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Things to do in the countryside at Penrose

A family walk through the woods with autumn leaves on the ground
A family explore the woods | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

The open spaces at Penrose are ideal to explore. Walk through the parkland, take the family on an adventure in the woods or spot wildlife at home on Loe Pool.

Walking at Penrose

Just us on a social walk at Penrose, lead by one of our volunteer walk leaders. These walks offer the opportunity to enjoy some fresh air, time in nature and the chance to chat to some new people. The starting point & time varies with each walk so we can include as many people as possible, they're open to all and free of charge. The pace will be gentle so all fitness levels can be accommodated.

Walks that start at the free Fairground car park in Helston are completely accessible. Other walks will involve incline terrain and uneven ground.

Footpaths and multi-use trails

There are acres to explore around Penrose and it doesn't have to be on foot. Miles of multi-use trails suitable for horses, bikes and anyone on foot are waiting to be discovered through the parkland and woodland.

Many of the paths have been improved over recent years, enabling year-round access for a variety of users to different areas of Penrose at all times of year. Kissing gates and stiles have been replaced all-user friendly gates, meaning more places are now accessible to visitors on bike or horse back.

For everyone’s safety and to protect ongoing conservation work at Penrose, please stick to the multi-use trails if visiting with a bike or horse.

Cyclists at Penrose
Cyclists at Penrose | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey


Parkrun is a free community 5k event that take place at 9am every Saturday. Meeting at the Fairground car park in Helston (not NT, use TR13 8WN) visitors are welcome to walk or run at your own pace but you need to register in advance. Visit home | Penrose parkrun | Penrose parkrun for more information.

Wildlife at Penrose

From badgers to bats, Penrose is home to a diverse range of species. In the spring and summer months, butterflies and dragonflies can be seen in their dozens around the many tributaries that feed into the pool.

In the autumn and winter, the pool is home to migrating birds such as grebes and tufted ducks.

The woodlands are also hugely important for wildlife. The woods are home to a myriad of wonderful species such as the tawny owls, greater spotted woodpeckers and bats. If you are at Penrose come dusk, you could be lucky enough to see these beautiful creatures emerge.

Ground nesting birds

Penrose is home to many species of ground nesting birds, such as skylarks, sand martins, and multiple species of ducks on Loe Pool. We ask that dogs are kept under control, ideally on a lead, in areas such as near Loe Pool and in longer vegetation where these birds like to nest, between March and August to avoid disturbing nests and to protect wildlife.

Penrose's woodlands

The woodlands at Penrose are a diverse mix of ancient, semi-natural and Victorian plantings that form the stunning backdrop to Loe Pool.

The woodlands are part of a designed landscape and were heavily influenced in Victorian times. The Rogers family, who owned the estate from the 1700s until 1974, contained many keen arborists and Penrose is linked with some of the early introductions of pine trees to this country from the Americas.

A more recent addition to the woodlands at Penrose is the Willow Carr of the Cober valley. Despite its youth, it's no less rich in its ecology and is designated a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Over the past 100 years it has established on the silt laden valley floor formed from the mining works that once helped drive the wealth of Penrose.

Visitors walking a path through trees at Penrose
Visitors walking with a dog at Penrose | © National Trust Images / Hilary Daniel
Two visitors using walking poles explore the South West Coast Path at Penrose, Cornwall

Discover more at Penrose

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

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