Our Recent Walks
Here are some reports on the last few walks we have enjoyed.
Wednesday 6 March 2019 – Gunnislake to Chilsworthy Early
Twenty five intrepid
explorers ignored the Yellow Weather Warning and turned up for this adventure. With the river in full
flow they braved the floods and the hills, St Christopher to the rescue at times. Starting off
from Drakewalls the five mile stroll in mainly dry weather took us along
parish roads and footpaths until we picked up and followed the river upstream. To be able to walk for approx 1½ miles so close to the river enjoying its power in full
spate, and watching out for its associated wildlife was a privilege and this was the easiest and flattest part of the walk.
The second part took us through woodland and along tracks but always with the
river near by and on many occasions within sight. It
incorporated a couple of challenging hills before finally reaching our lunch stop. Part three, after lunch, consiste of mostly quiet parish road walking with one
small section of footpath along a small water course. One or
two less strenuous hills form part of this section of the walk, but there were some beautiful views over
to the Devon Consols (at its peak the largest copper mine in Europe) and beyond, and the whole walk was
littered with the aftermath of the mining industry that was so prevalent in this
The walk had only one stile, and no kissing
gates. There were wild flowers blooming, including the
unusual Purple Toothwort, and birds in voice and with Eric acting as St Christopher offering a
piggyback over the floods it was a lovely early spring walk with plenty of laughs and humour along
Wednesday 6 February 2019 – Trevose Head and Harlyn
A crowd of 49 of us enjoyed a glimpse of sunshine, plenty of fresh air, a search & rescue helicopter that
looked like it was on a training exercise, seals, sylarks, curlews, stonechats and more, including plenty of
gorgeous flowers in bloom.
This was the reverse of a walk we did in 2016, which was predominantly mud-free across the
sandy soil. This time we started by going down a few steps on to Harlyn beach and stayed on there for
about 300 yards before climbing some few steps up to The Coast Path. This was quite straightforward with a
small flight of 16 steps down and 29 up after about an hour and another 14 later on. After that it was a
gentle climb past the Life Boat Station with views back to Harlyn before we turned west past the
Turning down along Constantine Bay beside the Golf Course we then headed inland to return along quiet
roads and lanes. All in all a lovely walk in a beautiful part of Cornwall with stunning views and
wonderful people to share it all with. What more could you ask for?
Wednesday 2 January 2019 – Dunmere to Grogley
Leaving the Borough Arms at Dunmere, forty of us joined the Camel Trail for a while before heading off by
the river along a narrow track. Joining the local lanes we headed uphill to Nanstallon with it's remnants
of Britain's most Southerly and most Westerly Roman settlement then down again to Grogley, following the
old branch line that ran from there to Ruthern Terminus on our way. We stopped at Grogley Halt for a short
break. We learnt some local railway history and about the murder of Nevell Norway, who used the line for
business, and the execution of his murderers, James and William Lightfoot, attended by an audience of
20,000, many of whom used that same railway to get to Bodmin Gaol to witness the
Thanks, Sue, for the photo of the gang at lunch.
Then we joined the Camel Trail again to take us back to Dunmere, passing Nanstallon and Boscarne stations
and the award winning Camel Valley Vineyard on the way. Many of us popped into the pub for
post-perambulatory refreshments before heading home, too.
Wednesday 5 December 2018 – Par Beach &
About 30 of us turned up for a quirky winter walk of just over 5
miles that started and ended in puring rain. A hill towards the start was the only real climb of the day as
essentially all the rest of the walk was downhill or flat walking with no stiles, just two short flights of
steps and three level crossings.
From the car park by Par Beach Pool we headed up to Tywardreath village (English
translation - the house on the strand; the site of Du Maurier’s novel of the same name) and then down part
of the Saint’s Way to the valley bottom. We followed paths along the valley bottom to emerge near Par
Station, headed around St Andrews Lake & Wetland Reserve on tarmac paths and then followed the Par River
& the railway line up to Tywardreath Highway & then back into Par Green. We walked along the street
– which is part of the South West Coast Path - & on to Par Beach, crossing over the Imerys haul road, on
our way back to the starting point.
