Exploring the area around the Helford River

Two people and a dog walk in coastal meadows at Bosveal in Cornwall

With a gently undulating landscape leading out to Falmouth Bay, there are wooded valleys and secluded beaches waiting to be explored on foot.

Why is walking by the sea so rewarding?

Is it the many things to watch both on and around the water? Could it be the difference the weather and time of year make?

The Helford River makes for very interesting walking with all sorts of natural and man-made points of interest as you stroll along. We've chosen two walks for you; one easy - the other moderate. If you'd like to go further there are miles of coastal and inland footpaths to explore, you might just need a map to make sure you can find your way back.

The easy walk - half an hour

This short walk leads from Bosveal car park and is waymarked so look out for the orange arrows. You can see the route it takes on the map at the bottom of the car park.

The route skirts around the outside of the house and garden at Bosloe and leads out to coastal hay meadows with fine views to the mouth of the Helford River. The walk takes in the beach at Grebe but you can leave this out if you'd prefer to avoid going down and then back up too many sloping paths.

Most of the walk is hard-surfaced so any comfortable shoes should be fine unless it's been very, very wet recently.

The moderate walk - one hour

The longer walk is also waymarked, this time using pink arrows. If you'd like to see the route before you set off then take a look at the map at the bottom of Bosveal car park.

Like the easy walk the route runs past the garden at Bosloe so there are tree ferns, rhododendrons and unusual trees to see on the way down. Once you're in the hay meadow with its view to the mouth of the Helford River, you'll dip down and enter Carwinion wood. This is a good place to keep your eyes out for various mammals and birds, as well as bluebells and wood anemones in the spring.

At the top of the valley you'll reach the edge of Mawnan Smith village so if you fancy a drink at the pub or visiting the shops and café then you'll need to leave the waymarked walk and find your way back later.

Eventually you'll walk past the allotments and return to Bosveal car park.

Keep on walking

If you fancy a different walk or an hour isn't long enough for you to walk then there are walks from Durgan Village to Helford Passage (and the waterside Ferryboat Inn). Here you can catch a ferry to the other side of the Helford River. Alternatively sticking to the coast and heading in the opposite direction from Durgan Village will lead to Rosemullion Head, the mouth of the Helford River and views out to Falmouth Bay.

Ordnance Survey maps are on sale at nearby Glendurgan (open Tuesday to Sunday, mid-February to the end of October) and walking leaflets are available from the Fish Cellar in Durgan Village (subject to volunteer availability, open same times as Glendurgan).