Durgan by the Helford River

View of Durgan village from the water with trees behind the houses

A handful of cottages, former fish cellars, boat stores and donkey yards make up the small village of Durgan next to the Helford River.

How many gardens have an unspoilt former fishing village with a lovely little beach at the bottom of them?

Part way round your visit you'll step into this quiet village right next to the Helford River. It's a place that our tenants call home all year round and a few cottages are available for holidays too.

Durgan beach

The sunny, sheltered, south-facing beach at Durgan is a mixture of pebbles, rockpools and sand. It's a peaceful place to play, watch wildlife and boats or sit and read Glendurgan's guidebook. You'll find tide times at the garden entrance and also outside the Fish Cellar in the middle of Durgan village where you can borrow buckets, spades and other play equipment.

Durgan Village on the Helford River
View of Durgan Village and its beach backed by woodland
Durgan Village on the Helford River

Coastal footpaths

The south west coastal footpath runs through Durgan, offering links to other great stretches of coastline.

Heading east from Durgan leads along the Helford River and out to Falmouth bay with views including St Anthony lighthouse, Pendennis Castle and Falmouth town seafront. There are often large ships at anchor in the bay too. Rosemullion head is a gentle, peaceful headland where the Helford River meets Falmouth bay. It's great for wildflowers in spring and really lucky walkers may even see seals in the water below.

Heading west from Durgan leads to Helford Passage, an historic crossing point of the Helford River. Today a passenger ferry runs across the river to the idyllic Helford village and the Lizard peninsula. The ferry runs between Good Friday or April 1 to 31 October. At Helford Passage you'll also find the Ferryboat Inn.

Walking at Bosveal
Two people and a dog walk in coastal meadows at Bosveal in Cornwall
Walking at Bosveal
" Helford River, Helford River, Blessed may ye be; We sailed up Helford River By Durgan from the sea"
- Arthur Quiller-Couch

The Fish Cellar

Although there are still fishing boats operating from the Helford River, boats based in Durgan are for pleasure these days. One of the former fish cellars is now a space for visitors to take shelter by the woodburner, buy ice creams, help themselves to hot drinks and find out more about the village and the Helford River from displays and the Fish Cellar volunteers. There are also beach chairs available to borrow for comfortable seating on the beach.

The Fish Cellar is open subject to volunteer availability. If you'd like to help us open the Fish Cellar you'll find out more here.

Volunteer chatting to visitors in Durgan Fish Cellar
view of Durgan Fish Cellar with woodburner in foreground and volunteer talking to visitors
Volunteer chatting to visitors in Durgan Fish Cellar