3 Great Cornish Walks For You To Explore
Read this article to discover three lovely Cornish walks that will put a smile on your face!
Do you ever realise that you might have taken something lovely for granted? I feel this way sometimes about Cornwall and the Cornish walks we can do here. I was born and raised in Falmouth, but I can still lose sight of its beauty. It can take a trip away to make me realise just how good I’ve got it here. The wild sea, gentle creeks and steep cliffs. The meandering paths through green fields; we seem to have it all here in Kernow. In the first lockdown I spent more time on local paths. This led me to explore further afield on the South West Coast Path. So, this week I wanted to raise up those more local Cornish walks. Especially those that might be on our doorstep, but that we’ve not been on recently because they seem ‘too familiar’.
You might not be in Cornwall, but you can check these out when you visit! Alternatively I hope it’ll help you look at your local routes anew. If you’re anything like me then walking them again will be a reminder of all the glorious details you’ve forgotten. And if you’re already regularly out on routes near you, then do post in the comments with your own suggestions! I’d love to hear more – Cornish walks or non Cornish – walking is always awesome.
1. Falmouth to the Ferryboat Inn – along the Helford River
One of my tried and tested favourite routes for a day hike or a good trail run is from Falmouth along to the Ferryboat Inn at Helford Passage. It’s a little long for a nice afternoon interlude, so when I’m short on time I pick one of the nicest parts – a four-mile circuit around Rosemullion Head. One easy way to pick this up is to park at Mawnan Church and drop onto the coast path just below. Turn right through glorious tall woods and you’ll pop out atop a green rolling hill with stunning views down the Helford River. From here you cross beaches and little coves, with boathouses and WW2 pillboxes along the way. Behind the boathouse on Porth Saxon beach there’s a path that takes you away from the creekside and up into the woods of Carwinion Valley, eventually meeting the road at the end of the village of Mawnan Smith.
Then, there’s a little road-walking before you jump back on the path past Nansidwell Manor, which leads you down to the coast again. Turn right, and the coast path will take you out around Rosemullion Head. This is where I like to stop to soak up the views. This piece of coastline all along to Porth Saxon is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its herb-rich grasslands, spring marshes and broadleaved woodlands – the bathing in special nature that we all need right now on one of the most sheltered and beautiful Cornish walks near my home.
2. Constantine Village to Scott’s Quay
Let’s move away from the coast path proper to second of my favourite short Sunday afternoon strolls: Scott’s Quay at Goongilling’s Farm, also on the Helford River. Parking in Constantine by the village church, you walk out of the village past the Dr’s surgery which leads down to a road crossing. Crossing over, join the farm track and keep walking over a couple of beautiful open fields; one containing a stunning oak tree, all the way down to the creek and Scott’s Quay. The Quay was built in the early 1800’s by Charles Scott, a wealthy landowner who made his money in the heavy industries of mining and quarrying.
The quay was his ingenious way of moving mineral hauls out of the creek by boat. The quay was later neglected after railways took off but was brought back to its former glory in the 1930’s when Mrs Hext, a wealthy magistrate and philanthropist who owned Trebah Manor and gardens, rebuilt the quay and established a public right of way so that everyone could enjoy it, putting covenants in place against any inappropriate future development. Now it’s one of the few ways the public can have access to the Helford river along these creeks and it’s far from industry, with just the birds to keep you company.
You can cut back up to your car the same way, or add a little more distance and interest by turning right as you come back off the quay; walking through woods to get back on to the road before you return to the village.
3. Godolphin Hill
My third recommendation is a walk that’s a little drive inland. It’s away from the coast, but gives breathtaking views of both the North and South coast at its peak at the top of Godolphin Hill. To get there take a drive out towards Helston. Head inland after the town and towards the grand National Trust property of Godolphin House. It’s a 15th century Manor House belonging to the Godolphin family. They made their fortune in tin mining and became an influential local family for many generations. The family extended and developed the property over time, and by 1680 it had close to 100 rooms. Swathed in finery!
This was its peak ‘grandness’ however. It was downsized over the following centuries into the relatively simpler building you will see today as you drive in. The house was sold by the Duke of Leeds in 1929 to a new owner. It then moved into the hands of the National Trust in 2007. Park in the NT car park to start (paying if necessary, of course!) and walk past the ticket office. Head across a field and you’ll find a signposted pathway to “Godolphin Hill’. At the peak of the hill you’ll be able to see some of the best possible views of West Cornwall! St Ives and Marazion are both visible on a clear day. If you look down around your feet rather than further afield you might also notice remnants of an enclosure and hut circles – most likely settlements from the Bronze Age. You then follow a little loop around the top of the hill and back to the Manor House.
Tell me your favourite routes!
I hope you get out and explore some of these or other routes! I am discovering and exploring new Cornish walks and parts of my home turf all the time. I’m continuously learning to find new ways to love and explore what we have on our doorstep. Tell me your favourite routes, and especially if you’d like to share some great local history information too! My contact page is here or come and find me on Instagram or Facebook. I look forward to sharing your recommendations on here, wherever you’re from!