A visit to Cape Cornwall is a must whilst you are in West Penwith. The scenery is stunning whatever the weather – amazing in a storm; idyllic on a balmy summer’s day; tranquil in autumn and a rush of colour in spring as flowers occupy the grassy cliffs.
By car Cape Cornwall is a 20 minute drive from Treventon. The National Trust run the car park which is large and convenient, and it is free to members. There is a fabulous snack hut where you can get teas, coffees, pasties and ice-cream and there is a public toilet. Cape Cornwall is also accessible by bus from Penzance. Alight in St Just and walk the mile to the cape – as you approach the cape the views of the sea are breathtaking.
Explore the cape by walking down to the little harbour called preist’s Cove, past the houses and skirt the cape via the lower path. Once around the corner there are numerous picnic spots to enjoy before climbing the steep path past the National Coastwatch look-out to the chimney which marks the top of the cape. There are various routes down, but it is definitely worth aiming for the ruined mediaeval chapel in the field below before returning to the car park.
If you have time for a longer visit, I suggest walking West (left!) from the car park along the South West Coast Path towards Porth Nanven AKA Cot Valley. En route you pass the Ballowall Barrow a Bronze Age burial chamber which is worth a brief detour. The tiny cove at Cot Valley has a stunning beach and incredible rock formations. If the tide is out (be careful it comes in again) scramble over the rocks on the left side of the beach as you look out to sea and The Brisons, around to the rocky beach. The rocks and pebbles here are a delight.
If you go east from the car park (right!) along the SW Coast Path you arrive at another fascinating valley called Kenidjack Valley. The valley contains the remains of once busy and thriving tin mining and processing works, including mines and chimneys, the buildings have been left as they were, except most are now in ruin (some have been restored) but it gives an incredible insight into the past way of life in this part of North Cornish coast. Records suggest mining was first done here in mediaeval times and continued until the end of the 19th Century.