Savour the still green waters of Pont Pill on a walk of exceptional beauty through woodland and creek, with striking views of Fowey Harbour. This is a favourite circular walk for many, which includes two ferry rides: from Fowey to Polruan and Fowey to Bodinnick.
- Bus stop
Start: Bodinnick, grid ref: SX130522
From Bodinnick slipway, walk up the steep lane past the Old Ferry Inn. Part-way up the hill on the right is a narrow footpath signed Hall Walk.
The footpath from Bodinnick to Penleath Point - known as Hall Walk - dates back at least to the 16th century. Created by the Mohun family of nearby Hall, it's an early example of an ornamental promenade. Later it was famed as the place where King Charles I was nearly shot in August 1644 at the height of the English Civil War.
Follow the footpath from Bodinnick to the 'Q' memorial. Here there is a steep path down to the water's edge at Penleath Point which can be taken as a diversion.
The memorial stands above Penleath Point with open views of Fowey Harbour and Polruan. 'Q' was the novelist and scholar Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) who lived in Fowey from 1891 until his death.
From the 'Q' memorial, the path runs high along the northern bank of Pont Pill. At the end of the wooded section, pass through the stile and kissing gate, walk along the field fenceline (on your right) for a short way before taking the right hand gate back into the woods.
Pont Pill joins the River Fowey just below the 'Q'Memorial. It's a tidal river and only navigable at high water.
This section of path drops down and is rocky. At the junction, turn sharp right, almost doubling back, and continue down to the small hamlet of Pont.
The tiny quayside hamlet of Pont was once a thriving quay where sailing barges would unload coal, fertiliser and limestone. On the southern shore, Pont Pill Farmhouse (once a pub) and Pont Creek Cottage are National Trust holiday cottages.
Cross the wooden bridge to the southern shore of Pont Pill and continue up the path past the cottages on your right. Take the first path on the right signed Polruan.
Pont ('pons' meaning 'bridge' in Cornish) takes its name from St Willow's bridge at the head of the creek. Look out for the old farmhouse in this tiny hamlet.
Follow the path uphill through a gate into a series of fields. The path runs along the top and then through a gate into woodland. At this gate take the lower path which you stay on all the way to Polruan.
In Polruan, a pedestrian ferry runs from the quay to Fowey. In summer you will arrive at Whitehouse Quay and winter at Town Quay in Fowey. From both quays you will want to turn right and walk north along Fore Street to Caffa Mill, a large car park where the vehicle ferry runs back to Bodinnick.
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 4 miles (6.5km)
- Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- OS Map: Explorer 107; Landranger 200
Uneven footpaths with some short and steep climbs, benches are regularly spaced between Bodinnick and Polruan. Two ferry crossings to complete the circle. This circular walk could start from Fowey, Bodinnick or Polruan, all of which have car parking. Dogs welcome, but please keep them under close control as there is livestock in the fields. No dog bins, so please take dog litter home.
- How to get here:
By foot: South West Coast Path passes through Polruan and Fowey; a pedestrian ferry provides a link between the two. The Saint's Way footpath also passes through at Fowey
By bike: 4 miles from the Par Beach Trail (links to National Cycle Network route 3)
By train: Par 4 miles, St Austell and Lostwithiel 9 miles, Bodmin Parkway 16 miles
By bus: Regular National Express services to St Austell and St Blazey; route 25, Fowey-St Austell, daily; route 281, Polruan-Polperro-Looe-Downderry, Monday to Friday. Fowey Town Bus, outside church in town centre to car park on Hanson Drive. Daily, 10am-7pm (summer) and daily except Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, 10am and 3pm (winter)
By ferry: Daily Bodinnick car ferry from Fowey; vehicles and foot passengers
By car: From westbound M5 take A30, then B3269 towards Lostwithiel. Turn right at T-junction onto A390, then first left back onto B3269, sign-posted Fowey
- Telephone: 01726 870146
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fowey-estuary-pencarrow-head/