Wednesday 7th November – Trenant Woods &
Kilminorth Woods, nr Looe
38 intrepid souls gathered
in the Woodland Trust car park having driven through some heavy downpours on the way. We were pleased as
it dried up a bitin time for us to head off on another walk in a beautiful part of
walk was through Trenant Woods. At about four miles it was not quite as long as normal but about right in
case the weather turned wet again. The stroll around the confluence of the West and East Looe rivers proved
with some great views over the rivers and towards Looe. In fact, there were good views during the whole
walk. A big local secret!
this lovely walk in the morning and took a break for a decent snack after about an hour before finishing at
lunchtime. A downpour for the final five minutes was a bit of a dampener but some of us took our cars into
Looe and, allowing time for lunch, went on a shorter walk through Kilminorth Woods to find The Giants
Hedge. We ended this walk alongside the West Looe river on the opposite bank to where we were in
It proved a
great opportunity to mix and match two walks and a possible wander around Looe.
Wednesday 3rd October – Fowey Valley from Jamaica
Over 40 people turned out for our October walk
and although it was very foggy as we gathered, providing the perfect atmosphere for a gathering at
Jamaica Inn, that soon lifted and the mizzle had stopped by the time we got to Codda and headed on to the
top of the moor. That did a wonderful job of highlighting the cobwebs on the gorse bushes though so
added it's own magic to the day.
By the time we stopped for lunch at a group of
boulders near Elephant Rock (it looks nothing like an elephant!) the sun was out and we relaxed in the
warmth of a beautiful day hearing tales of highwaymen, highwaywomen (Betsy Beneath), Jeeps abandoned in
the bog, rambling miners and ghosts.
Setting off again we re-crossed the A30 and
walked three fields that had thankfully been freshly mown - they really were hard going on the reccie -
before crossing the Fowey, ably guarded by our security dogs as we crossed. See photo.
A steady walk along country lanes back to the
Inn saw the finish of a six mile walk in very pleasant weather and even more pleasant company. Our
thanks go to Alan Brown for supplying the conduit to protect us from barbed wire, and to the team at the
Jamaica Inn for their willing hospitality. The walk leaders stayed behind for an obligatory drink
as we arranged the twelve walks for next year too.
Wednesday 5th September – Higher Crackington to
This was a slightly shorter walk than we generally
undertake, being about 3.5 miles. However, taking into consideration
the fact that it included not only the descent but the corresponding ascent to and from Crackington Haven,
it was nevertheless a good “work out”. For once when walking near the
North Cornish coast we did not take the coast path but followed footpaths along lanes, through some
woodland and across fields as well as along some small amount of parish roads. There were no stiles to negotiate on
this walk, but there were a couple of hills, one of them quite challenging and towards the end of the
walk. As always, we walked at a gentle
pace, enjoyingsome lovely views looking down to Crackington Haven and out
to sea as we went.
Wednesday 1st August 2018 – Polyphant and Back
Down to the river and up again-
A certain amount of nervousness was in the air before the walk in case the excellent weather
decided to change from the excessively summery atmosphere we had all been enjoying.
But it didn’t.
However, the weather and the fact that school holidays had begun meant that we were slightly down on numbers as
a compact and determined party of 31 set off from Polyphant Chapel Car Park and down the
It was noticed that one or two walkers made a swift detour into the delightful named “ 3 cows on’t green” to
supplement their daily rations, before we turned away on the track that took us out into the
Passing through our first farm yard we were looking forwards towards the first of our several interesting
stiles. These had been mentioned in the pre-walk briefing and they were the source of several interesting
discussions during the day.
