Mylor and Restronguet Creeks

The walk starts at Mylor Bridge and climbs the hill through fields to Restronguet Barton then descends Restronguet Hill to the Pandora Inn. The rest of the route is along the edge of the creeks, down Restronguet Creek to Weir Point and, via Greatwood quay, back up Mylor Creek to Mylor Bridge.

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 104 (scan QR code on right to order from Amazon)
  • Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Start from: Mylor Bridge
  • Parking: Mylor Bridge. Follow signs to Mylor Bridge. At the bottom of Bell's Hill, turn right then immediately left to go down Lemon Hill. Pass the Lemon Arms and turn right beside the phone box. Satnav: TR115NA
  • Recommended footwear: Walking shoes, or trainers in summer

Maps for this walk

(dark blue corner = laminated version)

Highlights

  • Views across Carrick Roads and along the creeks
  • Wildlife along the creeks and in the woods

Directions

  1. Cross the road from the car park and head down Trevellan Road (to the right of the butchers) to a footpath signpost at the end of Mill Quay, just before the lane painted with a 10 mph sign.
  2. At the public footpath sign, turn left in the direction of the small footpath sign and follow the track uphill. Continue as this shrinks into a path and follow this up the hill to the fields. Keep right to follow the path between the hedges as far as you can and eventually emerge into a field.

    The association of holly with winter celebrations predates Christianity: druids were known to use holly wreaths which, it is likely with some discomfort, they wore on their heads.

    The berries of holly contain a chemical compound very similar to caffeine. Only in very small doses is this a stimulant; in larger doses it is toxic. It is for this reason that you see holly berries on bushes rather than them being inside the nearest bird. The birds have learned to wait until after the frosts have reduced the toxicity of the berries before eating them.

  3. Follow the right hedge of the field past gateways on the right and through a gap into the field above. Continue following the right hedge until you emerge onto a lane.

    The settlement here is known as Restronguet Barton.

    Despite the illusion of being a French word, Restronguet is pronounced as if it contained no "u" and it was like any other Cornish place name: "re-stron-get", with the emphasis on the middle syllable. The reason is that it was originally a Cornish name, starting with ros, meaning "promontory". The other part has been suggested as coming from tron (literally "throne", also used to mean "elevated") and koes (meaning "wooded"). Alternatively it could be from the less glamorous stronk, meaning "dirty water". It's possible that the spelling gained its French appearance after the Norman invasion.

  4. Go through the gateway (or over the stile if the main gate is shut) and turn left onto the lane. Follow the lane to a crossroads.

    During the Second World War, there were British and American army camps on the hill near Restronguet Barton. Between the two camps was a prisoner-of-war and refugee camp which housed over 100 men. Many of the refugees were Ukrainians who had fled the Communist regime and the men created a chapel from one of the Nissan huts in the camp. The prisoners of war were repatriated after the war but many of the refugees found work on the farms in the area and a number settled permanently. In 1948, the Nissan Hut chapel was blessed by three Roman Catholic priests, and a priest from Falmouth made a regular visit to take services. When the camp finally closed, an eight foot high cross was built on the site of an old guard house. A re-dedication took place near the start of the 21st Century with a number of the original refugees and their descendants attending.

  5. Turn right at the crossroads, signposted to Restronguet Passage. Follow the lane down the hill to the Inn.

    Timber for the mines was unloaded on the wharfs of the Restronguet creek and stored in timber ponds on either side of Strangeweke Quay close to the Pandora Inn. The seawater brought in on the tide gradually saturated the wood with salt and prevented the timbers from rotting or warping.

  6. Turn right into the car park and walk along the front of the Inn to join a track. Follow the track to a junction of tracks at Dolphin Cottage.

    The Pandora Inn dates back to the 13th Century, when there was a farm on the site. Later it became an Inn and was known as the Passage House as a boat was kept there to link the post road from Truro to Falmouth, which cut across the creek. The Inn changed its name to The Ship and was finally renamed in memory of the HMS Pandora sent to Tahiti to capture the mutineers from the Bounty. The captain of the HMS Pandora was from Cornwall and is reputed to have bought the inn on his return. The HMS Pandora was ill-fated, sinking on the Great Barrier Reef with the loss of many of the crew and mutineers, and the pub also had its share of bad fortune in 2011 when a fire badly damaged the building. The proverbial silver lining was that fire had destroyed all the 1970s additions to the pub, and it has now been restored using traditional materials and building methods.

    As you pass the Inn, note the gold postbox celebrating the 2012 Olympic medals for sailing.

  7. Follow the left-hand track with a footpath sign until you reach Glenarva Cottage.
  8. At Glenarva Cottage, turn left onto the path beside the track. Follow the path, which expands into a track at Delta Cottage, and continue until it ends on a beach.

    The Restronguet Sailing Club (RSC) was founded in 1933 and had its first Olympic Gold Medalist in 1948. By 1965, it had become so popular that it outgrew its location on Restronguet Creek and was relocated to its current position near Mylor Harbour. More recently, Ben Ainslie learned to sail here and went on to win a number of Olympic medals and receive a knighthood.

