Walks in Cornwall – the Fowey Estuary to Pencarrow Head
Walks in Cornwall
The Fowey Estuary is a wonderful place for a walk or a canoe adventure
Start: Bodinnick, grid ref: SX130522
- From Bodinnick slipway, walk up the steep lane past the Old Ferry Inn. Part-way up the hill on the right is a narrow footpath signed Hall Walk.
The footpath from Bodinnick to Penleath Point – known as Hall Walk – dates back at least to the 16th century. Created by the Mohun family of nearby Hall, it’s an early example of an ornamental promenade. Later it was famed as the place where King Charles I was nearly shot in August 1644 at the height of the English Civil War.
- Follow the footpath from Bodinnick to the ‘Q’ memorial. Here there is a steep path down to the water’s edge at Penleath Point which can be taken as a diversion.
The memorial stands above Penleath Point with open views of Fowey Harbour and Polruan. ‘Q’ was the novelist and scholar Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) who lived in Fowey from 1891 until his death.
- From the ‘Q’ memorial, the path runs high along the northern bank of Pont Pill. At the end of the wooded section, pass through the stile and kissing gate, walk along the field fenceline (on your right) for a short way before taking the right hand gate back into the woods.
Pont Pill joins the River Fowey just below the ‘Q’Memorial. It’s a tidal river and only navigable at high water.
- This section of path drops down and is rocky. At the junction, turn sharp right, almost doubling back, and continue down to the small hamlet of Pont.
The tiny quayside hamlet of Pont was once a thriving quay where sailing barges would unload coal, fertiliser and limestone. On the southern shore, Pont Pill Farmhouse (once a pub) and Pont Creek Cottage are National Trust holiday cottages.
- Cross the wooden bridge to the southern shore of Pont Pill and continue up the path past the cottages on your right. Take the first path on the right signed Polruan.
Pont (‘pons’ meaning ‘bridge’ in Cornish) takes its name from St Willow’s bridge at the head of the creek. Look out for the old farmhouse in this tiny hamlet.
- Follow the path uphill through a gate into a series of fields. The path runs along the top and then through a gate into woodland. At this gate take the lower path which you stay on all the way to Polruan.
- In Polruan, a pedestrian ferry runs from the quay to Fowey. In summer you will arrive at Whitehouse Quay and winter at Town Quay in Fowey. From both quays you will want to turn right and walk north along Fore Street to Caffa Mill, a large car park where the vehicle ferry runs back to Bodinnick.