Guided Walking At The Riverbank Woods With Cornish Explorer

Cornish Explorer offer hosted walking and swimming adventures all over Cornwall. On Bank Holiday Monday, I joined the guided walk at Riverbank Woods, near National Trust Trelissick.

yellow Cornish gorse with water and woods in the background

If you’re interested in a guided walk that includes some scenic and beautiful swimming spots, Cornish Explorer is for you.

All Cornish Explorer guided walks are planned and hosted by Kate Passmore (she’s @katetocoast on Instagram). For a reasonable fee, you can book onto one of her organised walks. They vary in distance, from about 4 to 6 miles, and include an optional dip along the way (conditions permitting).

On Easter Monday I met Kate and fellow outdoor enthusiast, Jess, for a guided walking adventure on the River Fal. We met at a National Trust Trelissick and from there we headed out on the woodland trail to Roundwood Quay.

The estuary at Trelissick National Trust
Cornish Explorer, Kate Passmore, in an orange cap, shorts and a top looking towards the water

Roundwood Quay, Truro

As we walked along Lamouth Creek, Kate shared her knowledge of the area. I’ve been wanting to come to Roundwood Quay for ages; I knew it was a good, secluded swimming spot. Unbeknown to me, it’s the only public quay on this stretch of the River Fal.

a green and cream boat on the water edge and a kayaker at ROundwood Quay Truro
a small boat in the middle of the estuary on a sunny day seen with Cornish Explorer on a walk

Two swimmers were already in the water when we arrived, making the most of the bright Spring weather. While the morning started as quite grey, the sun came out by the time we went wild swimming. The day just kept getting better the longer we were out! We had other company too; a little robin whose curiosity prompted him to stay close and eventually take food from Kate’s hand.

Kate from Cornish Explorer with her arm out, enticing a robin with food that's on a branch
Cornish Explorer, Kate and Penny in their swimsuits before a swim

Once changed, we all entered the water together. There were loud puffs and squeals as the cold water surrounded our bodies, but it felt so good (when doesn’t it?). Once in and acclimatised, Kate showed us her diving skills (impressive). Then had a turn (not so impressive 😂).

Kate kindly offered me some tea to help me warm up and we munched on some melon while we took some photos of the beautiful surroundings. Kate told me and Jess that the track leading down to Roundwood Quay isn’t great for driving. It’s better to park nearby and walk down.

three women wearing hats and outdoor clothes smiling at the camera with woodland behind them
the creek at roundwood quay with blue water, trees and woodland

Heading back to Trelissick via North Woods

I was familiar with most of the walk back to Trelissick. Some of it forms the Trelissick Parkrun route and I’ve done the rest with my son. It’s pleasant and relatively flat, making it suitable for all abilities.

a woodland trail in the sunshine
2 women in outdoor clothing and hats standing on a women bridge smiling
Woodland trail in Cornwall

As we walked, Kate showed us different vegetation, like the Three-cornered leek, a small white flower similar to a snowdrop. These aren’t native to Cornwall but seem to be growing abundantly. There’s no restriction to picking them. The flowers are edible and can be used in salads, and the stems can be used for cooking.

Kate Passmore from Cornish Explorer walking on a woodland trail at Trelissick

Not far from the little beach at Trelissick, we found the slipway that leads down to some rocks. Kate pointed out some steps leading to the water, making this another suitable swim spot. Another swim could’ve definitely happened but I found it hard to contemplate getting cold again after I’d warmed up. What’s good is that Kate was able to point out all these spots en route and share her knowledge about swimming conditions.

2 women walking on a woodland trail, smiling
2 cow grazing in a field in front of trelissick house

From here, we made our way back to the car park, taking the trail closest to the Trelissick House. We made friends with some cows, grazing in the field. Kate knew all about the different breeds too! We were all gasping for a coffee but with it being a bank holiday, there was a huge queue at the National Trust tearoom.

There was nothing else we could do but head to the nearest pub, The Punchbowl and Ladle, for some well deserved filthy fries and a pint of cider shandy. What can I say? It’s a hard stretch….

Author: plbedford

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  • Thank you for sharing photos along with your writing. A picture tells 1000 words! You’re a good writer, and photographer! Your blog makes me want to book an extended visit to Cornwall.