St Tudy to Wetherham

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.

Get the app to guide you around the walk

Phone showing walk for purchase
Download the (free) app then use it to purchase this walk.
Phone showing Google navigation to start of walk
The app will direct you via satnav the start of the walk.
Hand holding a phone showing the iWalk Cornwall app
The app leads you around the walk using GPS, removing any worries about getting lost.
Person looking a directions on phone
Each time there is a new direction to follow, the app will beep to remind you, and will warn you if you go off-route.
Phone showing walk map page in the iWalk Cornwall app
A map shows the route, where you are and which way you are facing.
Phone showing walk directions page in the iWalk Cornwall app
Detailed, triple-tested directions are also included.
Phone showing facts section in iWalk Cornwall app
Each walk includes lots of information about the history and nature along the route.
Person look at phone with cliff scenery in background
Once a walk is downloaded, the app doesn't need a phone or wifi signal for the walk.
Phone showing walk stats in the iWalk Cornwall app
The app counts down distance to the next direction and estimates time remaining based on your personal walking speed.
Person repairing footpath sign
We keep the directions continually updated for changes to the paths/landmarks - the price of £1.99 for a walk includes ongoing free updates.
Loading...
The walk starts from the village of St Tudy, crossing through fields and woodland to Wetherham Manor, before returning along a country lanes and footpaths to St Tudy, allowing a final stop at the St Tudy Inn.

Reviews

Done this walk last Sunday a lovely walk not too strenuous and footpaths are in excellent condition at the moment
Thats a lovely walk having done that recently.
Have done this a couple of times, lovely walk.

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 109 (scan QR code on right to order from Amazon)
  • Distance: 2.4 miles/3.9 km
  • Grade: Easy-moderate
  • Start from: St Tudy war memorial
  • Parking: By war memorial PL303NN
  • Recommended footwear: walking boots or trainers in summer

OS maps for this walk

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

Highlights

  • Beautiful stained glass in 15th century Church of St Tudy
  • Pretty woodland around Wetherham, with bluebells in spring
  • Historic Wetherham Manor
  • Winding country lanes lined with pretty flowers in spring and summer
  • Local Cornish food and drink at 17th century St Tudy Inn

Directions

  1. Facing the war memorial, turn left past the postbox and seating area to reach some steps. Turn right up the steps onto a path into the churchyard. Follow this to the church.

    St Tudy was formerly known as Eglostudic. The village church dedicated to a St Tudius, a sixth century abbot and missionary who was active in Brittany. It is doubtful whether he actually visited North Cornwall, but it could have been established by one of his monks around this time.

  2. From the church, go through the gate on the other side of the churchyard and bear right, past the school, to a junction.

    The present church in St Tudy dates from Norman times. It was extensively rebuilt in the 15th century, and repaired during the 19th century. It is built on the site of an earlier church of the 6th century; the circular churchyard is typical of Celtic churches from this period.

    Set into the stone hedge face of the churchyard is "The Clink": initially this was the church ale house, then became the local constable's lock-up (hence the name).

  3. Turn right and walk a few steps up the road to the public footpath sign on the left. Follow the path from the sign to reach a stile.
  4. Cross the stile and bear left slightly to the gate in the corner of the fence ahead. Go through the pedestrian gate and cross the remainder of the field to a waymark near the corner of the fence.

    Church Ales were celebrations held within the church calendar, particularly at Whitsuntide and May Day, when ales were brewed and sold in order to raise funds for the Church or for good causes in the parish. With the growth of Puritanism in the late 17th century, drinking was seen as sinful. Church Ales were considered to be nothing but drunken disorders and were suppressed. Church houses were gradually abandoned, demolished or put to other uses.

  5. Step over the wall, into the next field. Cross the field to a stile in the far hedge directly ahead.

    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.
  6. Cross the two stiles and continue ahead to meet the left hedge. Follow the hedge to the bottom of the field to a gate onto to a wooden walkway.

    The valley is known as Buzzard Valley.

    Buzzards breed once they reach 2-3 years old. During their breeding season in spring, male buzzards create spectacular aerial displays to impress females by soaring high into the air and dropping suddenly towards the ground. The birds then pair for life.

  7. Go through the gate and follow the walkway to a stile. Cross the stile and continue ahead to a pedestrian gate.
  8. Go through the gate into the field and walk straight ahead past the opening on your left until you are opposite a metal gate on your right.
  9. Once you are opposite the metal gate and past the hedge on your left, turn left and follow the hedge on your left. Continue along the line of trees to reach a metal gate in the far hedge leading into the woods.

