Thursday 9th March 2023, 10.25am (day 4,214)
Those of you not from Britain might not be immediately aware of the cultural significance of Land’s End, although the very name gives a clue. This is not the southernmost point on the island of Great Britain (that being the Lizard), nor is it the westernmost (Ardnamurchan, in Scotland), but it is the furthest extremity of the long toe that the island sends out into the Atlantic, and the distance of, about, 875 miles in a straight line to John o’Groats in Scotland is the longest distance between any two points on this lump of land off the north-west coast of Europe.
The building you see here, officially known as the “First and Last House”, is a café — with, behind, the Longships lighthouse — and somewhere just to the left is a rather tacky complex of buildings targeted firmly at the very large number of tourists who flock here during the summer months. I consider myself fortunate to have seen it in the off-season. But while at one level it seems very arbitrary to value this point over many others nearby which are far more attractive and interesting (like Porthcurno, yesterday, which is about four miles away [and further south]), there is a sense here that one has come to the end of something, in a quite physical but also a spiritual sense. Which is why people want to come here, I guess. I can’t knock it — I made a point of making it to this spot, and now document it here on the blog. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t mean anything, but in a small and personal way, perhaps it does.