Muddy’s Best Winter Walks
Wrap up warm, grab your walking boots and go in search of your own winter wonderland! Here's where the Muddy team will be striding across Cornwall over the coming months.
You know the festive drill – you’ve eaten your bodyweight in turkey, nailed an entire box of Quality Street, drunk approximately 8,000 units of wine, sherry, Champagne and Baileys and have been slumped on the sofa for three days straight. In the immortal words of George Michael (RIP), let’s go outside – ideally for a long, bracing walk around one of Cornwall’s prettiest locales. The Muddy team have all picked their favourite strolls for New Year’s Day and beyond, all with a pitstop close by. Grab your wellies and let’s go!
ZENNOR TO THE GURNARDS HEAD CIRCULAR, NEAR ST IVES
Distance and difficulty: Moderate, the circuit is just over 4 miles. Map here.
Good for: Families with teens – walking boots are advised for this route.
Why we love it: Salty air and fantastic views of the ocean, with half of the route following a coastal path (it skims the cliff edge at times so don’t forget a lead if your dog is going walkies too).
Towards the end the route you can take a stroll onto the headland and then inland towards the The Gurnards Head, a cosy and brightly decorated pub with rooms. Beer and wine is big here, with a good selection of locally produced beers, and wine served by the carafe (we’ll take a large one, please).
The Gurnards Head, Nr Zennor, St. Ives, TR26 3DE
ROCK & ST MINVER
Distance and difficulty: At almost seven miles, this gentle circular walk should take around 2.5 hours. For a shorter circular, you can cut directly across the famous St Enodoc Golf Course. Map here.
Good for: Panoramic views and pretty villages (Instagram catnip). Smaller kids, if you follow the shorter route.
Why we love it: The quirky history – the route starts at Rock car par, then follows the sand dunes to Daymar Bay and passes St Enodoc Church which was actually buried under the dunes for the early part of the 1800s. Rumour has it once a year a vicar was lowered through the roof to conduct a service!
At the end of the route (or start, if you need fuel), there’s The Mariners by Paul Ainsworth, the same chef behind Michelin starred No6 in Padstow. You can reserve a table on the first floor, but the ground floor is non-bookable, so great for drop-ins. Dogs are welcome on the ground floor too.
Paul Ainsworth’s The Mariners, Slipway, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LD
Distance and difficulty: Moderate, just over 6 miles. Map here.
Good for: A variety of scenery, this walk has it all – rivers, gardens, country lanes and daffodil fields and, erm, oyster fishing!
Why we love it: The walk follows the Helford River (think Daphne Du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek), plus there are some pretty gardens to stop off at if you want to en route, Glendurgan Gardens and Trebah Gardens – you can’t take dogs into these though.
Location-wise you can’t get much better than family-run The Ferry Boat Inn, which has a terrace overlooking gorgeous views, beach-side seating and for colder days, there’s a snug open fire inside. Foodwise, it’s all seasonal with super-fresh produce that come straight from the farm.
The Ferry Boat Inn, Helford Passage, Falmouth, TR11 5LB.
ST MICHAEL’S WAY, LELANT TO ST MICHAEL’S MOUNT
Distance and difficulty: A moderate walk but at 12.5 miles it takes the best part of a day. Map here.
Good for: More serious walkers or culture buffs. It’s the only path in Britain that is part of a European Cultural Route.
Why we love it: St Michael’s Way crosses the county from the north to south coast and is so varied, taking in cliff paths, countryside, marshland and ancient monuments along the way. Take a fit friend along. I walked it with my mum last autumn and it was a great opportunity to spend the day catching up properly.
Nearby pub: Depending when you get hungry, there are a couple of good options. You can either pause for pizza en route at the stylish Una Kitchen or hold out for a pub with a view at the end. Godolphin Arms has a bustling restaurant that overlooks St Michael’s Mount and is popular for its fresh fish and classic British dishes.
Godolphin Arms, West End, Marazion, Cornwall, TR17 0EN