Finding Tranquility at Percuil, Cornwall

With local walks shaping our days, we decided to visit Percuil on The Roseland Peninsula. We found a sweet, peaceful untouched haven.

Blue boat on Percuil River, The Roseland Peninsula

Percuil is a hamlet that’s easily bypassed and overlooked if you visit the Roseland Peninsula. However, it proved to be the perfect place for our local Sunday afternoon walk.

I liked Percuil so much, I went back a few days later and spent time down by the Percuil River and boatyard.

Not far from Towan beach and St Anthony Head, the road to Percuil is definitely off the beaten track. As we approached, we could see the most wonderful hidden properties, alongside open views of the river, snaking its way out of sight.

woodland and a house
a garden overlooking the river

Walking along the river

The first visit was a family walk – me, my mum and Henry. We didn’t head down to the water’s edge or boatyard. Instead we walked on the Public Footpath towards Gerrans. It wasn’t long before I realised I’d forgotten the battery for my camera. So my second visit to Percuil boatyard was partly to get some extra shots.

Me and mum oohed and aahed at the views of Percuil River and wondered what it would be like to have a boat. Henry, on the other hand, pressed on ahead. I think he wanted to get his steps in and get home to play his Switch (kids!)

Percuil River at low tide with 2 boats
A single boat with a blue cover on the Percuil River

The footpath around Percuil River is muddy, but definitely walkable. We saw kayakers, causally rowing along, and it looked like a blissful way to spend a Sunday. Even though a few other walkers were about, it was incredibly peaceful and tranquil.

I always find it so relaxing to look out to water, especially when it’s as still and pristine as the Percuil River. It was so flat, the boats weren’t even bobbing. There’s something so serene about being in nature and by water. I always feel better for it.

If you’re interested, here’s some information on how spending time in nature is good for you, both physically and mentally.

a boat on the river
a small boat filled with water

At one point, Henry spotted a little set of narrow steps, heading down to what he called “a beach.” It was more like a clearing or inlet at low tide, and looking down, the ground didn’t look that firm!

Our Percuil River route leads to the pretty village of Gerrans, which is next to Portscatho. Instead of walking to Gerrans though, we decided to take a cut through across a field to the brilliantly named, Polingey.

We met the road by some rather impressive houses, and it was all downhill from here (in a good way, of course).

a house with a white gate open
A slate fronted detached house and garden

The river views & Percuil boatyard

Seeing Percuil River from an elevated position was pretty special. It’s a place where locals moor their boats but it’s quiet and relatively untouched. As we walked around, we tried to place ourselves and eventually spotted the St Mawes water tower in the distance, on the other side of the water.

A fishing buoy hanging off a branch at Percuil
Muddy banks at Percuil River at low tide, with small boats
A blue fishing boat at Percuil

I suspect when life is different and no lockdown is in place, Percuil may have a bit more life. Local Cornish boat builders work here, and there’s the Percuil Sailing Club.

Mum told me how our cousin built his boat, Telstar, here. I looked for it when I returned for the second time, but with the names covered up on the big boats, I may have missed it.

A yellow boat on the muddy banks at Percuil
A boat called Heron View
small fishing boats

We left Percuil happy and revived. We all know time near water, or life by the sea is good for us. Little walks, on the path less travelled like this one, really prove it.

I’m happy too, as I’ve found another running route in Cornwall, local to me. I’ll definitely be back!

A stack of boats with a rowing boat near water at Percuil

If you’d like to know more about The Roseland Peninsula, I’ve written a guide to coastal villages on The Roseland.

If you’re looking for a day out once restrictions lift, I’d thoroughly recommend a trip on the Fal River, from St Mawes to Falmouth.

Pinterest Pin for The Great Cornish Outdoors

Author: plbedford

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