    There are some elder trees along the bottom of the meadow, should you fancy making some elderflower cordial.

    Elderflowers appear in June and are easily recognisable as large white umbels on the shrubby green trees. Elder trees were associated with witchcraft which may have arisen because their berries were used in medicines. Consequently there were many superstitions about cutting down or burning elder trees.

    Elder be ye Lady's tree, burn it not or cursed ye'll be.

    If you are harvesting the flowers to make cordial or wine, avoid picking umbels where the flowers are going brown or haven't opened yet; they should be bright white with a yellow centre. If you are harvesting the berries they should be black (not red) and not shrivelled.

  10. Go through the gate and follow the path through the woods. Continue until you eventually reach a stile leading onto a track.

    To make elderflower cordial, remove the bitter stems from about a 20 flower heads and soak overnight in 1 litre of water containing the juice of 2 lemons. Strain the liquid and dissolve around 600g sugar to make a sweet cordial. To make dissolving the sugar easier, you can pre-dissolve the sugar in the water in advance by boiling the water and allowing it to cool before adding the elderflowers, though you lose some of your sugar on the discarded elderflowers that way. Dilute with water or sparkling water to serve.

  11. Cross the stile onto the track and turn right. Follow the track until it forks just past some granite gateposts.

    The chestnut tree originated in Sardinia and was introduced into Britain by the Romans who planted chestnut trees on their various campaigns to provide an easily stored and transported source of food for their troops.

    Chestnuts contain very little fat and are in many ways more similar to a cereal than other nuts, containing principally starch and sugars. They are consequently much less calorific: the kernels contain around a third of the calories of a similar weight of other nuts.

    The size of the nuts from wild British chestnut trees is quite variable but the largest approach that of the nuts sold in supermarkets. Nuts that are very flat or less than the girth of your little finger are not worth harvesting; anything bigger is viable. A painless way to extract the nuts is to grip the husk between your feet and rub it between your boots or against the ground. This saves having to handle the spiky husks as the spikes are very sharp and tend to break off under the skin to leave behind splinters. Often the husks contain one (fairly round) large nut surrounded by several small, flat nuts, so it's worth squeezing out quite a few husks to get the larger nuts. Discard any nuts with holes in (as they will contain maggots) or that are very dark in colour - the fresher ones will be "chestnut" brown rather than dark brown.

    To prepare wild chestnuts, prick each of your chestnuts with a skewer or slit the shell with a knife - this is vital to stop them exploding (and disappearing into dust). Bake them in a hot oven for at least 10 minutes. Wild chestnuts are harder to shell than the shop-bought variety as the shells are much thinner and the nuts are often smaller. An easier way to separate the edible part from the shell is to simply slice the shell in half and then scoop out the contents with the point of a knife blade. Also this way, the bitter pith covering the outside of the nut is left behind in the shell. The contents of the nut should be fluffy and pale yellow; discard any that are brown. Separating the flesh from the shells is a fairly tedious process, but with a few friends armed with large cups of tea, a formidable amount of chestnut can be extracted which can be used to make stuffings, soups or whizzed into flour and added to bread recipes. It also freezes nicely so it can be stored up for Christmas recipes.

  12. When the path forks, keep right (following the waymark) then keep left along the main path, following it to reach another waymark. Keep right here and follow it to a stone bridge over a small stream.

    Grey Squirrels were introduced to the UK from the USA in the late 19th Century and within decades they had replaced the native Red Squirrel in most parts of the country. Compared to Red Squirrels, Grey Squirrels are able to eat a wider diet (including acorns), are larger so can survive colder winters, and are better able to survive in the fragmented habitats created by urbanisation. They are also thought to be carriers of a squirrel pox virus which they usually recover from but has been fatal to Red Squirrels, although Red Squirrels are now also developing some immunity. As the Grey Squirrel is classified as an invasive species, it is illegal to release a captured animal into the wild but it is also illegal to kill it in a way that is deemed as causing "unnecessary suffering". This has resulted in members of the public being prosecuted for e.g. drowning a squirrel caught in a trap, believing they were doing the right thing. To date, culling of Grey Squirrels has not reversed their domination of woodland habitat and alternative approaches such as planting food with contraceptives are being explored as a means to control the population. The theory is that infertile squirrels can compete for food against fertile squirrels, whereas culling can create a glut of food resulting in a higher number of squirrels surviving which replace those that were exterminated.

