Walks off the beaten track in Cornwall

These are good walks for getting away from the crowds during the holidays. During the summer there's a reasonable chance of some vegetation on some of the less well-used paths so it's not a bad plan to carry a stick/sickle and secateurs.

  • 2.2 miles/3.5 km - Easy-moderate

    Blisland to Lavethan Wood

    Blisland to Lavethan Wood

    2.2 miles/3.5 km - Easy-moderate

    A short circular walk from the village of Blisland through the churchyard, two stretches of the Woodland Trust reserve of Lavethan Wood and land which was once the estates of Lavethan and Barlandew manors, returning via the Holy Well of St Hyacinth and St Pratt.

  • 2.4 miles/3.9 km - Easy-moderate

    St Tudy to Wetherham

    St Tudy to Wetherham

    2.4 miles/3.9 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular countryside walk from the 15th century church at St Tudy through the grounds of the 18th century Manor of Wetherham, returning to the church alehouse where ale brewed by the church was sold to raise funds, and later became the village lock-up known as The Clink.

  • 2.6 miles/4.2 km - Easy-moderate

    Warbstow Cross and Bury

    Warbstow Cross and Bury

    2.6 miles/4.2 km - Easy-moderate

    A fairly short and easy circular walk around Warbstow, crossing ramparts of the massive Iron Age hillfort, through fields and along country lanes lined with wildflowers, returning via the mediaeval church which is dedicated to the daughter of a Saxon King who was tutored by the Celtic Saint Morwenna.

  • 2.9 miles/4.7 km - Easy-moderate

    Week St Mary to Penhallam

    Week St Mary to Penhallam

    2.9 miles/4.7 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk from the Saxon village of Week St Mary through Ashbury woods, beneath the Iron Age fort, to the remains of the mediaeval manor of Penhallam which was only rediscovered in the 1960s, returning via the church, repaired after the pinnacle above the door was severed by lightning and crashed through the roof.

  • 3.6 miles/5.8 km - Easy-moderate

    St Newlyn East and Lappa Valley

    St Newlyn East and Lappa Valley

    3.6 miles/5.8 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk from St Newlyn East through the woods of the Lappa Valley where the Steam Railway now encompasses what was one of the most famous mines in Cornwall during Victorian times and the riverbeds are still stained red.

  • 3.9 miles/6.2 km - Easy-moderate

    Stannon Moor

    Stannon Moor

    3.9 miles/6.2 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk around Stannon Moor near St Breward with panoramic views of Bodmin Moor, passing stone circles, burial chambers and other prehistoric monuments to a massive granite boulder balanced on Louden Hill which gently rocks if you sit on it.

  • 5 miles/8.1 km - Easy-moderate

    Camelford to Watergate

    Camelford to Watergate

    5 miles/8.1 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk from Camelford through bluebell woods along the Camel valley to the Celtic churchyard of Advent and the Neolithic remains on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

  • 5.1 miles/8.2 km - Easy-moderate

    Polyphant

    Polyphant

    5.1 miles/8.2 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular countryside walk to the mills in the Inny Valley from Polyphant, Cornish for "toad pool", to Gimblett's Mill where the bridge was rebuilt after a wall of water swept down the valley in 1847 destroying nearly everything in its path.

  • 5.1 miles/8.2 km - Easy-moderate

    St Breward to King Arthur's Hall

    St Breward to King Arthur's Hall

    5.1 miles/8.2 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk from St Breward across the Treswallock Downs to the curious prehistoric structure of King Arthur's Hall and ending at the mediaeval Old Inn.

  • 5.2 miles/8.4 km - Easy-moderate

    Porth Reservoir

    Porth Reservoir

    5.2 miles/8.4 km - Easy-moderate

    A circular walk through the wildlife reserve around the reservoir lake, past crumbling ruins of Fir Hill Manor and via farmland, a mill and wooded vales that were also once part of the great estate.

  • 5.5 miles/8.8 km - Easy-moderate

    Altarnun and West Moor

    Altarnun and West Moor

    5.5 miles/8.8 km - Easy-moderate

    A walk from Altarnun across the downs and out onto the open moor where the relics of mediaeval tin workings and prehistoric roundhouses can still be seen

  • 2.7 miles/4.3 km - Moderate

    Trebarwith Valley

    Trebarwith Valley

    2.7 miles/4.3 km - Moderate

    A fairly short circular walk exploring Trebarwith Valley, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Cornwall. The walk includes bluebell woodland, panoramic views from both sides of the valley and the Trebarwith Nature Reserve.

  • 3.1 miles/5.0 km - Moderate

    St Breward to Lank

    St Breward to Lank

    3.1 miles/5.0 km - Moderate

    A short circular walk from St Breward through ancient bluebell woods along the valley of the River Camel to the holy well, ending at the mediaeval church and inn.

  • 3.2 miles/5.2 km - Moderate

    Hayle Valley from St Erth

    Hayle Valley from St Erth

    3.2 miles/5.2 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from St Erth along the River Hayle, lined with wildflowers in the spring and summer, and returning with views over the Hayle valley which was once a lagoon separating an island of West Penwith from the Cornish mainland.

  • 3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

    Luxulyan Valley circular

    Luxulyan Valley circular

    3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

    A circular walk following the leats and horse-drawn tramways through the World Heritage site of the Luxulyan Valley to the massive viaduct which carried the tramways towards Newquay and water to winch the trams up the valley with a huge waterwheel.

  • 3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

    Retire, Withiel and Tremore

    Retire, Withiel and Tremore

    3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

    A circular walk in the Ruthern and Tremore river valleys following the Saint's Way to Withiel where the award-winning cheese Cornish Yarg was first made from a recipe in a dusty book found in the attic, that is thought to date back to the 13th Century.

  • 3.6 miles/5.8 km - Moderate

    Delabole

    Delabole

    3.6 miles/5.8 km - Moderate

    A circular walk around Delabole past the slate quarry, along back lanes and tracks, and through fields and bluebell woods.

  • 3.8 miles/6 km - Moderate

    East Moor to Newton

    East Moor to Newton

    3.8 miles/6 km - Moderate

    A circular walk in one of the less well-known areas of Bodmin Moor to the summit of Fox Tor and through the prehistoric remains which date from the Bronze Age and Neolithic times, including the Nine Stones circle.

  • 4 miles/6.5 km - Moderate

    Bowithick to Buttern Hill

    Bowithick to Buttern Hill

    4 miles/6.5 km - Moderate

    A circular walk over the northern tip of Bodmin Moor to the prehistoric burial chamber at the top of Buttern Hill and source of the River Fowey, returning via farm tracks and country lanes to the tributary streams of the River Inny.

  • 4 miles/6.5 km - Moderate

    Warbstow to Treneglos

    Warbstow to Treneglos

    4 miles/6.5 km - Moderate

    A circular countryside walk from the Saxon village of Warbstow to the Celtic hamlet of Treneglos in the tributary valleys of the River Ottery, where the North Cornwall railway once ran.

  • 4.1 miles/6.6 km - Moderate

    North Petherwin to Winsdon

    North Petherwin to Winsdon

    4.1 miles/6.6 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from North Petherwin in the river valleys of the Bolsbridge Water that you can combine with a visit to the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre.

  • 4.2 miles/6.7 km - Moderate

    Werrington to Bridgetown

    Werrington to Bridgetown

    4.2 miles/6.7 km - Moderate

    A circular walk through two tributary valleys of the River Tamar in a parish that was borrowed by Devon for 800 years, passing the remains of the wharf at the furthest reaches of the Bude Canal.

  • 4.8 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

    Luxulyan Valley to Prideaux

    Luxulyan Valley to Prideaux

    4.8 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

    A circular walk through the World Heritage site of the Luxulyan Valley and surrounding countryside, over the massive viaduct supporting a horse-drawn tram route to Newquay and along the leat that fed Charlestown Harbour.

  • 4.9 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

    Ladock Woods

    Ladock Woods

    4.9 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from the woodland of The Duchy to the Holy Well of St Ladock in the river valley where in 1802 a gold nugget was found that contained enough gold to make an elegant necklace which is now in Truro museum.

  • A circular walk in the upper reaches of the River Valency above Boscastle, where author Thomas Hardy lived and met the love of his life, starting from the ancient Celtic church of Lesnewth to St Juliot church which Hardy restored.

  • 5.1 miles/8.2 km - Moderate

    Slate quarry trail

    Slate quarry trail

    5.1 miles/8.2 km - Moderate

    A circular route around historic slate quarries which have now been reclaimed by Nature to the ancient quarry at Delabole which was the largest man-made hole in Europe for many years and is still worked, returning via the restored engine house overlooking Trebarwith Valley.

  • 5.6 miles/9 km - Moderate

    Delabole to Lanteglos

    Delabole to Lanteglos

    5.6 miles/9 km - Moderate

    A circular walk through bluebell woodland, fields and along back lanes from Delabole to Camelford's parish church at Lanteglos returning via the Iron Age forts of Castle Goff and Delinuth Camp.

  • 5.7 miles/9.2 km - Moderate

    Hellandbridge to St Mabyn

    Hellandbridge to St Mabyn

    5.7 miles/9.2 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from Helland's mediaeval bridge through bluebell woodland and the fields overlooked by the Iron Age rounds at Pencarrow to the Norman church at St Mabyn, dedicated to the daughter of a Celtic King, and returning via the stump of the Neolithic Long Stone which stood for millennia until it was broken up for gateposts in 1850.

  • 5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate

    Carn Brea and the Great Flat Lode

    Carn Brea and the Great Flat Lode

    5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate

    A circular walk along the Great Flat Lode, where the Basset family made their fortune from the rich mineral reserves, to Carn Brea where they built a hunting lodge balanced on a tor in the style of a castle.

  • 6.1 miles/9.9 km - Moderate

    St Wenn to Withiel

    St Wenn to Withiel

    6.1 miles/9.9 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from St Wenn in the upper reaches of the Ruthern Valley, through Rosenannon woods and along the Saints' Way pilgrimage route to the mediaeval church at Withiel, where the Rector shut down The Pig and Whistle for being an ungodly establishment.

  • 6.4 miles/10.3 km - Moderate

    Pelynt and the West Looe Valley

    Pelynt and the West Looe Valley

    6.4 miles/10.3 km - Moderate

    A circular walk in the West Looe valley to St Nun's Well where it is said that if a bent pin is not left as an offering, clouds of piskies will accompany the visitor home and cause mischief.

  • 6.4 miles/10.3 km - Moderate

    St Breward to Advent

    St Breward to Advent

    6.4 miles/10.3 km - Moderate

    A circular walk from St Breward past the granite pillars of Devil's Jump to the 8ft Celtic cross and ancient churchyard of Advent at the foot of the moors, returning via the remains of the mediaeval village of Carwether to the Inn used by 11th century monks to build the highest church in Cornwall.

  • 6.8 miles/10.9 km - Moderate

    Castle-an-dinas

    Castle-an-dinas

    6.8 miles/10.9 km - Moderate

    A mostly circular walk from the Castle-an-dinas Iron Age hillfort with 360 degree views across Cornwall, then into the valley to the River Menalhyl, followed by wooded paths lined with primroses, bluebells and wild garlic, and lanes with vibrant wildflowers.

  • 4.3 miles/7 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Blisland to Newton Downs

    Blisland to Newton Downs

    4.3 miles/7 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from Blisland through Waterloo and across the Trehudreth Downs with panoramic views of Bodmin Moor, returning via the moorland brooks and downs of Newton and Metherin.

  • 4.3 miles/6.9 kilometres - Moderate-strenuous

    North Hill to Hawks Tor

    North Hill to Hawks Tor

    4.3 miles/6.9 kilometres - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk along prehistoric trade routes in the Lynher valley from the village of North Hill where the granite was quarried to build Westminster Bridge.

  • 4.3 miles/6.9 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Blisland and Pendrift Downs

    Blisland and Pendrift Downs

    4.3 miles/6.9 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from Blisland through the De Lank granite quarry, used for many famous buildings including Royal Opera House, between the moss-covered boulders and trees of the De Lank river valley and across the Pendrift Downs, passing Jubilee Rock - a huge granite boulder, decorated with carvings.

  • 4.5 miles/7.2 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Rilla Mill and Plushabridge

    Rilla Mill and Plushabridge

    4.5 miles/7.2 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from Rilla Mill with views across Cornwall to the Cheesewring and Kit Hill, and along the River Lynher through the Colquite Woodland reserve and via medieval bridges to where the ancient mill stood until the 1960s and the leats can still be seen.

  • 4.7 miles/7.6 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Barrett's Zawn and Dannonchapel

    Barrett's Zawn and Dannonchapel

    4.7 miles/7.6 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk including some of the more remote parts of the coast path around Port Isaac Bay, passing the Donkey Hole at Barrett's Zawn and returning through the abandoned hamlet of Dannonchapel.

  • 5 miles/8 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Kilkhampton to the Coombe valley

    Kilkhampton to the Coombe valley

    5 miles/8 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk though the wildflowers of the Kilkhampton Common nature reserve and woods of the Coombe Valley, returning via the remains of the Norman castle at Penstowe which consisted of a stone tower perched on the top of a steep hill but surrounded by two baileys, rather than the usual one, the reason for which is a mystery.

  • 5.1 miles/8.2 km - Moderate-strenuous

    St Neot Two Valleys

    St Neot Two Valleys

    5.1 miles/8.2 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from St Neot though the valley of the River Loveny, past a prehistoric settlement, through bluebell woodland and along the River Fowey, and returning via the church, famous for its mediaeval stained glass.

  • 5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Trewarmett to Tregardock

    Trewarmett to Tregardock

    5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk to the remote sandy beach at Tregardock, returning along the coast path with panoramic views of Port Isaac Bay, through the wildflowers of Treligga Downs and via Backways Cove.

  • 6.3 miles/10.1 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Cubert to St Pirans Round

    Cubert to St Pirans Round

    6.3 miles/10.1 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk from Cubert's Celtic churchyard through the cowslip meadows of the Penhale Sands nature reserve and on paths lined with wildflowers along the river valley to reach St Pirans Round - the remains of the mediaeval amphitheatre.

  • 6.6 miles/10.6 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Inny Valleys from Altarnun

    Inny Valleys from Altarnun

    6.6 miles/10.6 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A circular walk around the valleys of the River Inny and Penpont Water to the mediaeval church at Laneast and the old bridge at Gimlett's Mill from the 15th century "Cathedral of the Moors" in Altarnun, set beside a 6th Century Celtic cross where churches and chapels had been throughout the Dark Ages.

  • 4.3 miles/7.0 km - Strenuous

    St Gennys Church to Dizzard

    St Gennys Church to Dizzard

    4.3 miles/7.0 km - Strenuous

    A circular walk at St Gennys from the mediaeval church, via the smuggling routes though bluebell woods along the stream and an Iron Age clifftop fort crumbling into the sea, to some of North Cornwall's most remote coastline.

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