Woodland walks in Cornwall

Woodland in Cornwall tends to be within sheltered valleys, so these walks are quite a good option to get out of the wind on a breezy day. The woodland is predominantly broadleaf so there are often celandines, bluebells and wild garlic in Spring.

1.8 miles/2.9 km - Easy

The Camelford Way

A short and easy circular walk from Camelford along the wildflower-rich meadows of the River Camel to the clapper bridge at Fenteroon, returning through the fields with views over the Camel Valley.

3.2 miles/5.2 km - Easy

King's Wood and Pentewan

A circular walk through the King's Wood Woodland Trust reserve to the lost port of Pentewan, along the trackbed of horse-drawn tramway that once carried china clay to the busy port and via the system of reservoirs and sluices that were used to flush sand out of the harbour.

2.2 miles/3.5 km - Easy-moderate

Blisland to Lavethan Wood

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.

2.2 miles/3.5 km - Easy-moderate

Hallwell Plantation to Lesnewth

A short circular walk in the tributary valleys of the River Valency through bluebell woodland beside a stream, and across meadows rich in wildflowers to the ancient Celtic churchyard of Lesnewth.

2.9 miles/4.7 km - Easy-moderate

Week St Mary to Penhallam

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.

3.3 miles/5.3 km - Easy-moderate

Lanhydrock Gardens

A fairly short and easy circular walk through Lanhydrock gardens (note that you will need to pay an entry fee unless you are NT member) with plenty of picnic spots along the River Fowey that you can combine with a visit to the house.

3.6 miles/5.8 km - Easy-moderate

St Newlyn East and Lappa Valley

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.

3.7 miles/5.9 km - Easy-moderate

Newmills to Tregadillett

A circular walk in the Kensey valley from the end of the steam railway at Newmills, through the bluebell woods at Trebursye, to the Eliot Arms in Tregadillett and returning to Newmills via the remains of a prehistoric fort, to catch the steam train back to Launceston.

3.8 miles/6.1 km - Easy-moderate

Lanhydrock to Respryn

A circular walk through the mature broadleaf woodland in the less well-known areas of the Lanhydrock estate, through bluebell woods and along the River Fowey, past the mediaeval bridge at Respryn, built after numerous prayers for safe passage in the ford-side chapel, had not resulted in the desired outcome.

4 miles/6.4 km - Easy-moderate

St Keverne to Porthallow

A circular walk through woods and meadows to Porthoustock and Porthallow from St Keverne, settled in the Dark Ages by Celtic monks trading with Brittany

4.3 miles/7 km - Easy-moderate

Tehidy Country Park to Deadman's Cove

A circular walk through the wildlife reserve and bluebell woodland of Tehidy Country Park to Deadman's Cove and the North Cliffs where many sailing ships were wrecked before the Godrevy Lighthouse was built.

4.3 miles/7.0 km - Easy-moderate

Tremail to Davidstow

A circular walk on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor through the WW2 airbase on Davidstow Moor, the tunnel of trees to Treworra and past the source of the River Inny to the Church and Holy Well of St David.

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Easy-moderate

Porth Reservoir

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.

5.9 miles/9.5 km - Easy-moderate

St Anthony Head

A walk along the Roseland coast and creeks opposite St Mawes, passing the preserved fort and Fraggle Rock lighthouse on St Anthony Head and the golden sandy beaches of Molunan.

6.2 miles/10 km - Easy-moderate

Dunmere to Grogley Halt

A circular walk along the Camel valley from Dunmere Halt to Grogley Halt on the Camel Trail, passing the Camel Valley vineyard and the Boscarne platform where the Bodmin-Wenford steam trains depart.

6.2 miles/10 km - Easy-moderate

The Loe

A circular walk around the Loe Pool, the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, and along the Loe Bar, one of Cornwall's most treacherous beaches on which 100 of those onboard the HMS Anson drowned metres from the shore, motivating the invention of the rocket lifesaving apparatus that saved thousands of lives.

