From End to End – John O’Groats to Land’s End :
Having made it to John O’Groats, the northern-most town in the U.K., we felt challenged to visit Land’s End, the western-most point on the English mainland. The Cornish name Pen an Wlas means ‘end of the earth’ and we wanted to stand at the end of the earth and see what it’s really like.
When we mentioned our intention to drive to Land’s End, our guest house host didn’t seem too enthusiastic. It seems that Land’s End is now a theme park and he didn’t think we would miss much if we didn’t make it there.
As we were in St. Ives, we could not resist visiting mainland England’s most westerly point. After all, it is famous for its location and stunning coastal scenery.
On arriving at the car park at Land’s End, we immediately understood the theme park warning. A big gateway welcomes visitors to Land’s End and all its attractions. Fortunately, it’s 5 p.m. and the fun park is shut and the only people left in the area are those who have come to enjoy the stunning Land’s End scenery and the beautiful coastline that Cornwall is famous for.
A popular thing to do is to have your photo taken at the signpost which shows distances from Land’s End. Unfortunately, the signpost is privately owned so you can’t go and pose with your own camera. Should you decide to buy a photo souvenir, you can even have your hometown included on the signpost.
A short walk in either direction along the coastal path from the main complex offers fantastic ocean views as far as the eye can see, including many interesting and unusual rock formations just off shore.
Walking down the path we reach the First and Last House which was the first building built on the site. Snacks and refreshments are available here, but it was shut when we arrived.
“End to End” is a free attraction at the main complex which details the amazing stories of those who have made the intrepid journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats or vice versa. This exhibition is devoted to those who have completed the journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats, or vice versa, which has come to be known as doing an “End to End’.
The many who have undertaken this challenge have done so in a variety of ways, from the serious athlete looking to break a record, to those who do it for charity in the most wacky way possible. I suppose we could count ourselves as End to Enders, although we’ve done it in a very comfortable way.
If you’re looking to enjoy a holiday in Cornwall with spectacular views, the Victorian heritage Land’s End Hotel has 32 en-suite rooms.
And for those travelling with children, Land’s End theme park offers 5 attractions for kids such as Air Sea Rescue, Greeb Farm where children can meet animals at a 200-year old Cornish farmstead, get up close to Doctor Who, etc. At the West Country Shopping Village are gifts and souvenirs for sale.
Getting to Land’s End is quite easy. Once out of St. Ives, we followed the B3306/A30 travelling southwards. The distance to Land’s End is not huge, but stretches of the road are very narrow and you do need to concentrate and look out for on-coming vehicles in the windy narrow country roads. The high hedges also make it impossible to always see what’s coming around the bend.
Map of Cornwall: