After nearly seven weeks away from home I've completely gone off the full English breakfast typically offered in hotels and guesthouses, so I chose to start the final day with a good old fashioned bowl of porridge. The weather decided to be very kind to me again, heavy rain fell overnight but I drew the curtains in the morning to be greeted by a perfect blue sky. After we checked out of our hotel Lea drove me back to Newlyn and I hit the road for the last time.
Near Lamorna, as I passed uphill through a wood, I completed my 1,000th mile. I'd wanted to break the 1,000 mile barrier on this walk so that was a satisfying moment for me. Without all the meandering along the Cornish coast on Sunday and Monday I probably wouldn't have made it without going around the block a few times somewhere. A bit further on, right next to the road near St.Buryan, I came across the fascinating Tregiffian burial chamber, a chambered Neolithic tomb thought to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old. There are many standing stones and other ancient monuments in this area. At Treen after descending into a valley I walked up the last incline of my journey. By now I could see the sea on the horizon in every direction except behind me. When I saw the Lands End Coastguards Rescue Team building I knew the end was very close.
Where the B3315 meets the A30 I caught my first glimpse of the Lands End complex. My daytime refreshment of choice during this walk has been a bottle of isotonic sports drink, but I fancied something different today. Instead of walking straight down the road I first headed a little north into Sennen where I enjoyed a pint of fine Cornish ale at The First And Last Inn. It went down a treat, then it was time for my big moment. The easy downhill mile from the pub to Lands End seemed to go by in no time at all. Lea and John from Dairy Crest were waiting at the finish line to cheer me over. My joy at successfully completing this journey overcame me for a while, I don't mind admitting I was in floods of tears as I crossed the line. After composing myself I carried on through the complex to the famous sign and had the obligatory photo taken.
We stayed at Lands End for a couple of hours savouring the atmosphere. I signed the guestbook for end-to-enders in the hotel reception and found myself being congratulated by many people. A crowd were waiting for a group of cyclists who were due to finish their ride from from John o'Groats, we waited with them and watched as they finished. Unsurprisingly the cyclists had also suffered a last minute 'delay' at the pub in Sennen. Lea and John had both presented me with a bottle of champagne, I'd happily finished one of them by the time we left. The enormity of what I've done began to dawn on me as we drove home. It took ages just to get out of Cornwall using the dual carriageways I'd avoided like the plague while walking, and that was just a small fraction of the distance I'd covered during my incredible journey over last six weeks and six days.
GPS track click here
Mileage today; 11.57 miles, walking time 2 hrs 55 mins, average walking speed 4.0 mph
Weather; Sunny, breezy, max 18C
Cumulative mileage; 1,008.77 miles
The Neolithic Tregiffian burial chamber
The Famous First & Last Inn at Sennen