6.8 miles/10.9 km - Easy-moderate

Wadebridge to Polbrock

A circular walk from Wadebridge through the Treraven nature reserve, bluebell woodland at Hustyn Mill and meadows along the River Camel to Polbrock, returning along the Camel Trail.

7.3 miles/11.7 km - Easy-moderate

St Columb Major to St Mawgan

A circular walk along the Vale of Lanherne from the mediaeval market town of St Columb Major, where Cornish Hurling is still played, to the riverside pub, church and convent at St Mawgan, returning through the broadleaf woodland of the Carnanton Estate along the River Menalhyl.

2.6 miles/4.2 km - Moderate

Boscastle to Minster Church

A short circular walk from Boscastle through bluebell woodland alongside the River Valency to the ancient Celtic churchyard and sacred spring at Minster, returning along the River Jordan, beside which Bottreaux Castle was once situated, and Boscastle's Old Road.

2.7 miles/4.3 km - Moderate

Trebarwith Valley

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.

2.8 miles/4.5 km - Moderate

Two Coombes of Lansallos

A circular walk from Lansallos to the coves of Lantivet Bay where farmers collected seaweed and sand to improve the soil and smugglers landed French brandy.

3 miles/4.8 km - Moderate

Millook to Trebarfoote

A circular walk through Woodland Trust reserves of the ancient Millook woods, meadows to the former smuggling den and 1920s wild party venue of Trebarfoote, and along the coast from Cancleave Strand to Millook Haven where colliding continents have melted and folded the rocks like toffee.

3.1 miles/5.0 km - Moderate

St Breward to Lank

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.

3.3 miles/5.3 km - Moderate

Luxulyan Valley circular

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.

3.9 miles/6.2 km - Moderate

Bossiney, St Nectan's Glen and Rocky Valley

A short circular walk through the woods of St Nectan's Glen and canyons of Rocky Valley, past the ruined mills and labyrinthine carvings, and along the coast to the golden sandy cove at Bossiney Haven.

3.9 miles/6.2 km - Moderate

Cotehele to Metherell

A circular walk via the quays, woods, engine house and mills of the Cotehele Estate where by Georgian times the house had become a tourist attraction because it was so antiquated, and has changed little since.

3.9 miles/6.3 km - Moderate

St Just to Messack Point

A circular walk along both sides of St Just creek to Messack Point where there are spectacular views over one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

4.3 miles/6.9 kilometres - Moderate

North Hill to Hawks Tor

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.

4.4 miles/7.1 km - Moderate

Sandymouth to Coombe Valley

A circular walk from Sandymouth beach, via the Landmark Trust's historic buildings of Coombe and a derelict mill which is one of the largest bat colonies in England, to the remains of the once great manor of Stowe Barton, the interior furnishings of which can be seen in Prideaux Place at Padstow.

4.7 miles/7.5 km - Moderate

Porthtowan to Chapel Porth

A circular walk from Porthtowan, along the coast, valleys and woodland passing engine houses and other relics of Cornish copper mining.

4.8 miles/7.8 km - Moderate

Luxulyan Valley to Prideaux

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

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.

5.1 miles/8.2 km - Moderate

Lerryn to St Winnow

A circular walk to the creekside church of St Winnow along the River Fowey and Lerryn where hoards of Roman coins have been found on the river banks, and overlooked by the manor house that is thought may have been the inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows.

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Moderate

Bodmin and Bodiniel - the two manors

A figure-of-8 walk through Bodmin's historic centre to the beacon nature reserve and through the woods at Dunmere to Scarlett's Well

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Moderate

Wadebridge to St Breock

A circular walk from Wadebridge on the Camel Trail alongside the Amble Marshes nature reserve then across meadows and wooded creeks to the mediaeval church of St Breock, returning via the woods of the Polmorla valley.

5.3 miles/8.5 km - Moderate

Lanhydrock to Restormel

A circular walk from the mediaeval bridge at Respryn along the River Fowey through the bluebell woodland of the Lanhydrock Estate to the circular Norman castle at Restormel which had a pressurised piped water system 700 years ahead of its time.

