Cornwall has plenty of picturesque riverside walks to enjoy. It’s easy to forget about them with our expanse of coastline. Yet, with the days getting colder and shorter, it seems fitting to move inland and find sheltered places to walk.
Low season is a great time to visit Cornwall. It’s an ideal location for walking and exploring, with winter and autumn holding it’s its own beauty. It’s quieter, and in my view, you’ll get more of an idea what it’s like to live in Cornwall.
If you’re considering a Cornish holiday, you’ll find some suggestions here. For all riverside walks mentioned, there’s a holiday home recommendation from established holiday accommodation experts, Classic Cottages.
1. Tresillian and Malpas
On the outskirts of Truro, you’ll find a lovely out and back riverside walk from Tresillian to Malpas. I always think of this walk in 2 parts, with the hamlet of St Clements being the middle point. From Tresillian, there’s a wide, flat trail path next to the Tresillian River. Once on the other side of St Clements, the walk becomes a bit muddier, taking you across different terrains, including a small section of woodland (it’s my favourite bit of the walk). Look out for the swing on the water’s edge too, only accessible at low tide.
This is a popular location for dog walkers and runners. I’ve spotted a few wildlife photographers in my time too! As an out and back route, it’s about 5 miles.
Where to stay near Tresillian River – Creekside Cottage
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay near the Tresillian River, Classic Cottages recommends Creekside Cottage. You can relax and unwind in this converted chapel that has an impressive view of the Truro River. It sleeps 2 (+ cot) and is conveniently situated for those who want to feel tucked away while being close enough to enjoy the local eateries and cocktail bars in Truro.
2. Kings Wood and The Pentewan Trail
The St Austell River, or The White River as it’s known locally, offers an accessible walk from St Austell to Pentewan village. The Pentewan Trail boasts a wide, flat path, meaning it’s great for a stroll, an easy bike ride or a run. This riverside walk is also actually part of the National Cycle Network. It was originally a railway line, used to transport China clay.
The walk along the St Austell River is about 3 miles end to end. If you don’t fancy walking it all, there are a number of places to park at different points along the Pentewan Road. Plus, if you fancy spending some time at the beach, Pentewan beach is definitely worth the walk.
Where to stay near The Pentewan Trail – Trelowth Chapel
Not far from Pentewan and Mevagissey, you’ll find Trelowth Chapel. This beautiful, bright, light property offers a comfortable and tasteful space to recuperate. Trelowth Chapel is in a good central location for exploring Cornwall. It’s also on the edge of Polgooth, a charming Cornish village. Take a stroll to the local pub, the food is excellent.
3. Camel Trail
Head over to Cornwall’s north coast and onto the popular and well known Camel Trail. This trail hugs the water’s edge along the River Camel which leads into The Doom Bar and Padstow Bay. Even though the Camel Trail is a whopping 18 miles long, you definitely don’t need to cover it all.
The Camel Trail starts in Bodmin and ends in Padstow, but if you’re wanting to enjoy fabulous estuary views, I’d recommend the 5.5 mile section from Wadebridge to Padstow. It’s pretty, with the Camel estuary stretching out on one side. As you get closer to Padstow, you can see Rock on the other side of the water. Keep your eyes peeled along the way for the rusty old boat (not sure it can be classed as a shipwreck).
By opting for this walk, you’ve got the option of wandering around 2 Cornish towns: Wadebridge and Padstow. Both have some quality local, independent retailers.
Where to stay near The Camel Trail – Well Cottage
Near Padstow you’ll find Well Cottage, which definitely scores 10 out of 10 in the traditional Cornish cottage department. Offering all the comforts of home in a contemporary style, Well Cottage is in a peaceful location. Once you’ve enjoyed the river walk on the Camel Trail, you can put your feet up and stay cosy in front of the fire. You can even bring your dog; Well Cottage welcomes your four legged friend.
4. Lanhydrock to Respryn
I enjoyed many happy riverside walks as a child from Lanhydrock to Respryn. It has a wide, flat tree lined path that keeps the River Fowey secluded and hidden in places. Great for spotting wildlife, walking to Respryn is quite magical. The woodland is ancient and the views from Respryn Bridge are lovely. It’s usually relatively quiet compared to other riverside walks too.
