Day 1

Lands End to Penzance – 13 miles

The inclement weather that had been forecast from my first tentative peek, on my phone app, a week or so ago, didn’t materialise. We woke up to a clear blue sky and sunshine. The inevitable rain is no doubt waiting round the corner to catch us out when we let our guard down. But I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and can honestly say that the pleasant conditions gave us the perfect start.

The bus to Lands End was 10 minutes late in arriving and was surprisingly busy. An eclectic mix of tourists… and the two of us, who, I suppose, were also tourists. As the bus manouvered through the narrow, sometimes steep, town streets and country lanes I could only imagine the chaotic place that Cornwall must become at the height of the tourist season.

Lands End itself was surprisingly commercialised and tacky, so, once Christopher and I had taken the obligatory photos at the legendary signpost, we were happy to set off and start our walk.

I’ve already confirmed the truth about what other people have said about Public Rights of Way in Cornwall: they are, so far anyway, poorly signposted, poorly maintained, little walked and sometimes don’t exist at all. Luckily, the major part of our planned route today was roadwalking. When we did venture off-road we encountered boggy paths, ploughed-up pathless fields and impossible thickets of briar. I certainly think my route through Cornwall, over the coming days will be mostly country lanes.

One fascinating spectacle as we descended the road into Newlyn, at the end of the day’s walk, was to witness the complete traffic gridlock caused by 2 tractors trying to weave their way down the narrow road into town.

Having said all that, Penzance, on a beautiful sunny day like today, was truly stunning.