About the challenge
This long-weekend trek, through some of Britain’s most beautiful landscapes, follows Cornwall’s dramatic coastline from Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the British Isles. Our goal is Land’s End, the famous ‘end’ of the country and its most south-westerly tip. The landscapes are spectacular, with rugged cliffs, hidden coves and old fishing villages forming a beautiful backdrop to the blue sea. The walking is very hilly, steep in places, and the distances challenging considering the terrain. This is a tough challenge, but a spectacular one which will give you an unforgettable sense of achievement! We camp en-route, and finish with a slap-up meal at Land’s End.
Day 1: Lizard Point – Mullion
We meet mid-morning at our campsite near Mullion on the beautiful Lizard Peninsula. We help set up camp and, after a briefing and lunch, transfer (approx. 15 mins) to our start point. The most southerly point of mainland Britain, Lizard Point is a wonderful place to start our trek, and a very photogenic one! We set off west, around the headland towards beautiful Kynance Cove. To one side are colourful coastal grasslands and wildflowers, to the other the black cliffs and rocks, and the churning blue sea. Keep a look out for seals, and for the acrobatic choughs – red-legged crow-like birds which were extinct in England until being re-introduced here about ten years ago. Marconi conducted his ground-breaking radio communication experiments around here, and we pass his memorial as we continue north along the coast. Our cliff-top path undulates dramatically, with very few flat sections, but fabulous views all the way – sandy coves, rolling grassy fields, jagged islands jutting off the coast. We head inland to return to our campsite and enjoy our first evening under the Cornish stars. Night camp.
Trek approx 2-3 hours; 5 miles
There will be transport arranged to pick you up from Exeter St. David railway station if required.
Day 2: Mullion – Praa Sands
After a good breakfast, we set off again, crossing the fields to rejoin the coastal path. We soon drop steeply down to Mullion Cove and its traditional harbour, and then steeply back up again – this sets the pattern for the next few miles! Further along at Gunwalloe we see Church Cove’s ancient tiny church right on the beach. The golden sands stretch for several miles to the picturesque fishing village of Porthleven. This stretch of coastline was notorious for wrecks, and attracted its fair share of smugglers. We pass remains of old engine houses from Cornwall’s mining past as we continue along the coast to the golden beach at Praa Sands. Our campsite lies approx half a mile inland, and we’ll be very relieved to see it! Night camp.
Trek approx 6-8 hours / 12-13 miles
Day 3: Praa Sands – St Loy
We pack up camp, and set off to rejoin the coastal path. Our longest day awaits us, and while legs will no doubt be feeling the effects of our challenge so far, there are a few flattish sections which help to tick off today’s miles! We head along the cliff-tops, passing the pretty crescent-shaped beach of Kenneggy Sands on our way to the rugged rocks and hidden inlets of Prussia Cove, a notorious 18th-century smuggling point. As we pass Cudden Point our route turns northwest, and we head for Perran Sands, beyond which lies photogenic St Michael’s Mount. Leaving the cliffs and wilder scenery behind for a short stretch, we come to the busy area around Penzance, passing the causeway to the Mount and following the flat promenade around the bay towards Newlyn. Heading south, we then come to the ancient fishing village of Mousehole. Heading up steeply onto the cliffs, we should have spectacular views back over St Michael’s Mount all the way to the Lizard beyond. Continuing steeply up and down, our path takes us past the beautiful aquamarine waters of Lamorna Cove and steeply back up onto the cliffs the other side. We pass Tater Du lighthouse, Cornwall’s newest lighthouse, built after a shipwreck in 1963. We round Boscawen Point, a fabulous viewpoint, and can look down on boulder-strewn St Loy’s Cove below. Our camp lies on the far side of St Loy, a short distance from the coastal path. Night camp.
Trek approx 8-10 hours / 17-18 miles
Day 4: Lamorna – Land’s End
After packing up camp for the last time, we set off to rejoin the coastal path for our last day of trekking. The scenery on this last section is just as spectacular, as we plunge steeply downhill to hidden coves and rocky inlets before tackling the inevitable steep uphill stretch to the cliff-tops again. We pass Penberth Cove, overlooked by Treen on the hills inland, before heading round to Porthcurno Bay and the famous Minack Theatre. Porthcurno was the termination of the first under-sea telecommunication lines; the cable hut, built in 1872, still stands. While the higher ground in this area sees high winds, the coves and valleys are very sheltered and have a sub-tropical feel, while in the right weather the shallower water often appears a beautiful turquoise colour. We continue west to Gwennap Point – an important landmark for us as we then turn north towards Land’s End. This last section is just as demanding, but the scenery is again spectacular as we discover rocky cliffs with pounding surf around every corner. We eventually come to Land’s End and celebrate our achievements before saying our farewells and heading home!
Transport will be arranged to take you back to Exeter St. David railway station, or the car-park at our first campsite, as required.
Trek approx 4-5 hours / 7-8 miles
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes all transfers, accommodation, all meals and camping equipment except sleeping bag and sleeping mat. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders, drivers and cooks (see Trip Support below).
It does not include personal travel insurance (optional), extra food, drinks, souvenirs or personal items, or entry to any optional tourist sites you may wish to visit. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Accommodation is in two-man tents at our campsites along the route; you will share with someone else on the challenge. The group is expected to help set up and break camp, but no experience is necessary!
All meals are included while on the trek. The food is very good, it will give you lots of energy and there is plenty of it!
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s leading the trek, looking after camp or making your lunch! At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Space in camp is limited and hard-sided luggage is not recommended, so we suggest your kit is packed in a soft rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek mainly on the coastal path, which ranges from grassy or stony paths to wide dusty tracks; there are a few sections on tarmac road as we cross towns and villages. Occasionally we leave the coastal path to divert inland. There are many steep inclines both up and down along the cliff tops – these are usually relatively short sections, but there is little flat. This is very challenging terrain.
The environment we walk through needs the respect of all its users to be preserved. Please walk on the path surface rather than on the vegetation growing beside it, don’t remove stones from the paths and don’t take short-cuts. Please follow the Countryside Code.
You will trek approximately 40-45 miles on this trip overall. Because of the varied terrain, it’s impossible to give more accurate daily distances. It’s also more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for, and the type of terrain you will be trekking over!
We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
Average temperatures for Cornwall:
May – September 10 – 25°C
Even in the summer months we can be exposed to rain, strong winds and storms, and it could be very hot or cool. Be prepared for any weather! You will need appropriate, good quality footwear and clothing to cope with the weather conditions.
Clothing & Equipment
We are trekking through varied terrain and could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for quickly changing conditions and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
We insist that you have had a tetanus injection in the last 10 years.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them.
Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.