Well, something had to decide me on my final full day’s activities. In the end it was Covid. Lanhydrock was too far, the weather forecast, though not amazing, was too good to spend the day indoors at an art gallery, so it came down to going west (further exploration of the Tin Coast) or east (Lizard Point and nature)

As is my habit every evening, I was looking at the updated Government’s coronavirus dashboard, and its pretty large-scale detailed maps of prevalence, albeit it as at 6 days before. I saw that to the west was deep purple and going up, to the east was pale blue and going down. As I say, something had to decide it for me, and there was my solution.

I made for the car park shown on the OS map at Lizard Point. It turned it to be a National Trust one, free to members. Excellent. Also excellent, there were guided tours of the lighthouse, and one was due to start in 25 minutes.

The fact there are two towers was (is still?) significant to navigation.

Just time for a coffee, and a perusal of the visitor centre’s copious – far too copious to absorb much in 20 minutes – information.

The tour was led by the daughter of a lighthouse family who much regretted – as we kept on hearing in ‘humorous’ references  – the automation that came in 1998. But I appreciated the chance to go to the top of the lighthouse, apparently the only lighthouse in the UK where this is allowed to the general public. Fortunately the climb was not too strenuous, being only of three floors.

The tour started outdoors.

Staff lived in these four cottages. The chimneys were painted black so that the two white towers would show up clearly to the shipping.


This was the view to the east,

and zooming in on two little black buildings, it was from these that in January 1901 Marconi received the first radio transmission over a horizon, leading him on to greater ambitions across the Atlantic, achieved from nearby the following December.

These are atmospheric damp sensors. At a given degree of humidity, the foghorns are set off automatically.

Each of the two lower floors had one of these cupboards. The rest of each floor now was dominated by modern digital equipment.
Local slate steps between the first and upper floors worn by centuries of footsteps

It was sadly impossible to step back to take a full view of the beautiful lantern, turning and turning on a bed of mercury. No-one is allowed outside onto the balcony.

The tour over, my intention for the rest of the day was not to exert myself too much, but just to wander along the South West Coast Path for a little way, see what I  could, and return to my car. Which is pretty well what I did, cutting diagonally across the fields back to the village of Lizard, about a mile inland, and then out coastwards to my car. Looking at the map, I reckon I did about 2.5 miles, 4 km, including a few ups and downs.

Lizard Point is the most southerly tip of the UK, and, yuk, commercialism is there to exploit it. I hurried on.

After a very short while I sat down to eat a banana, with this to my left,

and this ahead.

Cormorants at the right hand end of the rock,

and cormorants to the left. But what’s that log below them?

That ‘log’ is a seal, a grey seal I believe, and after a while it started ‘singing’, Talk about siren mermaids…

It was time to move on, with Lizard village to my right,

and the lighthouse behind me.

I turned inland across the fields, hoping I was on one of the paths marked on the OS map – it been a bit difficult to follow exactly which cove I was at at any given point. Coming across this stile was reassuring.

Rain was threatening, though never really got going, and there was not too much of interest to photograph.

A solitary and rather faded scarlet pimpernel
Lining the garden of a house as I approached Lizard village
Lining the path as I walked towards the lighthouse and my car

Intentionally, I got back to my room quite early, to get as much of my packing done as I could, and then treat myself to a meal out at the Alverne restaurant where I had earlier in the week reserved a table. Other than the sandwich bought at lunchtime on the Monday at Perrunuthnoe, given that I was having a full English at breakfast, I was eating just a banana, if that, during the day, and managing in the evening on a few things I had brought from home, plus what I had bought at the M and S food hall the previous Saturday. I really appreciated my hake and local cider.

But my outings had not come to an end…