The riverside village of Lerryn is a pretty place to while away an afternoon and the gorgeous woodland and river are sure to keep all canine companions happy too. It’s said to be the inspiration behind Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows and if you visit when on holiday in Cornwall, you’ll see why. It’s a picture-perfect village. In fact, much of the surrounding countryside is an Area of Outstanding Beauty.
Park up and head to the woods
You can park at the riverside carpark near the village shop. It’s free to use but it’s pretty small, so head off-peak to maximise your chances of getting a spot. Depending on what the tide is up to, you can either cross the stepping stones or walk along the road and cross over the Elizabethan bridge.
Turn left and walk alongside the river and after five minutes or so you’ll reach the entrance to Ethy Woods, marked by a National Trust plaque.
There are a few different walks depending on what you’re after. My favourite is to walk alongside the river (relatively flat) until you reach Ethy Rock, which has a few different picnic-perfect spots. It’s also a great area to let water-loving hounds have a play. We stopped here and Monty entertained himself for a good half hour, chasing after sticks and exploring.
If you’re up for a longer hike, you can continue on and follow a signed route which takes you up to the top of the woods in a circular walk. Alternatively, you could carry on going to the Forestry Commission part of the woods and go on to St Winnow (2 miles) or Lostwithiel (4.5 miles).
Back in the day, Lerryn was thought to be rife with smuggling. There is even a small cave in Ethy Woods, which can still be seen today by particularly observant walkers, said to hide a tunnel from the woods to Ethy House cellar. Smugglers are said to have used this secret spot to hide their contraband. Of course, no such tunnel has been discovered, but it makes a good story nonetheless!
Picnic on the green
We didn’t bring a picnic (foolish – as the sun was out) so we headed back to the village. If you’re after a sit down meal, head to The Ship Inn. This 16th Century pub dishes up delicious homemade pub food and has an impressive range of real ales to choose from. I had a mooch around Lerryn River Stores and was impressed by the bountiful local produce on offer and the delicious takeaway coffee. For what it’s worth I hear their cream teas are pretty decent indeed too. Best enjoyed on the green overlooking the river.
Be sure to wander that way, particularly if you are nearby on holiday in Fowey.