Land's End, Cornwall


If you, like me, often find yourself possessed by the desire to go and be moody by the sea somewhere, without the burden of having to deal with Society, then boy do I have the cliff face for you. When it came to our road trip (of which this is the final instalment, hold for tears) my one absolutely non-negotiable stop was Land's End. I'd seen photos of it, and it looked damp, moody and deserted, so naturally I was enchanted. Land's End is literally that. It is the end of the land. The most south-westerly point of England and about as far away as one can get from Other People without diving into the churning waters below. Granted there is a visitor centre (with inexplicable Wallace & Gromit theme and also a 4D movie about dinosaurs?) so there is probably a more hekkerz population density on a day less foggy than ours, but I'd be willing to bet there is still a satisfying sense of solitude to be had. It's a cliff at the edge of a country. What else do you want.


Having just had the fog-shrouded time of our lives in Mousehole, followed by a tranquil, classically-scored drive through the Cornish countryside, William and I were both in a most jolly mood, and ready to change into something dry. We pulled into the hotel carpark and I was already sold. Could I see much of anything? Nah. Was I amped as hell regardless? U bet. Upon checking in, my dreams took absolute wing as we were informed that not only was there ample room service and a complimentary breakfast, but that if we did not dawdle we could be treated to my second favourite thing after oceanside solitude: a cream tea. If you are not familiar with a cream tea, it is basically just a fancy way of saying tea and scones, and bitch u bet I am massively. into. scones. When Less and I both lived in London we would buy scones, jam and clotted cream and go have sunny day scone seshes on Clapham Common. Mere days prior to the Cornwall trip I had taken myself and William to The Wolseley for some Fancy Scones and Fancy Ambiance. And here I was. On top of a foggy cliff. Being told that there was cream tea a-callin'. Mother may I.


In this case 'mother' was Will and he said yes, so off I skipped to our room for a fresh change of clothes. Emerging in my second grey jumper of the day, I was overcome by a fresh wave of exploratory joie de vivre, and suggested that we postpone the scones (did you just gasp out loud) and go for a foggy wander first. After all, it is not often that one finds oneself at the very end of a land mass. Granted, we did also hit up the most southerly point by accident the next day, but this one has a dramatic name so it's far more significant. Branding counts, even if you're a multi-million year old geological formation. (Do you have a rock that needs some good PR? Hire me to do your social media!) Innywho, as I was saying, although we had seen quite a few cliffs over the preceding 48 hour period, we hadn't seen these ones yet, and I felt we should explore.


Feeling it necessary to follow a fox down a hill and all the way onto the outermost part of the cliff face, Will determined our course, and then proceeded to sprint around gaily with a complete disregard for personal safety. Walking like an adult and frequently reminding him that he was on a mossy cliff above a 60 metre drop onto rocks, I made my way much more responsibly to a picturesque sitting rock and enjoyed the view. After ensuring Will had managed to take at least one decent photo of me atop said picturesque rock. But that's really just a matter of duty and bears no reflection upon the role of technology in my life and my own ability to have good old fashioned offline fun. Speaking of which, the one gripe I will expose in relation to this otherwise splendid refuge from Everything is that the wifi and 4G were abysmal. Yes, it is at the absolute edge of the country, but come on now. It is the Year of Our Lord 2019. And he would want us to have a crisp connection. In any case we frolicked and rock sat for probs about an hour before calling it a very long day and ascending in the direction from whence we had come.


It started raining as we walked around the hotel, which made little to no difference considering we were already in a literal cloud, so we braved the onslaught of tiny, tiny droplets and wandered over to the Classic Tourist Sign. Gotta do it. Also turns out John O'Groats is the most northeasterly point of the UK, not a mean historical nickname for some guy with an unfortunate affliction à la Piero 'The Gouty' de' Medici. The more u know. Even damper than when we had arrived but with a grand sense of satisfaction and adventure despite having ventured less than 500m from the hotel, the moment had finally arrived. It was scone time. Settled in the corner of the hotel's restaurant, we were presented with a Platter of Absolute Joy and a pot of piping hot tea. Why is it called 'piping' hot? Is it to do with the sound Ye Olde Kettles make when they've boiled? I'm not going to google it so I guess we'll never know, but regardless it was an exceedingly Hygge-fied situation. Staring out into the absolute nothingness, I probably pondered several intricacies of life, for instance whether or not this would be how things would look if the Truman show set malfunctioned, and other similarly introspective matters. The main event was obviously the scones, with which I felt doubly justified in rewarding myself after the afternoon's gallivanting. I believe Will only had a bite or two as he was feeling quite full after his Mousehole Special onion ft. onion pasty, but he still managed to spill tea all over the table, so I suppose we both had our fun.


After an evening of Lush baths, room service and Lord of the Rings, we slept the sleeps of intrepid adventurers and woke up the next morning not to an expanse of endless white, but blue skies and lilac clouds. Terrified that the fog would somehow rematerialise before we had the chance to actually take in the the much-anticipated visual spectacle that is the End of the Land, because my grasp on weather is calibrated to the Melbourne norms of Three Weathers At Once, I got ready with GREAT HASTE and ushered Will out into the crisp morning air.


It was a bit before 9am and we headed back down to the same spot we were the day before but this time, sans-fog, there was a whole lot more to look at. I'm not saying I necessarily want to move to a remove cliff face, but I do think that if I had a nice, modern house with a desk facing this specific view I would live a much more productive life and have significantly lower blood pressure. That's a lie, my doctor says my blood pressure is perfect ;););) but I'm sure there would be other zen-related benefits. Built-in soothing ocean noise sleep sound effects, for one.


The photos from Land's End are some of my favourites to look back on/post on instagram/set as my phone background but, despite being truly magical and incredibly pleasant to gaze upon, they don't do justice to the actual scale of things. These rock formations were MASSIVE and the drop down to the water was a lot further than it looks which, paired with the complete absence of other people, created quite an isolating kind of vibe but in the best possible way. Despite being pretty damn dark, the water is also insanely clear, and I'm obsessed with thinking about what kind of oceanlife shenanigans could be going on out there. Seeing as it's off the coast of the UK probably nm, maybe a basking shark and some lobsters, but my imagination is limitless s0o0o0ohoho don't kill my vibe. 


There is SO much both in Land's End and Cornwall in general that we didn't have time to see and I'm determined to go back. I think Land's End is a perf base to explore from, because although it isn't smack bang in the middle of things it's still within easy driving distance of a lot of places, and at the end of a day spent in more populated tourist towns it's nice to retreat somewhere a bit more chilled out. I think I'd like to do a longer trip next time and base myself there for a day or two; hang out at the picnic tables, get some writing done, eat more scones. Had we not needed to drive the whole way back to London that day I'm sure we would have liked to sit and bask in the expansive wonder of Mother Nature's Majesty for a while longer, but there were things to do and motorways to traverse, so we said farewell to the ambient crashing of waves and headed back inside for breakfast. Where Will spilt coffee all over the table. Keep that brand strong, babe.

On our way back to London we made a few stops - one in Lizard, one in Bibury and one at motorway services for a Burger King - but for the most part it was a day of driving, podcasts and drive through Starbucks. Next time I'm back in the UK I want to spend a week or so going around either the Lake District or the Scottish Highlands, but I'm sure eventually we'll make it back to Cornwall. For now I'm compiling a Pinterest board of places to go a bit closer to home (and readjusting to the fact that 'home' is no longer London, but that's a discussion for another post), and you can catch up on the rest of the roadtrip below. x0x0


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