Nobody expects February to be a month full of sunshine, but those crisp spring days, when they arrive, are great for escaping out into the countryside for a walk. So pull on those wellies, grab a coat and squelch your way around Cornwall on one of these walks.
Best for romance - Frenchman’s Creek
Follow in Daphne du Maurier’s famous footsteps by treading the South West Coast Path beside Frenchman’s Creek. Wrapped up in your winter woolies and decked out those all important wellies start out at the Helford Village car park and enjoy a 3 mile stomp through woodland and farmland above Frenchman’s Creek on the southern side of the Helford River. With beautful water views and an air of romance, fill your head with all things du Maurier and imagine yourself in her Frenchman’s Creek novel awaiting your French hero aboard a pirate ship. Swoon!
Best for family fun - Cardinham Woods
A brightly coloured pair of wellies and the promise of muddy puddle jumping will win over any tiny tot to the joys of walking and Cardinham Woods has got to be one of the most perfect places to indulge in some ‘lets get dirty’ fun. Opt for the 1 ½ mile Lady Vale Walk which follows a stream as it flows through the Bodmin based woods – pooh sticks anyone? – and finish up in the play park next to Woods Café where you will find a welcoming wood fire and an irresistible choice of gloriously delicious cakes.
Best for views - Mount Edgcumbe Country Park
For a walk with plenty to see, head for Mt Edgcumbe Country Park in South East Cornwall. With wonderful formal gardens, swathes of daffodils and the national camellia collection, there's guaranteed to be some early spring colour on display. But add to this, views out across Plymouth Sound, parkland full of weird and wonderful follies and woodland full of deer, and you can understand why we rate the place so highly.
Incorporating part of the South West Coast Path, there are a number of trails for you to explore around the park, catering for all ages and all abilities. And after your walk, there are cafes and pubs where a warm drink or soup refreshes those weary limbs.
Best for wildlife – Crantock to Holywell Bay
Head out on the South West Coast Path from Crantock towards Hollywell Bay and you’ll find yourself treading through an area rich in wildlife. As your wellies get muddy keep an eye out for seals, seabirds and even the rare stripe-winged grasshopper and be careful to pick your way through the rich plant life which provides a habitat for countless species. You’ll also come across a number of interesting features such as the collapsed sea cave at Pentire Point West and the Holywell Cave. Mark the end of your walk back at Crantock at the unmistakable Bowgie Inn where the food rivals the views for greatness.
Best for mining heritage – St Just circular walk
If it’s been a little wet there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll need to don your trusted wellies if stepping out on the circular St Just coastal walk. This is one of the best places to experience the Cornish mining landscape as from a starting position at Botallack Count House you’ll pass Wheal Owles and Wheal Edward engine houses – stars of Poldark no less! – and will edge around a number of mine shafts. Cape Cornwall is also en-route and the heathland-covered cliff tops are famed for their rare wild flowers.