Sport Relief 2018

Bodmin Moor, Walking in Cornwall, Sport Relief

Sport Relief is back and for the first time ever is asking the entire nation to take on a huge collective challenge – beating a billion steps a day, every day, from 17th-23rd March.A host of famous faces including Zoe Ball, Greg James and Alex Jones will lead the charge and take on their own epic challenges to raise money and inspire the public to make their steps count as part of Team Sport Relief.

Running, dancing, dog walking or Zumba-ing all count towards the step total as the nation comes together to raise money and help vulnerable people, across the UK and the world, to live happier, healthier and safer lives.

To help the nation keep track of their hard earned steps and ensure they count towards the national total, the brand new Sport Relief App is available to download for free. Packed with innovative challenges, exclusive celebrity content and a national step tracker* to keep count towards the billion, it will also include countless ways to get active and raise money for Sport Relief.

 

As part of the Sport Relief 2018, Visit Cornwall are supporting the Sport Relief initiative,

We asked Mark, our resident walking expert here at Visit Cornwall, what his five favourite walks in Cornwall were…

The South West Coast Path: If you live in Cornwall you can’t ignore the coast! And with 300 miles of coast path to explore, you are spoilt for choice. I’ve grown up walking the section between Looe and Polperro,  but if I had to pick one stretch from all of it, it would have to be section between Zennor and Cape Cornwall. It has it all, one of the most rugged coastlines you will find in the UK, craggy tors looking inland, and enough industrial history to keep me occupied for many years to come, something that has been fully utilised by the makers of the TV series Poldark.

You can either tackle the whole route, which is about 11 miles, and then catch the bus back to the start, or do short sections of it, some of which can be found here. Whatever you choose, don’t fail to visit the mining heritage sites at Geevor and Levant, and at the end of your walk, make your way to the Gurnards Head Inn for refreshments, or treat yourself to a meal.

Bodmin Moor: Cornwall’s wild heart is often overlooked by visitors who head for the beaches and the aforementioned South West Coast Path. This is fine by me because it means I often have the place to myself. And because of this I am not going to tell you my favourite walk, but I will say that if you love ‘getting away from it all’ and know how to read a map, then make some time to explore the moor. The Moor is one of Cornwalls AONBs, and it’s easy to see why.

Although much of the moor is in private ownership (unlike Dartmoor, which is a National Park) walkers do have a right to roam over most of it. Again, get an OS map and check where you can go and where you can’t. One of the most popular walks is up over Roughtor and onto Brown Willy, Cornwall’s two highest hills. This should only be done in good weather and rewards you not just with fantastic views but a chance to walk through a landscape little changed for 1000s of years. For a shorter, less strenuous walk, head to the village of Minions on the moors southern side, here you will find industrial mining remains that now have World Heritage status, Neolithic settlements going back 6000 years and the Cheesewring, a rock formation that seems to defy gravity!

 

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park: At the very far south eastern end of Cornwall, sits this wonderful area of parkland and formal gardens. To many, an afternoon strolling around the formal gardens is a pleasant walk in itself, but step out into the wider parkland and you can easily lose yourself in a landscape of mature woodland, ornamental gardens, unique follies and stunning views across Plymouth Sound. I have been visiting the park since I was teenager and I still find hidden corners, secret vistas and things that stir my enquiring mind.

Visit in the spring when Daffodils carpet the ground and Camellias burst into flower, to be followed shortly after by massive Rhododendrons, as tall as many of the tallest trees. You might even catch a glimpse of the deer that roam the park.  For information on walking in the park, click here, or just go along and enjoy the freedom and find your own way around.

Upstream to Tresillian: I have added this walk in as you don’t always want a walk where you have to dig all the gear out, make sure you have a map, and spend hours in the middle of nowhere. This is a nice gentle walk alongside the river towards Tresillian, just outside Truro. It can be done with a buggy, or a maybe even a wheelchair (though it can be a bit muddy and uneven), and if you don’t fancy going all the way you can always turn back.

The walk starts in the pretty village of St Clement, where you must search out the little church hidden up behind the waterfront cottages. I like to do the walk when the tide is in, otherwise your view is mainly of mud, but even this can look nice with the sunlight shining on it!. And for the more adventurous, a walk through the woods from St Clement leads to Malpas with its popular pub. (this stretch is not suitable for buggys or wheelchairs).

 

North Cornwall’s Beaches: Being from Looe, I have never really needed to travel far to find nice beaches, but in recent years I have started to explore the north coast a little more. Last year friends invited us over to Porthcothan, to the west of Padstow, for a day on the beach. Since then we have been back a couple of times and our last trip resulted in a pleasant walk up the coast to Trevose Head and its lighthouse. The coast here is a mix of low lying headlands and sandy beaches, so walking is not too strenuous. On a summers evening the sunsets are superb, in winter it’s a great place for storm watching, though keep away from the cliff edges at all times, erosion is always a problem on this stretch of coast.

For a short walk (4 miles) click on this link here. For those wanting a longer walk, carry on north to Trevose Head or south to the iconic Bedruthan Steps.

 

I hope these five ideas for walks will inspire you to join “Team Cornwall” on the Sport Relief app and then send in your best pics of where you’re stepping with the hashtags #SportReliefSteps and #Cornwall and #LoveCornwall

Enjoy your walking!

Mark, Visit Cornwall

Mark organises the South East Cornwall Walking Festival every September.