Where to stay near Lanhydrock and Respryn – Pheasant Rise
Pheasant Rise, near Lanhydrock, sleeps 6 and is perfect for a family holiday in Cornwall, or a getaway with friends. Boasting airy and light decor, it would be impossible not to feel at home in this spacious barn conversion. Surrounded by nature, woodland and in a good location to access Cornwall’s coastline, Pheasant Rise is the perfect countryside sanctuary.
5. Golitha Falls
There’s not many locations in Cornwall that include a waterfall but Golitha Falls is one of them. Situated in Liskeard, east Cornwall, Golitha Falls is another walk that goes along the River Fowey. It’s actually located in Draynes Wood, on Bodmin Moor (some locals call it Draynes). If you want to see the bigger falls, follow the yellow path, the red riverside route is a shorter loop.
Expect to see lots of moss covered rocks with cascading water. Wildlife lovers will enjoy looking out for the diverse flora and birds that frequent this nature reserve.
Where to stay near Golitha Falls – The Granary
The Granary at Polwrath is a superb property that even has its own indoor swimming pool. Situated on the edge of Tremar, you can anticipate the luxury you deserve. Not only is The Granary in a beautifully sleepy location, your every need is catered for with soft, fluffy robes and slippers waiting for your weary feet after your riverside walks! It sounds like utter bliss to me.
6. Lerryn River and Tivoli Lost Gardens
Tivoli sounds a bit Italian, doesn’t it? Alas, you don’t have to go that far, as this is another riverside stroll you can take along the River Fowey (it’s 24 miles long so there are several options).
If you like a walk beside water coupled with historical findings, this is the walk for you. At 3.7 miles long, this walk will take you to the ruins of an abandoned park. There’s remains of a bandstand, arches and an old fountain. It dates back to the 1920s and apparently is based on a Danish theme park. With nature claiming some of the old ruins, there’s plenty to find and talk about.
Where to stay near Lerryn – Clip Clop Loft
Clip Clop Loft (great name, right?) is a cute, bijou retreat in nearby Lostwithiel. Surrounded by nature and lush green fields, your stay here will leave you feeling restored. This one bed holiday home has its own terrace and hot tub. After your riverside walk, slip off your walking boots and sip some bubbles while enjoying the countryside views as the sun goes down.
7. Fowey Hall Walk
This river walk is quite the day out, and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Fowey Hall Walk involves 2 short ferry rides, fabulous views of the River Fowey, and discovering little places you never knew existed, like Pont Pill.
Having done this walk as a run, I can see why it’s one of the most popular riverside walks in Cornwall. You’ll see the Q memorial, commemorating writer Arthur Quiller-Couch, pass through beautiful wooded paths and get the opportunity to check out both Polruan and Fowey. At 4 miles, this walk is an absolute treat.
Places to stay near Fowey Hall Walk – Fairview, Polruan
If you’re wanting a quiet escape, Fairview in Polruan is the holiday home for you. With jaw droppingly pretty panoramic views of the River Fowey, you can’t fail to switch off and feel right at home here. Its quiet position means you’ll sleep like a baby, especially after strolling to the nearby pub for decent food and a cheeky Cornish ale.
8. Kennall Vale
I love Kennall Vale! I only learnt of its existence a few years ago and found it such an intriguing place to visit. Not only does the walk take you along Kennall River, it’s also the location of an old Gunpowder Mill. Imbued with history, wildlife and tales of tragedy, Kennall Vale is interesting. It has derelict buildings to investigate along with different paths and trails in beautiful, rich woodland to explore. All you have to do is listen to the water flowing over the rocks.
Places to stay near Kennall Vale – Trefusis Lodge
You’ll find Trefusis Lodge a few miles from Kennall Vale, on the outskirts of Flushing. When I think of Flushing, candy coloured houses dotted along the Penryn River come to mind. Trefusis Lodge is on the Trefusis Estate. It’s near a small, dog friendly beach and there’s a couple of pubs within walking distance.
Trefusis Lodge not only meets cosy cottage goals, it’s a sustainable property which is heated mainly through a biomass heating system. Inside you’ll find spacious rooms, exposed stone walls, and tasteful coastal decor.
This blog post is sponsored by Classic Cottages. As always, opinions and views are my own.