The Devil's Frying Pan
Cadgwith Cove to The Lizard – 7 miles
The Devil’s Frying Pan; if ever there was a reason to go on a walk, it would be to visit the Devil’s Frying Pan wouldn’t it? Located about a quarter of a mile south of Cadgwith, this area of the south west coastline is truly spectacular.
The Devil’s Frying Pan was formed from the collapsed roof of a sea cave which left this fabulous arch of rock. Its name apparently derives from when the weather is bad and the sea looks to be boiling within the cave, with the central boulder resembling an egg in a frying pan…only in Cornwall folks!
Cadgwith (Porthkajwydh) is a beautiful Cornish village and fishing port, which you will find located between Coverack and the most southerly point of Cornwall, the Lizard Peninsula. Cadgwith was originally called 'Porthcaswydh', becoming 'Por Cadjwydh' in Late Cornish, and comes from the Cornish word for 'a thicket', literally meaning battle of trees. This is thought to be because the valley was densely wooded. Fishing was the main occupation back in the 16th Century and Cadgwith owes its very existence to this trade, mainly pilchard fishing. However, due to the over-fishing of pilchards it had to be stopped. These days you will find brown edible crabs, spider crabs, lobsters, monkfish, and conger eels being regularly landed and sold in the local fishmongers.
With its tight cluster of thatched cottages along the valley and beautiful shingle beach, it is a popular destination for tourists as well as us local Cornish folk. And should you need to begin or end your walk in the pub, make sure you head to The Cadgwith Inn for a traditional Cornish experience.
I took the group for a ramble along this section of the south west coast path last year - there were 10 Cornish Ramblers who were suited and booted, with a keenness to see what the next 7-miles had in store. Any walk I organise down in south Cornwall is usually a popular one, especially when it involves heading to The Lizard. With its ridiculously stunning views out to sea, it is a superb piece of coastline to explore and appreciate. Although the undulating terrain can make your thighs burn on occasions, walking from Coverack to The Lizard is very enjoyable. As the steep slope towards The Lizard suddenly opens up to a bustling tourist attraction, you'll no doubt find a cluster of people milling around The Lizard Lighthouse and gift shop, whilst others attempt to get down to The Lizard Point to spot seals and dolphins.
The most southerly point of the British mainland, Lizard Point protrudes far into The Channel and is surrounded by shallow reefs. A beautiful place for a pit stop if you’re in need of an ice cream, the facilities or a cup of tea.
After a well-deserved break, you will make your way up around to the National Trust car park, moving away from the coast to start your inland journey back to the start. Traipsing diagonally across a field, eventually ending up at Church Cove where you’ll walk through the picturesque churchyard of the darling St. Winwaloe church. Once through the churchyard you will head through fields and across a stream where the notoriously slippery Serpentine rocks could catch you out…be careful not to slide!
One of my favourite parts of this walk is a section which took my ramblers and I up onto a hedge; I always love a good plot twist! Rather than navigating the group through fields of cows, which can sometimes cause a little ripple of fear, I instead followed the route which cleverly took us up onto a little pathway on top of the hedge. Single file, we could let the cows enjoy their space whilst we enjoyed the walk without fear of being chased or trampled.
We made our way along the top of the hedge until eventually, we climbed down the stone stile and took the next pathway to another church, known as the Church of The Holy Cross. After nosing around a little while, we continued the last leg of our walk. A couple more fields, a couple more stone stiles, a Holy Well of St. Ruan and a footpath later and we were back at the car park. With flushed faces the chatter between the group didn’t stop until finally, after everyone had said goodbye and drifted off in their own directions, it was just my little Cocker Spaniel Purdy and me left standing.
‘To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.’