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On The Road With The Land's End Coaster


An open top bus on the road in Cornwall
The Land's End Coaster is a fun and cost-effective way to see West Cornwall

Until last week my only experience of The Land's End Coaster was reversing the car to allow it to pass on a narrow stretch of road but last week we took advantage of the glorious sunshine to hop on board and explore. At just £5 a day, it’s a fun and affordable way to see the far west. Make a day trip of it or simply use it to get out and about if you don’t want to drive. It’s also an excellent means of transport if you’re walking the South West Coast Path but aren't planning to do a circular route.

The entire loop takes almost four hours so be prepared if you're planning to stay on board for the entire time. If you’re starting in Penzance, you can pick up the bus from either the railway station or just outside the Jubilee Pool. Buses run in both directions around the circuit so if you’re not planning on doing the whole route, you can simply use it as a normal bus to reach your desired destination.


Where to stop

All of the stops have something to offer but we've listed some of our favourites below.

Although you can, of course, take the bus to St Ives and avoid the difficulty of finding a parking space, we think it makes more sense to take the scenic train route from St Erth instead and make more of a day of it.


The Merry Maidens


The Coaster takes passengers right past the Merry Maidens stone circle, just one of the hundreds of prehistoric monuments that dot the landscape of West Penwith.


If you fancy a walk then head across the fields to Lamorna Cove, once the home of the celebrated Lamorna School of artists.


Porthcurno


This beautiful bay is home to the spectacular Minack Theatre, carved out of the cliffs high above the ocean. You can visit the theatre even if you’re not taking in a show and learn about Rowena Cade, the remarkable woman behind its creation.


Porthcurno is the spot where the transatlantic telegraph cables came ashore the PK Telegraph Museum is also worth a visit.

The stretch of coastline between Portcurno and Treen is lovely for walking. It includes the famous Logan’s Rock, the beautiful Pedn Vounder beach and the pretty fishing village of Penberth. It’s not a long walk but the Coaster makes it easy to do the route in just one direction.


Levant and Geevor Tin Mines

Cornwall has a rich history of mining and this stretch of coastline is known as The Tin coast. At Levant, you can see the restored 1840s beam engine which runs on steam. Walk along the cliffs to Geevor, the last surviving complete example of a 20th century tin mine. Kids in particular will enjoy the opportunity to go underground and experience what life was like for miners.


Zennor and the north coast

With rugged cliffs and the crashing Atlantic Ocean, this is one of the most dramatic stretches of coastline. Get off near The Gurnard’s head and walk the coast path to Zennor where you can enjoy lunch at The Tinner’s Arms or an ice cream at Moomaid. Don't miss the medieval church, with its famous carving of the legendary Zennor Mermaid,

The Leach Pottery

The bus stops right outside The Leach Pottery. Founded just over a century ago by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, it’s the home of studio pottery in the UK. As well as the museum, gallery and shop, there are workshops for children throughout the school holidays.

Tips for making the most of your trip

  • If you’re sitting outside make sure you’re prepared for all weathers. It can get very chilly even on a warm day so take plenty of layers. It’s pretty exposed up there, too, so don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.

  • There's no toilet on board so you may need to plan loo breaks.

  • If you’re doing the entire trip without stops, it takes just over four hours so you may want to take a drink and a snack.

  • There’s no commentary and, if you don’t know the area, we recommend taking a map so you can work out exactly where you are.






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