Day 4. Porthleven, Lizard Point & Helston, Cornwall

After enjoying a cooked breakfast in our hotel in Camborne we were ready to go by 9.30 a.m. and the first place on our list was the village of Porthleven, located 11 miles away.  We easily found some unrestricted street parking very close to the centre and were soon on our way to its picturesque harbour.

Porthleven Harbour, Cornwall
Porthleven Harbour

The harbour faces south west into the prevailing winds so for added protection it incorporates an additional outer harbour area.  During periods of strong winds the inner harbour entrance can then be closed to provide extra protection to the boats moored there.

Cannons defending Porthleven harbour
A pair of cannons defend the harbour entrance

We strolled along both sides of the harbour where a pair of cannons stand proudly on either side that defended the harbour in bygone days.  Our walk to the end of the harbour would have continued along its narrow pier but a sign warned us that if the red ball attached to a pole at the end of the pier is hoisted then it is considered too dangerous to proceed.  As the ball was raised we obeyed the instruction and turned back.

Porthleven pier, Cornwall
Porthleven Pier

Porthleven is a delightful little place and appears to have retained its character as an unspoilt fishing village whilst at the same time catering for the needs of tourists.  It’s nothing like as popular as St. Ives or Padstow but is a likeable village and another Cornish foodie destination with several inviting pubs, restaurants and cafes surrounding its harbour.  There’s an annual food festival each April and weekly craft markets take place from Easter until October by the waterfront.

Porthleven harbour
Porthleven harbour

Back in the car, we continued along to Lizard Point which is maintained by the National Trust.  After driving through the small village we followed signs to the large National Trust car park which charges £3 but is free to NT members.  The car park is close to the rugged cliffs and as it’s very exposed to strong winds, I suggest wrapping up warmly.  The weather wasn’t quite as good as on our visit to Land’s End the previous day but it wasn’t raining which was all that mattered.

The rugged coastline at Lizard Poiint
The rugged coastline at Lizard Point

Lizard Point is the most southerly point of the British Isles and it was lovely to take a walk along its rugged coastline.  The Polpeor Cafe sits on the clifftop and has stunning views out to sea.  There’s also a small gift shop but not much else as it’s not at all commercialised like Land’s End.  The Lizard attracts fewer tourists but it’s an equally lovely place to enjoy a walk.

Old lifeboat station, Lizard Point
Old lifeboat station, Lizard Point

We started off by following a steep path down to  the old lifeboat station at Polpeor Cove which closed in 1961 when an updated one was constructed slightly further along the coast.  From the tiny beach we watched waves crash into the shore and lots of birds perched on the rocks.  The coastline along here is a bird watcher’s paradise with seabirds aplenty.  From the cove, we clambered back up the cliff path which led us past the most southerly point on mainland Britain with its sea stacks and rocky outcrops.

The South West Coast Path at Lizard Point
The South West Coast Path at Lizard Point

As we continued further, the Lizard Wireless Station at Bass Point came into view.  As well as being noted for its dramatic coastline, the Lizard peninsula is also the birthplace of modern communications.  It was in this remote location that Marconi undertook some of his pioneering radio experiments.

The Marconi Wireless Station, Bass Point, The Lizard
The Marconi Wireless Station at Bass Point

Another local landmark is the Lizard Lighthouse which is one of the largest in the world and easily identifiable with its twin towers.  We followed a public footpath from the coastal path which took us over a stile then along the edge of some fields before bringing us out in the grounds of the lighthouse.

The Lizard Lighthouse
The Lizard Lighthouse

The Lizard Lighthouse is the only one in Cornwall that can be climbed.  I would have loved to have been able to go up but it’s only open on certain days and the one we had arrived on wasn’t one of them.  The lighthouse engine room has been converted into a heritage centre telling the story of its 260 years and the many ships that it has safely guided to safety.

The Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre
The Lizard Lighthouse Heritage Centre

It was then just a short walk back to the car from where we drove onto the historic market town of Helston taking us about 20 minutes and passing RNAS Culdrose, one of the largest helicopter bases in Europe, on our way.

Traditional thatching taking place, Lizard village
Traditional thatching taking place at a cottage in Lizard village

Helston was another Cornish town welcoming motorists as the Fairground car park on the edge of town was free.  The car park was just across the road from the Coronation Park so we strolled by its boating lake on our way into the town centre.

Coronation Park cafe, Helston, Cornwall
The Coronation Park cafe overlooking the boating pool

After leaving the park by a gate near to its attractive lakeside cafe we entered the town through the imposing Gothic gate like structure known as the Grylls Monument.  Grylls was a Helston banker and solicitor who saved many jobs by taking action to keep the local tin mine open during the recession of 1820.

