Tehidy Woods, near Pool
Tehidy Woods is a popular spot for walking in West Cornwall. Tehidy Country Park is the former grounds of a stately home that belonged to the Basset family. Today, there are nine miles of paths that take you through mixed woodland, around the lake, and alongside streams. There are two main car parks at Tehidy, known as North Cliffs and South Lodge. The latter has the loos and cafe, so is the most popular among families. There are trails suitable for cyclists, dog walkers, prams and wheelchairs and even horses: check out the council’s website before you leave.
If you want to see a different side to the woods, come here at night for one of Rogue Theatre’s magical productions.
Cardinham Woods, Bodmin
Cardinham Woods outside Bodmin has everything you could want from a woodland walk: a choice of paths,majestic trees, outstanding views, diverse wildlife, the chance to spot woodland creatures…
You can choose between flat routes such as the Lady Vale walk and steeper paths. There are also paths for cyclists, including off-road adventures for mountain bikers. For little ones, check out the programme of special trails (most recently, Superworm).
There are great facilities, including a car park, a play area and loos. Pop into the cafe or bring your own food to enjoy at a picnic area. You can hire a mobility scooter (enquire in advance) which is perfect for the flatter paths.
Coosebean Woodland Enchanted Trail, Truro
If you want to encourage your little ones to join you for a walk, the Coosebean Woodland Enchanted Nature trail will have them scrambling for their wellies. T
his fairytale walk is one of Truro’s hidden gems. The mile-long route meanders through enchanting woodlands, and features lots of magical surprises along the way, such as fairies, trolls and talking trees. Look out for tiny houses and secret messages from the wee folk…
The path takes you along the River Kenwyn, and it can get muddy in wet weather. Finish with a picnic in Victoria Gardens.
Golitha Falls, Liskeard
Escape the crowds and breathe in the fresh, green scents at Golitha Falls. The River Fowey flows through the steep-sided gorge, creating a series of waterfalls as it travels. The ancient woodlands were mentioned in the Domesday Book, and they’re home to shy wild creatures such as otters.
For an easy stroll, follow the path along the river. If you’re feeling more adventurous, follow the path until its end then head up the hill to explore the woods further. Come here in the spring when the bluebells are out; however, it’s best to put this riverside walk on hold if there’s been heavy rainfall.
Pendarvis Woodland, Camborne Pendarvis
Wood is a 40-acre nature reserve near Camborne, managed by Cornwall Wildlife Trust. It’s the site of several conservation projects, and look out for the bat boxes while you explore the lovely mixed woodland. It’s definitely a locals’ secret, and a good place to escape the crowds. There’s a lake in the middle of the woods, fed by appealing little streams. Some areas are marshy, so the paths can get muddy in wet weather. Come in the late spring when the woods are carpeted with bluebells, or head here for some welcome shade in July or August. There’s a bit of parking at the reserve, and your four-pawed companion is welcome to join you (under control).
Kings Wood, near St Austell
A stroll through the woods to the coast - bliss. Kings Wood is a mixed woodland outside St Austell. It’s on the Pentewan Trail, which is good news for walkers and cyclists, as there’s an excellent path through the trees. It’s home to a great variety of flora and fauna, and the abundance of wild flowers makes it an especially pretty place to walk in the spring and summer. Combining fresh sea air with heady woodland scents, a walk through Kings Wood is definitely a treat for the senses. Fancy cycling the Pentewan Trail while you’re here? Pentewan Valley Cycle Hire will sort you out with some wheels.
Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve, St Ives
Leave the bustle of St Ives and head up to Steeple Woods. This walk takes you through the woods up to Knill's Monument above the town. It’s a steep climb, but it’s worth it for the incredible views over the Atlantic and St Ives Bay.
If you’re in St Ives, walk along the coast path to Carbis Bay (it’s about a mile), then pick up the path to the woods from Steeple Lane, next to the Cornish Arms pub. The walk through the woods is lovely at all times of year, and that view is definitely a reward for the steeper sections of path.
If you’re not finished with exploring the woods around Carbis Bay, some of the grounds of Tregenna Castle Hotel are open to the public. In contrast to the native woodland in Steeple, these paths will take you through lush, sub-tropical planting.
It was hard to narrow it down to just seven woodland walks! If you have your National Trust card with you, there are lots of wooded gardens to explore, including the sweeping parkland at Lanhydrock near Bodmin.
Does this sound like a lovely way to spend a holiday? Get in touch with us at The Cornwall, where we’re just a stroll away from Kings Wood, and also have our own beautiful woodlands in the grounds.