The Cornish landscape has inspired people for centuries, it’s provided the back drop for novels, the inspiration for films, the skies and light for an entire art movement, and continues to draw people the world over. It’s a diverse landscape to discover – rivers to roam, thick forests to explore, tors to clamber and beautiful beaches on which to saunter.
The Camel Trail: Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow
Snaking all the way from Bodmin to Padstow Bay, The Camel Trail is one of our favourite river trails in Cornwall, and quite rightly so. With 18 miles of well maintained path, running through lush native woodland, past Cornish vineyards, over ancient bridges, through the sleepy market town of Wadebridge and on to Padstow proper, it’s attractive, accessible and easily broken down into small bite-size chunks. We’ve walked it – in whole and in parts, canoed the river, and have got it down on our ‘must have’ cycle routes for 2014.
Portheras Cove: Pendeen
A truly local beach, it’s a bit of a walk to Portheras Cove. We stumbled across it, quite by accident, a couple of years ago after a night spent camping in Penwith. After parking up at Pendeen Lighthouse we headed north on the coastal path, circumnavigated rocky cliffs, stole views out into the Atlantic and even caught a glimpse of the Scilly Isles. After winding past little fishermen’s shacks and curling around the headland through lushly banked trails, we found a river tumbling down the valley from Morvah. This took us right onto the beach, a modest bay of golden sand studded with huge smooth boulders. Its very dog friendly, there are no life guards – should you fancy a swim, and no cafe – we were lucky enough to catch the ice-cream van at the lighthouse on our return journey.
Tehidy Woods: Portreath
Just a stone’s throw from the coastal path at Portreath lies 9 square miles of woodland at Tehidy, and quite possibly our favourite woodland trails in Cornwall. There’s a rich mix of native and more tropical planting, a little cafe overlooking a nature reserve at the southern entrance, well marked paths throughout and a more dog friendly area up to the north. We pick our routes depending on the seasons, making sure we catch the bluebells in spring and the ancient oaks in full leaf during summer.
The Cheesewring: Bodmin
Despite living just 20 minutes away from Bodmin Moor we just haven’t spent nearly enough time exploring it, so this year we’re making a special effort to steer away from the coast and towards the high land. And just a few weekends ago we picked the Cheesewring as our walking destination of choice. The walk to these gigantic granite stacks only takes about 20 minutes from the car park at Mininions, but taking some time to stroll around the area we found the two perfect stone circles of The Hurlers, caught vast vistas all the way out to the south coast and discovered abandoned spring fed quarries overgrown with ferns and lichen.
Sian Pickles spends her time out and about in Cornwall with her black dog – walking, eating, drinking and swimming. You can catch up with her on Twitter @blackdogadventu and follow their adventures on her blog www.adventureswiththeblackdog.co.uk