Autumn Walks in Cornwall
With the crowds gone home, autumn is a good time to explore Cornwall on foot. You could just stick to the beaches (there's less mud!) but why not try some of the walks we have listed below... all tried and tested!
We start with a short walk that offers great views across St Ives Bay, and out the lighthouse on Godrevy Island. You may be lucky and see gray seals who spend a lot of time on this stretch of coast. Start the walk at the National Trust carpark and walk through the dunes and along the coast to the official start of this walk. To your left the dunes (called towans in Cornwall) stretch all the way to the Hayle estuary and were once home to an explosives factory. The beach is popular with surfers and windsurfers, depending on the conditions, and on a windy day this is an invigorating walk best rounded off with a hot chocolate at the cafe by the car park.
At the other end of Cornwall this four mile walk, chosen by our friends at the South West Coast Path, leads you around the beautiful Mount Edgecumbe Country Park . There's plenty of places to kick up the leaves, spot interesting fungi and just enjoy the great outdoors. The route takes you from high up at Maker Church, down onto the sheltered banks of the estuary before reaching Cremyll where a ferry still crosses to Plymouth. Here you enter the formal gardens of the parkland, interesting even out of season. The wider estate is explored, passing numerous follies, before climbing back to the Church through the deerpark.
Make a weekend of it and walk from Padstow to Fowey across Cornwall on this 27 mile route. From the wide Camel Estuary to the rugged hilltop of Helman Tor and onto Fowey's deep harbour, beloved by yachtsmen, this is a walk that offer great variety. We would be wrong to suggest it's easy, especially in the autumn when it can be muddy in places, but it shows you parts of Cornwall often missed by visitors. Along the way you will encounter hidden creeks, prehistoric standing stones, ancient woodland and of course, a fine selection of Churches.
At nearly six miles long, this walk in North Cornwall shows off both the inland landscape of the area and the dramatic coastline. It’s a good walk for those who don’t like too many uphill sections, and the section following the canal is also suitable for wheelchairs and buggys. Walking along the canal at the start takes you through wetlands that in the autumn are a haven for over-wintering birds. Built nearly 200 years ago, the canal was intended to join the north coast of Cornwall with the English channel via the Tamar River, but it never happened. On this walk you leave the canal after about a mile and cross country towards the sea, gaining fantastic views when you reach Phillip's Point Nature Reserve from where you follow the South West Coast Path back to Bude.
At the far end of Cornwall, batted by Atlantic storms, sits Cape Cornwall. This walk takes you into a landscape shaped by 19th century miners, yet now rich in wildlife and stunning views. In the autumn, apart from epic seascapes, the clifftops turn from green through red to brown as the bracken dies off, and it all looks wonderful under the low sun. You get to explore Cot Valley, sheltered from the wind and leading down to a beach of huge rounded boulders at Porth Nanven. On the other side of Cape Cornwall you look down into the Kenidjack Valley, claimed to have been one of the most industialised sites in West Cornwall in its time, the remains of the buildings now silent monuments to a different time.