10 brilliant local family walks
Life may be locking down but the great outdoors is still open. Here are our favourite family friendly Muddy walks in Cornwall to kick that cabin fever (some with added coffee pit-stops).
Oof. It’s going to be a tricksy winter, this one. When it comes to entertaining the troops, we’re all eyeing up a long, unrelenting season, where the usual distractions – Bonfire Night, friends’ parties, en-masse cinema visits, pantos, family Christmas shopping days – are just not going to figure in the way they usually do.
So what are the alternatives? When push comes to shove and you just can’t bear another argument about the TV remote, it’s time to tog up and get outside. Enter stage left with Muddy wellies, our pick of the finest family walks – tried and tested -throughout Cornwall.
Wheely happy walks
Cardinham Woods (1.5 miles circular)
The ancient woodlands of Cardinham Woods are just the place for an autumn outing with a real mix of trees. The Lady Vale trail is suitable for all types of wheels (except, we’d warn, kids scooters).
The Camel Trail Wadebridge to Padstow (5.5 miles one way)
Bicycle is often the first type of wheels associated with The Camel Trail due to the prevalence of bike rental places, but it’s also an excellent flat route for wheels of all kinds. The part from Wadebridge to Padstow (or vice versa) is the most traditionally scenic part, being coastal and skirting the Camel Estuary, but in fact all parts of the trail have their own beauty.
Pentewan Valley Trail, Nr St Austell (3.4 miles one way)
Another old railway line suitable for all sorts of wheels and on foot, this time the old Pentewan railway line between St Austell and Pentewan. Start in St Austell and walk to the beach. Map here.
Toddler friendly/ shorter walks
Lanhydrock estate, Nr Bodmin (various short walks, plus some longer options)
Magnificent late Victorian country house with garden and wooded estate. Obvs the house is closed at the mo, but the estate makes excellent woodland walking and the river at Respryn is extremely peaceful if you want somewhere inland to switch off – and a good bridge for a game of pooh sticks. Follow the old carriage drive to Bodmin Parkway station and back for a gentle two mile walk.
Trelissick, Nr Truro (North Woodland Walk 1.5 miles circular)
This is an easy, level walk alongside the upper reaches of the River Fal that can be accessed by parking in the main Trelissick National Trust car park and then spotting the signs for the woodland walk.
Bissoe Trail (short version)
The full trail is 11 miles long going from coast to coast, but if you park near the Bissoe Bike Hire Cafe (serving up takeaway coffee but not bike hire) you can make the most of the toddler friendly flat path for as long or as little as you like before turning back and heading for the car.
Mid-length & teen friendly walks
Fowey to Polridmouth, (3 miles circular)
A short-ish walk from Fowey via Readymoney Cove and Polridmouth Cove with connections to Daphne du Maurier, taking in coast path and woodland as well as two beaches. Find the whole route here.
Zennor, Nr St Ives (4.6 miles circular)
Starting in Zennor, where you can park for just £1, follow the signs down to the coast path and then turn left, past the spot where it is said you can hear the Zennor Mermaid singing (Pendour Cove) and more fantastic views of the ocean. The first half of the route follows the SW Coast Path (it skims the cliff edge at times so don’t forget a lead if your dog is going walkies too) and the inland route finishes on the ancient paths of the Zennor Churchway. Map here.
Predannack to Kynance Cove (4.7 miles circular)
Instead of just parking at the carpark at the top of Kynance Cove and walking up and down to the beach, try starting instead at Predannack where you cross fields to reach the coast path, staying hugging the sea until you drop down into Kynance Cove, then back in land to where you started. There is a cafe at Kynance Cove, but it’s not clear whether they are going to be open for takeaways, so pack a flask to be on the safe side. Map here.
Chapel Porth to St Agnes (6.1 miles circular)
Another route where you follow the coast path out (for the dramatic mining ruins) and then inland woodland walk back. Start at Chapel Porth (you could also take a walk on the beach if the tide is out) and climb up and out of the valley, following the SW Coast Path with the sea to your left. You’ll reach St Agnes and Trevaunance Cove where there is again sand – and should be somewhere open for a takeaway coffee – before heading back in land. Map here.
Got any other favourites? Let us know in the comments.