Autumnal Woodland Walks in Cornwall

It’s that time of year once more; the air is decidedly cooler and the trees will soon be turning beautiful shades of red and gold. Whilst it’s always sad to say goodbye to the summer, there are certain things we just love about autumn in Cornwall; stunning sunsets, glorious colours, crisp mornings, cosy evenings in by the fire and of course, welly-clad walks through the woods!

We are very lucky to have some fantastic woods in Cornwall; if you’re visiting this autumn, we recommend wrapping up warm and exploring at least one of the following…

Tehidy Woods, near Camborne

The largest area of woodland in West Cornwall, Tehidy has more than 9 miles of paths, as well as several lakes, a picnic area and café/Visitor Centre – with plenty of parking and several different access points. The woods have set trails for dog-walkers, cyclists and horse-riders - plus a ‘pink’ trail, which follows a mainly level route and is therefore wheelchair accessible.

Tehidy is very popular with families and nature enthusiasts; see if you can spot the herons, swans and moorhens around the lakes, and don’t forget to take along some tasty nibbles for the friendly – and very tame! – squirrels and ducks.

Kennall Vale Nature Reserve & Woodland, Ponsanooth

This little-known reserve, in a valley near Falmouth, is a magical place for an autumnal walk. Once the site of a gunpowder factory, it is now home to a water-filled quarry, babbling streams and mossy ruins of mill houses and waterwheels.

Kennall Vale is also home to all sorts of flora and fauna, including springtime bluebells, ferns, anemones, countless beech trees and pipistrelle bats. Please note, there is no parking at Kennall Vale other than on the nearby roadside.

Cardinham Woods, near Bodmin

Very popular with families and dog-walkers, Cardinham Woods has four waymarked routes as well as many other winding tracks and a children’s play area. Discover beautiful viewing points, a mine ruin and a traditional clapper bridge on the children’s Activity Trail – or hire bikes for all the family (available onsite) and cycle the 12km-long Bodmin Beast trail!

Cardinham also has a lovely picnic area – with barbecues during the summer – and a welcoming café which serves delicious lunches and homemade cakes. There is plenty of parking available, at £2 for up to two hours, or £3 for more than 2 hours.

Hustyn Woods, at St Breock, near Wadebridge

Hustyn Woods is a Forestry Commission woodland which joins onto the neighbouring Bishop’s Woods. Hustyn is known for its Douglas Fir trees, some of which have grown to around 115 feet tall!

There are plenty of tracks and trails to follow, all of which are popular with both dog-walkers and cyclists. Parking is available at Polbrock car park, where there are picnic benches and access to the River Camel. Look out for all sorts of wildlife along the river, including kingfishers and otters.

Golitha Falls & Ancient Woodland, Fowey

Home to beautiful cascading streams, this picturesque wooded valley gorge is a National Nature Reserve with many important and rare mosses and lichens. Trees here include beech, sessile oak and ash – and smaller plants and wildflowers such as greater woodrush, bilberry, bugle and valerian all flourish here too. Wildlife is also plentiful at Golitha Falls; look out for buzzards, lesser horseshoe bats, fritillary butterflies and nuthatches.

There are a handful of trails through the valley, including a wheelchair-friendly route – and a large car park at the entrance of the reserve.

Kilminorth Woods, near Looe

An ancient woodland and Local Nature Reserve, Kilminorth is over 400 years old and is home to all sorts of trees including wild cherry, sweet chestnut, sessile oak and birch – as well as many varieties of lichens, ferns and mosses.

Due to its riverside location, Kilminorth provides ideal conditions for a wide range of birdlife; key species to look out for are kingfishers, curlews, herons, peregrines and little egret. You might even be lucky to spot one of the timid Roe deer who live here.

There are several access points to Kilminorth Woods, plenty of paths for walkers (one of which is suitable for wheelchairs), and a bridleway.

Kilminorth Woods, near Looe

An ancient woodland and Local Nature Reserve, Kilminorth is over 400 years old and is home to all sorts of trees including wild cherry, sweet chestnut, sessile oak and birch – as well as many varieties of lichens, ferns and mosses.

Due to its riverside location, Kilminorth provides ideal conditions for a wide range of birdlife; key species to look out for are kingfishers, curlews, herons, peregrines and little egret. You might even be lucky to spot one of the timid Roe deer who live here.

There are several access points to Kilminorth Woods, plenty of paths for walkers (one of which is suitable for wheelchairs), and a bridleway.

Image credits to: cornwalls.co.uk, intocornwall.com