6.1 miles/9.9 km - Moderate

Dunmere, Penhargard and Bodmin Jail

A circular walk along the River Camel from Dunmere through bluebell woods and fields to Penhargard, and along an ancient route lined with wildflowers to Bodmin's historic Jail.

6.1 miles/9.7 km - Moderate

Egloshayle to Dinham Bridge

A circular walk in the Allen Valley from Egloshayle though the broadleaf woodland alongside the River Allen past the mills of Hingham and Lemail, returning via the Celtic Three Holed Cross and the remains of Castle Killibury which from mediaeval Welsh texts is thought might be one of King Arthur's several castles.

6.4 miles/10.3 km - Moderate

Pelynt and the West Looe Valley

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.

3.8 miles/6.1 km - Moderate-strenuous

Hall Walk from Fowey to Polruan

A circular version of famous Hall Walk from Boddinnick to Polruan, recorded as a walk with "sweete senting flowers" in Tudor times and during the Civil War where a gun shot aimed at Charles I is said to have instead killed a fisherman who stood on the same spot moments later.

4.3 miles/6.9 km - Moderate-strenuous

Crackington Haven to The Strangles

A circular walk from Crackington Haven, with panoramic views of the Shipwreck Coast, to the long, sandy Strangles beach, returning through bluebell woodland along the Ludon river valley.

4.3 miles/7 km - Moderate-strenuous

Gunnislake to Chilsworthy

A circular walk in the Tamar Valley at Gunnislake where Victorian canal systems, engine houses and tramways have been recolonised by nature and kingfishers rather than barges now journey up and down the river.

4.5 miles/7.2 km - Moderate-strenuous

Rilla Mill and Plushabridge

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.

4.8 miles/7.7 km - Moderate-strenuous

Millook Haven to Dizzard

A circular walk through the Millook woodland reserves to the ancient gnarled oak forest of The Dizzard, returning along the coast with panoramic views to Hartland Point, to the chevron-folded cliffs and honeycomb reefs of Millook Haven.

5 miles/8 km - Moderate-strenuous

Kilkhampton to the Coombe valley

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

Helford and Frenchman's Creek

A circular walk through the wooded valleys of the Helford River including the most famous - Frenchman's Creek - which is still as pristine as when it inspired Daphne Du Maurier's novel

5.2 miles/8.4 km - Moderate-strenuous

Portreath and Tehidy Country Park

A circular walk along the rugged North Cliffs hiding smuggler's coves such as Ralph's Cupboard, to the sandy beach and historic mining port of Portreath, returning via the bluebell woodland of Illogan and Tehidy Country Park.

5.9 miles/9.5 km - Moderate-strenuous

Cotehele to Calstock

A circular walk through the gardens of Cotehele to Calstock where Cornwall's largest Roman fort once stood, the Vikings allied with the Cornish to fight off the Saxons, and more recently railway wagons were lifted over 100ft by steam power from the quay to the top of the viaduct.

4.2 miles/6.8 km - Strenuous

Polruan to Lantic Bay

A circular walk along the coast from Polruan to the white sandy beaches of Lantic Bay, returning via Lanteglos Church and along the creek with panoramic views of Fowey.

5 miles/9 km - Strenuous

Porthpean to Black Head

A circular walk from the sandy beach at Porthpean, past the brilliant white shingle beaches at Silvermine to the Iron Age fort on Black Head, returning via the site of an Iron Age metal works with spectacular views over St Austell Bay.

5.4 miles/8.7 km - Strenuous

Boscastle to Buckator

A circular walk along the coastline from Boscastle via the Pentargon waterfall to the seal colony at Buckator, returning along the Valency valley.

6.6 miles/10.6 km - Strenuous

Pentewan Valley and Black Head

A circular walk from the lost port of Pentewan along the coast to the remains of the Iron Age fort overlooking St Austell Bay on Black Head, returning via the nature reserve that was once the King's wood and the trackbed of the horse-drawn tramway used for china clay and Sunday School outings.

Download the iWalk Cornwall app and use the QR scanner within the app to find out more about any of the walks above.