Best Autumn Walks in Cornwall

Best Autumn Walks in Cornwall

Autumn is a particularly special time of year in Cornwall, when trees adopt gorgeous golden glows and the remnants of summer sunshine linger long into the season. A time of tranquillity, its arrival brings about a real sense of calm after summer’s activity and ahead of winter’s festivities – setting the perfect timbre for a charmed escape. Naturally, if you’re a fan of getting out and about in the Great Outdoors and crunching leaves (and sand) underfoot, the pull of autumn in Cornwall will be all but too much to resist.

f you can’t wait to swap summer clothes for cosy layers, embrace the season and head out into the crisp fresh air this autumn, we’ve put together a list of some of the best autumn walks in Cornwall. With fewer crowds, temperate weather and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK, you won’t fail to be mesmerised by the beauty of this bronze-tinged season.

Tehidy Woods

As leaves settle underfoot and the evenings draw in, the desire to make the most of autumn’s sun-kissed hours runs high. One particularly enchanting place that’s perfect for late morning strolls and mid-afternoon rambles is Tehidy Woods. One of Cornwall’s largest areas of woodlands, Tehidy is home to 250 acres of leafy woodland and scored with over 9 miles of paths and trails that run beside lakes and streams. Lace up your boots and head over; highlights include a wildlife trail, picnic area and a café (opening hours vary).

Trelissick Garden

As summertime slowly fades into the past and autumn takes its place, Trelissick's gardens near Truro take on a whole new appearance. Letting go of the multi-coloured blooms of summer, the gardens’ canopies and foliage transform, with acers adopting fiery cloaks and oaks brandishing copper and gold-dipped leaves. Beyond the arms of trees that have already lost their leaves, views open up of the surrounding landscapes, extending over the tranquil waters of the River Fal. With picturesque gardens and 300 acres of dog-friendly parkland, woodland and shoreline to discover, this is one of the best places to visit in Cornwall for autumn colours.

Cardinham Woods

Flushed with copper and bronze hues in autumn, the 650-acre Cardinham Woods is undoubtedly one of the best places in Cornwall to enjoy an autumnal riverside walk. With four waymarked routes and lots of splinter trails, you can spend hours following line after crooked line of trees and enjoying the sights and scents of the woods. Once you’ve finished your walk, you can also head over to the dog-friendly Cardinham Woods Café, one of Cornwall’s hidden cafés in the heart of the woods. Open daily, it serves delicious food and drink, including dreamily indulgent hot chocolates.

Penzance Promenade

Around a mile in length, Penzance’s Victorian-era promenade is one of the best places to walk throughout the year – though it’s especially lovely in the autumn sunshine. An iconic walkway, it runs along the seafront from the town’s Jubilee Pool all the way to Newlyn (not far from one of Cornwall’s longest beaches, Long Rock) and is comprised of level pavement the entire way. Almost completely smooth, it provides the perfect place to rove, especially if you have pushchairs or wheelchairs in tow, and has lots of places to sit and ponder along the way, including sea-view benches and cafés.

Lanhydrock Estate

Lanhydrock is a late Victorian country home in Bodmin surrounded by formal gardens and 900 acres of parkland and ancient woodland. Boasting year-round colour, the gardens and wider grounds are transformed in autumn, painted in burnt tones that exaggerate the estate’s beauty. For a great autumn walk, wend your way along one of Lanhydrock’s woodland tracks or riverside paths – you can even ride along some of the estate’s off-road cycle trails if you feel like it as cycle hire is available on site. Great for all of the pack, much of the estate is also dog-friendly, so your four-legged friend can enjoy the crunch of leaves under paw too.

The Camel Trail

The famous Camel Trail is a former railway line running from Padstow to Wenfordbridge in Cornwall. Ideal for walking, jogging, cycling and more in autumn, it extends for 18 miles along mostly smooth, level and traffic-free trail and affords gorgeous views en route of countryside and coast. Depending on how far you’d like to walk, the route provides access to lots of beauty spots and towns along the way, so you can easily fill your day with detours and scenic stops. What’s more, there is also a good number of places to eat along the trail, so you can fuel your autumn adventures with lots of feel-good fodder and warming drinks.

Glendurgan Garden

Home to over 300 acres of wild woodland and rugged coastline, Glendurgan Garden near Mawnan Smith is a real paradise. Located above the Helford River, the leafy avenues and shrub-lined walkways of Glendurgan’s three valleys offer incredible views over the Helford and sleepy Cornish coves. A particular favourite is the garden’s gorgeous tulip tree which catches the eye with its incredible golden leaves in the autumn months, as well as the Katsura trees which give off a deliciously candy floss-esque aroma during this time of year. If you’re up for a challenge, you can also take on Glendurgan’s 180-year-old maze.

St Nectan’s Glen

St Nectan’s Glen near Tintagel is one of the most magical and mysterious places in Cornwall, home to ancient woodland, a meandering river and a hidden 60ft waterfall. Flooded with atmosphere and rich in history, it comes as little surprise that this area is associated with lots of legends and tales, including stories of saints, ghosts and piskies. For a great autumn walk, don a pair of good walking shoes (the routes can be slippery and muddy year-round) and pick up St Nectan’s woodland walk or nature trail. As your feet carry you into the depths of this nature-filled SSSI, let your mind roam and your imagination run wild with tales of another time.

The Lost Gardens Heligan

With something to see at every turn, the Lost Gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey are naturally one of the most popular attractions in Cornwall. All the more appealing in the peaceful months of autumn, Heligan’s walkways encourage you to let your eyes flick across exotic plants, native trees, wildlife ponds and intriguing sculptures as you wander the site’s 200 acres. Learn about the gardens’ romantic past, circuit the gardens, explore the wider working estate and warm up with a bite to eat at Heligan’s kitchen and bakery. With something for all generations, there will be something for everyone to enjoy during a visit this autumn.

Kynance Cove

If you feel like blowing away the cobwebs, then a trip to the coast is one of the best ways to spend an autumn day. One of the most iconic sights in Cornwall, Kynance Cove is a favourite destination for autumnal walks on bright, crisp days, with a relatively short (but quite steep) walk from the cove’s National Trust car park down to the beach itself. One of the best coastal walks in Cornwall, you can extend your visit by continuing on foot to the Lizard, or simply enjoy wandering the beach and cliffs around Kynance itself. Timing your visit with low tide, you’ll find all sorts of incredible islands, caves and pools to explore that’ll inspire awe in all generations.

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

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