This coast walk from Mawnan to Helford Passage has been on my hike list for a long time!
Alex and I tried to do it last year but ended up being thwarted by Trebah Gardens, who decided to completely close off a section of the coast path to work on the maintenance of their private beach, with basically no warning online or on the path itself… cheers for that!
Anyway, this August, my cousin Susie, her partner Chris and their dog Percy came to stay with us over the August bank holiday weekend, and I wanted to take them on a nice long walk somewhere where:
a) There wouldn’t be too many tourists (nearly an impossible task during August bank holiday in Cornwall!)
b) Where the dogs could run free without us worrying about them falling off a cliff (that wipes out basically the whole of Cornwall’s North coast…)
and c) Where we could stop for a bite of food and a drink half way through with the dogs and ideally without having to book (again, quite tricky during COVID times!)
So this coast walk along the edge of Helford river ticked all these boxes, and made me very happy because I’ve never done the whole thing before (and have never eaten at the Ferry Boat Inn before either!).
We parked at [a location I shall not mention] near Mawnan Smith and began our walk at the headland at the mouth of Helford river. When you stand in the field on this headland, you get 360 views of Falmouth and all the way down the river to Helford passage, which is pretty spectacular!
There are lots of beautiful little coves to stop at along the way on this walk too, perfect for the dogs to cool off. Along the way you can find Grebe and Durgan beaches, which are some of my favourite places in the whole of Cornwall, and the sun even came out for us to show off my fave spots to Susie & Chris who live near London.
The walk to Helford Passage to the Ferry Boat Inn from where we started took around an hour and a half. The dogs had a great time, and so did we – although all of us agreed we were in need of some refreshments (“How long ’til the beer?!” – Chris) which made it feel a lot longer.
Eventually we reached Helford Passage, which was a hive of activity! Lucky for us, we grabbed the last table outside the Ferry Boat Inn, and went up straight away to order some drinks and some delicious food from their outdoor BBQ. We couldn’t have timed it any better!
At the time of writing this, The Ferry Boat Inn are running a takeaway menu that you can order in advance online to eat in a box outside, plus on this weekend they were doing a BBQ as well as this too. Our burgers were super tasty, and we enjoyed them as we people watched along the beach, seeing everyone splashing about in the water and on their boats.
The walk back took about an hour and twenty minutes (we found a small shortcut) but felt much shorter as we’d filled our bellies and had something to drink to fuel us through. We were all knackered by the time we got back to the house, and ended up having a quick nap before heading out for fish and chips with my mum and sister that evening.
It was definitely a weekend well spent!