Helford River Walk
This circular walk follows a section of the South West Coast Path along the lovely Helford River in Cornwall. The popular estuary includes pretty creeks, old churches, nice beaches and lovely coastal views over Falmouth Bay.
The walk starts at Helford Point where you can catch a ferry between Helford and Helford Passage. You head east, passing along the pretty harbour to Treath. You continue to Bosahan Cove and The Gew before coming to Dennis Head. There's lovely views over Falmouth Harbour from here.
The route then turns west past Gillan Harbour where you will soon come to St Anthony-in-Meneage. The medieval parish church has a tower and font which dates from the 15th century.
The route continues west to the small village of Manaccan where there is another interesting old church. The entrance dates from the Norman period while the rest of the structure is of the 13th and 15th centuries. The church is well known for its 250 year old fig-tree which is growing out of the western part of the south wall of the church.
After leaving Manaccan the walk returns to Helford, passing through woodland on the way.
Helford River Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Helford River Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Helford River Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Helford River Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Head to the Shipwright Arms for some refreshments after your walk. The riverside pub has wonderful views over the estuary from the outdoor seating area. It's great to enjoy a meal as the high-tide laps up against the sea wall, or at low tide look out for the wading birds which visit the estuary for a snack. You can find the pub in the village at a postcode of TR12 6JX for your sat navs.
The area is great for dog walking and the Shipwright Arms mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
To extend the walk catch the pedestrian ferry over the river to Helford Passage. Here you can visit two lovely riverside gardens at Glendurgan Garden and Trebah Garden. You can also pick up the coast path on the northern side of the river and follow it east to Mawnan and Rosemullion Head. There's great birdwatching opportunites here with terns, storm petrels and skuas to look out for. The path eventually leads into Falmouth where there's nice walks to Pendennis Point and Pendennis Castle.
A few miles to the south west you can explore the wonderful Lizard National Nature Reserve on Goonhilly Downs. Here you'll find miles of attractive heathland and the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, with its huge iconic satellite dishes which can be seen for miles.
Just west of Falmouth there's a good circular trail to follow around Argal Reservoir near Penryn. There's also the ancient Mabe church and a boardwalk on the adjacent College Reservoir to see here.
For more walks in the area see the Cornwall Walks page.