Walking in Cornwall
The ancient county of Cornwall, blessed with a mild climate, spectacular craggy cliffs, beautiful coves, creeks and rolling moorland, is justifiably one of our favourite holiday destinations. The exceptionally mild south coast has sub- tropical vegetation in places, whereas the north coast is exposed to the bracing Atlantic winds, making it popular for surfing. The small fishing villages are a delight, often nestled in steep combes and once the haunt of pirates.
Cornwall has much to offer the walker, in particular the South West Peninsula National Trail which follows the entire coastline with its dramatic cliffs and idyllic coves. Inland too there is a fascinating landscape worth exploring, full of ancient sites such as the pre-historic Lanyon Quoit burial chamber at Madron. Bodmin Moor is a wild and romantic place to walk where you are never far from our ancient ancestors and where you may even spot the wild beast of Bodmin Moor! Here there are also fantastic natural stone formations, the most famous being the Cheesewring granite tor at the 1,250 feet summit of Stowe's Hill.
Falmouth and the Helford River
The coastal area around Falmouth from the Helford River to beyond Mevagissey has an exceptionally mild climate which is immediately apparent to the visitor in the sub-tropical vegetation. The area is often referred to as 'The Cornish Riviera' and it is a delight to walk along this softer coastline of wooded creeks on the Helford and Fal rivers. These are really drowned valleys created eons ago when south Cornwall subsided, allowing the sea to flood in.
Constantine is a small village situated at the end of a small creek on the north bank of the Helford River. About 2 miles west is the National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, and about 3 miles east are the beautiful Glendurgan National Trust gardens overlooking the Helford River.
A Walk from Constantine [SW 731282] Woods and water are the main features of this delightful ramble. From Constantine, farm paths with excellent views take you to the Trengilly Wartha Inn, a delightful spot to relax with a drink. From the pub you join a track through a cool lush wood. You then follow the pretty Ponjeravah stream up through mixed woodland to the top of the valley and then back down to the village. About 3 miles. OS Map: Explorer™ 103
Best Pub for this walk
Trengilly Wartha Inn, near Constantine Tel: 01326 340332 (Good Pub Guide)
This pretty pub is set in an idyllic position in a lovely valley with gardens stretching down to a lake and stream. Here you can have just a drink, a bar meal or visit the excellent restaurant. There is usually a wide choice of delicious bar meals.
This walk is fully described in the guidebook 'Pocket Pub Walks in Cornwall' by Michael Bennie.
Another lovely spot is the Roseland Peninsula opposite the fine resort of St. Mawes. A walk around this peninsula provides a delightful excursion. Start at Porth Farm (NT) [SW 871331] and head west following the creek. There are excellent views of St. Mawes across the Percuil river. From St. Anthony you can either continue to St. Anthony Head to walk the full peninsular, or cross back to the east sea coast to return via Kilgerran Head.
The Lizard Peninsula is England's southernmost point and is important both for its geology and botany. Spectacular high cliffs and secluded coves make for dramatic coastal walking and inland the Goonhilly Downs are home to many rare plants. In May and June a splendid scene is created by the golden gorse and white blackthorn blossom. The peninsula is relatively quiet and feels remote and wild compared with many areas of Cornwall.
Lizard Point is at the very southern tip of the Lizard Peninsula and close by is the lovely Kynance Cove. There is a wonderful circular walking route starting at Lizard village (SW 702142) and heading west to Kynance Cove (SW 686133) where you can see the most spectacular scenery on the Lizard peninsula. There are numerous caves and incredible rock formations carved by the relentless sea. Here you can see cliffs streaked with the red, purple and green colours of the local serpentine rock. From Kynance follow the coast path southward to Lizard Point and then north to Church Bay (SW 722144) from where you turn inland back to the start.
Another option is to take the bus from Lizard Village to Mullion (alight at Cricket Club) and make you way through Mullion to the coast at Polurrian Cove (SW 668188) where you can pick up the South West Coast Path for a spectacular 8 mile walk back along the coast to Lizard Village. This walk will take you along one of the best stretches of the entire SW Coast Path, much of it National Trust protected. First you will visit Mullion Cove, once a fishing village with a now sleepy little harbour. A steep climb out of the cove brings delightful views of Mullion Island and dramatic coastal scenery and important wild flower grassland as you continue around Predannack Head. After a drop into Gew-graze cove, once used as a soapstone quarry, you climb onto Kynance Cliff and on to the idyllic Kynance Cove initially hidden behind The Bellows and Asparagus Islands. Kynance Cove’s natural beauty makes it a popular and crowded spot in the main holiday season. Continue following the Coast Path to Lizard Point and then make your way back to Lizard Village.
Penzance and the Penwith Peninsula
The coastal scenery around the Penwith Peninsula is superb. On the wind swept northern coast sheer granite cliffs such as those at Land's End bring England to a spectacular western conclusion. The southern cliffs face a milder channel climate and are broken with sheltered coves like those at Porthcurno and Lamorna. If you are walking in this area your first priority should be to include a part of the South West Peninsula National Trail in your planning. Inland, there are many relics from Cornwall's ancient Celtic past which can be made the focus of walks and which provide considerable interest.
Walk from Land's End (SW 345248) to Mousehole (SW 473265) a distance of 18km. Following the coast path on the milder southern side you will pass Porthcurno, a popular village with a superb beach of coarse golden sand. On the cliffs is the famous Greek styled Minack open air theatre where summer productions are still staged. Mousehole is an attractive fishing village which has kept it's charm and authenticity. Colour washed houses crowd around the small working harbour.
Another lovely walk can be made from Prussia Cove (SW 556282). Follow the coast path westward around Cudden Point, after which there are wide views out over Mount's Bay and of St. Michael's Mount. At Perranuthnoe turn inland and return through fields. After completing this short walk have a picnic at lovely Prussia Cove, or continue eastwards a little way along the coast path to the large expanse of Praa Sands (SW 584278).For an inland walk visit Carn Euny Celtic Village (SW 406294). A circular route can be devised to include this important ancient site with an underground burial chamber. Start at Carn Brea (SW 388283) where there are fine views of the surrounding area.
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