Land’s End was formed around 270 million years ago, when a mass of boiling granite forced its way through the overlying softer rocks to the surface.
The result was the Land’s End Peninsula which is one of four roughly circular granite domes forming the backbone of Cornwall; there is a wealth of tin and copper to be found between the interface of granite and softer rock.
At Land’s End, the coastal landscape is notoriously wild and the weathering action of waves, wind and salt-spray has produced classic rocky coastal scenery with rock arches, sea stacks, offshore rock islands and rugged cliffs.
The spectacular cliffs range in height from 61 to 122 metres high and the cliffs around Land’s End are comprised of two forms of granite; the granite below the Land’s End Hotel is coarse and contains large crystals but the granite below the First and Last House is finer and contains smaller crystals. The difference between the two rock types can be seen at a distance by the smoother weathering of the finer rock.
The weather at Land’s End is mild, frost-free, wet and windy due to the latitude of the site and the strong oceanic influence of the Atlantic Sea. The Land’s End Peninsula has about thirty gale days per year and gales are most frequent in the winter months with over 65% of the winds being westerly. However, despite these perhaps challenging conditions, there is a wonderful variety of plant-life to be found at Land’s End constituting 14 broad vegetation habitats including over 220 species of flowering plant and 81 species of lichen.
Land’s End is, in itself, a total eco-system combining terrestrial and maritime elements; the magnificent cliffs and slopes are of national significance and the site is a designated ‘Very Important Plant Area.’