A list of my top woods to explore in Cornwall, for the perfect Autumnal day out!
It’s October in Cornwall, which means crispy leaves, beautiful frosts, and wholesome Autumnal activities to plan. One of my favourite things to do on a weekend like this is explore a new woodland walk with a flask of coffee and the dogs in tow!
I personally think the Cornish countryside is at its best at this time of year, with the trees turning golden and plenty of interesting mushrooms to spot during your walk. Going for a wander in the forest feels magical, and kind of cosy somehow too! Even though Cornwall is known for its coastline, you don’t want to miss out on these enchanting woodland walks…
(All of these are dog friendly walks, where dogs are allowed off-lead, but as with anywhere be sure to keep dogs under control as there will be wildlife around!)
1. Idless Woods (near Truro)
Idless is a beautiful woodland with a couple of walking trails (the longest is around 5km, with lots of open woodland in between to explore) and a stream running along the bottom walk for the dogs to cool off in on a hot day. It’s run by Forestry England and has a large car park and a cafe (best to check opening times depending on the season!).
Note: Free car park with dog poo bins. No toilets.
2. Ladock Woods (near Probus)
These woodlands are tucked out of the way in the countryside, but there is a decent sized car park and a few different trails to wander around here. You can do a circular walk of around 2.5km here.
Note: Free car park. There don’t seem to be any dog poo bins here, and unfortunately when we visited there did seem to be quite a lot of dog poo around. Please pick up your poo and take it home with you (I hang my bags on the back windscreen of the car!). There was a portaloo here when we visited (Oct ’22) but not sure if that’s a permanent thing…
3. Tehidy Woods (near Camborne)
This is the largest woodland walk in West Cornwall with around 9km of paths to explore. We used to visit here a lot when we were kids for family walks around the lakes in the South woods (with a stop at the cafe), feeding ducks and climbing trees! This area isn’t dog friendly, but there are hundreds of acres in the North woods where dogs can roam freely, with a range of different lengths of trails.
Note: Free car parks. Be sure to visit the North woods and park at the North cliffs car park near Portreath if you’re bringing dogs (there are dog poo bins here), as they’re not allowed in the South woods area. There are toilets in the South woods by the car park, but none at North cliffs.
4. Cardinham Woods (near Bodmin)
Cardinham Woods is run by Forestry England and is probably the most popular woodland walk in Cornwall – probably because it has the biggest car park and best facilities. We’ve visited for dog walks a couple of times and enjoyed the different lengths of trails here. There is also a cafe, and a few cycling / mountain biking trails here as well! It’s a great place for a picnic as there are a few areas with benches to eat at.
Note: Paid car park. Plenty of dog poo bins here, and toilets at the start of the walk.
5. Golitha Falls (near Liskeard)
I haven’t actually been on this walk myself yet but it’s high on my list! These woodlands have the river Fowey running through and are home to the magical Golitha waterfalls. There is a cafe here, and the walk is also near to Siblyback lake and Tregarrick Tor, so you could easily make a day out of this!
Note: Free car park with dog poo bins, and toilets in the cafe.
6. Trelissick (near Truro)
I would technically call this a countryside walk, rather than specifically a woodland walk, but I have included it because the walk around the Trelissick estate and along the River Fal here are in some beautiful woodlands with stunning views of the river that I love! You park in the National Trust Trelissick car park and instead of going into the gardens (not dog friendly), you go through the fields, down to the river and to the right through the woods. You can continue this for miles along the river if you want a long hike! It’s stunning. There is a cafe, toilets and National Trust shop in the car park.
Note: Paid car park (or free with National Trust membership), with plenty of poo bins. There are toilets by the cafe.
(PS. There are MANY beautiful walks that I love that I haven’t included in this list that are smaller and lesser known. I’ve just kept it to ones with reasonable sized car parks, but definitely have a look on iWalkCornwall or your OS map to find more hidden/’off-the-beaten-track’ places!)
Where are your favourite woodland walks to enjoy?