Wednesday

Cornish Tales - Staying at Lizard Point

Not surprisingly I didn't want to leave Coverack. It had reminded me of the beautiful north Antrim coastline and in particular Portballintrae. What could be better?

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


Leave we did and our next night was booked for a stay at the YHA Lizard Point. As we drove up another windy narrow lane we passed the lighthouse at England's most southerly point and found the driveway to the YHA.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


In front us lay manicured lawns with undulating banks, mature shrubs and a large garden full of agapanthus. At the other end of the drive stood a late Victorian house with a bell tower. Directly behind this could be seen the working lighthouse. A reminder of the real danger that this coastline still poses today.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


Maintained partly by the National Trust and partly by the YHA, the hostel is run thanks to the same couple that run Coverack, with the help of some volunteers and I'm so glad they do.

We checked in and found our room on the first floor and again had the most spectacular view. Two seats in the bay window were waiting for us and we obligingly sat down to take in the seascape. As I sat down I did that big sighing thing that I do when I can't help myself. What a view! What a privilege to enjoy such a view. That is how I felt.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


The weather was warm and with evening approaching we headed into Lizard to find somewhere to eat. A sign leapt out at me. It was the kind of sign I hope to see whenever I am by the sea. It read, "Fresh Lobster and chips £20".

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


We walked into the bar of the Top House Inn and asked a lady at the foot of the restaurant area if there was any lobster to be had. Another member of staff joined her and said he would find out if there was any left. He returned to tell us there were two left, we were in luck. We were served quickly and the lobster was possibly the best I have ever eaten. I'd hugely recommend loitering about the Inn in case you get a chance to tuck into some local fare too.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac


After a day in the sun, both the Welsh One and I had also turned the colour of a cooked lobster and I was quite happy to head back into the dusk to hide my glowing face.

The almost full moon had come out and we decided to take a final walk out of the hostel. We headed down the path towards the sea, through the gate and there on the other side we found a forager nipping a select number of leaves from the slope of green that flanked the coastal path.

I'd never met a forager before and couldn't help but ask them a few questions. Within seconds the forager had turned the carpet of green into a vegetable counter at a supermarket. Here was sea beet, sea carrot (no good if you're pregnant, I was told from under a set of eyebrows) and there, more sea spinach also known as sea beet.

Is there any samphire? I asked, naming the only foraged vegetable I could remember. Over there, I was told, you see with the yellow flowers. The forager's story was one of personal sadness and restoration through the bounty of the natural world, which had given succour when mere survival had become difficult. It was a story I won't forget.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac

As we returned up the path the light from the lighthouse streaked across the sky from directly behind the hostel in the most dramatic fashion. In our room moonlight came streaming in, it was a cloudless night. Across the sea a trail of light from the moon traced the surface. We left the windows open and I slept the deep sleep of someone who had begun to relax.

Cornish Tales, staying at YHA Lizard, photo by modern bric a brac

Standout moment - the view from our room at the YHA

Standout meal - the lobster at the Top House Inn

YHA Lizard Point, Cornwall, TR12 7NT

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