come in spring and summer for hedgerows full of orchids, foxgloves and bluebells; in autumn and winter spot seal pups on the pebbles and keep your eyes peeled for basking sharks out to sea. The rocks and minerals here are also spectacular due to the Lizard being a bit of a crunch-point for plate tectonics — geologists flock here in their droves to marvel at the unique serpentine rock formation with its red and green hues. The ocean floor and continental landmass were mashed together here in the Devonian era, between 358 and 419 million years ago — the village of Coverack is one of the only places where this can be seen.

People on holiday in South Cornwall at Gunwalloe Beach, The Lizard

A remote paradise

The Lizard is Cornwall’s wild south, a place of dramatic clifftops and big skies, where fishing boats are still hauled up onto the pebbles with their daily catch. The remoteness of the Lizard is one of its best qualities — small fishing communities and the rugged coastline remains unspoilt, and there’s still a strong sense of community in these coastal settlements. Historic fishing villages like Coverack and Cadgwith almost feel frozen in time and give you a taste of Cornish life back in the day. Even in the peak of the summer, when the north coast is heaving with holidaymakers, you can still find your own secluded cove for a quiet swim or sunset barbecue.

Beaches
Kynance Cove the Lizard Forever Cornwall

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is one of Cornwall’s most dramatic beaches — and also one of the most popular. It’s a bit of a walk from the car park, but visitors are rewarded with Mediterranean-like seas, huge rock stacks and hidden corners of sandy beach (when the tide’s out!), where you feel as though you’re the only ones there, Children will love exploring the caves and rockpools. In the winter, grab a hot chocolate from the cafe above the beach and watch the waves roll into this dramatic cove. Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Poldhu cove, the Lizard, Forever Cornwall cottages

Poldhu

Poldhu is a sheltered cove with blissful golden sands. With seasonal lifeguards, it’s a great place to try out watersports, go for a paddle or, when the tide’s out, head to the rockpools for some exploring with the little ones. There’s a brilliant cafe and a surf school set just off the sand, so you can grab a board or sign up for some lessons, and warm up with one of the cafe’s legendary hot chocolates afterwards. Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Kennack Sands, the Lizard Peninsula

Kennack Sands

Kennack Sands is a large beach with great amenities. Perfect for families, there’s good lifeguard cover and plenty of space for kids to run. It is actually comprised of two beaches – the one furthest from the car park is a nature reserve and often goes undiscovered by visitors, as it’s hidden behind the hill that separates the two. Well worth a visit (there’s great shore fishing too!). Dogs are welcome between October and Easter Sunday.

Things to do
Lizard Point The lizard Forever Cornwall

Lizard Point

The dramatic cliffs and Atlantic views around Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain, are a spectacular sight. Grab a pasty in Lizard village then walking down to the tip and along the coastal path to spot seals in the waves or kestrels overhead. Pop into the Lighthouse Heritage Centre for a guided tour or make your way down to the Lizard RNLI lifeboat station, wedged into the cliff below. There are couple of good cafes, including Wavecrest which serves fabulous cream teas — just the fodder you need before two-mile walk along the coastal path to Kynance Cove.

Cadgwith, The Lizard Peninsula

Cadgwith

Make the day trip down to the coastal fishing village of Cadgwith — a traditional Cornish fishing village — with a cluster of thatched cottages and fishing boats on the shingle beach. On Fridays you can experience the atmosphere of the Cadgwith Cove Singers — a local shanty group — in the village’s pub, the Cadgwith Cove Inn. The sea shanties are brilliant, the beer is delicious and it’s a quintessentially Cornish way to spend an evening. There’s a great ice cream shop off the beach, a lovely gallery showcasing works by local artists, and two small pebble beaches.

Lizard Adventure

The Lizard’s dramatic coastline can only truly be appreciated from the water. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the Lizard by kayak, on a coaststeering day, aboard a SUP or climbing the cliffs with the friendly team at Lizard Adventure, in the heart of the peninsula. The knowledgable and supportive team will have you throwing yourself off cliffs, spotting seals amongst the waves, paddling through caves and scaling jagged cliffs in some of the UK’s most scenic spots. Aimed at everyone aged 8 and up.

Food & Drink

Ann’s Pasties

Ann’s love affair with pasties started when she was summoned in an emergency to help her mother make pasties at an agricultural fair. Nearly 30 years on, Ann has become one of Cornwall’s best-loved pasty makers, you won’t find a more authentic version in the region — their signature crusty pastry certainly sets them apart from the rest — and all their producers are based within a 10-mile radius. They have shops in Lizard village, Porthleven and Helston but you’ll need to be quick — they usually sell out by lunchtime!

Poldhu Cove, the Lizard Peninsula, Forever Corwnall

Poldhu Beach Cafe

Right off Poldhu’s beautiful arc of golden sand is this great little beach shack — its hot chocolates are legendary and change with the seasons (strawberries and cream in summer, gingerbread and caramel at Christmas). The friendly team serves light bites and ice cream through the hatch for you to enjoy on the picnic benches on the sand out the front, so you can dig your toes in as you tuck into paninis, burgers and pasties. Stay until dusk — the sunsets are spectacular. There’s live music and pizza nights during the summer. After you’ve refuelled, it’s time for a surf — handily, board hire is next door.

The Lifeboat House

After it fell into disrepair in the 1980s, Coverack’s old lifeboat house (pictured) began a new life as a fish and chip restaurant — now one of the most popular places to grab a takeaway on the Lizard. Jutting out into the harbour, the building has one of the best views in Coverack (the views down the lifeboat launch ramp from the end window are particularly stunning). Freshly caught fish arrives daily at the quay before making the 50-yard journey to the lifeboat house, where it’s coated in the lightest, crispiest batter. Wednesday night is curry night, with Goan fish, prawn and spinach curry or roast vegetable Dhansak.