The Lizard

OS Explorer Map: 108
Start Ref: 454 534
End Ref: 454 534
Grading: Easy
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3hrs

This lovely, and mostly flat walk, sees us starting and finishing at Lizard, but unlike many others that will also be as far south on the British mainland as it is possible to be, we are going to stay inland and take in Lizard Downs and Lower Predannack Downs. It will take us above Kynance Cove with its beautiful views and across many streams (an absolute delight for those who are young at heart).

When I last walked this area, I had the Lizard Lighthouse fog horn sounding to warn unwary ships that may be straying too close to the cliffs –or it was warning others that I was down there walking, as in 3 hours I only passed one other person!

We leave our car in the car park in the centre of Lizard, just next to the public toiletsand walking up the road/track that is signposted to Kynance Cove. A short distance up this road there is a signpost for a public footpath on our right just next to a small bungalow/workshop. Follow this footpath as it leads us along the top of a hedge and between two fields until we drop down some little steps and the footpath splits left or straight ahead. We stay on the path leading straight on (NW) and through a section of open access land which also takes us over two hedgeswith serpentine steps. This brings us out into a field over which we will continue across diagonally until we come out on a small road.This road leads down to the National Trust car park at Kynance Cove, and we are going to follow it for 100 meters until just pass the Corn Goon property, where there is a signpost for the path leading off onto the Downs (it actually feels that we are walking straight on). This path will lead us down just to the right of the car park, and apart from the beauty of walkingon the Downs it also means that we avoid (what could be) a busy little road. As we come out on the wider bridleway we turn right and follow this path until above Kynance Cove –and the spectacular view that this affords us. After we have admired the view, we follow this wide path sharply around to the right and back inland as we head towards the heart of the Nature Reserve.

After about 400 meters we come to a cross roads of tracks. Up the right hand track we will see a little wooden post with a blue arrow heading back towards Lizard. If you desired you could take this branch and it will lead us back to Corn Goon, from where we retrace our steps back to Lizard.

A wooden footbridge on The Lizard

If you want to have the longer walk, we will turn left here and head down hill and across a wooden footbridge then through a gate where we find ourselves in Kynance Farm Reserve. From here we head up (the only up section of this walk) where the path turns slightly right and then left again. From here we are in open access land with lots of clearings and paths cutting off left and right, but as long as we continue straight we will remain on the correct path. As the path flattens off completely, we reach a gate which signs `public path` to the left and `permissive path` to the right. We are going to head right hereand follow this wide farm track all the way towards (and pass) Jolly Town. Jolly Town is a farmhouse which appears quite imposing (quite reminiscent of a farm in one of the Bronte sisters books) and which we cross a ford just prior to passing below the farmhouse. Pass the farmhouse without glimpses of Heathcliff or bodice clad maidens and go through another gate and then follow the path until we again come to a wider made up path.

Now we start our return route as we turn right here and follow the path until we reach the boundaries of Predannack Airfield. Again we turn right and follow the path as it goes through a gate and straight on through Lower Predannack Downs, until the path turns sharp left and slightly uphill. Now we get to a hedge that we pass through and turn right. The path here appears to hug the hedge on our right, but actually we want to walk diagonally across this section in a South Easterly direction and we will pass Die`s Pool on our right and then a series of Tumulus. If we stop to look around we realise that we are actually in the centre of what would have been an important burial site in ancient times (I have always been lead to believe that this is what Downs meant).

Continuing on we come to the bottom left of this field of bracken and heather and go through a little swing gate. Be aware that there are two little streams around this gate and if it has been raining hard we could get wet feet! Through the gate we turn right and follow the narrow path until it tries to take us back over the stream and through another gate. Instead of doing this turn left and head up the slight incline until we reach a wide bridleway. Heading right, this bridleway can be followeduntil we suddenly find ourselves at the crossroad of bridleways that we could have shortened our walk with an hour or so ago. We know that this is the correct path as up on our left is a little outcrop of graniteand the same wooden post with a blue arrow.

To head back to Lizard, we are going to turn left here and follow the path until we are back at Corn Goon. From here we are back on the road until we reach the field that we walk across diagonally, before going over the serpentine stile and down until we reach further steps that take us up on to the hedge top path that will lead us pretty much back in to the village (except for the short walk back up the road).

Now we are back where we started, with the benefit of toilets, village shops and plenty of options for food and drink.

This walk is what I would consider an ideal New Years Day walk. It is relatively flat and is close enough to the coast to blow away the cobwebs plus the smell of salt air and heather and bracken underfoot can only be a great way to start the year.

I hope that you enjoy.