5 to try: canoeing + kayaking spots
Our friends at The Wild Guide share 5 secret places for canoeing and kayaking in Cornwall. One of the best ways of getting really close to nature and away from the crowds is to explore the coast, creeks and rivers of Cornwall. The quiet rivers offer wonderful wild corridors through the landscape whilst sea kayaking offers a unique chance to discover secret coves and sea caves.
Bosahan Cove & Frenchman’s Creek, Helford
Amongst the many several hidden coves with silver-shale beaches on the Helford Estuary, Bosahan Cove is our favourite. Backed by pretty woods this secluded cove is an easy destination on a kayak and just a mile east of Helford Village on the coast path. Or head a mile west on the coast path and explore remote Frenchman’s Creek, made famous by Daphne du Maurier.
Bosahan Cove (50.0950, -5.1143) Frenchman's Creek (50.0851, -5.1467)
Fal-Ruan Upper Creeks, River Fal
Canoe the woodland fringed upper creeks of the Fal-Ruan nature reserve from the Smuggler’s above King Harry’s Ferry, and experience an oasis of tranquillity and birdsong – this is one of the most remote areas of tidal river in Cornwall. Rise with the tide and stop for lunch at Ruan Lanihorne before returning downstream.
Pont Pill Creek, River Fowey
The beautiful river Fowey weaves its way through secluded and forested creeks. Pont Pill is a beautiful isolated tributary opposite Fowey harbour. Lined by ancient woodland this area is said to have inspired Kenneth Grahame when he was writing The Wind in the Willows.
Cotehele Quay, River Tamar
Launch your canoe from the historic quay at Cotehele and explore upstream with the tide as far as the weir at Gunnislake. Pass below steep woodlands and beneath the famous Calstock viaduct, to view old quays and ruined wharfs, relics of a once-thriving copper industry. The quiet stretch above Morwhellam, beneath the crags of Morwell Rocks is stunning. Watch out for deer, kingfishers and peregrine falcons. Aim to leave Cotehele quay 2–3 hours before high tide, ideally a spring tide. The whole return trip can take 3–6 hours.
Hanover Cove, Cligga Head, St Agnes
The northern coast is one of the most inaccessible in Cornwall. On a calm day the experienced might like to take a sea kayak out beneath Cligga Head, to explore the soaring, 30 metre sea arch that leads into an inner cavern. Adjacent is Hanover cove, a perfect secret cove of icing-sugar white sand.
SAFETY & ACCESS
Everyone has the right to canoe on tidal waters but you need to be aware of tides and take precautions. If you plan to canoe on non-tidal, inland waters, check out access arrangements and always be respectful to fishermen. There are many places where canoes, kayaks and lifejackets can be rented by the hour or day. If you’re a beginner join a reputable guided river foraging or sea safari excursion.
For more information and beach safety tips go to Cornwall Council's website guide: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/beaches-in-cornwall/beach-safety/
About the Wild Guides
Discover ancient forests, lost ruins, secret coves, enjoy the best local produce and find the best secluded places to stay. Perfect for getting off the beaten track this summer and for planning some Famous Five style adventures. Wild Guide Devon, Cornwall and the Southwest is published by Wild Things Publishing. http://wildguide.net/wild-guide-book/
What's your favourite canoe or kayak trip in Cornwall? Do you have your own secret spots that you've discovered?