  13. Cross the bridge and walk over the grass to a tarmac driveway then follow the grassy path opposite to a stone stile.

    During spring, wildflowers amongst the grass attract insects foraging for nectar such as bumble bees.

    Bumblebees were originally called "humble bees" and this name was still in use until early 20th century. There is an urban myth that according to aerodynamics, bumblebees should not be able to fly, leading to statements by US presidential candidates such as:

    It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly; but the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway.

    You may not be too surprised to discover this assertion was based on flawed calculations in the early 20th Century that neglected to include the bees flapping their wings. In fact, during flight, they beat their wings around 200 times every second. However, the buzzing sound they make is not from the beating wings but from the bee's vibrating flight muscles. On cold days, by using their flight muscles, the bees are able to warm up their bodies to temperatures as high as 30 Celcius. In spring, queen bumblebees need to visit up to 6,000 flowers per day to gather enough nectar and pollen to establish their colony.

  14. Cross the stile onto a lane and turn left. Follow the lane uphill to a metal gate on your left roughly 30 metres past a private concrete driveway with double wooden gates.

    In June, foxgloves flower along the lane.

    Foxgloves are reliant on bumblebees for pollination and bumblebees are much more active when the weather is good. As an insurance policy against bad weather, foxgloves have evolved to stagger their flowering over several weeks, starting with the flowers at the base of the stalk and working up to the top, where the higher flowers protrude over other vegetation that has grown up in that time.

  15. Turn left to go through the metal gate and follow the fence on the left to a stile half way along the fence.
  16. Cross the stile and follow the fence on the left until you reach another stile.

    In August, blackberries start to ripen on brambles.

    Blackberries are closely related to raspberries and technically neither is a berry but an aggregate of many individual tiny fruits, each containing a tiny stone like a miniature cherry.

  17. Pass the stile and follow the path down into the woods, keeping right, until you reach a wooden footbridge over a stream.

    Wetherham Manor, near St Tudy, sits on a Saxon site (hence the name - "ham" meaning village or estate). It had a colourful start to this millenium with the once owners being imprisoned for threatening bailiffs with a shotgun and evicted by the bank to the outbuildings with their dogs, cats, peacocks and "too many ferrets".

  18. Cross the footbridge and continue ahead to cross over the gravel and tarmac and then follow the wooded path ahead uphill to reach a waymark.
  19. At the waymark, continue ahead and follow the woodland path to another waymark on a bend, by a stile.

    The woods contain some huge beech trees.

    Compared to many native trees, the beech colonised Great Britain relatively recently, after the last Ice Age around 10,000 years ago. Beech trees can live up to 400 years.

  20. As you approach the waymark, keep right to go between the gate posts to the lane. Turn left onto the lane and follow it uphill to a waymarked stile on a bend next to Maenne Parc.

    The name is from the Cornish words mên, meaning stone, and parc, meaning field.

  21. Cross the stile and follow the path to another stile.

    Ivy is unusual in that it flowers particularly late in the year - from September to November - and therefore provide vital nectar for insects such bees and moths. Ivy berries are an important winter food source for birds and will remain on the plant all the way through the winter until spring.

  22. Cross the stile and cross over the lane to a tarmac path just to the right of the garage directly ahead. Follow the path between the houses, turning right to follow the wall to a metal kissing gate into a playground.

    Lichens are a partnership of two different organisms: a fungus providing the "accommodation" and an alga or cyanobacterium providing the "food" through photosynthesis. The fungal partner provides a cosy, sheltered environment for the alga and tends it with mineral nutrients. However, the alga partner is more than simply an imprisoned food-slave: it is such a closely-evolved alliance that the fungus is dependant on the alga for its shape and structure. If the fungal partner is isolated and grown on an agar plate, it forms a shapeless, infertile blob.

  23. Go through the kissing gate and cross the tarmac diagonally to reach a pair of wooden gates. Go though these and along an alleyway to the road.
  24. Turn left onto the road and follow it back to the war memorial.

    The St Tudy Inn (formerly the Cornish Arms) is a 17th century village inn, located at the opposite end of the short lane leading from the War Memorial. It was conveniently proximate to "The Clink", allowing anyone who became drunken and troublesome to find themselves in new accommodation within the time it took for the constable's pint to be poured.

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.

Please recycle your ink cartridges to help prevent plastic fragments being ingested by seabirds. Google "stinkyink" and click on "free recycling" for a freepost label.
If you found this page useful, please could you
our page on Facebook?