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Sailing and kayaking on the Helford River

Sailboat and sunlight glinting on the Helford River at Bosloe House, Falmouth, Cornwall
Sailboat and sunlight glinting on the Helford River | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Sheltered from the worst storms and with many places to discover along its route, the Helford River is a great place to explore on the water. Here is everything you need to know about getting – and staying – afloat on the river.

Launching a boat from Durgan

Single-lane road

Durgan is a small village with a single-lane access road, therefore it is advisable to launch from here only if you'd like to access this stretch of water, otherwise it’s easier from other local beaches and slipways.

Boat users must be considerate towards the residents of Durgan when taking their vehicles and boats into the village. All trailers and vehicles must be left in Bosveal car park 700 yards up the hill (£4 all-day parking charge - free for National Trust members).

Launch permits

  • A day launch permit is £2 for a kayak/canoe or £6 for other boats. Payment for a day launch can be made to a team member at the entrance of Glendurgan Garden or the Fish Cellar, when open.
  • An annual launch permit is available.

Email for further information on permits.

Kayaking on the Helford River, Cornwall
Kayaking on the Helford River, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Ben Selway

Storing a boat and boating equipment

There are a limited number of boat and locker storage spaces available in Durgan.

There is presently a waiting list for this storage, but if you’d like your name added to the waiting list, please send your details to

Moorings off Durgan

We don't operate any moorings on the Helford River but you'll find information about visitor and seasonal moorings on the Helford River Moorings website, as well as a guide to services available to visiting yachtsman, pilot information for the river and some more general info about the river and local by-laws.

Evening light over the water, cliffs and a boat at Bosveal

Discover more at Bosveal

Find out how to get to Bosveal, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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