|From:||St Ives (SW518407)|
|To:||Lands End Airfield (SW375272)|
|Via:||Pendeen, St Just|
|Length:||16.8 miles (27 km)|
|Meets:||A3074, B3311, B3318, A3071, A30|
|Old route now:||B3301, A3074|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3306 follows the northern coast of the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall.
Current maps have the B3306 starting in Fore Street, St Ives, right by the harbour. For those that are familiar with St Ives this will seem surprising, as Fore Street is very narrow, cobbled and packed with tourists and shoppers. It really is only suitable for mile-an-hour driving and cars and particularly delivery vehicles must squeeze past the pedestrians. Perhaps more pertinently, Fore Street is marked with a "No motor vehicles" sign qualified with an "except for access" plate. So seemingly the only legal way to complete the B3306 in one go is on foot, a cycle or pedal scooter. It is in any case a one-way street in this direction.
At the end of Fore street is a crossroads. We have priority over another part of the one way system in crowded St Ives. Straight across into Saint Andrew's Street we must go but there's another problem here. Again maps suggest the road turns right into High Street/Market Place, which is impossible in any kind of vehicle as that is one way in the reverse direction. So it seems you must do this route on foot after all. Our only route out of St Ives in this direction is to continue on the increasingly narrow and still one-way Saint Andrews Street and turn right into the equally narrow and one-way Street-an-Pol.
At the top we meet a crossroads and must give way. Coming in from the left is the termination of the A3074 which was the former route of the B3306. We go straight across into Gabriel Street which becomes Chapel Street and then The Stennack.
Then it's over a mini roundabout and immediately give way on a manufactured TOTSO where the through route from the other way has been diverted to the right to try to keep traffic out of the town centre. We continue to climb away from the centre on Higher Stennack and a double mini-roundabout is reached. Turn left for the edge of town main car parks and right for Porthmeor Beach and the Tate St Ives. Straight ahead and we continue to climb through the suburbs.
St Ives - Lands End Airport
There is a left turn onto the B3311, which forms part of an alternative and suggested route back to the A30 at Lelant. The houses then stop and we go from a 30 mph limit to NSL. The road continues to climb and the Penwith moorland is seen ahead. At the crest of the hill is a layby on the left. Stop there for a spectacular view back down the hill to St Ives and its bay with Godrevy Island and lighthouse beyond.
We are then onto the moorland proper with further great views down to the Atlantic on the right. The road runs along the contours on the flank of Trendrine Hill. There are no more than 2 or 3 isolated farmhouses in the next stretch, and we retain the moorland hills to the left and ocean view to the right.
The road then skirts the village of Zennor and it is worth a detour here to the Wayside Folk Museum, which represents life in these parts before the 20th century and the coming of the road. The B3306 is rather narrower in this section and the centre line disappears. We weave on our way between farmhouses and stone cottages before reaching the isolated Gurnards Head Hotel. More weaving between the buildings at the farming hamlet of Porthmeor. It's then past an area with some low trees before crossing a fairly newly installed cattle grid and out onto the open moorland once again. Past the ruined chimney and engine house of the Carn Galver Mine and then another new cattle grid before reaching a couple of further small farming hamlets. The road gets reasonably close to the cliff, being only a field away, before turning inland somewhat at the hamlet of Trevowhan. Grazed fields are bisected and the road reaches Morvah and then Bojewyan, yet more farming hamlets.
Finally Pendeen is reached, which is a proper village with pubs and a school, and has a 30 mph limit. Although close to the coast, this is not a tourist area. Tin mining was once important in this and the next villages, which relied on that activity for their income. They suffered when the industry declined and the Cornish mines closed. The village consists of small miners' cottages with some newer bungalows and has a generally faded industrial feel. Geevor Tin Mine is open as an industrial museum. Trewellard is the next village and there is no real gap before reaching it from Pendeen. There is a gap before the small village of Carnyorth and another before Botallack but the 30 mph limit is retained throughout, the reminders being square blue signs and not the proper roundels.
After Botallack the NSL returns briefly. At Nancherrow the road drops into a valley and to begin the 17% climb up the other side is another 30 mph limit as we are on the edge of St Just, the largest of the villages en route. In the village a corner of a building results in traffic from this direction having to give priority. At this point the road simply becomes the A3071 and this is a useless multiplex as the B3306 carries on further ahead whilst the A3071 gives up.
As the NSL sign is reached again the direction sign tells us a right turn is necessary to abandon our multiplex. The A3071 heads straight and eventually gets to Penzance, whilst our turn is marked for Lands End. It's back into more open country and at the top of a hill the Atlantic becomes visible again. The road passes the Lands End Airport, where you can pick up a flight to the Isles of Scilly or a scenic tour. Alongside the grass runway is the only really straight bit of the B3306. If you don't overtake here you will be stuck for anywhere else to pass on the entire route.
The road narrows and reverts to its normal twisty self before it ends at a T-junction with the A30. Turn right and it's 2 and 3/4 miles to Lands End.
The B3306 is not a road to get anywhere fast on, but it is blessed with fabulous scenery for much of the route.
The seemingly useless section in St Ives mentioned in the first paragraph was originally numbered B3308. Owing to its short length it is unclear when it became part of the B3306.