Many of our beautiful holiday cottages in Cornwall are perfect for walking breaks. Cornwall is famous for its unmatched coastline and wild, unspoilt countryside – all perfect for getting out and about on your own two feet.
So, when it comes your next Cornish walking adventure, why not take the path less trodden? For those who like to get away from the beaten track and discover some llittle-known gems during your holiday, these beautiful walks are a great place to start.
The Gothica Falls are a series of breathtaking waterfalls along the River Fowey, flowing through the ancient Draynes Wood. You’ll start the 1.9-mile walk in lush woodland, which gradually changes to a craggy gorge – walking boots are recommended for this part of the route. The water runs downhill the whole time, making for some dramatic cascades. For the most impressive display, try to visit after there’s been some heavy rain! It’s impossible not to be impressed by the way the water churns over the boulders and through the deep pools and cauldrons.
Golitha Falls is a National Nature Reserve, managed by English Nature. It’s also a site of Special Scientific Interest, thanks to the woodland flora, which includes over 120 species of moss and 50 species of lichens. There’s also some uncommon wildlife to spot, ranging from bats to dormice. English Nature have taken a ‘hands off’ approach to managing the falls, which can be seen in the wild beauty of your surroundings.
Access to the walk is simple. In fact, you can park right at the start of the trail, just past Draynes Bridge. There are also toilets and the delicious Inkie’s Smokehouse BBQ trailer, providing ice creams, drinks and great grilled food… the perfect fuel for your adventures! The falls themselves lie around 500m downstream from the carpark, and the path will lead you all the way along the gorge, following the route of the river through the beautiful woodland scenery. It’s a truly romantic, spectacular place to explore.
Land's End and Nanjizal
This 3-mile walk starts and ends at Land’s End Car park, but takes in the spectacular hidden beach of Nanjizal. It’s an easy walk, although it’s not signed throughout so don’t forget your map and compass! There are also working farms on the route so stick to the footpaths, keep dogs under close control and make sure to close any gates behind you.
Shortly after starting your walk, join the South West Coast Path at ‘Dr Johnson’s Head’ and follow it past the series of tiny coves that have been carved into the base of the cliffs by the ocean. This stretch of coastline has inspired many people, including the nineteenth-century artist Joseph Mallord William Turner. You’ll also pass the Longships Lighthouse, spectacular stone formations including pillars and buttresses and Bronze Age ruins.
Eventually the route descends towards the beach at Nanjizal. Reaching the beach itself means a slight detour from the path, but it’s well worth it to experience this hidden gem. Due to its inaccessibility, Nanjizal has remained more or less untouched and never gets busy, so you’ll be free to enjoy the spectacular views and turquoise waters in relative peace. The beach is also loved for its stunning rock arch, named "Song of the Sea". Catch it late in the afternoon for a breathtaking view as the sun shines through the arch.
Find the whole route here
St Nectan’s Glen
Another one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets is the calm beauty of St Nectan’s Glen. Just a short stroll from the car park in Trethevy, past the former monastery, you’ll find this ancient woodland. It is often called one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots in the region, with the wind moving through the lush green canopy, the river rushing past and a feeling of real tranquillity.
Make your way along the edge of the river as it meanders over the rocks, following paths and slate beds which have been worn away over hundreds of years. Take your time to enjoy your surroundings and soon you’ll start to hear the rush of the waterfalls. Before you reach them, however, you’ll pass the site of a hermitage stablished by the 6th century Celtic, Saint Nectan. Here you can enjoy a cream tea in the café before wandering down to finish at the spectacular waterfalls.
This is a great walk to enjoy, finishing at one of the most stunning hidden beaches in Cornwall. Simply park up at the National Trust Car Park near Fowey and set off down a well-marked footpath into the fields. Follow the path across the windswept countryside and eventually, on the far side of one of the rolling hills, you’ll find yourself looking down on a truly breathtaking view; turquoise water and a gorgeous sand and shingle beach cut into a cove of dramatic cliffs, all surrounded with gorse and hawthorns.
From here, you can continue down the path to the beach. The trail is rather steep, so take your time and use the walk to drink in those unmatched views. Once you reach the shoreline, spend an hour or two relaxing next to the ocean. It’s a beautiful secluded spot, perfect for a romantic picnic and a real adventure for nature and wildlife lovers.
The beauty of a stay in our 'walking' Cornish holiday cottages is that you’re never too far from something fantastic. And at the end of a long walk, there’s nothing quite like settling down in your very own cosy cottage, with a roaring fire and a glass of your favourite tipple.
See what you can discover in Cornwall. Book yourself a cosy cottage break today and get exploring.