Mounts Bay and The Lizard


Mounts Bay and The Lizard

Mounts Bay is the largest bay in Cornwall and stretches from Lizard Point to Gwennap Head. The normally prevailing Westerly winds that sweep in from the Atlantic make this bay a relatively sheltered part of the coastline, but it’s an altogether different story when the wind changes to a southerly or south-easterly direction. Storms can wreak havoc, and there are at least a hundred and fifty sailing ships lying scattered on the seabed around its coastline.

There are no prizes for guessing that the bay gets its name from St Michael’s Mount, the small island that sits just offshore of Marazion. Some people regard it as a smaller version of Mont St Michel in Normandy, and with some justification because it was the Norman monks who built the church and priory on the island in the 12th century.

Penzance is the bay’s main town and the departure point for the ferry to the Isles of Scilly. The parish also includes the fishing port of Newlyn which is one the largest in England.

Lizard Point is the most southerly point on the British mainland and lies at the tip of the Lizard Peninsula. It has a different feel to it than the area around Land’s End and is particularly well known for its geology, although its name is unlikely to have anything do with the serpentinite rock that is found here.