Sunday, January 22, 2012

Land's End, Cornwall

One of the other places I really wanted to visit in England was Land's End. Just the name alone is romantic. Land's End lies at the most westerly point of England and there really is only one hotel to stay at...the appropriately yet perhaps unimaginately named Land's End Hotel.

(see hotel at far right)

It's about 9 miles south of Penzance (yes, that Penzance..again a big thank you to Andrew Lloyd Weber or whoever wrote that damn thing). The closest other village is Sennan, which by calling it a village is very generous.

It consists of a bar, post office/general store, small grocery, mechanic and one other bar which is a long climb down a cliff (well, maybe more accurately very steep hill). It is however, very famous for surfing and I was told that in the summer it's insanely packed (like a 2-hour wait for dinner in the pubs...apparently Land's End is a very popular family/teenager vacation spot).

To get to Land's End, you literally follow the road until it ends. The hotel/tourist center is the only thing there and you can pay for the day to park and explore or stay the night.

Caveat: There isn't much to do here but that definitely adds to the mystique. I had thought there would be a small town or something but Sennen (at a mile away) is the closest. So what is there to do? Walk, hike and birdwatch. All of which are fun but for 1 night at most. I unfortunately had booked 2 nights.

Night comes early to Cornwall (and the gray marine layer which adds to the dusk) and I pretty much just hung out at the restaurant on site and in my room. Note to future self: Do not drink too many Cornish Rattler ciders (damn that shit is super strong!) and accost other hotel guests.

The village of Sennen does have an interesting old church (complete with a plaque of the names of all the villagers who served in World War 1 and World War 2).

The most interesting thing to me was the First and Last Inn which is one of the 2 aforementioned bars in town. Depending on your viewpoint, it would be the first or last inn you would see. It apparently was a haven for smugglers and other ne'er do wells back in the day.

I just found it full of chatty old men (who for some reason had an obsession with watching Judge Judy reruns) and a bartender from Sheffield who was on the run from the law). Go figure.

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