Mylor and Restronguet Creeks

A circular walk along the Mylor and Restronguet creeks via the Pandora Inn, said to be once owned and renamed by the captain of HMS Pandora sent to capture mutineers from The Bounty, and where a passing-boat was kept to connect the post road between Falmouth and Truro, summoned by a bell on the other side of the creek.

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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.

Reviews

lovely walk today with stop off @PandoraInn for lunch on the water. Thank you @iwalkc another fabulous walk.
@iwalkc another brilliant walk today around Mylor and Restronguet Creeks. Thank you.
Done this walk last weekend, nice walk, great views with a refreshment break at the Pandora.

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 104 (scan QR code on right to order from Amazon)
  • Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km
  • Grade: Easy-moderate
  • Start from: Mylor Bridge
  • Parking: Mylor Bridge TR115NA. 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.
  • Recommended footwear: Walking boots in winter. Walking shoes or trainers in summer

OS maps for this walk

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)

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 you reach a lane painted with a 10 mph sign.

    The quay at Mylor is thought to date from the 18th Century, initially built of slate and then rebuilt in granite. Just upstream at the head of the creek was a tidal mill. In the late 1760s, work began on a new a double-wheeled watermill behind the quay to replace the tidal mill. Water was supplied by a leat to power the waterwheels and the water exited from tail races through two arched openings in the front of the quay. The mill was in use until the early 20th Century.

  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. Continue on the path between the hedges until it eventually emerges into a field.

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

  3. In the field, follow the right hedge past gateways on the right and through a gap into the field ahead. Continue following the right hedge until you reach a gateway leading to 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 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 Wheelhouse.

    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. Continue ahead past the garages on the right to reach a fork in the track. Take the left-hand track (with grass growing down the middle and a footpath sign) and follow this until it ends at Glenarva Cottage.

    Mosses reproduce with tiny spores rather than seeds. Many mosses use wind to carry their spores but Spagnum (peat) mosses use compressed air to launch theirs. To get an idea of the acceleration that the spores are launched with, an astronaut in a rocket launch experiences an acceleration g-force of about 3-g and the maximum in a fighter jet is about 9-g. Spagnum moss spores are accelerated at 36,000-g! If that caused you to spill your cider, mosses are also able to absorb around 20 times their own weight in liquid.

  8. At Glenarva Cottage, bear 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 to some wooden gates. Go through the pedestrian gate on the left then bear left at the fork. Follow the track until a footpath marked with a green arrow 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.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields. If you are crossing fields in which there are cows:

    • Avoid splitting the herd as cows are more relaxed if they feel protected by the rest of the herd. Generally the best plan is to walk along the hedges.
    • Do not show any threatening behaviour towards calves (approaching them closely to take photos, making loud noises or walking between a calf and its mother) as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.
    • If cows approach you, they often do so out of curiosity and in the hope of food - it may seem an aggressive invasion of your space but that's mainly because cows don't have manners. Do not run away as this will encourage them to chase you. Stand your ground and stretch out your arms to increase your size. Usually if you calmly approach them, they will back off. It's also best to avoid making sudden movements that might cause them to panic.
    • Where possible, avoid taking dogs into fields with cows, particularly with calves. If cows charge, release the dog from its lead as the dog will outrun the cows and the cows will generally chase the dog rather than you.
  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 reach a lane. Bear left across the tarmac to the public footpath path opposite (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. We'd be very grateful if could you look out for the following:

  • Any stiles, gates or waymark posts referenced in the directions which are no longer there
  • Any stiles referenced in the directions that have been replaced with gates, or vice-versa

Take a photo and 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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