The far south-west

Today the riding started in earnest. The sleeper pulled into Penzance just before 0800. I did not sleep particularly well and the breakfast provided consisted one an 80g packet of muesli and lots of tea. Luckily I have other supplies with to top up on! My route took me from Penzance to Lands End (it had to be done) – this is part of national cycle route 3 that was on god quiet roads. All fine except for an enthusiastic young farm worker who had obviously decided to celebrate European election day by spraying pig shit from his machine over about 5 km of road. The whiff was not good. Obligatory pictures (costing £10) were taken at Lands End and the photographer and I spent a bit of time discussing and remembering the Torrey Canyon. I’m glad to say that I could see quite a few guillemots and razorbills about, so things do recover.

Lands End with plug for this trip!

I also had a chat with a Dutch father and daughter who were cycling back to a small town near Utrecht – we were all impressed as to how quiet Lands End was. Then off to the Lizard, partly down that smelly road, but then a shorter but steeper downhill into Newlyn – where the port looked busy. I did wonder as to whether to try to find industry friends from my JNCC days, but decided not to. I ate a Cornish Pasty instead.

The Cornish roads are spectacular just now -steep banks covered in flowers and as I moved onto the Lizard peninsula, some old mine pump/engine houses came into the landscape. Some have been re-purposed into houses, others are still derelict.

Newlyn, the south-west’s major fishing port
Gorgeous Cornish back roads
Red campion
A big restoration under way

One thing that I was wanting to do on this trip was to revisit sites of old photographs. Well I failed today – I could not find the site of this picture on Praa Sands – probably because like most dune systems, it has changed in the intervening 63 years. It is of a family picnic that I think must have been Easter 1956. I am in the centre, but out of sight. My father and mother flank me, with three of my four grand-parents on view (the fourth took the picture). My aunt and two cousins, who I will see in a few day’s time are on the right.

Family picnic at Praa Sands, 1956

I dropped off my panniers at Mullion where I am staying at the comfortable Old Inn and pedalled to the Lizard where I had one bird to catch up with (as well as visiting the southern-most point of the UK. The chough had far fewer admirers than the southernmost point! Total for the day 97.6 km, running total 120.9 km. Two bathtubs in fields.

Cornish chough, not too bad with a tiny point and shoot

5 thoughts on “The far south-west

      1. I think back then people didn’t much go for sitting around on beaches in their bathing suits. I have a phot of my very young mother in a bikini(!!!) and her future sister-in-law is stood next to her in a tweed suit. Photos of Colin’s family on the beach at Whitby have everyone fully clothed and sheltering from the wind.


  1. Inspirational start in a countryside full of delights. Here’s to a clear road ahead and continued good weather👍🌞

    Sent from my iPhone



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