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The North Cliffs

Just a few miles from Camborne’s centre (but still inside our parish boundary), the North Cliffs offer some of the most dramatic views in all of Cornwall – from the heights of Hell’s Mouth to Godrevy lighthouse, perched on its tiny island, defying the sea.

At Hell’s Mouth, you’ll find a dizzying 290-foot sheer drop to the rocks below. Guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes swoop around the offshore stacks, and the caves boom and roar with the surge of the tide. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Further along the coast you’ll come to the Knavocks: wild heathland where hardy Shetland ponies and cattle graze. This is proper, wild Cornwall so it can get a little rocky and muddy — make sure you’ve got the right shoes.

As you get towards Godrevy you’ll see the island — home to the lighthouse made famous by Virginia Woolf. Legend has it that these offshore rocks were hurled at passing ships by Giant Wrath so he could drag survivors back to his cave.

These days, the beaches below the cliffs are more often inhabited by families of seals. You can sit and watch them if you like… just don’t get too close to the edge.

From Camborne town centre, the quickest way to Hell’s Mouth is to head west on the A3047, and bear right at the roundabout, over the A30. Head straight on, down the steep hill to Bell Lake, and turn left at Coombe. You’ll climb a long hill to pick up the B3301 coast road – Hell’s Mouth is to the left, and there are many clifftop car parks to your right.

“So fine was the morning except for a streak of wind here and there that the sea and sky looked all one fabric, as if sails were stuck high up in the sky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.”

Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse


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