Cornwall Walking Tours

We recently completed three wonderful days of walking tours early in July 2015. The weather held out and we covered the miles and burnt some serious calories! Our group comprised ten people of various ages, but all of them were used to walking and of good to average fitness. On Day 2 and Day 3 we hired a local taxi to provide the additional seats along with the Land Rover, to get us to the start of our walks and back to the hotel. Our itinerary is reproduced below and we almost stuck to the plan! 

The group very much enjoyed their stay at Atlantic View Hotel, Treknow. 

DAY 1 Tintagel Walking Tour

0930 Meet at Atlantic View Hotel

Walk along fields and coast-path to

1000 St Materiana’s Church (no entry fee).

This is an ancient spiritual site, with interesting features both inside and out. From here we continue a walk for about ten minutes, when we reach a viewpoint for...

1045 Tintagel Castle (entry about £6)

King Arthur’s birthplace and much more. Maybe there is magic here? I'll show you some of the hidden history at the site. We have a lot to explore. There are many steps here and when we are about half-way around, maybe we can stop for a coffee (the café is being repaired, but should be open by now).

There is a Land Rover Service back to the village £2 per person. It is worth taking because we will be tired and the road is steep.

1245 Village for lunch. There are so many choices. Five pubs! and many cafes

1400 Old Post Office (entry £3.20 including my discount). Mention me, there is a discount. We can meet here after lunch and then go inside. We can also picnic here instead of a pub or cafe lunch. It is actually a 600 year old farm building and has a beautiful garden. If anyone just wants to buy a Cornish pasty or any take-away they can eat it in the garden.

1430 King Arthur’s Great Halls (£2.50 including my discount)

This place built 1920 1930‘s tells King Arthur’s story in pictures and words. A bit of fun and some beautiful quality stained glass.

Then we walk along the coast for about an hour. This will include the coast-path and Rocky Valley, where the Bronze Age carvings suggest more about what was happening here long ago.

1500 Walk to waterfall

1600 St Nectan’s Glen waterfall (entry about £4 including my discount)

This is an amazing natural feature and has a long history as a spiritual place. It is also connected to the King Arthur story.

Walking back.

1800 Back at hotel


Day 2 – A Taste of Bodmin Moor

0930 Pick-up from hotel

1000 Visit Altarnun village and church.

An interesting and very pretty location. The church has very good wood carvings about 500 years old. And the cross outside belongs to St Non, mother of St David. It is said to date to around 1'500 years ago

1030 Leave Altarnun

1100 Arrive Minions. Leave Land Rover and taxi 

Walking around to view tin-mine engine house ancient burial chamber, stone formation (Cheesewring), stone circles (The Hurlers) and standing stones. (Pipers)

1230 Lunch at café (or maybe at pub later)

1330 Walking to pub along former rail track. View extensive ruins of tin and copper mines.

1400 Stop at pub

1430 Walk to Trethevy Quiot

1450 Arrive Trethevy Quiot

An amazing Stone Age monument, possibly 5 000 years old or more.

1515 Walk to St Cleer to see the holy well and the lovely village.

1600 Taxi pick-up to get the Land Rover first and then all heading home....

1700 Back at hotel


Day 3 – Lanhydrock House Restormel Castle and Lostwithiel Town

0930 Leave hotel

1015 Arrive at Lanhydrock Estate – walk and explore formal gardens and St Hydroc’s church (if service is not taking place).

1100 House opens – visit house (£10/£11 pp)

1300 Lunch at café Lanhydrock

1400 Walking to Restormel Castle

1500 Arrive Restormel Castle – visit castle (c.£4pp)

1600 Walking to Lostwithiel

1700 Arrive Lostwithiel – visit town and pubs…

1800 Taxi back to hotel

On this day we will use my Land Rover and a taxi to transport us all to start the tour and again at the end of the tour to return to the hotel.

Lanhydrock house is a magnificent property within a large estate and gardens. It has a long history. Part of the house dates back to medieval times and it may have been a farm owned by the monks of Bodmin prior to The Reformation. After a serious fire in 1881 much of the house was rebuilt. Since 1953 it has belonged to the National Trust charity, and is now displayed as it would have been in the Victorian/Edwardian heyday. There are 50 rooms to be seen, including a range of kitchen rooms, male servant’s quarters and the Robartes’ family rooms. The family also have a long history, but they almost died out when only one child (Rachel) was born from the previous generation of ten children (born and died between 1879 and 1974). The house has a very comfortable feel as if the family are at home, and it is very popular.

We will walk through Lanhydrock’s woods and grounds and take a path to Restormel Castle. Restormel Castle seems to date back to around 1100 AD. Around this time it became important guard the crossing of the River Fowey nearby. The building has a style which shows it as both a defensive fortress and a status symbol. The large window spaces are not practical to defend, but the massive ditch says ‘stay away’. The castle’s history links it to Tintagel Castle, having been owned by the same important historical figures, Richard Earl of Cornwall and The Black Prince. The castle remains part of the Duchy Estate (Prince Charles). Restormel Castle saw action during the English Civil War when it was first held by the Parliamentarians and then by the Royalists.  Sir Richard Grenville was the Royalist leader who captured the castle for Charles I (in 1644). Daphne du Maurier’s book ‘The Kings General’ is a great read based on Sir Richard Grenville and the Cornwall aristocracy during the English Civil War.

We will visit the very pretty town of Lostwithiel. Lostwithiel is the deliberately planned small town that grew-up around the River Fowey crossing and under the protection of Restormel Castle. It was an important centre for the tin industry. The tin parliament or Stannary controlled the industry, paying tax to the crown and enjoying power over laws and organisation of tin. The river Fowey’s deep harbour facilitated the export of tin. It was once very important.      

Seven hundred years ago Lostwithiel was the undisputed capital of Cornwall, centre of the tin industry and a thriving port. The tidal river was navigable to the quay by sea going ships and the importance of the port was second only to Southampton on the south coast.

Above extract from Lostwithiel town council website.