Walking with Kids: Lizard Point, Cornwall
In a previous blog, we shared our tips for encouraging kids to walk or hike – not something that comes naturally to most of them. In this first of our new Walks with Kids series, we've looked at the lovely Lizard Peninsula, rich in smuggling history and the setting for our gorgeous Polurrian Hotel, and suggested a short family-friendly route suitable for even the youngest kids with the appropriate supervision.
The following walk around Britain’s most southerly point covers just one mile and takes 30–40 minutes, or perhaps a tad longer with little legs. Be advised that there are a few steep steps and some stiles and that the path runs close to the cliff edge in some parts. En route you'll spot rare plants, seals and Cornish choughs (which returned to the area in 2001 after a three-decade absence) – and get to reward yourself with a cream tea!
A copy of OS Map: Explorer 103, widely available from local tourist offices and shops, is handy for this circular walk using one of the inland footpaths, and also useful for ah hoc exploring – you can simply follow the coastal path to a given point and back or take other inland paths. The map is also helpful for those who need to avoid stiles.
Start at the Lizard Point National Trust car park. Before setting out, if it's summertime you can climb the neighbouring Lizard lighthouse. Interactive exhibits in the heritage centre in its old engine rooms include the chance to blow the old fog horn (the lighthouse is now automated).
From here, follow signs to Lizard Point itself, looking out for Hottentot fig (brought here from South Africa) and other clifftop plants including the rare prostrate asparagus. From Lizard Point you'll probably see seals bobbing in the water or basking on the rocks. The National Trust wildlife watch point has information on the choughs, and there's a National Trust approved café with a garden and gorgeous views, serving cream teas.
Bear right at the Point car park to link up with the South West Coast Path. Continue west along it and you will arrive at some steps leading down to Pistol Meadow, where 200 people were buried after a troop ship sank nearby in the 18th century.
Continue up the Coast Path towards Lizard Head. At the top of Old Lizard Head, you can see west to Kynance Cove – the most popular spot on the Lizard – and beyond. Now take the footpath inland from here back towards Pistol Meadow and then the Coast Path and Lizard Point.
Note that the Lizard is also a good spot for geocaching – a great way of enticing kids out on a walk.