The best walks in Cornwall to enjoy this autumn
Autumn is the perfect time to get outdoors and as the lush green landscape begins to change, it is time to reacquaint yourself with nature. With the leaves becoming varying shades of orange, yellow and red, the crisp weather means that walking during this season is a dream. Although you may be tempted to spend more time indoors, especially as the temperature begins to drop from the hot, balmy summer that the UK experienced, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views out over the countryside which is well worth wrapping up warm for!
Cornwall is a great place to visit if you’re planning on spending the upcoming month walking. “The county has the most beautiful and varied scenery – from perfect sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs, to the wilds and picturesque fishing villages – it never gets boring”, Sophia from The Ramblers told us. Plus, the everchanging landscape offers you a host of different views that are sure to take your breath away. From captivating coastal paths where you can watch the waves crash onto the shore to meandering through the rolling hills, there is no shortage of routes for you to try out over the next couple of months. So, if you’re already considering looking for autumn holidays in Looe, why not view our favourite walks across the county?
South West Coast Path
“The incredible South West Coast Path follows the entire coastline of Cornwall”, says Sophia. “As the longest trail in Britain, the stretch of 630 miles means that you’ll never run out of different paths and trails for you to try whilst on holiday. Not only does the path offer you the chance to experience the unspoilt Cornish coastline, but it is also accompanied by an interesting history.”
Originally created so that the coast guards could patrol with ease, it provided them with a better view of each inlet and cove along the edge of the cliffs. Smuggling was prominent in Cornwall, so this allowed apprehending easier for the coast guards, with their former cottages still standing along the trails.
There are many different ways in which you can enjoy walking along this beautiful stretch of the country. Whether you’re an avid walker who is keen to take in as much of it as possible or are simply looking for a location for an afternoon stroll, you can take it at your own pace, giving you a sense of freedom. The South West Coast Path website has mapped out a series of walks for you to try out, so take a look and decide which one you’re going to attempt!
Minions circular walk, Bodmin Moor
“As well as some truly stunning stretches of the South West Coast Path, Cornwall also has some excellent moorland walking on the wilds of Bodmin Moor”, Fi from Two Blondes Walking shares. As one of Cornwall’s designated Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, Bodmin Moor should definitely be explored, even by the most amateur of walkers. The 100 square miles of rolling hills, ancient woodland and mining sites provide a wonderful backdrop for your next walk, making it easy to see why these granite tors are appreciated by many.
“We love Bodmin Moor. One of our favourites is the walk from Minions, where there is a very friendly tea shop. Walk out north to see the impressive tor known as the Cheesewring and then come south again to see the Bronze Age Hurlers stone circles and the disused mineshaft. This is a pretty short walk but to the east of Minions there are more mine workings to (carefully) explore and a circuit around Caradon Hill on the dismantled tramway will reveal even more. If you like summits, there is a trig point by the TV station at the top of Caradon Hill.”
Although areas of Bodmin Moor may be slightly more challenging for some, many visit here due to its connection with the TV show, Poldark. Fi tells us “one of the things we love most about Cornwall is its history, from Bronze Age relics to Poldark era mines, you can’t walk far in Cornwall without finding something atmospheric and intriguing to investigate.” Several of the scenes from the programme were shot here, including the exterior of Poldark’s cottage, Nampara, so this is well worth the walk for watchers of the show.”
When heading out to an area such as Bodmin Moor, it is important to take time into consideration, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. As with many things, safety is of paramount importance, so checking out your route before leaving and factoring in time for deviating from the path is vital, as you don’t want to get stuck in the dark! Informing someone else of your plan before embarking on your hike is one of the biggest tips Fi would recommend. “As the autumn nights draw in it can be a good idea to leave your walking route and an expected return time with someone sensible. Take a map and compass and don’t panic if you think you are lost. Retracing your steps or having a good look at your surroundings can often sort a problem out.”
Kate from Adventures of Kate reiterates this: “I adore autumn. It’s one of my favourite seasons to head outdoors, but the weather can be very changeable. You can head out in a t-shirt and suddenly by the afternoon, the wind has picked up and it’s getting very chilly or it starts to rain. I always recommend packing layers and a good waterproof, taking water and some food with you. Don’t forget your map either or use the OS Maps app if you have it! If it’s rained, be aware that the cliff paths can get slippery, so shoes with good grip are a must!”
Sophia believes that there is no better time than autumn to experience what Cornwall has to offer: “As summer turns into autumn, there’s lots for walkers to look forward to, not least the chance of the paths of Cornwall being a little quieter than during the height of the tourist season. Then, of course, there are the reds and golds of the turning leaves, mushrooms popping up (some of them edible) and the chance to see heather and gorse at their best. Walking is one of the best ways to enjoy all these autumn delights, giving you the chance to spot all the delights of nature that you can only see on foot.”
There are a number of reasons why you should make the journey across to Boscastle. The picturesque port and quaint village offer enchanting views of the Cornish seascape and the towering cliffs are a great place to explore by foot. “This route around Boscastle, includes dramatic sea cliffs, a blowhole, views of Lundy Island on a clear day and the beautiful Valency Valley”, share The Ramblers. The route is one of the many free available to those who register on their site, meaning that it is worth looking if you’re planning to head out for a trek any time soon.
Other great walking routes in Cornwall
- South West Coastal Path
- Minions Circular Walk