The First and Last Inn, Sennen
Katie Chown – the finder of things to do
Adam – the recorder of things found
We went at the wrong time of day to stumble across the locals. But we still picked up a few tips that sparked a Magical Mystery Tour of the Penwith peninsula. To be honest, there’s enough stories about this one pub to keep a seasoned traveller entertained, with tales of skulduggery and torture borne out of the vertical tunnel in the floor of the bar. We tried to get hold of 16th Century Annie but she gave us the cold shoulder and did what ghosts do best – the disappearing act.
The First and Last Inn
Smuggling was a bit of a free-for-all back in the day when you were this far west. It was hard for the authorities to monitor so many coves and crannies so pub landlord Annie struck it lucky when she discovered the pub owner (and local farmer) doing such great illegal trade and took advantage. Unfortunately their relationship soured resulting in the owner going to jail and poor Annie being tied down with fishing nets till the tide drowned her. No wonder then, her ghost is said to haunt the room where her body was laid out in the pub.
So if you don’t mind the odd shiver down your spine, this is a large pub to sit and enjoy a bite or a pint, whether you’re arriving or leaving the area. We sat supping at the bar and picked up a place or two to visit, mainly in the spirit of mystics and legends…
Penwith Magical Mystery Tour
From the First and Last Inn we took a tour of the peninsula, taking in lumps of stone perched in a way no human could have constructed, magical dells full of wishes and spectacular sights that make you drop all your thoughts and just be.
Our very own Pete Kirby describes his tour of this part of the world in 'The Loveliest Loop on Earth'. You should read it for the dog walk of all coastal dog walks.
If you'd like to see our route, take a look at the Penwith Peninsula Tour Map
All the tourists passing one way or t’other through the First and Last are frequenters of Sennen, a cove well worthy of its popularity, but we know a worthier destination. If you’re not looking for a mile of white sand that is. Keep driving to the end of the A30 and then take the B road even further south. It’s not actually a long drive, but it is very very worth it.
See why in our Porthgwarra Point Walk experience.
Stay in a holiday cottage in Porthgwarra.
The Cornish accent is highly undecipherable to many north of our border, but it used to be a lot worse. The Cornish have their own version of Celtic communication, not so widely used nowadays, but still in existence. Legend has it the last Cornish monoglot (single language speaker) was said to be living in Paul, above Mousehole until she died in 1777. But her legend is much disputed… We went to discover The Story of Dolly Pentreath.
Stay in a holiday cottage near Mousehole.
Strange stones stand all around our county. Some say they are the remnants of cursed maidens, turned to stone for some form of misogynous misdemeanour. There’s definitely something spirited about them, hidden in the leaves of a landscape, long forgotten and awaiting a ritual to bring them back to life. We did our best to bring a bit of life to proceedings during our visit to the Strange Stone Circles of the South West.
Strange stones became a bit of a theme on our mystical tour of Penwith. Lanyon Quoit isn’t quite so hidden away but even being at the side of the road doesn’t subdue the strength of serenity emanating from this oversized Giant’s version of building a house of cards. The history is intriguing and the energy enthralling. We came over all meditative and turned it into a Yoga pedestal.
Stay in a holiday cottage near Lanyon Quoit
We’re not sure what it is about this land this far west, but there are lots and lots of mystical, magical, story telling stones whispering tales of rituals and religions, legends and lore. Madron seems to be a little hub of such wonder, but we only stopped at the well. And the wishing tree. One must stop at a Cloutie well to wish away one’s ailments but please pay attention to the right way of doing things else the tree will become strangled with ill-will.
Stay in a holiday cottage near Madron