The Lizard Peninsula is the brooding romantic of Cornwall. It’s ever so good-looking, and a little wild around the edges. It’s also quieter than other parts of the county, which is hard to understand given the many attractions and picture-perfect beaches. Because, make no mistake, this really is a spellbinding spot for a big day out.
Here’s our ten things to do:
1) Go South to the Lizard Point
The most southerly point in mainland UK, the Lizard Point may be less well known than Land’s End, but it is less developed too, which some people will love. This is a dramatic spot to pose (carefully and safely) near precipitous cliffs. It is also famous for the local serpentine stone, a real eye-catcher marbled with dark green and red. Check out local craft shops here and elsewhere crafting mementoes from this metamorphic rock.
2) Beach it up at Kynance Cove
Did we say the Lizard Peninsula wasn’t too busy? Well, that definitely doesn’t apply to Kynance Cove, which has been heaving ever since the Internet discovered picturesque Cornish beaches. It’s easy to see why. White sands, turquoise seas and prominent rock stacks make this selfie heaven. It’s a bit of a walk down to the beach from the car park, but there’s a café at the bottom looking over the sand where you can refresh yourself after your journey.
3) Potter about in Cadgwith Cove
Step inside an Enid Blighton-esque world at gorgeous Cadgwith Cove. A perfectly formed little fishing village, it features a cluster of thatched cottages, a small fleet of vibrant fishing boats on the shingle beach and a quaint pub. What more could you possibly need? Apart from lashings of ginger beer? There are also walks on the cliffs nearby where you may spot swathes of wild flowers in the springtime.
4) Sample the delights of Roskillys
For many in the know, Roskillys is the high temple of Cornish ice cream. This real working organic dairy farm in the heart of the Lizard Peninsula is home to a cafe offering some of the sweetest, creamiest ice creams in the west. Enjoy your favourite flavour out in the sheltered courtyard among sparrows searching for crumbs. There’s lots to do here for kids, too. You can meet the pigs, geese, goats and other farm animals, and take lovely countryside walks nearby.
5) Stroll the harbour at Coverack
A step up in size from Cadgwith, Coverack is a working fishing village with a small sand and shingle beach. Craggy old cottages, a good selection of eateries and pubs, and a relaxed vibe make this a great spot for families to while away an afternoon. The village was a hive of smuggling activity, with many of the houses and buildings crowded around the harbour believed to be stores for ill-gotten gains. This is a popular spot for kayaking and windsurfing, and you can hire gear and get lessons nearby.
6) Catch the waves at Poldhu Cove
A sweep of sandy beach flanked by dunes, Poldhu Cove has an unhurried and unfussy air about it. At low tide it’s perfect for bodyboarding, swimming and surfing, and offers wide-open expanses for bucket and spade action. There is parking and a café nearby.
7) Turn back time at Flambards Theme Park
We do theme parks differently in Cornwall. Alongside, white(ish) knuckle rides and activities for kids, at Flambards, near the Lizard Peninsula, you’ll discover a fascinating recreation of a Victorian world, with a full cobbled street of shops, authentic historical artifacts and mesmerising mannequins. There’s also a lifesize Britain in the Blitz replica street and much more. Definitely a case of ‘something for the kids and the grown ups’.
8) Stock up on your snifters at Constantine Stores
Reputedly home to the largest range of wines and spirits in the south west, Constantine Stores features an incredible selection of over a thousand whiskies and wines, hundreds of gins and rums, and scores of Cognacs, Armagnacs, clarets, sherries, Madeiras and ports. An oasis for lovers of a fine tipple.
9) Get up close to wildlife at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. Visit to experience marine animals up close and personal – from common and grey seals to Humboldt penguins and Southern sea lions – and learn about their individual stories. The harbour view pools and underwater viewing areas are a wonderful way to see these acrobatic animals twisting and gliding through the water.
10) Strike a Poldark pose at Gunwalloe Church Cove
The clue is in the name. The mere presence of a church, St Wynwallow, with its tower set into the solid rock of the headland, lifts this pretty spot into something striking. Situated at the base of the Lizard Peninsula, it’s a great beach for kids, who will love playing in (and possibly attempting to dam) the river running across the sand. For Aidan Turner fans, there’s a Poldark connection here, too – night-time ship wrecking scenes were filmed at this atmospheric spot. Parking and café nearby.
Penzance: an ideal base for your Lizard visit
If a trip to the Lizard Peninsula is on your west Cornwall itinerary, why not make a base at Penzance? This iconic port town is legendary for its nautical atmosphere and for views of St Michael’s Mount and the Lizard beyond. Penzance offers world-class restaurants and a vibrant local culture. It is also perfectly situated for day trips to Cornish top spots such as Land’s End, St Ives, Falmouth, Hayle, Mousehole, and many more famous Cornish days out.