Grylls Monument, Helston, Cornwall
The Grylls Monument at the foot of the high street

The monument stands at the foot of Coinagehall Street, the town’s main thoroughfare which slopes upwards.  A welcome sight was the Coinage Hall, a cosy pub where we enjoyed a late snack lunch and some much needed cups of coffee.

Old stone buildings line Coinagehall Street, Helston
Old stone buildings line Coinagehall Street, Helston

Helston was yet another pleasant Cornish town with a variety of shops and a pub with a thatched roof lining its high street.  Reaching the top of the hill, we’d arrived at The Guildhall where regular markets take place on its ground floor which was formerly home to the corn exchange.

The Museum of Cornish Life, Helston
The Museum of Cornish Life in Helston

Returning downhill, we were just in time for our pre-arranged arrival slot to visit the Museum of Cornish Life which offers free admission.  It was formerly known as the Helston Folk Museum and it was just my sort of museum as it contains one of the largest social history collections in the south west.

Example of an old grocery store, Museum of Cornish Life, Helston
An example of an old grocery store in the Museum of Cornish Life

The museum is located in the historic Market House and Drill Hall and spread over two floors with five separate areas covering agriculture, local trades, law and order, the history of the town, transport, and home life.

A traditional cider press on display in the Museum of Cornish Life
A traditional cider press on display in the Museum of Cornish Life

There are so many interesting exhibits including shop counters, vehicles, farm machinery and clothes which are really nicely displayed in an easy to follow format and a credit to the volunteers who run the museum.  Do try to call in if you are visiting Helston as I’m sure you would also find it of interest.

Quaint narrow streets of Helston in Cornwall
Quaint narrow streets of Helston

We then spent a little more time looking around the shops before returning to the hotel in Camborne after another lovely day touring Cornwall.

 

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Lizard Point, Porthleven & Helston

 

52 thoughts on “Day 4. Porthleven, Lizard Point & Helston, Cornwall

  1. jasonlikestotravel

    What a wonderful read. Helston looks like a lovely town, that museum looks fun too! Will have to keep it in mind if I make it down that way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you would enjoy visiting Cornwall at some point in the future Jason. Hope you had a pleasant Easter break. Did you do anything nice? We just went out for a few walks but it was bitterly cold so we returned home and tucked into our Easter eggs instead!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jasonlikestotravel

        Absolutely!
        I’m glad you had a relaxed break, hopefully won’t be much longer now before we’re traveling!
        I went and sat in my sister’s garden for a couple of hours yesterday, first time I’ve seen her in 2021. Shame the weather wasn’t as warm as the start of last week but still nice to catch up for a bit 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day 9. The Eden Project, Mevagissey & Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall – Love Travelling Blog

  3. Pingback: Day 4. Porthleven, Lizard Point & Helston, Cornwall – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

    1. Thanks Fran for taking an interest in my blog. Cornwall is a delightful part of the country and hopefully you will be able to visit before too long. It’s quite a long time since we were last in Australia (pre blogging days) so I’d like to come back your way too, when it’s possible. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love social history museums, so that was a nice little treat at the end! The harbour looks like a lovely lunch spot. I see that the weather was just bearable. For all the grey skies, at least you didn’t have to deal with rain. On a separate note, I checked briefly your Pinterest account. Looks great! Hopefully, I’ll try the platform this year, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The museum in Helston is a little gem filled with interesting exhibits, I’m pleased you enjoyed it too Leighton. Thanks also for taking the time to check out my Pinterest account that I recently set up. These things take time to get established and it’s yet another way for people to discover our posts. It’s good to get your positive feedback on my format!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The boats at Porthleven harbor look so quaint and cute! Cornwall, in general, appears to be a charming spot, despite the dreary, grey skies during your visit. I’m sure that the place comes to life when there is sun, and it’d be a worthwhile visit over someday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cornwall has something for everyone with its sheltered beaches, rugged coastline and pretty small towns and villages. I don’t think we did too badly for the weather considering it was mid-October, it was just so nice to be able to go away. Thanks for your much appreciated thoughts Rebecca.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The rugged coastline is beautiful – even on your “not so sunny day” 😉.
    And a visit to the museum in Helston would be great – love the old grocery store (I’ve seen a couple here in South Africa in the smaller towns that looks very similar).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The rugged coastline is gorgeous for a walk and we couldn’t complain about the weather as it was mid October in the UK. The Helton Museum is very interesting and I love the old world charm of the recreated shops. Hopefully I’ll get to visit South Africa one day too! Thank you for taking the time to comment, Marion.

      Liked by 2 people

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