6 River Walks in Cornwall

6 River Walks in Cornwall

When it comes to walking in Cornwall, many of us automatically turn our attention towards the coast. Yet hidden with the county’s woodlands and valleys are many excellent riverside walks that invite you to enjoy a whole new side of the county.


The county of Cornwall is criss-crossed with a huge network of rivers, flowing their way through a wide variety of settings. If you’d like to veer off the coast path for a while, here are some of the best river walks in Cornwall for you to enjoy. 

Golitha Falls

A river running through autumn trees at Golitha Falls in North Cornwall

The Golitha Falls are a series of cascades and miniature falls tumbling along the River Fowey. Providing an idyllic setting for a riverside walk in Cornwall, the falls can be found in Draynes Wood on Bodmin Moor and are surrounded by the knurled bodies of ancient oaks. While the Golitha Falls Nature Reserve has lots of different trails, there is a particularly lovely half a mile walk from a free car park that leads you directly to the falls. 

Godolphin Riverside Walk 

The Godolphin Estate in West Cornwall comprises one of the most important historic gardens in Europe. It also boasts a beautiful mile-long riverside walk that allows you to savour the ever-changing tapestry of the flora-rich grounds at your own pace. Along its dog-friendly route are two wooden troll bridges that are fun to visit, especially after a bit of rain when it’s easy to liken the sounds of the gurgling water to the indecipherable mutterings of trolls.

Cardinham Woods 

A flowing stream running through Cardinham Woods near Bodmin in Cornwall

Cardinham Woods in North Cornwall is one of our favourite places for walks throughout the year – especially in autumn when the trees don their auburn cloaks. Making it even more special is the 1.7-mile Lady Vale Walk, an all-ability route following a burbling river through the woods. Suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and Trampers (off-road mobility vehicles that can be hired through Forestry England), it’s a superb option for all the family.

Pentewan Valley Trail

The Pentewan Valley Trail in South Cornwall follows the former Pentewan railway. Once utilised by trains ferrying China Clay from the hills around St Austell to Pentewan harbour, it now provides walkers with around 3.5 miles of fairly level trail. With much of the route running close to the banks of the St Austell River, it’s naturally a favourite of ours. If you fancy trying something different, you can also cycle the trail too. 

Lanhydrock to Respryn Walk

A view through the trees of a bridge over the River Fowey in Cornwall

A year-round attraction loved by two and four-legged amblers, there is a pleasant 3.8-mile circular walk that begins in the main car park of Lanhydrock near Bodmin town and veers off into Hart Wood and Great Wood. Wending its way through lush broadleaf woodland, the path works its way along the banks of the River Fowey for a while, offering a soothing soundtrack of running water and birdsong to accompany the beat of steady footsteps. 

Mylor and Restronguet Creek Circular 

Another of our favourite river walks in Cornwall is the 4-mile circular walk leading from Mylor Bridge and weaving around Restronguet Creek. Briefly travelling inland, most of the route navigates the edges of creeks and rivers, affording a truly tranquil setting for gentle ambles. It also just so happens to pass by the popular Pandora Inn, an award-winning 13th Century pub overlooking Restronguet Creek and Carrick Roads. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall here.

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