The first mile under our belts we came to the stylish buildings of Trerthick with a date of 1575 carved into
the granite lintel over a window, pausing only to feel tinges of jealousy we tracked on past the equally
ancient out- buildings and through a field to reach our first road section since
At Trethinna , a hamlet that some of our walkers would be seeing again later on,
we turned off to disappear through a tunnel of brambles and other clutching greenery. Fortunately our
pathfinder had a pair of secateurs to remove the most obvious obstructions, although he could do little about
the mud underfoot, the first we had come across, a result of the heavy showers over the
Shortly after passing over the fascinating ladder stile at the 2 mile mark ,
we began to realise just what was to come as we looked down the hill towards the River Inny and the promised
lunch break on the hill opposite.
What goes down must go up, and the long slow climb up from Gimblett’s Mill prepared everyone for a welcome stop
at Trespearne. Unfortunately our arrival aroused the interest of small herd of in-calf Holsteins who seemed
keen to share their flies with us.
After a brief mention of the great Waterspout of 1847 that landed on Davidstow Moor and sent a wall of water up
to 18ft high down the Camel and the Inny, destroying bridges on its way, we cut across to another interesting
stile. Not as dilapidated as some we had already crossed, but guarded by heavy duty gates on either side which
made negotiating it tricky for those with packs on their backs.
Passing through Trekenner, recorded as Trekinener in 1207, and miles away from the Trekenner by the A388 that
some of us knew well, we began the descent that would lead to yet another river crossing. Pausing to take a
look at Trewen Church, with its bell, dating from around 1400, we walked down the road to cross the Inny at
Trewen Mill before climbing up towards Polyphant.
Two thirds of the way up the hill we came to a parting of the ways.
We had been warned that the final stile was unique. A traditional Cornish Stile with slate steps set into a
bank. Alas, the wooden element of the stile had collapsed, as had the slate steps, so it was more than likely
we would be hauling walkers up and lowering them down.
Manhandling is not to everyone’s taste and so a sensible group stayed on the road up the hill and back through
Trethinna and home to Polyphant.
The remainder marched on across the fields to face the terrors ahead.
General enthusiasm, a certain amount of barracking and the occasional “Heave Ho!” saw us all across and on the
level track to the Chapel car park passing a stranded yacht on the way. The fact that it was on a trailer
indicated that it was unlikely to have been dumped by the Great Water Spout!
Thirty one out, thirty one back, no injuries and still dry so nothing to laugh at, just the chance to thank the
Chapel Secretary for the use of the car park and hand over our contribution to their funds for which he thanked
Wednesday 4th July 2018
Calstock - Along the waterfront and
over the hill
From the quay car park we headed along
a level lane (Lower Kelly) that follows the River Tamar through the remains of former industrial buildings
& docks (very picturesque) to the bottom of the Danescombe Valley which we visited one winter a few
years back. The path up the valley is not too bad – a steady but not too steep climb up through the woods
past industrial remains, up to a lane. Then there was a steep climb up the lane to The Butts, the top of the
old incline plane railway. We descended a steep lane and picked up a narrow footpath (a bit like Squeezeguts
Ope in Truro) that heads gradually uphill. After a short uphill stretch on a main road - the last bit of
uphill - we headed to Calstock Church along the road and then back downhill to the river on quiet lanes
& a bridleway. We finished on the level riverside path heading back to the
Wednesday 6th June 2018
Kelsey Coastline - Holywell to West
This walk has
been described as 'Magical', 'Stunning' and many other complimentary adjectives. The weather was fine and we
were able to look over an unbelievably blue sea with views right down to St Ives and, later, up the coast to
At Porth Joke, we will be stopping for a break, so please bring a snack in addition to your picnic
We began our
walk by crossing the beach and then headed over the dunes. There were many flowers to view and butterflies,
moths and birds galore. Later, we had a good view off several
seals as well as sea birds. The path over the dunes is well-trodden and easy to walk
no stiles on this walk and the coast path was level until we descended to Porth Joke, a lovely sandy bay,
where we paused for coffee. After further walking along the cliff path, we turned towards West Pentire with Crantock
Beach laid out before us. To the left we could see glimpses of Newquay, but our target was much nearer.
