Perfect Autumn Walks in Cornwall
Where better to enjoy the changing leaves than along a scenic trail or two?
Cornwall has everything from historic gardens to captivating coastlines and blissful woodlands.
Autumn’s changing colours cast a beautiful light over Cornwall, and it’s best appreciated by getting out and about and enjoying everything nature has to offer.
Nothing really beats the bracing, freshness of the cooler air and the sound of birds chirping in the woods. With the leaves rustling and crunching beneath your feet and the changing colours of the seasons, it’s a wonderful and tranquil time to be in Cornwall.
You can’t go wrong with the following destinations for a great day out with the family during October half term, as they provide gorgeous scenery and lots of space for the kids to burn off all of that excess energy. There is truly something for everyone, and we are confident that the entire family will enjoy these seasonal treks.
The Carew Pole family still live in this imposing Torpoint home and have done so for more than 600 years. Today it is a National Trust property that boasts impressive gardens designed by landscape architect Humphry Repton, and scattered with modern sculptures and playful topiary including a knot garden.
Boscastle to Minster Church
Starting at Boscastle harbour, you can walk inland along the River Valency and into Minster Valley. Passing through attractive woodland, the track leads to the ancient Minster Church before winding back towards the sea.
Cardinham Woods near Bodmin comprises 650 acres of woodland that offers four waymarked trails and miles of paths and tracks to enjoy. Children can be entertained at the play area which conveniently lies next to a café a great place to refuel after a full day of exploring.
This striking garden is close to Falmouth, and it offers a plethora of autumn colour as it winds down a sheltered valley to the sea. It’s a popular spot for families, as the grounds include an enchanting cherry laurel maze which was originally planted back in 1833.
This series of cascades and waterfalls are a delight along a section of the River Fowey as it passes through Draynes Wood on Bodmin Moor. The water is always fast flowing here, providing a dramatic feature that winds through incredibly picturesque woodland. The route is laid out and maintained. It’s fine for walking children, however, much of the route is unsuitable for prams. There aren’t any dedicated picnic places, so you will need to bring a suitable ground covering should you wish to take advantage of the number of places where a woodland picnic is possible.
Hidden in Ponsanooth is Kennall Vale Nature Reserve. Located between Redruth and Penryn, this peaceful woodland around the River Kennall is a host to some remarkable remnants of Cornwall’s industrial past – namely an abandoned 18th Century gunpowder mill.
Situated between Bodmin and Lostwithiel, this late Victorian country house – situated in a Jacobian mansion – has almost 1,000 acres of parkland, woodland and heath on the estate that hosts trails and treks to keep young ones entertained.
Keen cyclists can take their wheels through the autumnal woodland – there are gentle family-friendly routes as well as more exhilarating mountain bike descents!
After all of this, you can quench your thirst in the restaurant and café.
Loe Pool is the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall and home to a variety of wildlife and it’s renowned for its bird population. It can be accessed via a National Trust wooded country estate that surrounds it.
Situated within walking distance of Helston and Porthleven, the lake is cut off from the sea by a broad shingle dam across the River Cober, heaped up by heavy Atlantic seas and the final resting place of many shipwrecks. You can spend hours walking the 17 miles of path and multi-use trails through woodland, plantation and parkland before relaxing – weather permitting – with a picnic on the beach.
Malpas to Tresillian
Following the footpath out of Malpas towards St Clement and Tresillian and you will see some spectacular riverside views. If you feel at all peckish along the way, stop off at the Heron Inn for some scrumptious food and fine local ales. To save you trying to find somewhere to park, you can always take a boat from Falmouth, Truro, or St Mawes to Malpas.
The largest wood in West Cornwall near Camborne, has over nine miles of paths. It also has 250 acres of tranquil woodland that features lakes, a café, and a picnic area.
Autumn is a wonderful time to explore the garden. There is still plenty of Mediterranean colour and as winter approaches you can see the impressive bare structures of some of the champion trees – individual trees which are exceptional examples of their species because of their enormous size, great age, rarity or historical significance.
Trebah has much in common with neighbouring Glendurgan. This sub-tropical paradise is open every day of the year from 10am and offers adventure play areas, children’s trails and regular special events.
The beach is of historical importance and there are still some concrete structures from WWII era. Polgwidden Cove was used as an embarkation point for a regiment of the 29th US Infantry Division in 1944 for the assault landing on Omaha beach, part of the D-Day Landings.
Owned by the National Trust, the Trelissick estate near Truro boasts a grand country house, diverse countryside, 18th century quay, Iron Age promontory fort and woodland walks blessed with maritime views. The garden is popular throughout the year, with the borders and hydrangeas still radiating colourful hues as the trees take an autumnal turn. There’s a café that offers a range of light refreshments, hot lunches, afternoon cream teas and even packed lunches for children.
You’ll find this alluring woodland garden on the outskirts of Penzance. It has an award-winning plant collection, sea views across Mount’s Bay, streams and ponds. It also has a kitchen garden. There’s a lovely café with both indoor and outdoor seating set in its own walled garden which serves drinks, cakes, ice cream and light lunches.
Wadebridge to Polbrock
Following the River Camel upstream from Wadebridge, this easy walking route heads inland across Treraven Farm nature reserve to the hamlet of Burlawn. The route then enters woodland and follows a stream to Hustyn Mill before following the Camel Trail back to Wadebridge along the edge of Gaff and Treraven woods.