OS Grid Reference:- SW715125
Polpeor Cove lies to the right of Lizard Point, the most southerly point on mainland Britain. The area is famous for the local serpentine rock, a dark green metamorphic rock veined with red. The nearest village is Lizard, which is situated around half a mile to the north.
The cove has a small beach of dark grey, coarse sand. The waters off Lizard Point are extremely hazardous and are unsuitable for swimming, dangerous tidal currents sweep past this point . There is no lifeguard service in operation. C.A Johns in his 'Week at the Lizard' (1882) mentions Polpeer Cove as being a popular spot for local fishermen to haul up their boats, bringing their catch of pilchards ashore for salting and storing at the fish cellars in the cove.
The cove is dominated by the derelict former Lizard lifeboat station, it was in operation until the new station was built at Kilcobben Cove. The RNLI established its first lifeboat at the southern tip of The Lizard in 1859, in response to the wreck of the Czar off Bass Point.
The lifeboat station at Polpeor Cove was completed in 1914. The lifeboat was launched 136 times from Polpeor Cove, saving over 500 lives The large concrete building had an integrated slipway which enabled the lifeboats to launch directly into the sea. However, this could prove hazardous in rough conditions because of the number of rocks in the cove. The exposed position of the station also meant it required a great deal of expense to maintain its general upkeep. The old lifeboat station now serves as a heritage centre.
The cove is much favoured by bird watchers who flock there to watch the Cornish Choughs fledge. The Cornish Chough, now returning to the area after many years of being nearly extinct in Cornwall. The Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) is a member of the crow family and has a red beak and legs. Iit has an excitable, high-pitched 'chi-ow' call from which its name is derived. The chough is extremely acrobatic bird and its tumbling display flights make a truly impressive sight. Its inclusion in Cornwall's coat of arms along with the miner and the fisherman, reflects the chough's importance in Cornish culture.
Basking sharks and grey seals are also regularly seen in the area. Facilities at Lizard Point include a café and a National Trust car park.
From the remote village of Lizard, continue along the road towards Lizard Point. Park up in the National Trust car park next to the old lighthouse and walk down the slipway to the beach