  9. Bear right along the top of the beach (or use the path if the tide is in) to reach a lane. Turn left and follow the lane through the leftmost gate then bear left at the fork. Follow the track until a footpath departs from the left.

    In the 19th Century, Restronguet Creek played an important part in the mining industry. Minerals were exported and coal was imported from wharves along the creek from Devoran to Point. Waste water from the mines caused gradual silting of the creek and this accelerated during the 19th Century, eventually leading to the complete silting of Devoran harbour.

  10. Bear left off the track onto a footpath and follow this until it emerges onto a track.

    The Redruth and Chasewater Railway was an early industrial line which evolved from John Taylor's tramway and eventually served many of the mines in the Camborne-Redruth area. The line ran to Devoran and Point Quay on Restronguet Creek and initially used horse traction. Later, steam locomotives were used but these terminated at Devoran. For shunting at Devoran and for the extension to Point Quay, trains were still hauled by horses. It was a single railway line all the way from Redruth with passing places. If two trains met between passing places, the drivers drew lots to determine who had to reverse.

  11. Join the track ahead and follow the Public Footpath signs to Mylor Bridge to emerge onto a lane outside Greatwood House.

    Greatwood House was built in 1840 as a private residence by the family who owned Trelissick. It has been put to a number of uses over the years including a market gardening estate and a hotel. In the 1970's it became derelict and was subsequently converted into flats. It has since gone full circle and been restored into a single large residence.

  12. Turn right onto the lane and follow it to a Public Footpath sign to Mylor Bridge. Turn left onto the footpath and keep left between the granite gateposts. Follow the path to reach an old quay.

    Greatwood Quay was built in the 18th Century, mostly from slate, with granite used for the outer face. It provided a landing stage for Greatwood House, accessed via the public footpath.

  13. Continue on the path from the quay to reach an old wooden kissing gate.

    From the quay, you may be able to see the sailing boats of the local oyster fishermen.

    The Fal estuary is home to a native species of oyster known as the "flat" or "edible" oyster. These are fished sustainably by the last commercial fleet in Europe to use only sails and oars. The fishermen, known as "oyster dredgers" or "dregemen", work the oyster beds with triangular iron dredges which drag along the riverbed as the boat is allowed to drift. The use of non-powered boats is a local bye-law to guarantee the stocks. This has proven effective: the Carrick Roads stocks are as good both in quantity and quality as they were 50 years ago, whilst the Oyster fishing industry has died out on the East coast of England due to overfishing.

  14. Go through the gate and follow the path along the left hedge to reach a kissing gate.
  15. Go through the gate and follow the path across the causeway and out of the woods into a field. Follow the left hedge to reach a gate on the far side of the field.

    The grey heron is an unmistakably massive bird with a 6ft wingspan and is most commonly seen in or near freshwater. The call of the heron is equally unsubtle - it is more like grating metal than the sound of birdsong. Although herons primarily eat fish, they will eat frogs, rodents, moles, ducklings and even baby rabbits! In Tudor and Elizabethan times, hunting herons with peregrine falcons was considered a royal sport which resulted in the birds being protected from peasants who might otherwise have caught and roasted them.

  16. Go through the gate and follow the path to reach a gate on the opposite side of the small inlet.

    During the last Ice Age, up to about 12,000 years ago, ice sheets up to 2 miles thick lay over the northern half of Britain. The weight of this ice was immense and it pressed down onto the Earth's mantle which is a treacle-like liquid rock. The mantle was slowly squished away from beneath the Earth's crust beneath heavy ice. When the ice melted, the pressure was released and the mantle began to flow back creating a super-slow motion rebound effect which will take thousands of years to level out. The result is that the north-western edge of Britain is rising and the south-eastern part is sinking. As South Cornwall has been slowly sinking into the sea over the past few thousand years, this has compounded the rise in sea levels, creating creeks from flooded river valleys.

  17. Go through the gate and follow the path to emerge on the shore of the creek.
  18. When you reach the shore, turn right between the trees to a gate. Go through the gate and follow the path across the field to a pedestrian gate marked with a public footpath sign to the right of the field gate.

    The little egret - a white member of the heron family - can be seen on many of the creeks in Cornwall and yet is only a very recent settler in Britain. The birds first appeared in Britain in any number in 1989 and the first to breed was in 1996 in Dorset.

  19. Go through the gate beneath the footpath sign and follow the path to a lane. Cross to the small path to the left of the Trevellan Road sign, and follow this to re-emerge onto the lane.
  20. Follow the lane ahead to return to Mill Quay and the car park to complete the circular route.

    Mylor is the name of the parish but there is not as such a village of Mylor. The closest thing to this are the separate villages of Mylor Bridge, which is the largest in the parish, and Mylor Churchtown which includes the harbour as well as the church.

Help us with this walk

You can help us to keep this walk as accurate as it possibly can be for others by spotting and feeding back any changes affecting the directions. email contact@iwalkcornwall.co.uk, or message either IWalkCornwall on facebook or @iwalkc on twitter. If you have any tips for other walkers please let us know, or if you want to tell us that you enjoyed the walk, we'd love to hear that too.

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