Muddy walks: Golitha Falls
You should know by know that we like a bit of peril on our walks – landslides, being shot at by the Navy… This weeks peril comes to you courtesy of the humble mineshaft. But don’t worry there’s plenty of warning, and if you stick to the paths, err you shouldn’t need to call for Lassie.
I’m lucky enough to have Golitha Falls in my peripheral. About three miles North west of Liskeard, Golitha Falls is an ancient oak and beech woodland (think Lord of the Rings) that sit along side the river Fowey as it cuts through the gorge. It’s a well known beauty spot, popular with families, walkers, fishermen, artists and photographers.
Now even more so since those smokin chicks Karen and Debs at Inkie’s Smokehouse BBQ took over the lease of the car park and toilets at Golitha, and are now selling wondrous treats from the back of their famous horsebox. They set up the now award winning Inkie’s back in 2014, after more than 20 years in the pub trade.
Lucky us, they are offering hot and cold drinks, home made cakes, lunches, ice creams and of course their famous pit smoked BBQ, six days a week in the car park. So yes that’s hot delish food, straight from the ‘pit’. They’ve even set up some outdoor seating for customers to rest and enjoy their lunch.
As you’d expect, you know you’re getting Inkie’s trademark quality – all meat is sourced locally, they make their own sausages and they slow smoke the old fashioned way using hardwood and charcoal.
We stuck to tea and hot chocolate (this was Mothering Sunday – mother here had to get back to the roast), but they weren’t short of customers tucking into more substantial snacks. These ladies get a double thumbs up from me, because as well as being able to stuff my face with cake on a nice walk, I don’t have to worry about what mini muddie calls a ‘Robin Hood wee’ anymore. The loos were closed for SIX YEARS before they took over last week. Karen and Debs were worried what they might be taking on, quite understandably (I’m thinking of how many spiders might be in there), but they didn’t take too much effort to be serviceable.
The falls are about a 30 minute walk avec kids from the carpark, and while they’re hardly Niagra, are quite breathtaking and have a real fairytale appeal. Lots of lush green, rocks and tree roots, with leats, caves and ruins of engine houses for kids to explore.
Look out for the sign at the main entrance to the reserve and for information boards along the trail. There are several well marked trails in the nature reserve, including those with access for people with disabilities and for wheelchair users – but that said, after the first flat 1/2 mile or so, you’ll need good boots and better balance – there’s a fair amount of scrambling and rock climbing.
The area is home to a large variety of wildlife, so if your mudlets are quiet enough (ya rigghht!), you’ll see more birds and butterflies than you can count, all of whom breed on the reserve.
There are a number of sandy beachy crops along the river – the sand contains tiny weeny pieces of tin from the old mines, and its easy to convince little ones that they can pan for Piskie silver.
Its a doggy heaven – dogs can swim in the river, sniff to their hearts content and really knacker themselves out (ditto for kids – the sniffing part too obvs).
But here’s my one gripe: Dog poo – and a frickin lot of it. Which is really annoying as little ones seem to be drawn to it like a magnet. I’m with Kirsty Allsopp on this one. I’m sure it wasn’t as bad last summer, so perhaps its just the time of year: its cold, theres not too many people about, the rain will wash it away etc, but really peeps, I don’t think there’s any excuse.
Despite my vitriol against poo, Golitha Falls is stunningly breathtaking and worth the odd poo alert call out. Be prepared to get muddy! Oh and clean up after your dog…