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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….