We paused again for lunch at West Pentire and either enjoyed a picnic overlooking the bay or had a meal
at the Bowgie Inn. There was a large outdoor seating area where some of us just sat and chatted as we had
After lunch we headed back towards Holywell via the Treago Valley and over grassland that had many flowering
plants growing. All in all a stunning walk with plenty of glorious views, wildlife and flowers
Wednesday 2nd May 2018
It was very easy to identify the regular
walkers who had no faith in Weather Forecasters - they didn’t turn up.
They weren’t to be seen in the queue of
traffic waiting on the edge of Porthscatho while one of the few potholes left in Cornwall was stamped into
submission, in the other queue for the loos across the road from the Car Park, or the one that formed beside
the recalcitrant National Trust Payment Machine that seemed determined to reject 60% of the membership cards
offered up to it.
They might perhaps have been queuing to
get in to Padstow for the Hobby Hoss celebrations but most likely to be sitting at home thinking about how
wet we were all going to get for our naivety in believing a sunny day was on the cards.
So it was a band of 25 rather than our
usual crew of 40 or so that set off down to the banks of the
Percuil River admiring the variety of
boats swinging on their moorings in the glorious sunshine and estimating the price of houses in St. Mawes on
the opposite bank.
As we came out of the woods after about a
mile or so we saw the striking facade of Place, the pride of the Place Estate, which has been in the same
family for over 400 years, the most obvious
signs of which are in the Church which
bears memorials to a family with a serious attachment to the Royal Navy and Cornwall.
History records that in 1475 Dame
Elizabeth Treffry defended the 15thc tower from marauding French, but it was a much sterner looking building
in those days.
The path that takes you past the house and
on to the church, winds between graves and it was encouraging to see a memorial to a family Nanny who had
looked after the children for many years. The fact that she was buried in a place she knew well, surrounded
by familiar names, spoke well of everyone.
Carrying on above Gerrans beach and
passing Carricknath Point we could see the white pillar of St. Anthony Head in the distance. Commissioned in
1835 by Trinity House it was manned until 1987 when it became fully automatic. Another claim to fame was its
appearance in the opening credits of the children’s series “Fraggle Rock”.
The seaward entrance to Falmouth was
protected by the Tudor forts at Pendennis and St. Mawes Castle but it was felt that they needed reinforcing
and the new battery was built between 1895-1897 and was upgraded over the years of the two World Wars. Now
the site, with holiday cottages in the former officers’ quarters, belongs to the National Trust and it
proved an ideal spot for a lunch break and seal watching.
Seals had been spotted before we reached
the lighthouse and the rest of the afternoon was punctuated by cries of “There’s one! Where? There!
There was some delight as we were walking
along towards Porthbeor Beach when several seals were spotted and it was only at the moment they were seen
to climb back into a RiB that some of us were prepared to accept that they were probably divers rather than
an enhanced aquatic species.
The sun continued to shine, the sea stayed
blue and all was well with the world as we turned up the track at the end of the walk back towards Porth
It was there that we discovered the truly
excellent Thirstea Co, selling first class beverages and
wonderful home made cakes from an ancient
Citroen Van that seemed to sum up the charm of a
topping day out.
Wednesday 4th April 2018
St Kew to St
Joyce and Robert Runnalls led 35 of us on a
countryside walk mixing lanes and fields and even through someone's private garden. With only the
occasional soggy bit despite the recent rain and a host of stiles, steps, gates and even stepping stones
to slow us down enough to appreciate our surroundings we stopped for lunch at the cafe
at Trevathen Farm Shop half way round to keep us well
topped up as we continued to enjoy the fresh air and lovely views on our way back to St Kew.
Another lovely day spent in good company on a well planned, varied and enjoyable walk. Thanks Joyce